Many people, even other accountants, have asked me, “How can you prepare taxes virtually?”. Well, how can’t we if the biggest accountant in Canada—Canada Revenue Agency—can do it?
Yes, that is right. Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is pushing to become completely virtual. The agency has implemented the following processes:
- Created portal upload links so taxpayers and professional tax preparers can upload PDFs of the information they have reported on income tax returns.
- Pushed for direct deposit of refunds so that no more paper cheques will be issued by mail.
- Created a new “MYCRA” app you can download on your phone for easy access to all your tax information. Check it out here: CRA Mobile Apps
- Pushed for taxpayers to receive correspondence online through the portal.
- Pushing more for taxpayers to make payments through online banking or the CRA payment portal. Take a peek here: Make Payment to Canada Revenue Agency.
- Even accepting e-signature or finger signatures from taxpayers.
- Canada Revenue Agency doesn’t need to see original paperwork. If you have your tax information on a secure PDF form, that is completely acceptable proof.
CRA will allow electronic storage of tax information here: CRA Electronic Storage. The agency prefers your tax documentation and proof be stored in a Canadian cloud, but it is not mandatory.
With Canada Revenue Agency going this way, why wouldn’t we go virtual? It only makes sense!