Changes To Tax Filing Coming: Angus Concerned About Seniors

With the new tax season approaching Charlie Angus is advising constituents that a number of changes are coming to the way Canadians file their taxes. The Conservative government is moving towards "paperless" filing which could mean problems for seniors who have always counted on receiving their paper forms in the mail.  

Under the proposed changes, the paper T1General and T1Special forms are no longer automatically being mailed out, as Canadians are encouraged to file their taxes online. As well, the service TELEFILE, which allowed seniors to call in their tax information, has been eliminated. 

Angus says, while he supports efforts to make tax filing more efficient, he is worried that some seniors and rural people may find themselves disenfranchised. 

"There are many people who are uncomfortable with online filing.

Having the paper forms mailed out to seniors was a good service. We have also lost the phone service that many seniors in the north relied on. I'd like to ask constituents to write to me with their opinion, whether they are concerned about this, or whether they are satisfied with the NETFILE options." 

Paper forms will still be available at the Post office for people who prefer to fill out their forms with pen. The forms can also be downloaded from the CRA website or a request can be made online to have the form mailed out. The CRA website also has links to certified NETFILE software which can either be purchased or used for free.

Alternate formats for filing such as Braille or using extra-large print are available online. 

Where to find more information about tax returns http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/ndvdls/tpcs/ncm-tx/menu-eng.html 

Telefile Quick Facts (Source: Canada Revenue Agency) http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/nwsrm/rlss/2012/m06/nr120627-eng.html

.       Telefile has declined on average by 10 percent per year

.       Use of Telefile declined by 12.3% between 2011 and 2012

.       Percentage of tax returns filed using Telefile has dropped to 1.2%

.       The past tax year found 66% of returns filed electronically.