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Should You Be Afraid of Doing Your Canada Tax Online?

Taxes Online Security
Well the fear that some people may have had about their tax information being compromised may very well have happened. The CRA has announced that some tax payers information was affected. However, before you truly let panic sink in there are a few things you need to consider.

 

Really in many cases we see this as an opportunity to be critical of the CRA, because they are not the favorite organization of most people. When you look at the numbers they are stating that may have been jeopardised it is a very small number, although this doesn’t offer much comfort to those that have been affected.

 

What this does say though, is that the CRA does take security very seriously and they jumped on this problem immediately. There were no cover ups in regards to letting the public know there was a potential problem. This new formula of transparency between the government and the people really is evident here.

 

If we really take a look at ourselves, how guilty are we of not protecting our personal information as well as we should? Many of us use our financial information on line in many other ways on sites with much less protection than the government sites.

 

Or how often have you just tore up your working copies of your tax returns then chucked them out to the garbage, when ideally this type of information should go through a shredder. There is no excuse as you can buy a shredder at any of the local department stores for a very small investment.

 

Think back to the past, and how often have you used a tax preparer that just happened to set up a temporary shop in your area, or was someone working out of their home or in your apartment complex? You really are giving out your tax information to sources that you may not have checked out as closely as you should.

 

Although for the most part, the internet when used properly is safe, you still have to have somewhat of an open mind on the CRA’s part here. If you are thinking that in the future you are not going to go the electronic filing route based on this particular circumstance, then to be sure that you are totally protected in the virtual world, you are going to have to cease being part of it in all circumstances when it comes to your financial information. That means no more ordering your theatre or sports tickets online, or taking advantage of those great online shopping bargains.

 

The safest measure you can take is to make sure you use a quality accountant who is in an established location and has protected their computer system as well, in order to file your tax returns. By doing this you are at least doing your part to stay aware of the sensitivity of your financial information, and no doubt the CRA will do theirs.

 

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Sam Seidman, CPA, CA, LPA
629 Sheppard Avenue West
Toronto, Ontario
M3H 2S3

Telephone: (416) 398-1700
Fax: (416) 398-6226

Chartered Professional Accountant, Chartered Accountant, Licensed Public Accountant

Email: sam@torontoaccountant.ca

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