Information about scammers….this information is coming at a good time! Not just because we are starting to think about Income Tax Return/GST/HST.
Nope. I don’t know about yourselves but, just today I’ve received 3 calls–(nope, make that 4 calls as I’m typing this up!) on my cellphone from someone stating that they are calling me from the ‘Legal Department of the Canada Revenue Agency’!It starts as a recorded voice….but as soon as it says ‘Canada Revenue Agency’. I hang up. I’m not going to waste my time listening to no phoney-baloney scam! How do I know that it’s a scam? Because if it’s anything coming from our government (including the CRA) they would have sent a letter via snail mail!…though even then you should still verify.
Here are some other pointers from our Canada Revenue Agency for us all to remember:
Don’t get scammed!
Did you get a suspicious email, phone call, letter, or text message from someone claiming to be us? Scammers pretending to be Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) employees often contact Canadians to trick them into paying fake debts.
To protect yourself from scams, it’s important to know when and how the CRA might contact you. Here are some tips on how to identify if the CRA is trying to reach you:
The reasons we may call
The CRA may call if we previously wrote to you, or in any of these situations:
- If you owe tax or money to a government program – a collections officer may call you to discuss your file and ask you to make a payment. In this case, you may need to provide some information about your financial situation.
- If you did not file your income tax and benefit return – we may call you to ask for the missing return.
- If you did not file your GST/HST return.
- If we have questions about the tax and benefit documents you sent.
- If you operate a small business, we may call to offer free tax help through our Liaison Officer program.
- If we have questions about your new business registration.
- If we have questions regarding a limited review of your Corporate Return.
Make sure the caller is a CRA employee before handing over money or personal information on the phone
- You can ask for, or make a note of, the caller’s name, phone number, and office location, and tell them that you want to first verify their identity.
- You can check that the call you received was in fact from the CRA by calling:
- 1-888-863-8657 for individual debts
- 1-877-477-5068 for GST/HST debts
- 1-877-548-6016 for payroll debts
- 1-866-291-6346 for corporation debts
- 1-866-864-5823 if the call you received was about a government program such as employment insurance or Canada Student Loan debts.
Double check the status of your tax account and make sure the CRA has your current address and email
- Confirm your personal information is up to date or if you have a balance owing using one of our secure digital services.
- Call 1-866-474-8272. This automated CRA phone service gives you information about your tax account balance, and your last payment amount and date. To use this service, be ready to provide your social insurance number, date of birth, and the total income you entered on line 150 of your 2018 or 2017 tax return.
- Call 1-866-864-5823 to update your address or contact information for government programs you owe money to.
When in doubt, ask yourself
- Why is the caller pressuring me to act immediately? Am I sure the caller works for the CRA?
- Did I file my tax return on time? Have I received a notice saying I owe taxes?
- Have I received an email or letter from the CRA about the subject of the call?
- Does the CRA have my most recent contact information, such as my email and
- Is the caller asking for information I would not include on my tax return or that is not related to money I owe the CRA?
- Did I recently send a request to change information about my business number?
- Do I have an instalment payment due?
- Have I received a statement of account for funds owing to a government program?
For more information visit canada.ca/taxes-fraud-prevention.
Want to report a potential scam?
To report a scam, visit antifraudcentre.ca or call 1-888-495-8501. If you think you may be the victim of fraud or you unknowingly provided personal or financial information, contact your local police service, financial institution, and credit reporting agencies.
To receive updates on what is new at the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), you can:
- Like the CRA on Facebook
- Follow the CRA on Twitter – @CanRevAgency.
- Follow the CRA on LinkedIn.
- Subscribe to a CRA electronic mailing list.
- Add our RSS feeds to your feed reader.
- Watch our tax-related videos on YouTube.