The CRA My Business account is very vital if you run a small-scale business or are self-employed. It is also vital if you own a big company. As a matter is fact, top companies in Canada have a CRA account. As defined by the official website of Canada, “it is a secure online portal that provides an opportunity to interact electronically with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) on various business accounts.”
The account is convenient as it runs for 21 hours a day and 7 days a week. It is easy to use, fast, and secure. In this article, I will tell you what you need to know in order to successfully register your CRA My Business Account. Also, in a step-by-step approach, I will try to explain how you can register a business online.
Grab a cup of coffee and let’s get started…
So, what really can you do with a CRA my business account?
There are many things you can do with a CRA My Business account. The account is revered for its simplicity and versatility at handling up-to-the-minute information and transactions. As a business owner in Canada, a CRA business account gives you the opportunity to have access to some of your accounts with the CRA. You can also interact with tax agencies and on a general note, perform almost all tasks as regards your account.
Furthermore, with a CRA My Business account, you’ll have access to direct payments or deposits while managing your account balance and activities which includes filing a tax return, filing a rebate request, adjusting a return, and so on. Here are some things you can do with a CRA my business account:
- Manage your Corporation Income Tax: You can transmit your corporation income tax return, monitor the status of your return, get to see what your account balances look like, make requests, and many more.
- GST/HST: With your CRA account, you can easily charge and remit the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST).
- Excise Tax and Duty: You can file a return and view transaction details.
Other transactional deals you could also use the account for are:
- Registered charity
- Contract payments and so on.
THE CRA BUSINESS NUMBER
The business number (BN) is a unique number assigned by the CRA to your business as a tax ID. With its unique nine-digits, you can easily deal with transactions involving federal, provincial, or local governments. However, the business number might change if you transfer the ownership of your business to someone else or change the model of operation.
Do You Need a CRA Business Number?
You would need a business number if you have intentions of registering or running one or more government program accounts. Such program accounts include:
- The GST/HST
- Payroll deductions
- Corporate Income Tax
- Excise Duty
Each of these programs is assigned a number of 15 characters. The first 9 are the business number, then the next two are used to identify the program (RT goes for GST/HST, RM goes for import/export, and RP goes for payroll), and finally, the last four numbers are reference numbers for the specific account.
Understanding the Canada Business Corporation Act (CBCA)
The Canada Business Corporation Act is an act of the parliament of Canada enacted to regulate business corporations in Canada. The act, in clear cut terms, defines what a corporation is, how a corporation should be organized, what should be considered as a “Canada-owned” business corporation and so much more. The CBCA provides rules for starting up a business corporation -or any other kind of structure- in Canada, how the business should operate and the specific procedure to be followed if it wants to get dissolved. The Act also covers areas that are forbidden for any business corporation interested in thriving in Canada.
Since it was officially adopted in 1985, the CBCA has been the base of operation for over 200,000 companies operating in Canada and its provinces. To date, it serves as a guide for every major business player in the Canadian economy.
For your business to thrive in Canada, it is important for you to understand the CBCA and apply its provisions to your operations. To avoid confusion and ambiguity, feel free to hire the services of a legal practitioner to fully grasp the operations of the laws you’re working under.
Contacting the Canada Revenue Agency via Business Phone Number
There are several ways to reach out to the Canada Revenue Agency. To start with, if you have a registered CRA My Account, there are multiple functionalities available through which you can reach out and interact with the CRA for tasks such as requesting for a change of address or submitting certain documents.
Asides that, the CRA has made several phone numbers available. Here are some of them:
- 1-800-959-5525 for general business inquiries
- 1-800-267-2384 for general charities inquiries
- 1-855-330-3305 for inquiries related to individuals
- 1-800-665-0354 for the hearing-impaired and speech-impaired who use teletypewriters
Using Your CRA My Business Account
After opening a business account with the CRA, you would have an access, but your access to the account will be limited. Full access would only be granted after you must have entered the CRA code that will be sent to your email address.
Also, the CRA has a Business Tax Reminder App that is downloadable on your Android or iOS gadgets. You also have the chance to add custom alerts to the application so that you can receive a reminder to file your return or make installmental payments at the right time.
As a business owner in Canada, you must familiarize yourself with the rudiments of owning a CRA My Business Account, and also ensure that you work in line with the dictates of the Canada Business Corporation Act. Do not forget that you can use their application to make your operations easier.
References and Resources