Tax season may not be on your radar quite yet but the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) wants you to know about changes to services, benefits and credits that include an expanded medical expense tax credit.

The medical expense tax credit now allows expenses related to service animals that are specially trained to perform specific tasks for a patient with a severe mental impairment that help the patient cope with the impairment. Eligible expenses paid in 2018 include the cost of the animal and the care and maintenance of the animal, including food and veterinary care.

The Climate Action Incentive payment is designed to return the proceeds from the fuel charge to residents of the provinces – including Ontario – that don’t meet the federal standard for reducing carbon pollution. Apply for this refundable tax credit on Schedule 14 when preparing your 2018 T1 personal tax return.

New services include MyCRA, an app that lets you view and pay your account balance with most debit cards and by pre-authorized debit, at any Canada Post outlet for a fee by generating a quick response (QR) code.

The CRA is also merging online mail and account alerts notifications as they launch an improved email notification service. Sign up and you’ll receive an email notification when eligible correspondence is available to view in My Account and the MyCRA mobile web app or when important changes are made to your account, such as an address or direct deposit update.

Enhanced services include an updated telephone service that provides an estimated wait time to callers and the option to receive a call back. ReFILE, available in all tax software, allows you to change your tax return after you receive your notice of assessment.

The new all-in-one 2018 income tax package promises to make it easier for people who choose to file their taxes on paper to get everything they need to file their tax returns. The CRA will mail the income tax package to Canadians who paper filed in the previous tax season. You can protect your account with email notifications when a representative is added, deleted or changed. A re-design of My Account allows users to quickly view their tax and benefit information and easily update their personal information with the CRA.

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