Most Canadians dread dealing with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) in any format. Whether it be in person, by mail, or on the telephone. When you elect a professional third party to handle the communication for you, you are basically inserting a buffer between you and government. Someone else can now sort through all the lingo and get you the straight facts of the situation, along with providing clear options and enacting those you wish to pursue. All without you lifting a single finger. Sounds heavenly, I know!
There are two types of entities who deal with the CRA; individuals and businesses. There are also two nifty little forms you can fill out, depending on which category you fall into, known as Authorizing a Representative and the Business Consent form. Let’s take a closer peek at each shall we!
Any individual can authorize another person (AKA a representative) to act on his or her behalf with the CRA; if you choose to sign a form known as “Authorizing or Cancelling a Representative “(form number T1013). You can complete this form in a couple of ways:
- By mail
- Using your online CRA account (by far the fastest root!)
- By fax
There are two main sections to adding a new representative you are able to choose from:
- Part One – A representative will gain access to your account by telephone only
- Part Two – A representative will gain access to your account by telephone and their online represent a client account
- Each section above allows you to choose the authorized level of access; 1- acquire information only, 2- acquire information and make changes as necessary
Once this form is completed and on file with the CRA, your representative will now have access to your account. They will be able to do the following, depending on the level of access given:
1) View/ inquire on all tax returns,
2) View/ inquire on all T-slips that are on file for you,
3) View/ inquire on any correspondence from the CRA mailed out,
4) They will also be able to download or request a mail out of any documents the CRA may have issued
5) If level two access has be granted, they will also be able to submit changes or requests on your behalf
More information about Form T1013, Authorizing or Cancelling a Representative can be found at;
A business authorization essentially works the same way as it does for an individual. When it is time to authorize your Representative with the CRA, there are four options for completing this:
- Authorize your rep online through your CRA business account
- Your representative can submit the request through their EFILE software
- Your representative can submit an authorization request online through their representative a client account
- You can authorize your representative via mail
There are two forms currently used in authorizing a representative for your business that can be mailed into your Tax Centre;
- RC 59—Will only give your representative access to your information via telephone or mail
- RC7259—This form can give online access to a representative if both of the following conditions are met;
- You are a selected financial listed institution for tax purposes or Quebec sales tax (QST)
- You have a GST/HST account that includes QST information
We highly recommend letting your representative file the request themselves on your behalf, to ensure proper access is granted based on your unique situation.
Online access is almost always the way to go, as it cuts down on time waiting for a call centre to process your inquires. Given most professionals bill based on time, that’s more money kept in your back pocket. Online access also gives an immediate response with the click of a mouse, which is amazing during peak seasons such as income tax time. If you have granted access to your representative to make changes to your account, most of these can also be submitted electronically, shaving down the processing time greatly!
We should also note you are able to cancel a representative at any time, using a different section of the same forms mentioned above, and can even elect for an added representative to have an expiry date!
In short, next time your accountant, bookkeeper, or tax preparer asks you if you would like to fill out an authorizing a representative form, your answer should be yes!
~ Douglas Ross ~