Your clients count on you at tax time. They expect you to stay fully up-to-date on all the changes and new features at the Canada Revenue Agency so they can focus on growing their businesses and enjoy their lives. By tracking these most recent changes to services, credits, deductions, and the like, you can continue to provide excellent service to your clients.
The Pensionable and Insurable Earnings Review Service
With the new Pensionable and Insurable Earnings Review (PIER) service, the CRA checks your calculations to make sure the pensionable and insurable earnings you reported for your client match the required Canada Pension Plan or Employment Insurance amounts. This service provides a detailed summary of any discrepancies, plus full information sorted by employee.
Changes in Authorizing Representatives to Deal With the CRA
Your clients must now use Form T1013 (Authorizing or Cancelling a Representative) to authorize you or anyone else to contact the CRA on their behalf. They can no longer provide this authorization on Form T183 (Information Return for Electronic Filing of an Individual’s Income Tax and Benefit Return).
Related to this, new Account Alerts notify your client whenever a representative on their account is added, deleted, or changed. These alert emails provide an added level of security.
The "Auto-fill my return" feature populates your clients’ income tax and benefits returns with information the CRA already has in its possession. You can automatically see your clients’ repayable balance for the Lifelong Learning Plan and the Home Buyers’ Plan, among others.
Changes in Medically Related Credits
Clients who’ve sought fertility treatments but don’t have a defined medical condition causing infertility can claim expenses for the medical intervention they’ve experienced. In addition, fertility-related expenses for the past 10 years can be credited by requesting changes to the appropriate income tax and benefits returns.
If any of your clients are caregivers to a spouse, common-law partner, or dependant with physical or mental impairments, you should be aware of changes in the appropriate tax credits. The Canada caregiver credit replaces the former caregiver and family caregiver credits, as well as the credit for infirm dependants 18 and older. In addition, your clients who need certification on their application for the disability tax credit can receive that certification from nurse practitioners.
Students’ and Children’s Credits
Your clients who are students taking post-secondary occupational skills courses may be able to claim the tuition for fees paid. But other educational credits have been eliminated, including the federal education and textbook credits, the children’s arts tax credit, and the children’s fitness tax credit.
The CRA Goes Mobile
Your business clients can stay on top of their GST/HST accounts by using the new mobile web app, CRA BizApp. Intended for sole proprietors and small businesses, CRA BizApp also lets you and your clients view business account balances and make payments on payroll and excise duty accounts.
Your clients can receive mail from the CRA directly through My Account. The CRA plans to send correspondence such as requests for receipts through this channel, as well as notices of assessment, benefit notices and slips, and correspondence about tax-free savings accounts. You and your clients can also receive express notices of assessment delivered directly into your tax software. To take advantage of this service, file your clients’ returns electronically and register for online mail.
Staying on top of the latest changes regarding credits, deductions, services, and notifications from the CRA allows you to provide the best possible service to your clients while making your own job easier.