Even though your income tax return is prepared professionally and filed electronically, you may wish to check the CRA’s online system yourself to review amounts, balances, carryforwards, and other information on your file. The CRA’s “My Account” system is now quite sophisticated and can provide you with a lot of information.
To access My Account, at www.cra.gc.ca/ myaccount, you can register with the CRA online and receive a password by mail. Alternatively, you can access the CRA system through your online banking, if you bank at BMO, Scotiabank or TD, or have a Choice Rewards MasterCard or use Tangerine Forward Banking (this list will expand over time). The financial institution will not have access to anything in your CRA account and will not even know which government service you are using, but the CRA will have some assurance of who you are since you are logged into your online banking account.
The CRA is also moving towards electronic notices of assessment and other communications. To receive communications this way, you provide the CRA with your email address and you will get a notification when there is mail for you. You then log in to the My Account system and get your message or notice. Note that it can be dangerous to set this up: if the email doesn’t reach you for any reason, you’re still deemed by the Income Tax Act (subsection 244(14.1)) to have received the notice that is posted to your My Account. The clock will then be ticking for any action you need to take, such as filing a Notice of Objection within 90 days. You could lose your appeal rights due to a fault in the email system or your computer. So consider carefully whether you want to risk signing up for electronic notices!
See also www.cra.gc.ca/electronicpayments for payment of tax debts online, including by online banking, debit card (Interac), various third-party service providers, or by credit card (subject to extra fees).