Some Canadians are taking their frustration to social media after the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) locked roughly 800,000 online taxpayer accounts Saturday.
The CRA’s move, which was first announced by the agency on Friday, comes nearly a month after an unspecified number of accounts were locked after an internal investigation found that some user accounts and passwords were compromised.
The account lockdown also comes just ahead of the impending tax season in Canada, with the CRA’s filing deadline this year set at April 30 for most people and later in the summer for the self-employed.
Canadians were not amused after trying to access their online profiles, but instead getting notified that their account was locked — with some even adding that it took them a two hour phone call to regain access.
“If you told me last year that CANADA REVENUE AGENCY WOULD LOCK ME OUT OF MY ACCOUNT … i would’ve bet my tax return on it,” wrote one user on Twitter.
“That’s just my luck.”
“Clap if your account has been revoked by CRA!!” wrote another user on Twitter.
“Thanks, Canada Revenue Agency, for deleting my account for ‘security reasons’ and then making it completely impossible to make a new one without a +2 hour phone call. Sick,” complained one user.
In a Facebook post Saturday, the CRA addressed the lockdown and said that the user IDs and passwords affected “were not involved in a breach of CRA’s systems, but may be available to unauthorized third parties through sources external to the CRA.”
Facebook users in the comment section of the post were less than satisfied with the agency’s statement, however.
“I spent two hours on the phone three weeks ago unblocking my account and setting up a new password etc. Today my account is locked again because apparently, the person on the phone was incompetent enough not to remove the flag from my account,” wrote Hector E. Alonso Costa.
“Now you are telling us to wait another week to call you and resolve this? It’s tax season FFS! Your system is completely worthless. 4.5 hours on hold and counting!”
“I JUST got back in three days ago, after being locked out since NOVEMBER,” wrote another user. “I can’t believe this, you have once again locked me out, with the same ERR.221 that makes me have to wait over 2+hours on phone to not get any help!”
In a statement to Global News Friday, CRA spokesperson Christopher Doody also reiterated that the accounts, like the ones locked in February, did not have their IDs and passwords compromised as a result of a breach to the agency’s online system.
“As a preventative measure, these additional CRA user IDs and passwords, along with those associated with locked accounts in February, will be revoked and instructions will be made available to impacted individuals on how to regain access to their CRA account,” read the statement.
Last week, Global News reported that some taxpayers who were locked out in February were still unable to access their accounts and had trouble contacting the CRA on when their account issues would get resolved.
— With files from Global News’ Nicole Gibillini.