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Locked out by CRA? How to gain access to your online account

Click to play video: 'Canada Revenue Agency shuts out some taxpayers' Canada Revenue Agency shuts out some taxpayers
WATCH ABOVE: Some Canadian taxpayers trying to check into their Canada Revenue Agency accounts found out their emails associated with the accounts had been deactivated. – Feb 17, 2021

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) announced Friday it will be locking out 800,000 online taxpayer accounts on Saturday, following an internal investigation that revealed some credentials such as user IDs and passwords may have been compromised.

However, those impacted can “re-gain” access to their CRA account “by going to the CRA login page to create a new CRA user ID and password or by using a different login method,” CRA spokesperson Christopher Doody told Global News in an email Friday.

Read more: CRA to lock out 800K taxpayers from online accounts Saturday

“An individual can have more than one login method associated with their CRA account. If one user ID and password is revoked, it does not necessarily mean the other login methods can’t be used,” Doody said.

Other login methods to access a CRA account include using a different CRA user ID, password or bank login details. Those in B.C. could also access it through their BC services card.

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Those trying to sign in to their CRA account with credentials that have been revoked are likely to receive an error message informing them that their CRA user ID has been called back and “link them to information on how to re-gain access to their account,” he said.

Click to play video: 'Government officials explain how “credential stuffing” hacks affected CRA accounts' Government officials explain how “credential stuffing” hacks affected CRA accounts
Government officials explain how “credential stuffing” hacks affected CRA accounts – Aug 17, 2020

If these methods do not work, Doody suggested “they attempt to access their online account again after March 22, 2021,” or call the agency at a later date should the issue persist.

Once a different login method is used, or a new CRA user ID and password is set up, those impacted will be able to apply for emergency benefits as usual or file their income tax return online using the Netfile certified software.

Sealing off accounts in this manner, however, is part of regular CRA operations.

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Read more: Complaints about locked CRA accounts spiked in recent days, watchdog says

These “preventative measures are not isolated incidents”, Doody said, and may become more frequent “to safeguard taxpayers’ information.”

As additional precautionary measures to ensure safekeeping of personal information, the CRA also suggested that Canadians monitor their “accounts for any suspicious activity including unsolicited changes to banking, mailing address or benefit applications made on their behalf.”

“Passwords should be updated regularly,” it further stated.

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