Income tax change worries Cape Breton MP
Canada Revenue Agency no longer sending tax packages by mail
A Cape Breton MP is concerned many senior citizens are waiting for income tax packages that will never be delivered after the Canada Revenue Agency decided to stop sending those forms in the mail.
Mark Eyking, the Liberal MP for Sydney-Victoria, said he has no problem with cutting waste and reducing paper but it's wrong to assume everyone has access to a computer and is able to file their information online.
"I think it was just the way it was handled," he said.
"It's just very disrespectful to our seniors."
This year, the Canada Revenue Agency discontinued its free Telefile service that allowed people with basic returns to file by entering their tax information using the telephone.
The agency also stopped mailing people who use the online service Netfile an individual access code. It wants them to use their social insurance numbers and birth dates instead when filing their tax returns.
To use Netfile, people must either buy certified commercial tax software or find a free program.
Eyking said his office has been getting calls from people who are confused and worried because they haven't received their income tax forms. The solution, he said, is not complicated.
"If 15 to 20 per cent of seniors do it by paper, they should receive one in the mail if they did it last year," said Eyking.
A spokesperson with the Canada Revenue Agency said printed packages for approximately 1.3 million people went unused in 2011 and it costs about four times more to process a paper return than an electronic return.
Although the Canada Revenue Agency is not sending out forms in the mail, they can be picked up at local post offices and Service Canada outlets.
People who don't have internet access can also call the agency to ask for the general tax return to be sent by mail.