It’s tax time again in Canada.
Since last tax season, the CRA has made some changes to its My Account web service.
Here are some things you should know about accessing your account online and filing your taxes for 2021.
EMAIL ADDRESSES ARE REQUIRED
As of February 7, 2022, the CRA requires all My Account users to have an email address on file as an anti-fraud measure. The CRA says this is to ensure that My Account users can be notified when significant changes are made to their account.
Adding an email address on file will not affect how you receive your notices of assessment and other correspondence from the CRA, unless you set your correspondence preference to “email”. . Otherwise, you can always choose to receive paper compliance notices by mail, if you prefer.
If you signed up to receive CRA mail electronically, be sure to check your junk or spam folders regularly to make sure you don’t miss any important information. Better yet, add [email protected] to your safe senders list will ensure that CRA emails reach your inbox.
Multi-factor authentication, also known as two-factor authentication, is a tool that provides a second security check on your account after entering your username and password.
The CRA had rolled out multi-factor authentication for My Account users since 2020. Previously, multi-factor authentication was an optional feature. But in the fall of 2021, the CRA updated its website to state that multi-factor authentication is “required for all users wishing to use CRA login services.”
If you have never enabled multi-factor authentication on your CRA account, the website will prompt you to register after logging into My Account. You will have the choice of using a telephone or a grid of access codes.
If you choose the phone option, you will be prompted to enter a cell or landline number. Now, when you log into My Account, the CRA will send a one-time password via text message or automated phone call. Enter the one-time password and you will be logged in.
If you don’t have a phone, you can also choose to use a password grid for multi-factor authentication. If you register with this method, you will receive a grid of numbered rows and columns with letters, similar to a bingo card, which you can print or save. Each time you log into My Account, the CRA will ask you to use three combinations of letters and numbers on your grid as your unique access code.
A NEW LOOK FOR MY ACCOUNT
The CRA has rolled out the beta version of My Account, introducing a new user interface for the online service. If you would like to try the beta version, log in to My Account and click on “Try the new My Account beta”.
You can return to the full version of My Account at any time. If you choose to use the new interface, be aware that some services, such as COVID-19 benefits, may not yet be available on the beta website.
BEWARE OF SCAMS
It is important to be vigilant against fraudulent emails, text messages and phone calls from scammers posing as CRA agents. The CRA has a list of guidelines on its website to help you easily identify a fraudulent communication.
If you received something that appears to be from the CRA, you can call the CRA to confirm whether the communication was genuine or not. You can also check your mailbox on the My Account portal, which will also contain all official CRA correspondence.