Tax planning: Getting CRA help via social media

We used to communicate with the Canada Revenue Agency via paper or online forms. Now you can get social with the CRA via Twitter, e-mail, RSS feeds, YouTube and mobile apps. The CRA is reaching out to help you with your tax planning and with the latest news on tax benefits, credits and obligations.

Canadians young, old and in-between use social media to keep in touch with family and friends. It may not be top of mind for everyone, but social media is also a handy way to get information on tax planning and government programs.

The Canada Revenue Agency wants Canadians to get social with it. The agency’s social media channels can help you stay up-to-date on the latest news on tax benefits, credits and obligations. Its social media channels also give you a means of keeping in touch and letting them know what you think.

Here are the reasons the Canada Revenue Agency offers as to why you should follow it on social media:

• “We keep you in the loop. With regular updates and timely information, we have all the latest tax-related news that you need to know. You’re mobile and so are we.

• “We can help you. It’s never been easier to get tax related tips and best practices that benefit you.

• “It’s convenient. Convenience is key, so we offer video highlights of hot topics covered in under five minutes, or in 140 characters or less.

• “We won’t smother you. We understand your needing space. We provide just the right amount of tax updates without compromising your personal content.

• “We want to hear from you. We care about what you have to say, and our social media channels offer a quick and easy way for you to share your thoughts and insights regarding Canadian tax and benefits programs and services.”

Stay in touch with the Canada Revenue Agency

Here are some of the social media you can use to reach the CRA to get help with your tax planning:

• Twitter: @CanRevAgency provides regular tax tips, updates, and news;

• Electronic mailing list: If you want to stay up-to-date on specific topics, you can subscribe to the agency’s electronic mailing list, which sends important information to your inbox. Go to cra-arc.gc.ca/lists/.

• RSS feeds. Too much e-mail? Add the agency’s RSS feeds to your feed reader. It provides all of the benefit with none of the hassle—you can add and remove feeds with a simple click. Go to cra-arc.gc.ca/rssfeeds.

• YouTube: The Canada Revenue Agency’s YouTube channel offers many short and informative videos on many tax topics. Go to youtube.com/user/CanRevAgency.

• Mobile apps: The agency has two mobile apps. MyCRA is its new app for individuals. MyCRA gives you access to tax information (such as return status), RRSP and TFSA contribution room, benefit and credit payment dates, and the agency’s official charities listings. The agency’s other app, the Business Tax Reminders mobile app, helps small and medium-sized businesses remember key due dates for payments, returns, and deadlines. The app is available on Apple iOS, Google Android and BlackBerry mobile platforms. Just go to cra.gc.ca/mobileapps.

Privacy and social media to help your tax planning

The Canada Revenue Agency wants you to get social. But it also recognizes that Canadians have concerns about their privacy. Addressing this, the agency says, “The protection of your privacy is a key priority for us. We use our social media channels to share information with the public, not to provide personal tax or account information”—other than your own.

The website for the Canada Revenue Agency then goes on to add this reminder: “You should never post your social insurance number or any other confidential information on social media sites.”

For more information about Canada Revenue Agency tax planning programs and services and how you can reach the agency, visit its website at cra.gc.ca.

 

The TaxLetter, MPL Communications Inc.
133 Richmond St. W., Toronto, On, M5H 3M8, 1-800-804-8846

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