18 July 2023
The Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, P.C., M.P.
Minister of National Revenue
555 Mackenzie Avenue
Via email: email@example.com
Dear Minister Lebouthillier:
Re: CRA Authorization Letters
I am writing today regarding difficulties that our members (primarily in the accounting field) are having with the new Canada Revenue Agency process for authorizing representatives to access business tax information in the Represent a Client (RAC) portal.
Under the Confirm my Representative process, representatives who use certified tax software (EFILE) for authorization requests must have the business owner confirm the request in My Business account within 10 business days. This requirement also applies to authorization requests made through RAC. Since the new requirement took effect for e-filed requests in fall 2022, this has proven difficult to process authorizations because:
- Many clients do not use My Business Account (MyBA), and those who do often face logistical issues accessing the system – causing many delays and hours of time assisting them.
- Non-residents are unable to access MyBA.
- For large businesses, not-for-profits, and charities, the authorization requests may have to be confirmed by directors and having these individuals confirm representative changes online has proven to be difficult, as they either do not have access through MyBA or the information of current directors has not been updated.
- The reason clients engage their services is so that they do not have to deal with CRA, we do so on their behalf.
I understand that fraud is a concern in this process. However, accountants have to adhere to strict processes and documentation in their files in order to maintain their EFILE privileges, including keeping signed forms on file for CRA to audit at any time.
We also appreciated the opportunity to meet with Fox Kabuya, Director of the NB Tax Services Office and other members of the New Brunswick CRA leadership team earlier this year to express these concerns. We look forward to continuing this relationship and benefiting both of our organizations through reciprocal communication.
We recommend allowing practitioners with an EFILE license to file authorizations through certified tax software (as it used to be and as it still is with individual accounts). Follow-up with audits of our documentation if necessary to ensure fraudulent activity is not occurring and if it is, suspend all EFILE privileges. Accountants in public practice will guard these EFILE privileges carefully as their business depends on it.
Krista Ross, CEO, Fredericton Chamber of Commerce
cc: Jenica Atwin, MP, Fredericton
cc: Muepu (Fox) Kabuya, Director of the NB Tax Services Office