Auto-fill my return is a secure service offered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) which enables certified tax software to electronically access data and information to prepare your personal income tax return. This service was introduced in early 2015 and there are a number of benefits which include the efficient and accurate completion of parts of your tax return.
How does it work?
The CRA already has a lot of your tax information prior to your tax return being filed. For example, when a tax slip is produced by your employer, a government agency, your bank or RRSP provider, the issuer also sends a copy to the CRA. The CRA associates these tax slips with your Social Insurance Number and they are accessible via the CRA’s My Account service (along with other tax related data).
Auto-fill enables information already in your CRA My Account to be downloaded directly to your tax return.
Why should I use it?
Completeness and accuracy are critical when preparing your tax return. Auto-fill my return transfers information directly from your CRA My Account which means tax slips that may have been lost in the mail, misfiled or misplaced will not be missed on your tax return. This may reduce the likelihood of receiving a Notice of Reassessment since auto-fill ensures your personal income tax return contains the same information the CRA has on file for you (assuming your return isn’t prepared and submitted before all of your tax slips are received by the CRA). Auto-fill also makes things easier for you since it eliminates the need to send us certain tax slips and information.
How do I use it?
In order to use auto-fill my return:
Auto-fill my return is a beneficial service that efficiently automates certain aspects of the preparation of your personal income tax return such as employment income (T4), investment income (T5), and RRSP contribution receipts. However, some of these items still need to be checked and adjusted. Further, other items such as capital gains and losses, children’s activity and child care expenses, and many federal and provincial tax credits are not included in the information that uploads automatically. Finally, using auto-fill my return doesn’t necessarily mean your personal income tax return can be prepared earlier than normal since you need to wait until the tax slips have been filed with the CRA.
Is it a useful service? Yes.
Should I sign up for it? Yes.
BUT keep in mind, for many personal income tax returns, there are still necessary steps to ensure your return is complete, accurate and maximizes your deductions.
Further details on the auto-fill my return service, can be found here http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/auto-fill/.