There are changes with the 2021 personal income taxes and other upcoming CRA changes this summer. And it will make it easier if you have online access to your Canada Revenue Agency CRA My Account.
As I wrote in the January article, the Climate Action Incentive CAI will no longer be included in your 2021 taxes as a refundable credit (additional refund). It will be paid out quarterly starting July 2022. So, expect lower refunds. Or if you typically owe each year, expect it to be higher.
Climate Action Incentive
The CAI, or also known as the carbon tax rebate, has been paid to taxpayers since 2018 via their tax returns. Each year, many taxpayers have been receiving larger refunds due to the CAI. It has been increasing each year. But that ends with the 2021 taxes.
Since the payments will be made to you or your spouse on a quarterly basis from July 2022 to April 2023, it’s imperative that you both know that CRA has your correct banking information on file.
If you have a spouse or common-law partner, only one of you can get the credit for the family. The credit will be paid to the spouse or common-law partner whose tax return is assessed first. Both of you need to confirm your banking with CRA.
If both of your received tax refunds last year then you both know that CRA has correct banking for both of you.
But what if only one of you normally gets refunds? Does the other spouse know that CRA has correct banking information?
Do you receive the GST Credit or Canada Child Benefit direct deposit from CRA? Then you know CRA has your correct banking information.
What if you have not received anything from CRA direct deposit in the past year?
CRA My Account
Do you access your CRA My Account on a regular or periodic basis?
If so, you already know all the information you can access:
– view recent notice of assessments
– confirm or update your banking information
– confirm or update your address
– check your RRSP contribution room
– check your TFSA contribution room
– view or change your marital status
If CRA does not have banking information on file for you, the payment will be made by cheque. But does CRA have your correct address? Have you received your notice of assessment by regular mail in the past year? If not, you need to find out what address CRA has for you.
Or what if CRA has old banking information? How do you know what they have if you haven’t received a direct payment from CRA in years? Maybe you have changed your banking since you last received any refund?
You can make sure CRA pays it direct deposit, if you provide your banking information when you file your 2021 taxes.
If you use online banking, most banks and credit unions have a new service that allows you to submit your banking information to CRA. Look for “set up direct deposit with CRA”. You add in your SIN and your bank sends your account information to CRA. Simple!
Make sure both spouses do this individually with their own banking credentials. Part of the process includes confirming the names match from the online banking to CRA.
Notice of Assessments
There is another reason you should get online access to CRA My Account.
CRA recently announced that they will be moving away from paper Notice of Assessments NOA being mailed to taxpayers. Since majority of taxpayers have their taxes filed online either by themselves or by a tax preparation firm like Ste Anne Tax Service, all of these taxpayers will no longer receive a paper Notice of Assessment when they file their 2022 income taxes a year from now.
Only taxpayers that paper file their taxes will continue to receive the paper Notice of Assessments in the mail.
If you do not have access to your CRA My Account, I recommend you get registered now. Go to cra.gc.ca to get started. It takes a few weeks, so don’t wait until you need access.
If you have previously signed up for CRA My Account but have forgotten your user ID and/or password, contact CRA and get it reset now.
Represent a Client
As your authorized representative we can view much of the same information as you do, except we do not have access to your banking information so we do not know which bank account CRA has on file for you.
What we can do is provide new or replacement banking information when we file your tax return. We can view your address on file with CRA, but we cannot change it. But we can provide a new address when we file your taxes.
If you cannot confirm what banking information has, we recommend you include a void cheque or your banking information (print out from bank) with the rest of your tax papers.
Tax services like Ste Anne Tax Service can always access your NOA if you have authorized us to view your CRA account. Like other tax services, we do charge an extra fee to print or send a PDF of your Notice of Assessment since you do receive it (or should be receiving it) from CRA either in the mail or only digitally starting a year from now.
CRA opens February 21
CRA is open for e-filing and net-filing on February 21st. That is the earliest anyone can electronically file their 2021 taxes.
Remember that we can access most tax slips electronically from CRA, so don’t wait for your tax slips to come in the mail. Especially the ones from the government like OAS, CPP, EI or EIA. We can get these for you. If you have the rest of your information such as rent, you can contact us now and we can prepare your file so it’s ready for the week of February 21st!
For the safety and health of our clients, our employees, and the community, all our staff are fully vaccinated.
Anni Markmann is a Personal Income Tax Professional and Certified Financial Planner; living, working, and volunteering in our community. Contact Ste Anne Tax Service at 204.422.6631 or 36 Dawson Road in Ste Anne (near Co-op) or firstname.lastname@example.org