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Tax season is officially underway and those expecting a refund are understandably anxious to file early and put that money the government has been holding onto – which averages $1,850 – to good use. But information from CRA about filing accurately has been released very late and there is a lot to know... including new information about electronic signatures which was only out yesterday.
There is no doubt about it: the tax filing deadline this year (at least per the government so far) will be Friday, April 30, 2021. That’s important because we expect more people to have to pay due to the receipt of pandemic relief payments like CERB. For many people who usually receive a refund, paying electronically may be a new and unfamiliar process, and professionals need to take the time to explain the options.
Over the years, CRA’s EFILE service has significantly evolved. But even if you were first in line to file this week, refunds won’t arrive until March. There is a lot of money at stake: last year close to 20 million filers waited to receive an average tax refund of $1,850 and only 25% or just under 5 million chose to get it by cheque. EFILE can definitely help to speed things up.
It’s a new era in electronic filing. Yesterday the CRA released new information about how to file 2020 tax returns using electronic signatures, a new Form T183 and date stamps. The timing was interesting. Recall, just last week CRA locked over 100,000 taxfilers out of their online accounts because it detected security breaches. Here’s what you have to know about new digital filing and security defence strategies.
The “gig economy” is on the rise, it is estimated that close to 45% of the workforce in North America is now self-employed and more specifically, 40% of Millennials in Canada. A new course from Knowledge Bureau is providing tax and bookkeeping practitioners with the critical skills to help these new “solopreneurs” in multiple sectors: builders, retail outlets, importers/exporters and a variety of agricultural ventures as well as non-profits.