A new GST/HST processing system and legislative changes

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I have received this email through my Efile Newsletter correspondence, of all places …

A new GST/HST processing system and legislative changes

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is replacing its current GST/HST processing system on April 10, 2007. We are also implementing changes to legislation relating to interest and penalties, which come into effect on April 1, 2007.

A new GST/HST processing system

We are replacing our current system to make it more efficient, strengthen our processes, and improve our service to GST/HST registrants. The new processing system will result in new services and more account information. These changes should not affect the internal systems that businesses use to collect GST/HST on our behalf.

New services

GST/HST registrants will be able to use Online Request for Business and My Business Account to electronically ask the CRA to perform certain actions on their account, such as:

· searching for the status of a payment;
· reviewing interest charged or paid;
· transferring a credit to other accounts;
· providing additional remittance vouchers for their payments;
· providing account statements, such as a statement of arrears and/or a statement of interim payments;
· providing copies of previously issued notices or statements; and
· changing some of the communication instructions on their account, such as stopping us from sending certain statements or the return envelope with their remittance voucher(s).

GST/HST registrants will be able to access these services by visiting www.cra.gc.ca/requests-business and www.cra.gc.ca/mybusinessaccount

We will also send GST/HST registrants regular statements and notices about the status of their account. The format of the GST/HST return will change from one page to two, but no additional information will be required.

Legislative changes

The objective of the legislative changes is to simplify tax compliance for businesses by harmonizing various accounting, penalty, and interest provisions of the federal acts the CRA administers, such as the Excise Tax Act, the Income Tax Act, the Excise Act, 2001, and the Air Travellers Security Charge Act. Key changes for businesses include:

· a new failure to file penalty;
· refund holds;
· offset of refunds;
· how interest is calculated; and
· the date interest begins accruing.

Temporary interruption in service

As we convert to our new system, there will be a temporary interruption in service from March 19 to April 9, 2007. During this interruption, registrants will still have to file returns and make payments. From April 6 to April 9, 2007, GST/HST NETFILE and GST/HST TELEFILE will not be available. However, registrants will still be able to file their return and remit payments through their online banking service, by mail, or through their third-party service provider during that period.

Information for GST/HST registrants

The CRA is sending information to GST/HST registrants with their returns or by mail about the new services, additional account information, temporary interruption in service, and legislative changes. We are also providing additional information in the Excise and GST/HST News.

More details, including Qs and As, are available on the CRA Web site at http://www.cra.gc.ca/tax/business/topics/gst/menu-e.html

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I will have posted the Legislative changes coming soon in a separate post here at 1-800-HART /// HART

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