Canada Revenue Agency
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Responsibilities

As an electronic filer:

  • You must renew your participation in electronic filing on a yearly basis and inform the CRA of any changes to your EFILE registration. To modify your account, access the Account maintenance page.

  • Deal directly with your client. You cannot accept and transmit records from an unregistered preparer. If you offer transmission services to clients who prepare their own returns, we consider you to be acting as the tax preparer and require you to fulfill all the responsibilities outlined below.

  • To protect your interests and the integrity of our tax system, take proper care to verify the identity of your client. Ensure your client has documents (such as information slips and receipts) to support all income, deductions, and credits reported or claimed on the return. Verify the authenticity of these information slips before conducting financial transactions.

  • Inform your client that elections, designations, agreements, waivers, and special elective returns must be submitted on paper by the appropriate due date, as established in the Income Tax Act.

  • Make sure your client completes and signs Form T183, Information Return for Electronic Filing of an Individual's Income Tax and Benefit Return, before transmitting the return. When filing a return for a pre-bankruptcy period or for a deceased person, Part E of the T183 is to be signed by the trustee in bankruptcy or the legal representative. In the case of the return of a deceased person, that would be the executor or administrator of the estate. Please note that the legal representative for a deceased person, is required to provide you, the electronic filer, with a copy of the proof of death certificate. If a legal representative for a deceased person signs Part D designating you as their representative for tax matters, he or she must first submit to the tax centre, a copy of the death certificate and the will designating him or her as the executor. If the person signing the T183 form has Power of Attorney (POA) for the taxpayer, he or she must provide you, the electronic filer, with a copy of the Power of Attorney. You must attach a copy of the death certificate or POA to the corresponding T183 form and keep the documents for a period of at least six years following the date the return was filed.

  • Ensure the return is prepared with software that has been certified by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) as compatible with EFILE Online.

  • Use only the EFILE number and password we assigned to you when you registered or renewed. Keep this information confidential.

  • Correct rejected records and transmit again. Inform your client of any delays in the transmission or acceptance of these returns. Advise your client, in writing, of any changes to refunds or balances owing.

  • Protect the confidentiality of taxpayer information and let us know immediately of any loss, suspected loss, or unauthorized disclosure of client information obtained through electronic filing.

  • Ensure that all documents are properly disposed of to protect your clients' confidentiality.

  • Comply with all provisions of the Income Tax Act.

In your advertising

  • Time frames quoted for processing an electronically filed return or refund have to be consistent with the time frame we quote, which is about two weeks.

  • You cannot imply a special relationship with, or an endorsement by, the CRA, nor can you use the CRA's signature or marking.

  • You cannot use the words authorized or agent in the advertising.

  • Any public communication that refers to EFILE cannot contain false, fraudulent, or misleading statements or claims.

If you want to use any part of a CRA publication (such as a guide, return, or schedule) in your advertising, you must first ask for our approval. In your request, indicate which publication you want to use and provide us with a sample of the advertisement. Send your request to the following address:

PACROWNCO_G@cra-arc.gc.ca

Monitoring

We monitor the activities of electronic filers to ensure that they comply with our requirements. This maintains a high standard of quality for electronic returns and transmissions. If an electronic filer does not comply with these requirements during the program, we will issue warning letters as required and can suspend EFILE privileges.

We monitor such items as the following:

We periodically request a number of copies of the T183 Forms from each electronic filer. We may also request written explanation for errors noted during our review. EFILE privileges may be suspended if the forms or written explanations we request are not provided in the time frame that we specify.

Should we request forms from you that are signed by someone other than the taxpayer (example: Power of Attorney; Trustee in bankruptcy; or Executor or Administrator of the estate), you must submit copies of the documentation showing proof along with the requested form.

We will advise electronic filers of problems originating in branch offices. If there are repeated or continuing problems with a particular branch office, the "parent" will be required to drop that office from the program. Failure to take corrective action with the problem branch will lead to suspension of the "parent." Such a suspension will apply to all returns filed by an electronic filer, including all branch offices.

Suspension

Conditions for suspension

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) reserves the right to revoke an electronic filer's authorization to participate in electronic filing if any one of the following conditions exists:

  1. failure to meet suitability screening criteria;
  2. deterioration in the quality of individual transmissions;
  3. an unacceptable cumulative error rate;
  4. violation of the CRA's advertising standards;
  5. unethical practices in tax return preparation;
  6. late, missing, illegible, or incomplete T183 forms;
  7. stockpiling of returns for any reason other than the unavailability of the CRA's systems, unless the clients have been informed;
  8. significant complaints about an electronic filer;
  9. other facts or disreputable conduct that would reflect adversely on the program;
  10. failure to completely report any loss, suspected loss, or unauthorized disclosure of an EFILE password or client information;
  11. failure to protect the confidentiality of an EFILE password;
  12. failure to ensure that a client's source documents fully support all income, deductions, and credits reported or claimed on the return;
  13. failure by a preparer to deal directly with the client;
  14. transmitting returns for a non registered or unapproved tax preparer;
  15. failure to protect the confidential information obtained to electronically file the returns of your clients;
  16. failure to inform CRA of changes to your EFILE registration information (i.e. management and control related changes, address, phone and fax number, email address, etc.).

Warning letter

In most cases, we send a warning letter to the electronic filer before suspension. The letter informs the electronic filer of inconsistencies and asks the filer to take corrective action. Any electronic filer who does not comply with the request will be suspended.

In other cases, an electronic filer or a software program could be suspended immediately, without warning and without possibility of reinstatement.

Administrative review process

Applicants who are denied participation, or electronic filers who are suspended, have the right to an administrative review. You should make your request for an administrative review in writing to the chief of appeals at either the Eastern Intake Centre located at the Sudbury Tax Services Office or the Western Intake Centre located at the Vancouver Tax Services Office. Send a copy of the denial or suspension letter with your request. The time limit for filing this request is within 90 days of the date we mailed the denial or suspension notice.