Consultation on enabling electronic signatures for the T183 and T183CORP

If an individual or a corporate taxpayer wishes to file their income tax return through an electronic filer, they must authorize the electronic filer to do so by completing a T183, Information Return for Electronic Filing of an Individual's Income Tax and Benefit Return, or a T183CORP, Information Return for Corporations Filing Electronically.

Subsection 150.1(4) of the Income Tax Act requires an individual’s signature on these information returns before the electronic filer can transmit the income tax return to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). The electronic filer is also required to keep a copy of the information return containing the individual’s signature for six years and may be asked to provide proof of the signed return during the CRA’s monitoring process.

Electronic filers have told the CRA that the need for a signature can create unnecessary complications in the interaction between the tax preparer and the individual. For example, an individual living in a remote location could suffer a financial burden as a result of having to travel to their electronic filer’s place of business twice, once to drop off the information required to prepare their tax return, and a second time to sign Form T183 when the return has been prepared. The tax preparation and software industry have also told the CRA that without provisions for an electronic signature, there are barriers to innovation, thereby limiting efficient and responsible tax filing systems that benefit Canadian taxpayers.

In response to these concerns, the CRA is proposing changes that will allow taxpayers to use electronic signatures for these forms. Under the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, an electronic signature means a signature that consists of one or more letters, characters, numbers or other symbols in digital form incorporated in, attached to or associated with an electronic document.

Canadians are invited to provide comments on the proposed changes.

Thank you to all who provide feedback on this regulatory proposal. The consultation will close on March 4, 2020, and your feedback will be considered.

Participate here!