The Canada Revenue Agency is continuing to offer more and more services online. Individuals have been able to use an online portal, CRA My Account, to transact almost all of their business with the CRA for a few years, and businesses can also take advantage of this technology by signing up for the CRA My Business Account. Here is an overview of what you can expect.
What Is the My Business Account Portal?
The CRA’s My Business Account is an online portal that provides you, as a business owner, with the capacity to access a number of accounts that you have with the CRA, interact with the tax authorities, and generally ensure all of your business information is up-to-date. Using My Business Account gives you access to your payroll, corporation income taxes, excise taxes, and excise duties accounts. Except in Québec, where the GST/HST is administered by Revenu Québec, you also have access to your GST/HST account. My Business Account is available seven days a week, 21 hours per day. There is a three-hour break overnight for maintenance activity. You can use the portal to perform just about any task you want for your tax accounts. You can file a return, view expected and filed returns, adjust a return, file a rebate request, file and view elections, and get your account balance and activities. My Business Account also allows you to manage and view your direct deposit transactions and instalment payments.
How Can You Access the Portal?
To get access, you first need to register for a CRA ID and password if you do not have one already. You also need to know your Business Number. The CRA partners with a number of major Canadian financial institutions called “sign-in partners.” This feature allows you to sign in to the portal using your usual ID and password for your bank account to access My Business Account. Depending on the size of your business, you may not be the person who actually prepares and files the returns on a day-to-day basis. If that is the case, you can give representatives acting on your behalf, whether employees or an outside accountant, access to your accounts. There are different ways for you to give access to different people, depending on whether they are outside professionals or internal employees. At any time, you can change the level of authorization for existing representatives, or revoke authorizations altogether. You can do this using the online Authorize or manage representatives service in My Business Account. Online authorization updates are instant and take effect immediately or on the effective date you choose. If you don’t want to do it online, there is also a form, Form RC59,, that you can send to your local tax office. The My Business Account is a great way to simplify your interactions with the CRA. As a small business owner, the convenience of being able to attend to your tax matters outside of regular business hours is an added bonus.