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mr weather
Premium
join:2002-02-27
Mississauga, ON

CRA no longer mailing out returns?

I noticed in an article in the Toronto Star today that CRA is not mailing out 2012 T1 General/T1 Special tax return forms. (linky)

Yes, I'm one of the dinosaurs who still sends in a paper return but this policy change was news to me. And the fact that I have to buy software to file electronically irks me. If CRA want us all to file online they should supplying the software for free (yes, I know free versions are available to those under certain income level but that doesn't apply to me).
--
"It's all coming down!!" - Mike Holmes


dirtyjeffer
Anons on ignore, but not due to fear.
Premium
join:2002-02-21
London, ON
the software is pretty cheap (maybe $20) and it really helps with the returns (organized, ensures you don't miss anything, and lets you e-file)...we have used it the last few years and it is great.


I_H8_Spam

join:2004-03-10
St Catharines, ON
reply to mr weather
Not a pitch, but i've used »www.studiotax.com/en/ for years.

As always, StudioTax is made available FREE for personal use and regardless of level of income. NO questions asked, NO registration, NO key, and NO activation.

Handles all my households needs nicely.
--
AFK: Attack, fight, kill!! The healer is telling you to go pull mobs.
WTF: Way to fight! The healer is applauding your tactical genius


urbanriot
Premium
join:2004-10-18
Canada
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Cogeco Cable
reply to mr weather
You know what else those bastards are doing?

If you've ever, once in your life, utilized one of their online services they automatically remove you from their physical mailing list and automatically consider you an electronic filer and send messages to your login there!! You don't get a choice.


ekster
Hi there
Premium
join:2010-07-16
Lachine, QC
kudos:3
reply to mr weather
Software is provided for free. It's on their website. Took all of 4 seconds of searching and clicking.

For the lazy, it's Studiotax. Never used it as I'm used to DTMax due to my job, but plenty of people used it from what I know.


lugnut

@communications.com
reply to mr weather
Did you read the whole article?

Aside from the free option of downloading the forms and printing them out yourself, you can still pick them up at any post office, as well as phoning CRA and asking them to mail them to you if you're housebound and don't have a computer.

Otherwise it makes perfect sense to me, saving millions of dollars on wasted paper that ends up thrown in the garbage anyway.


donoreo
Premium
join:2002-05-30
North York, ON
reply to mr weather
Can you still not get the forms at the post office?


elwoodblues
Elwood Blues
Premium
join:2006-08-30
Somewhere in
kudos:2
reply to mr weather
The simplified form is gone too.
It's being done under the guise of "saving money".

E-filing is quick and easy, but it's not for me everyone.

Strangley I didntbget my efile key yet.


dirtyjeffer
Anons on ignore, but not due to fear.
Premium
join:2002-02-21
London, ON
they aren't using efile keys any longer...i got my letter from CRA last week about it...you file using your SIN and address info.


corster
Premium
join:2002-02-23
Gatineau, QC
reply to mr weather
They're not mailing them out automatically, but you can still request to have one mailed to you by filling out the form here:

»www.cra-arc.gc.ca/orderforms/

or by calling 1-800-959-8281.

They'll also still be available to pickup at Service Canada offices, Canada Post outlets, and your MP's constituency office, as always.

1.3 Million paper returns were mailed out last year to taxfilers who didn't end up filing by paper. It's a huge waste of money and resources to send them out to people who won't use them.

mr weather
Premium
join:2002-02-27
Mississauga, ON
reply to donoreo
Yes, something about the forms being available after February 4 at Canada Post outlets (and on-line of course. But that means you don't get a personalized mailing label. I believe our returns go to Sudbury but I'll have to confirm.

Look, I'm not bitching that CRA stopped the practice. I'm bitching that they gave us no warning that it was going to happen.
--
"It's all coming down!!" - Mike Holmes


donoreo
Premium
join:2002-05-30
North York, ON
reply to elwoodblues
said by elwoodblues:

The simplified form is gone too.
It's being done under the guise of "saving money".

E-filing is quick and easy, but it's not for me everyone.

Strangley I didntbget my efile key yet.

I think I heard on the radio that the telephone filing service is gone too. Never used it myself.
--
The irony of common sense, it is not that common.
I cannot deny anything I did not say.
A kitten dies every time someone uses "then" and "than" incorrectly.
I mock people who give their children odd spelling of names.


elwoodblues
Elwood Blues
Premium
join:2006-08-30
Somewhere in
kudos:2
reply to corster
Service Canada officescsre being shut down, also under the money saving guise.


donoreo
Premium
join:2002-05-30
North York, ON
said by elwoodblues:

Service Canada officescsre being shut down, also under the money saving guise.

It is not actually saving money, it will just be spent elsewhere


corster
Premium
join:2002-02-23
Gatineau, QC
reply to mr weather
said by mr weather:

Look, I'm not bitching that CRA stopped the practice. I'm bitching that they gave us no warning that it was going to happen.

You should be recieving a letter explaining that the CRA no longer sends out T1's automatically and that you can request one to be mailed to you.

mr weather
Premium
join:2002-02-27
Mississauga, ON
reply to corster
said by corster:

1.3 Million paper returns were mailed out last year to taxfilers who didn't end up filing by paper. It's a huge waste of money and resources to send them out to people who won't use them.

So CRA mailed out paper returns to everyone? That's pretty dumb. At least limit mailings to those who filed paper returns the year before.
--
"It's all coming down!!" - Mike Holmes


lugnut

@communications.com
reply to elwoodblues
CRA has changed their system this year for efiling. You no longer receive a PIN number. Instead you input your SIN and your Date of Birth.

At least that's the gist of what I got from a letter they sent me just after New Years.

You didn't get that letter from them?


corster
Premium
join:2002-02-23
Gatineau, QC
reply to mr weather
said by mr weather:

said by corster:

1.3 Million paper returns were mailed out last year to taxfilers who didn't end up filing by paper. It's a huge waste of money and resources to send them out to people who won't use them.

So CRA mailed out paper returns to everyone? That's pretty dumb. At least limit mailings to those who filed paper returns the year before.

There were actually three different mailings that went out last year, if I recall correctly:

Full T1 package - if you filed using the CRA's paper forms or Telefile, or your previous filing method was not on record, you got this.

Name and Address Sticker - if you filed a paper return prepared by software (i.e. printed it out yourself and mailed it), you got this.

Netfile access code - if you Netfiled the year before, you got this.

This year, they've eliminated the Netfile access codes altogether, and I suppose the cost of the Name and Address stickers wasn't worth it given that people can just write them in anyways.

MichelR

join:2011-07-03
Ottawa, ON
reply to I_H8_Spam
said by I_H8_Spam:

Not a pitch, but i've used »www.studiotax.com/en/ for years.

As always, StudioTax is made available FREE for personal use and regardless of level of income. NO questions asked, NO registration, NO key, and NO activation.

Handles all my households needs nicely.

It's going to be my 5th year using it. I used ImpôtRapide (French version of TurboTax) before. StudioTax is not as pretty as the paid offerings, but it does the calculations right and that's the important thing.


lugnut

@communications.com
reply to mr weather
said by mr weather:

said by corster:

1.3 Million paper returns were mailed out last year to taxfilers who didn't end up filing by paper. It's a huge waste of money and resources to send them out to people who won't use them.

So CRA mailed out paper returns to everyone? That's pretty dumb. At least limit mailings to those who filed paper returns the year before.

No CRA did not mail out returns to everyone. I've been netfiling for the last 15 years and I haven't received anything more in the mail than a slip of paper with my netfile PIN in all that time. What it means is 1.3 million people who paper filed the previous year decided to netfile last year.

And now after receiving that letter telling me that from now on Netfile will no longer use a PIN and instead use my SIN and DOB there will not even be so much as a letter being posted my way in the future.

I gotta hand it to them. They are doing a great job of cutting costs on this now.

BTW, how much advance notice did you expect to receive about this year's changes? Taxes aren't due til April 30th. Chances are you'll still probably receive a letter sometime this month informing you of the changes if you weren't already clued in by the article.

And honestly, why fuss about it at all. They still accept paper returns. They simply shifted the model to an on demand basis since paper filings have skewed to the minority now.


donoreo
Premium
join:2002-05-30
North York, ON
reply to mr weather
We need DKS to come in and tell us what it was like to file on birch bark and clay tablets before that!

Gami00

join:2010-03-11
Mississauga, ON
said by donoreo:

We need DKS to come in and tell us what it was like to file on birch bark and clay tablets before that!

wouldn't taxes have been much easier then..

pay with "meat" and or "fish".
there are no returns to process.

peterboro
Avatars are for posers
Premium
join:2006-11-03
Peterborough, ON
reply to mr weather
said by mr weather:

Yes, I'm one of the dinosaurs who still sends in a paper return but this policy change was news to me.

I send in a paper return for myself and netfile for the rest of the gang (about 8) and before that I tele-filed and before that it was paper and when this whole convoluted computerized mess we call progress crashes I'll be back to paper if there is a government.


DKS
Damn Kidney Stones
Premium,ExMod 2002
join:2001-03-22
Owen Sound, ON
kudos:2
reply to mr weather
If you use a tax preparer, they are required to use e-file. If they don't, CRA fines them $25.
--
Need-based health care not greed-based health care.


neochu

join:2008-12-12
Windsor, ON
reply to mr weather
you also don't have to purchase software at all. There are several single return options available online for e-filing for simple returns.

My understanding is that small businesses, self-employed people, first time filers, and complicated situations cant use basic e-filing software anyways.

You would have to go to a preparer or do the paper return for those.


ekster
Hi there
Premium
join:2010-07-16
Lachine, QC
kudos:3
Reviews:
·FreePhoneLine

2 edits
No need to paper file or go to anyone for any of those situations, except first time filer and a couple of very rare situations like non-residents, bankruptcies, etc., if you know what you're doing.

Any simple software like ufile/turbotax/etc. can do everything that needs to be done.


urbanriot
Premium
join:2004-10-18
Canada
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Cogeco Cable
reply to neochu
said by neochu:

My understanding is that small businesses, self-employed people, first time filers, and complicated situations cant use basic e-filing software anyways.

Correct. And you get really fucked over if you have a complicated situation and they've arbitrarily decided to move you to the electronic services without telling you, because you can't create an electronic account to complete some of these tasks so you have to call them and tell them to undo their fuckup.


neochu

join:2008-12-12
Windsor, ON
I think at some point though, and with with a large enough buisness/unique situation you would have an accountant on retainer already.

Electronic services though just means a "My Account" on the CRA website. The complexity is wither or not your communication/filing preference is by paper or electronically.

The default now is electronic which is causing the confusion.

(I have efiled since I have been required to make one. Luckily I don't have an aforementioned situation and have not had too many issues with it.)


urbanriot
Premium
join:2004-10-18
Canada
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Cogeco Cable
Yea, the unfortunate part is that small business owners or entrepreneurs are clueless when it comes to this sort of thing and don't have the money to regularly hit up an accountant when they're getting their business off the ground.

The CRA should be consistently communicating with them via letter mail unless they specifically ask to have something as significant as returns switched to something else.

shepd

join:2004-01-17
Kitchener, ON
kudos:1
reply to mr weather
I might be a sysadmin, but I still do my taxes by hand. Mostly because it costs the government more that way, so it's a form of protest. :P Also, because the government spends a few minutes to look through it and every time they end up just rewriting it again (each time the amount they send to me is EXACTLY what I totalled, anyways--seems they just want the numbers in different boxes). Lastly, because I'm just that effin' cheap.

Sent in my request for the usual 4 of them. 2 each for me and the wife. 1 as a draft, 1 to send in, each.