CRA hangs up on Telefile

Barely 1 per cent of tax returns filed using the telephone

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has scrapped its Telefile service, citing low use by tax filers.

Telefile was a telephone-based service that allowed individuals to file simple tax returns over the phone. Use of this service had declined, on average, by 10 per cent every year as taxpayers move to other channels, such as the CRA’s online services, according to the CRA. Between 2011 and 2012, use of the service declined by 12.3 per cent.

Only 1.2 per cent of all tax returns are filed using Telefile. This year, out of 25.4 million returns received to date, almost 66 per cent of Canadians filed their returns electronically, either on their own or with the help of a tax preparer.

The CRA acknowledged that not all Canadians want to, or are able, to use online services. It said it will “continue to maintain a variety of options to allow Canadians to file their taxes, receive their benefits and take advantage of tax credits.”

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