tax return

Get Ahead of Tax Season: Open Your CRA Account Today!

February is creeping up on us, meaning it’s time for everyone to start doing their taxes. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) usually expects individual taxpayers to submit their income tax returns by the end of April. So to avoid any interest or penalties, we suggest putting that date in your calendar and filing your return! 

Tax season in Canada

This year, the tax filing deadline for your 2022 tax return is Monday, May 1st. Usually, the deadline is April 30th, but since it falls on a Sunday, the CRA has extended the deadline to the following business day. 

As for the well-known “tax season,” there is no set date when the period starts. Anyone can begin filing taxes at any time. However, early filers can access the CRA’s NETFILE service on February 20th, 2023, to electronically receive submitted returns. 

How to open a CRA account

The CRA’s My Account is a secure online portal for people who want to view their income tax and benefit information, as well as any important information regarding taxes. Through My Account, individuals can also manage their tax accounts and make changes when necessary. 

To open My Account as an individual, you’ll need a register for a CRA user ID and password. First, you must provide the requested personal information. You then must enter the CRA security code you receive before being able to access tax information on My Account. 

Step 1

  • Enter your social insurance number.
  • Enter your date of birth.
  • Enter your current postal code or ZIP code.
  • Enter an amount entered on one of your income tax and benefit returns. Have a copy of your returns handy. The line amount requested will vary, it could be from the current tax year or the previous one. To register, a return for one of these two years must have been filed and assessed.
  • Create a CRA user ID and password.
  • Create your security questions and answers. You can also decide if you want a persistent cookie added to your computer so you can access CRA sign-in services using that same computer later without being asked for more identification.
  • Enroll in mandatory multi-factor authentication by selecting your preferred method (telephone or passcode grid).  For more information, see multi-factor authentication.

Step 2

  • To access your account, select “CRA sign-in” and enter your CRA user ID and password. When prompted, enter your CRA security code. 

Those who wish to open their accounts through the MyCRA mobile app, the MyBenefits CRA mobile app or the CRA BizApp mobile app can view instructions under the respective sections here

Those who wish to open a business account or are either representing a client or representing a client as a non-resident representative can view instructions under the respective sections here

Partners

Another way of accessing My Account is to sign in using a Sign-In Partner. Having a variety of sign-in options makes the CRA’s online services much more accessible and convenient to existing users. 

Users can choose one of the following Sign-In Partners at the moment:

  • Affinity Credit Union
  • Alberta Treasury Branches
  • BMO Financial Group
  • CIBC Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce
  • Coast Capital Savings
  • Conexus Credit Union
  • Desjardins Group (Caisse Alliance, Caisses Populaires, UNI)
  • Libro
  • National Bank of Canada
  • RBC Royal Bank
  • Scotiabank
  • Servus Credit Union
  • Simplii Financial
  • Tangerine
  • TD Bank Group
  • Vancity

Note that the information used to sign in through a Sign-In Partner is not shared with the CRA. No identifying information, banking details or personal tax information will ever be shared between the two institutions. 

The benefits of having a CRA account

On top of being able to check your taxes, My Account provides several other benefits that users will find helpful. For example, are you curious about when a certain payment is arriving? Do you need to update your direct deposit details? Having My Account lets you access all of this information and some more. 

Here are the full benefits of registering for a CRA My Account:

  • View and/or make changes to past returns
  • Autofill information instead of filling it in every time
  • Check RRSP contribution limits
  • Keep track of unused amounts for tuition, losses, etc.
  • Use your CRA My Account to set up pre-authorized debit 
  • …and more

For more information on opening an account, please visit the official Canada Revenue Agency website

Sources: CRA Registration Process, List of Sign-In Partners, Intuit TurboTax: Benefits of the Canada Revenue Agency’s My Account Service

Disclaimer: The information is obtained directly from the websites that appear in the source section. The information has been gathered as accurately as possible at the time of writing, but we cannot guarantee its accuracy or completeness. For the most accurate and up-to-date information, please check their official website and digital channels.

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