News Article

Last year, only 14% of all tax returns ( 4.2 million) were paper filed. Should this option be continued?


Final and Estate taxes must still use paper forms. Many prefer the “old-fashioned” way, despite ease of on-line filing. The government wants their pound of flesh, so it is still in their best interest to leave as many options open as possible for all filers.

By Ron on January 16, 2019

This year Paper filing could be less than 14%.
Electronic Tax Filing is not complicate, more accurate and less time consuming. I’m estimating this year less than 10% tax return will be by paper.

By Amir on January 16, 2019

That’s still a lot of people, and there is still a demographic that is not ready to deal with computer applications.

By Gay on January 16, 2019

Not sure why 4.2 million people is described as ONLY. The tax system should be accessible to all.

By Chad Carlson on January 16, 2019

In the perfect world advocated by Brent, maybe we could do without much of the paper, but computers do crash and lose their data, and the paperwork still has to be submitted when CRA demands it, so it has to exist anyway.

Now that several countries have nuclear weapons, the threat of nuclear war does not diminish. It may get pushed down the road, but since the weapons are available and in the hands of unstable people, statistically it will happen.

Incidentally, in English, “should” is spelled “should”, not “shud,”.and “peeps” could be “people.” This kind of bad English does not point to humans improving.

By Mitzi-Lynne Morgan on January 11, 2019

I do hope paper-filing is kept as an option. I efile my clients’ returns but I paper-file my own because I don’t want to deal with all the harassment that CRA hits us with in the fall (and later). So I send them everything, and they still mess it up, but at least they, and I, have the documentation so we can discuss it. I can afford to wait the 2 or 3 months it takes them to take care of a mailed-in return, although I do understand that most of my clients do not want to wait, hence they get efiled and we deal with the CRA thugs later.

By Mitzi-Lynne Morgan on January 11, 2019

Estate - Terminal Tax Returns are more efficient by paper.  You can attach medical receipts etc. There are still some seniors that are more comfortable completing paper returns.

By Ross Campbell on January 11, 2019

Some people have privacy concerns about filing online. Considering that the CRA has experienced several security breaches over the past few years, their concerns are not entirely unfounded. Paper-filing should therefore remain an option.

By Peter Coles on January 11, 2019

Because so much of our work in with the computer we cant think why not but there are still many people who don’t have access.  The CRA itself does not yet have all things on computer filing, though that is changing.

By Clare on January 10, 2019

Try electronic filling every year without success so end up doing it manually.
don’t expect much to change this year.

By Garry Beaton on January 09, 2019

I have tried the electronic procedure but every time I have a question I can’t
get anyone to solve the problem so just do it manually. Will probably try the electronic version again this year but don’t expect much help again

By Garry Beaton on January 09, 2019

yes the paper filed returns should stay as there are people that I deal with that will not consent to have there returns efiled and some elderly do not trust
the electronic system I have been in business for 25 years and feel that the paper returns are far more better due to them getting all the receipts with the return when a return is efiled the only receipts that get checked by CRA is the ones that they have on file and then they are sending out notices for the people to send in all the receipts that they don’t have which makes for a lot more work.

By Marily Knutson on January 09, 2019

Whenever possible I submit tax returns electronically, but even the government does not accept electronic submissions for taxes over 3 years in arrears.

Many people do not have internet - they don’t have access to reliable service, they don’t understand the technology, or they can’t afford it.  They should not be further penalized.

By Rosalind on January 09, 2019

With over 4 million paper returns filed, isn’t the answer obvious?

By Dan Allen on January 09, 2019

Paper is essential.  My clients are 95% over 80 years of age—and I keep getting more of them, because others won’t take this sort of person.  They often require extra time, patience and extra guidance/explanations.  Many of these people do not want e-filed returns, and insist on paper—not only for their copy, but to be submitted as well.  As a person who specialises in dealing with the elderly and/or handicapped, I have absolutely no trouble obliging this desire.  I do not charge extra for it, and it has never been rejected.

Eventually attrition will remove the remaining paper filers, but until then paper must remain an option.  In fact, I’m only in my fifties, and I also always paper-file my own return.  Experience has shown me that paper-filed returns, with all documents attached, have a consistently better track record for not being questioned, reviewed or otherwise causing a snag.

One of the major problems with e-filing (or NetFile for those who do their own taxes) is the lack of supporting documents immediately alongside the tax return submission.  Until such time as the governments allow submission of PDF copies of all paperwork (other than what is in their own records), WITH the form, on-line, the system has a major flaw.

So, yes, not only should paper remain, but there should be no penalty to preparers who use it.  Pointe finale.

By E. Pearse on January 09, 2019

By removing paper file as an option people are forced to obtain tax prep software.  This is not fair to those who are in lower middle class that can’t file for free, we should not force them to spend money needlessly.  Paper should always be an option for self filers.

By Gale Hayashi on January 09, 2019

Many thousands of Canadians do not have internet, let alone internet fast enough to transmit a T1. So far they have Canada Post. Paper should always be an option.

By terry on January 09, 2019

Not everyone has access to a computer.  And not everyone uses as tax prep service.

By C G Clayton-Brown on January 09, 2019

Paper needs to be option… always.. Internet is the up and coming thing.. what about the older folks… who do not wish to pay someone to do their taxes or insist on them being done that way.  I think technology is great for the younger generations but we need to be respectful that the older generations.  We are not “there” yet… and as someone who lives in a rural area.. internet is not always a viable option due to the slowness= frustration..if you can even get it some of my own clients cannot even get internet..and some that can have a very expensive very slow service.  Ideally I would love to see High speed style internet available to all Canadians.. but i know that will be a far far down the line.

By Rachel on January 09, 2019

Paper should not be an option. 9% of Canadians (Ipsos Survey, Nov. 2018) don’t have home Internet and this minority is used as the excuse to keep paper. Canadians are laggards when it comes to adapting to technology and Cloud is the only sustainable option to have faster, more accurate and real-time data flow and filings.

By LP on January 08, 2019

From a practical and humane angle, paper should always be an option, especially for those over 65. Think of a 65 year old or sometimes younger, who may have lost some cognitive skills and asking them to efile all their returns and/or communicate only by electronic means in dealing with bank, government and businesses. The trend in society is that by 2050 30% of 65 and older may suffer from some form of dementia. Let us give that some consideration in policy formulation/recommendations.

By Dilip on January 05, 2019

Let us give everyone a chance to adapt to changes.

By Claire on January 02, 2019

Not all people have access to the internet.  If the government expects all citizens to file an income tax return than they should offer all the ability to do so and if that means to continue the use of paper filed returns then that it what must happen.

By Ilona on January 02, 2019

Lets all practice using less paper I mean afterall this is the 21st century and humans continue to improve. Both environmentally and socially. The threat of nuclear war dimenishes each year despite what Trump says and feels. Once peeps in 3rd worlds practice family planning more consistently world population shud hopefully stagnate.541

By Brent on January 02, 2019