About EFILE (Electronic Filing) for T1 Returns BACK

What is EFILE?

EFILE is an automated system that allows approved electronic filers, such as Burlington Tax Service, to deliver individual income tax return information to Revenue Canada electronically.

What are the benefits of EFILE?

Fast processing - In most cases, Revenue Canada can process a return in about two weeks.

Improved accuracy - Before Revenue Canada accepts a return for processing, Revenue Canada performs a series of computer checks and balances that result in greater accuracy.

Acknowledgments - After Revenue Canada completes the checks and balances (usually by the next day), Revenue Canada sends Burlington Tax Services a computer acknowledgment advising them the return has been received.

This acknowledgment also tells us if Revenue Canada have selected a return for the pre-assessment review process.

Paperless - With very few exceptions, EFILE is an environmentally friendly, paperless system.

Ease of payment - Individuals can file early, and not pay an amount owing until April 30.

Who can use EFILE?

Most individuals (95%) can use EFILE. Individuals who cannot use EFILE include non-residents, people who have declared bankruptcy, and those who have to pay income tax to more than one province or territory.

How many people have used EFILE?

When the national program started in 1993, 2.1 million Canadians used EFILE to electronically file their returns. In 1999, Revenue Canada received more than 5.4 million electronically filed returns. This represents more than 26% of all individual returns filed.

Where is EFILE offered?

Burlington Tax Services is an approved electronic filer and offers EFILE to all our clients.

How can I use EFILE?

Collect all your receipts and documents and call Burlington Tax Services at 905-634-5605.

How long does it take to assess an electronically filed return?

Individuals who have their returns filed electronically can generally expect to have their returns and refunds processed within two weeks. You can get your refund even faster if you use direct deposit.

What measures are in place to protect the confidentiality of taxfiler information?

Revenue Canada goes to great lengths to protect the confidentiality of taxfiler information. All transmissions Revenue Canada receives are encrypted, and only Revenue Canada can decrypt the data.

Before Revenue Canada accepts a return for processing, it has to meet strict identification standards and specifications. If it does not, Revenue Canada sends the return back to the electronic filer for correction.

Are electronically filed returns reviewed differently than returns filed on paper?

No. Returns filed using EFILE are selected for review using the same criteria as paper-filed returns. While the percentage of EFILE and paper returns reviewed is identical, the rate of contact between Revenue Canada and electronic filers is higher because Revenue Canada need to verify supporting documents that are not sent through EFILE.

Revenue Canada can review most paper returns by checking the documents attached to them, without having to contact individual taxpayers or their representatives. To verify electronic returns, Revenue Canada needs to contact taxfilers or their representatives to retrieve and verify supporting documents. As a result, reviews of EFILE returns may be perceived as an increase in verification activity.

Revenue Canada is working to ensure the efficiency of EFILE by refining the selection system to ensure that reviewing activities are focused on returns with a high probability of non-compliance.

How will I know if Revenue Canada chooses my return for preassessment review?

If Revenue Canada chooses your return for review, Revenue Canada will advise the electronic filer that the assessment may be delayed. Revenue Canada may or may not ask the electronic filer to send Revenue Canada supporting documentation.

Because EFILE is paperless, how do you protect the EFILE system against abuse?

In Canada, the income tax system operates on the basis of self-assessment for both paper and electronically filed returns.

Potential electronic filers are screened before Revenue Canada gives them EFILE privileges. Also, Revenue Canada monitors their performance during the filing season.

Electronic filers have to review receipts and all supporting documents when they prepare returns. Taxfilers have to keep all supporting documentation in case Revenue Canada asks to see it.

Need more information?

You can get more information from your tax services office. You'll find the telephone numbers and address listed here.

Some useful phone numbers are:

General Inquiries: 1-800-959-8281

T.I.P.S. (Automated Phone Service): 1-800-267-6999

Business Inquiries: 1-800-959-5525

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