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Now there's something else you can do on Sunday ---- call the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) for answers to income tax questions, including those on principal residence status.

Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. local time, CRA personnel are waiting by the phone to answer queries from those struggling with details concerning their 2006 tax return. Tax filing season keeps the phone lines open Monday to Friday from 8:15 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. local time until the filing deadline, April 30, 2007.

Of the 25.5 million who filed a 2005 tax return, 12.7 million mailed in paper forms. Electronic filing was more popular than ever last year with a total of 12.8 million returns reaching CRA electronically:

  • 8.4 million filed by EFILE through the services of an authorized EFILE tax preparer.
  • 3.9 million individuals used NETFILE
  • 0.5 million returns were filed using TELEFILE

How would you prefer to file your return?

  • EFILE

    The EFILE service allows authorized service providers to file their clients' individual income tax return information with CRA over the Internet. Almost 95 per cent of Canadians are eligible to EFILE. Those who may not include non--residents, people who have declared bankruptcy and those who are required to file in more than one province or territory.

  • NETFILE

    This service allows most individual Canadians to file their own income tax and benefit return for the current year using the Internet. If you did not receive your four--digit NETFILE access code, you can find it online.

  • TELEFILE

    Eligible individuals may electronically file their 2006 income tax and benefit return by calling the toll--free number 1--800--959--1110, using a touch--tone telephone.

As well as making a phone call to CRA offices, you may access My Account online to view your personal income tax and benefit information, and to manage your tax affairs online: change your return, change your address or telephone number, authorize your representative or formally dispute your assessment or determination.

Note: To use My Account, you must register for an epass. CRA will then mail you a CRA Security Code, which you should receive in about five business days.

A few tax tidbits and special CRA support features:

  • File even if there's no tax to pay, since you may be eligible for related benefits. For instance, those over 65, may be entitled to provincial tax credits and the income used in determining eligibility for Guaranteed Income Supplement is drawn from your tax return.
  • Personal and general tax information like your RRSP limit is also available through the Tax Information Phone Service (T.I.P.S.) by phoning 1--800--267--6999
  • The Child and Family Benefits Online Calculator determines the amount of Canada Child Tax Benefit or GST/HST credit, including related provincial and territorial benefits, you may be entitled to receive.
  • If you need assistance preparing your tax return, contact your local tax office and ask about the Volunteer Program, which provides CRA--trained volunteers, at no charge, to assist those who may not be able to afford professional fees for tax advice and return completion.

Note: To become a tax volunteer, contact your local tax office early in the fall when the training is provided.

  • Listings for Charitable Organizations may be viewed online, including those for newly registered and recently revoked charities as well as recent annulments.
  • Businesses may deduct outlays and expenses incurred for eligible disability--related modifications made to a building in the year they were paid for, instead of having to add them to the capital cost of the building. Eligible disability--related modifications include:
    • changes made to accommodate wheelchairs.
    • costs of installing or acquiring disability--related devices and equipment like elevator car position indicators (including braille panels and audio indicators), visual fire alarm indicators, telephone devices to compensate for hearing loss.

Have we whet your appetite for more about the Canada Revenue Agency? The new CRA publication "Making a Difference for Canadians 2006" clarifies what CRA did, and why, in collecting C$147 billion in personal and trust income tax in 2005--6.

That should keep you busy until April 30th.

Source: CRA

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