Why CRA May Call You & How to Spot Scammers

Lisa C. COVID-19, Newcomer Information, Settlement & Community News, Settlement News, Updates

As the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) gradually reopens some programs and services, CRA employees may be calling you to discuss your tax and benefit situations. However, you should be aware of scammers pretending to be CRA employees.

Reasons the CRA may call:

The CRA may call if they previously wrote to you, or in any of these situations:

  • If you owe tax or money to a government program, a CRA employee may call you to discuss payment options and may be able to offer a payment arrangement. You may need to provide some information about your financial situation.
  • If you did not file your income tax and benefit return.
  • If you did not file your GST/HST return.
  • If we need clarification or supporting documents related to your tax and benefit return.
  • If we have questions about an objection or appeal that you filed.
  • If we have questions about your application for relief of penalties and interest.
  • And some other situations if you are a business owner.
How would legitimate CRA employees identify themselves to Canadians on the phone?

Legitimate CRA employees who call Canadians would do the following:

  • Identify themselves as CRA agents
  • Provide their name and a telephone number
How do I make sure the caller is a CRA employee and not a scammer?
When in doubt, take a moment before taking any actions and ask yourself the following questions.

If the answer is “yes”, it’s a red flag (meaning that it may be a scam):

  • Is the caller pressuring me to act now?
  • Is the caller asking me to pay with gift cards or cryptocurrency?
  • Is the caller asking for information I would not include on my tax return or that is not related to the money I owe the CRA, such as a credit card number?
  • Is the caller recommending I apply for benefits and offering to apply on your behalf?

Word of the Day:

Clarification: explanation, the action of making something easier to understand

For more information, please visit https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/news/newsroom/tax-tips/tax-tips-2020/canada-revenue-agency-resuming-additional-activities-know-were-contacting-how-avoid-scams.html .