Canada Revenue Agency

Canada Revenue Agency

March 03, 2008 15:40 ET

Canada Revenue Agency: Protect Yourself Against Identity Theft

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 3, 2008) - The Minister of National Revenue, Gordon O'Connor, is launching the Canada Revenue Agency's participation in Fraud Prevention Month by encouraging Canadians to protect themselves against identity theft. Interacting with over 30 million individuals, businesses, and other organizations each year, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) takes the protection of taxpayer information very seriously.

"The CRA considers the protection of taxpayer information our top priority" said Minister O'Connor. "March is Fraud Prevention Month in Canada. It is an important reminder that we all need to take precautions to protect our personal information, including keeping access codes private and choosing your tax preparer or other professionals carefully before sharing your confidential information."

What you can do

- Keep your access code a secret! The NETFILE (http://www.netfile.gc.ca/menu-e.html) transmission service to file your tax return online can only be accessed with your access code. Do not let someone else file your tax return using NETFILE.

- Clear the cache, close and re-open your browser. If you leave your computer on after completing activities in an encrypted area of the CRA Web site, you must clear the cache, close and re-open your browser to eliminate copies of Web pages that have been stored on your computer's hard drive.

- Know your tax preparer. Choose your tax preparer carefully. You share personal and financial information with your tax preparer so choose one that you trust. Check references. Be confident in your choice. Review your return carefully before filing it, even if a professional prepared it. Use a registered tax preparer (http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/eservices/tax/individuals/efile-ind/menu-e.html) to prepare your tax return and file it using EFILE.(http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/eservices/tax/individuals/efile-ind/menu-e.html) When using EFILE, tax preparers sign in using their own ID and password and do not need your NETFILE access code. They do require that you sign a form verifying the information to be filed, in order to EFILE your income tax and benefit return. Ensure that the information printed on this form is correct.

- Keep your My Account User ID and password a secret. With My Account for Individuals, (http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/eservices/tax/individuals/myaccount/menu-e.html) you can view and manage your personal income tax and benefit account online. My Account also provides you with a list of the representatives you have authorized to act on your behalf.

- Authorize your representative to use the Represent a client service. Your tax representative can register with Represent a client (http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/eservices/tax/representatives/) to assist you with your tax affairs. This secure service allows representatives to access your tax information online, but only after you provide authorization to the CRA. This allows you to control the degree of access you want to give. If you use My Account, you can login to view what your representative has done on your behalf.

- Never send confidential information by email. Never send personal information such as your social insurance number (SIN) or access code by email. Email is not a secure method of communication. Beware of email fraud. (http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/newsroom/alerts/2007/a071119-e.html) The CRA will never ask you to provide your personal information by email. If you receive this type of request, do not respond and delete it from your Inbox.

- Protect your personal information. Software developers whose products are certified for NETFILE are not representatives of the CRA. Canadian taxpayers are not obliged to submit personal information directly to the software developer when requesting software support.

- Keep your personal information confidential. Do not share the amount from line 150 of your tax return, your CRA Security Code or your User ID and Password with anyone. This information belongs to you and should be kept confidential.

The CRA:

- considers the protection of taxpayer information a top priority;

- uses strict security measures and Web security best practices to protect taxpayer information;

- ensures that your personal and financial information is securely stored;

- is responsible for ensuring that your personal and financial information is transmitted in an encrypted format between your computer and its electronic services;

- requires that you use approved security protocols to view your personal information and manage your personal income tax and benefit account; and

- posts regular tax alerts to warn individuals against tax-related scams and fraud.

For more information about CRA's security policy and practices, and security tips for individuals and businesses, visit the CRA Web site at www.cra.gc.ca.

March is Fraud Prevention Month in Canada and around the world. Visit www.phonebusters.com to learn more about the dangers of fraud, and how you can recognize it, report it, and stop it.

Contact Information

  • Canada Revenue Agency
    Beatrice Fenelon
    Media Relations
    613-941-6269