Locked out? Can I file without a CRA Account?
The Canada Revenue Agency raised a lot of concern in the past week after announcing it would lock out almost 1 million online accounts. The agency describes it as a "precautionary cybersecurity measure". A routine investigation raised concerns some usernames and passwords may have been obtained by third parties. It follows a similar move in February when more than 100 thousand accounts were locked.If you've signed up for notifications from Canada Revenue, you will receive an email. If not, keep an eye out for a letter.You can visit this page for more information if you are among the people affected.One of the more common questions we hear. Can I still file my taxes without a CRA My Account. CloudTax CEO and Founder Nim Balachandran says as long as you have all your slips, it's not a problem."The CRA My Account does hold a lot of your information. That includes RRSP Contribution room, and slips from employers. But if you have those papers on hand, you're good to go"The lockout news is disturbing. We are so dependent on online services these days, and keeping our information safe is paramount. Canada Revenue does suggest a few things all of us can do to ensure that safety.
- In your CRA My Account, create a Personal Identification Number for an added layer of security.
- Keep up to date by allowing email notifications from CRA
- Check your account regularly, and keep an eye out for suspicious changes.
- Update your password on a regular basis
- Keep account information up to date.
- Ensure your devices have the most up to date protection against malware.
CRA also suggests it may have to take similar actions in the future as hacking and phishing occurrences continue to grow.At the end of the day, the security of our information is a group effort. We have a responsibility as individuals to take the precautions necessary to make it just a little more difficult for cyber criminals to get the information they desire.