Do You Need The Operated Assisted Relay Services To Deal With The CRA

It is really difficult for individuals that have speech impairments or are hard of hearing to be able to deal with the CRA via the telephone.  The CRA is making every effort to be as transparent as possible and to be as approachable by every taxpayer.

In order to do this to help those with the speech or hearing disabilities they are allowing the authorization of a representative from a relay service company to correspond along with the disabled individual through communications with the tax department.

The relay service has trained operators that take on the role of a communication assistant.  They act as the middleman for the disabled individual and the CRA by relaying information.   This is done via a telephone conversation.

The regulations state that the relay service company that is offering the services only are permitted to communicate the information that that they are privy to between the disabled individual and the Canada Revenue Agency.   In order to be able to take advantage of this service it means that the individual must give the CRA permission to discuss the information being provided with the relay operator.   This permission is most important as it not only protects your privacy but your identity and also will prevent fraud.

In order to do this the first thing you have to do is seek out a relay service company.   Then once you have done this you will need to write a letter to the CRA providing them with specific information.   This information must be your social insurance number as well as your name and address. It must also include the name of the communication relay service that you are authorizing as your representative.   You must then sign and date the letter and then forward this to your appropriate tax centre.   This will remain in effect with the CRA until you advise them otherwise.

It might be beneficial to have a family member assist you when choosing a relay service company as you are going to be providing them with personal information that you should only be giving to a trustworthy resource.

As an alternative you may want to assign one of your family members or a trusted friend as your tax representative to speak on your behalf or to act as your relay representative for you.   Again in order to do this though, you will have to give permission to the CRA to accept this representative.


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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


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