The Canada Revenue Agency is Resuming Additional Activities

October 6, 2020

Know how to differentiate between a legitimate CRA communication and a scam.

On March 16, 2020, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) paused many compliance and collections activities to focus on various COVID-19 support programs. Since the beginning of September 2020, the CRA has resumed some of these activities and may legitimately call Canadians to discuss tax and benefit situations. As with other peak CRA activity periods, a spike in scam communications including email, phone calls, text messages or letters is likely to follow. We recommend everyone validate the legitimacy of any CRA communication prior to providing any information. In order to protect yourself from these scams, understand how and why the CRA may legitimately contact you.

How the CRA may contact you:

  • By phone
  • By email
  • By mail
  • The CRA never uses text messages, instant messages or social media messages

Why the CRA may contact you:

  • You owe tax or money to a government program
  • You did not file your income tax return
  • The CRA has questions about the tax and benefit records or documents you sent
  • You are a small business and the CRA is requesting a Liaison Officer visit

Steps to verify a legitimate CRA call:

  • Before providing any information ask for the caller’s name, work section and office location. Inform them you would like to verify their identity and call the CRA (1-800-959-8281 for individuals or 1-800-959-5525 for businesses) to validate their information.
  • Confirm any information through one of the CRA’s secure portals.
  • Call the CRA Individual Tax Account Balance Automated Service to confirm amounts owed (1-866-474-8272)

When in Doubt Consider:

  • Is what the caller saying true? Did you file late or have unpaid amounts?
  • Have you received written communications about this call?
  • Is the caller pressuring or threatening you?
  • Is the caller asking for information you would not give on your tax return or that is not related to any money you owe the CRA?
  • If anything about the communication seems out of the ordinary, the CRA will always allow you to verify the legitimacy of the call.

For more information on what to expect when the Canada Revenue Agency contacts you, visit their website. The CRA understands that many Canadians have been financially impacted by COVID-19 and are providing options such as granting relief on interest and penalties or making payment arrangements. Please reach out to your Bateman MacKay Business Advisor to assist with any relief issues or communications with the CRA.

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