CRA will no longer mail out tax forms

Do you usually fill out your tax forms on paper and mail them in? If so, you may be affected by the important change that Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has made: CRA will no longer mail out personalized income-tax packages.

CRA is quietly pushing everyone to file online, and as a result, it has stopped sending out mailed packages. Instead, the CRA expects the public to use the online option. However, if you want to receive a hard copy of the guide and T1 return form, you have three other options:

  1. Go to a post office or Service Canada outlet and pick up a copy, starting next month.
  2. Download and print off a copy from the CRA website
  3. Order a copy from CRA by Internet or by telephone, starting in February.
    Call 1-800-959-2221.

There are obvious problems with these changes.  Similar to the issue of extra charges for paper bills, some individuals have mobility challenges or limited transportation options, making it difficult to get to a post office or Service Canada. Some do not have access to Internet, and even if they do, they may not have access to a printer, while others just do not feel comfortable filing their taxes and sharing personal information online. Also, despite the option to order a hard copy via telephone, not everyone knows that it is an option.

CRA did a poor job at communicating these changes to the public. It was rather sneaky of them to have not sent out any notifications and instead relied on a small indistinguishable paragraph on their website. As a result, people who are unaware of these changes and fail to file their taxes can face penalties. For seniors, failure to file the taxes may result in not receiving the government benefits that they are entitled to.

Raise your voice

What is your response this change?

We would love to hear your opinion and help raise it with the federal government. There are two ways to do this:

Read more about CRA’s changes.

Read CARP’s reaction to this issue in Moneyville/The Star, and the London Free Press.