Manage your taxes and benefits online, through the CRA website, and their NEW mobile app! There are two apps – MyCRA and MyBenefits CRA.
MyCRA gives users access to a range of information about their own tax affairs, as well as more general information about the CRA’s services, as follows:
- personal tax information, including the following:
- view return status and notices of assessment,
- view benefit and credit payment amounts and dates,
- view TFSA and RRSP contribution limits,
- sign up for email notification of correspondence,
- update address and phone numbers,
- add or update direct deposit information,
- request a proof of income statement,
- view or update marital status, and
- view or adjust the list of children in the individual’s care;
- making a payment to the CRA;
- a list of certified EFILE tax professionals;
- a list of CRA-certified software;
- a list of community volunteer income tax clinics;
- a charitable donation tax credit calculator; and
- a list of registered charities.
MyBenefits CRA allows users to obtain both general and taxpayer-specific information about federal and provincial refundable tax credits which they are receiving or may be eligible to receive. Those credits include the harmonized sales tax (HST) credit and the Child Tax Benefit (CTB), and the specific services provided are as follows:
- non-personalized benefit dates;
- benefits calculator;
- the following secure services
- view next benefit/credit payments,
- view last benefit/credit payments,
- view or update marital status,
- view or adjust the list of children in the individual’s care, and
- check application status (if applicable) for Canada child benefits.
Because both mobile apps allow access to confidential taxpayer information, it is necessary to register in advance in order to use them. The process involved is essentially the same as is required in order to use the CRA’s online services through its website. And, while the process for doing so can seem a bit detailed and lengthy, once registration is effected, signing in to use the apps is relatively simple thereafter. The initial process of registration is as follows.
The starting place is the CRA’s registration page for online services at www.cra-arc.gc.ca/esrvc-srvce/tx/psssrvcs/pss_fq/cnd-eng.html#hlp1b. Once there, click on the link to MyCRA mobile app or MyBenefits CRA mobile app, where the following instructions will appear.
Step 1 – Provide personal information
- Enter your social insurance number.
- Enter your date of birth.
- Enter your current postal code.
- Enter an amount you entered on one of your income tax and benefit returns. (Please note: You should have a copy of your returns handy. The line amount requested will vary. It could be from the current tax year or the previous one. To register, a return for one of these two years must have been filed and assessed.)
- Create a CRA user ID and password.
- Create a series of security questions and answers.
After the taxpayer completes Step 1 of the registration process, he or she will have access to some information in MyCRA. A CRA security code will then be sent by regular mail and should arrive within 5-10 days. That CRA security code has an expiry date, which will be indicated in the letter. The taxpayer can then return to MyCRA mobile app, select "Log in", and enter his or her CRA user ID and password. When prompted, the user should enter his or her ID and the CRA security code. Once that is done, the user will have access to all of the available services in MyCRA.
The wide availability of information and services online has meant that most Canadians have a large and ever-increasing number of user ids and passwords to remember. The CRA has made using its online services (and mobile apps) somewhat easier in this regard, as it is possible to register for and access those services and apps by using an ID and password already set up with a Canadian financial institution. More information on the how the “sign-in partner” process works is available at www.cra-arc.gc.ca/esrvc-srvce/tx/psssrvcs/snp_fq/menu-eng.html.
Whether it’s done using a CRA ID and password or using the sign-in partner option, once registration is completed, that registration is effective for both mobile apps – MyCRA and MyBenefits, as well as for the CRA’s online service MyAccount. The services provided are, however, different.
My Benefits CRA provides taxpayers with quick access to personalized benefit and credit information in a format specifically designed for mobile devices. MyCRA allows mobile users to view their recent tax information, and update contact information, direct deposit, and more. My Account, the online service, provides taxpayers with a more extensive list of options, and that list can be found at www.cra-arc.gc.ca/esrvc-srvce/tx/ndvdls/myccnt/bt-eng.html.
The information presented is only of a general nature, may omit many details and special rules, is current only as of its published date, and accordingly cannot be regarded as legal or tax advice. Please contact our office for more information on this subject and how it pertains to your specific tax or financial situation.