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Efficient Communication with the CRA: Best Ways to Get in Touch and Receive Assistance

The Canada Revenue Agency is the Canadian government body responsible for administering tax laws and regulations and ensuring compliance on behalf of the federal government. Communicating efficiently and effectively with the CRA can be critical if you are filing your taxes,

Looking for a refund or wanting to make a payment? Additionally, if you need to correct errors on your tax return or report changes in your personal or financial situation, communicating with the CRA is important to ensure that your tax obligations are being met and that you are receiving the correct benefits. Unfortunately, for many this task may feel daunting, especially if you are dealing with a complex issue. Below are a few best practices for CRA communication to receive the assistance you need.

The fastest and best ways to communicate with the CRA is through their online services, telephone, mail, or in-person appointments. CRA’s online services are convenient, accessible, and secure, allowing taxpayers to manage the majority of their tax filing and payments from the comfort of their homes without having to wait around for a customer service representative.

1. Online Services

Through the My Account online portal, taxpayers should be able to view their tax information, update their personal information, and make any payments on their CRA debts. The My Business Account portal allows you to manage your business taxes, payroll, and any GST/HST accounts. Additionally, the CRA has a secure online messaging service called “My Message”. This gives you the ability to send and receive confidential information securely.

2. Telephone

If you have a complicated issue or prefer to communicate with the CRA customer service representative over the phone, you can call the Canada Revenue Services’ toll-free number at 1-800-959-8281. This telephone service is available from Monday to Friday, from 9 am to 9 pm local time. Make sure to have your Social Insurance Number (SIN) and tax information ready before calling the CRA to help them serve you in the best way. It is important to note that wait times can be long. If phoning the CRA is your best option, it is best to call during off-peak hours.

3. Mail

If you need to send any documents or correspondence to the CRA, you can mail them to the address indicated on the CRA’s website. It is crucial to ensure that you have the correct address and sufficient postage to avoid delays or return to sender. You can also visit a CRA Tax Services Office or a Community Volunteer Income Tax Program clinic in your area for in-person assistance.

4. In-person appointment

In some cases, you may need to speak directly with a CRA agent to resolve a tax issue. You can request a call back from the CRA by filling out an online form, and a CRA agent will call you back within two business days. Alternatively, you can schedule an in-person appointment with a CRA agent at a Taxation Services Office or make an appointment for a virtual interview.

How do you know that you are in contact with the CRA

Canadians should always remain vigilant against fraud when it comes to communicating with the CRA. There are generally many scammers impersonating CRA officers so it is important to understand how the CRA typically communicates with taxpayers and how you can verify their identity before provide any personal information:

  1. The CRA may reach out to contact individuals by phone, email, or mail. This contact can be for a variety of reasons including tax assessments, refunds, or requests for information.
  2. Generally a genuine CRA employee will provide you with their name and phone number to call them back, when they reach out to you by phone. If you’re feeling suspicious about the legitimacy of a call, you may ask them their name, badge number, and office location. You should then be able to verify this information by contacting the CRA directly.
  3. The CRA does use automated calls for certain purposes, but they will never ask you for your personal information (social insurance numbers or banking details), through these types of calls.
  4. The CRA does not use email for sensitive matters. Do not share personal or financial information with anyone claiming to be from the CRA via email or text.
  5. The CRA will never demand immediate payment via Interac e-transfer, Cryptocurrency (Bitcoin), Prepaid credit cards, Gift card from any retailers (iTunes, Amazon, or others)
  6. The CRA does not charge you a fee to speak with a contact centre agent.
  7. A CRA agent will never arrange a meeting with you in a public place to take any payment.
  8. A CRA agent will never use aggressive language or threaten you with arrest, deportation or the police.
  9. A CRA agent will never leave you voicemails that are threatening, or that include personal or financial information
  10. The CRA does not send out emails or text messages with a link to your refund
  11. The CRA will never email or text you a link requesting that you click on it or fill in an online form with personal or financial information
  12. The CRA will never reach out to you using text messages, instant messaging platforms such as Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp.

If you receive a call, email, or text from the CRA that you suspect may be fraudulent, do not provide any personal information. Contact the CRA directly using their official contact information and report the incident.

FAQs for Efficient CRA Communication:

1. What information should you have on hand when contacting the CRA?

  • Social Insurance Number (SIN)
  • Business number (BN). (If applicable)
  • Your full legal name
  • The full legal name of the business.(If applicable)
  • Telephone number.
  • Complete mailing address.
  • Inquiry details, such as the latest notice of assessment, return or other tax documents.

2. When is the best time to contact the CRA?

The most ideal time to contact the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is during off-peak hours. This includes early mornings and late afternoons on weekdays. Mondays tend to be more busy so consider calling later in the week or using their 24/7 online services for more flexibility.

3. What is “My Message” in the CRA’s online services?

“My Message” is a secure online messaging service that enables taxpayers to send and receive confidential information to the CRA.

4. What is the CRA’s telephone number, and when is it available?

The CRA’s toll-free number is 1-800-959-8281, available from Monday to Friday, 9 am to 9 pm local time.

5. How can I avoid long wait times when calling the CRA?

The CRA’s line tends to be busy. Consider calling during off-peak hours to reduce your waiting time.

6. Can I contact the CRA by email?

No. The CRA may use email as a way to notify you about changes to your account, but they do not send or receive emails relating to business inquiries.

7. How can I request a call back from CRA?

Yes you can! Use the following numbers for their automated callback service

  • For Business Enquiries: 1-800-959-5525.
  • For Individual Tax Enquiries: 1-800-959-8281.
  • For Benefit Enquiries: 1-800-387-1193.

8. How can I schedule an in-person appointment with a CRA agent?

You can request a call back from the CRA using their automated callback service or you can schedule an in-person appointment at a Taxation Services Office.

How Can LedgersOnline Help?

Communicating with the CRA does not need to be intimidating, it is often necessary to ensure compliance with tax laws and resolve tax issues. LedgersOnline’s team of expert business bookkeepers are experienced in navigating complex business tax filings. We can assist you in understanding your business’s tax obligations, filing your taxes, and guiding your communications with the Canada Revenue Agency. Contact us today and get started.

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