Ottawa, June 15, 1999…The Honourable Herb Dhaliwal, Minister of National Revenue and M.P. (Vancouver South – Burnaby), today announced that next year a pilot project will allow approximately 3.5 million Canadians to file their 1999 tax returns via the Internet.
“I am pleased to tell Canadians that next year a national pilot project will be implemented to allow selected individuals to file their next tax return using the Internet. I know Canadians have been asking for this option in recent years. Revenue Canada is now in a position to offer Internet filing because security concerns have been addressed,” Mr. Dhaliwal said.
Next year, those eligible for participation will receive an invitation and a unique identifier that will allow them to use this new filing option. The pilot Internet filing project will be open to those who used commercial software to prepare their own 1998 tax return and then filed a computer-generated paper return. The use of commercially available tax preparation software approved by Revenue Canada will be mandatory.
“We want to make filing as convenient as possible for Canadians,” said the Minister. “In the last few years we have implemented a variety of methods giving Canadians the most modern options for filing their tax returns.”
Internet filing is the third and newest electronic filing option offered to individuals by Revenue Canada. The first, EFILE is an automated system that allows individuals to file their tax return using the services of a third party, called an electronic filer. The electronic filer prepares tax returns using special tax software, and then transmits the income tax information, through secure communication lines, to Revenue Canada.
The second option introduced was TELEFILE, an automated system that allows Revenue Canada to accept income tax returns over the telephone.
“In the last year, we have seen another significant increase of the use of these electronic filing options by Canadians,” Mr. Dhaliwal said.
The Minister noted the positive response that Canadians have shown to electronic options that improve efficiency and respond to client demands.
- The number of EFILE tax returns received increased by more than 284,000 over 1998 to 5.3 million — an increase of more than 5.6%.
- The number of TELEFILE tax returns received increased by more than 169,000 over 1998 to 548,521– an increase of more than 44.7%.
- On average, it took the Department slightly less than 2 weeks to process an electronic return.
- Revenue Canada continues to process returns filed on paper within a 4 to 6 week period.
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Office of the Minister