Is CRA accepting Electronic signature

Does anyone on the forum know if CRA accepts electronic signatures these days, given COVID 19 situation? Or are they still insisting on paper? Clients are reluctant coming to tax office. To facilitate, can we accept digital signatures and prepare Tax return remotely.

What I understand, and this is what we have done for years is e-courier the 183 to client, they print sign and scan back to us and good to go.

Info from Cameron:

Electronic Signatures Coming Really Soon

One of the more exciting changes (for us!) is the announcement by the CRA and Revenu Québec that they will now accept electronic signatures on forms like the T183 and T183CORP.

We are putting the finishing touches on a TaxCycle integration with [DocuSign]. Look for more details coming in the next TaxCycle release

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Yes they are! If you have a DocuSign account already you can use it.

Exciting news from @Cameron, Thank you TaxCycle for being so responsive!

CRA just sent out an email saying that they are extending the use of electronic signatures “for the remainder of the current filing season.”

A comment in the email from the CRA is a few requirements that any efiler should review. Specifically, the comment, “In order for the CRA to continue to accept an electronic signature…”.

Anyone who is an efiler has or will receive that email.

SO In January CRA officially announced that they would extend the use of electronic signatures for the T183 for the 2021 filing season. The guidelines are as follows:

"In order for the CRA to continue to accept an electronic signature from a taxpayer whose identity has been verified by the electronic filer, the electronic signature must be provided in one of the following ways:

  • It may be provided if the taxpayer sends the information return, including the electronic signature using the electronic address most recently provided by the taxpayer to the electronic filer;

  • It may be provided in person by the taxpayer, in the presence of the electronic filer (e.g., using a stylus or a finger on a tablet); or

  • It may be provided through an access controlled, secured electronic location, such as a secure website, that is accessible to the taxpayer only because the location of the secure website has been made known to the taxpayer and access has been granted by the electronic filer."

I typically have one family head upload all documents on behalf of each family member to a shared DropBox folder. I ask the family head to ensure each member signs their form individually either by printing and signing by hand or using the Adobe free version. I’m not sure if my process falls within the acceptable methods as I don’t receive the signed documents individually from each taxpayer’s electronic / email address? Thoughts?

One additional requirement that we’ve just been made aware of is that CRA wants preparers to enter both the date and the time that the signature is completed. They are tracking this information as part of the tax return.

Of course, if you are using TaxFolder or DocuSign we will complete that information automatically.

Thanks Cameron, Will the form be changing to add a field for the time? Does this apply to both the T183 and the AuthRep?

Wow - that is one of the dumbest things imaginable. CRA must think we have nothing to do.

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Is CRA wanting the DATE and TIME to be added to the actual signature line?
Last March I spoke with the e-file help desk about this and was informed that they only wanted a signature on that line, nothing else (no date, no time, no logo, no typed signature - had to be drawn).
Has this now changed? When I use Adobe Sign, I’m simply printing the authentication information on the back side of the T183 (which includes the date and time the signature was acquired). Is this sufficient?

CRA is asking us to implement tracking of the time the e-Signature is obtained…

Of course, we will do this automatically when we can.

Thank you, @Cameron. That is very helpful. I just checked the downloadable PDF version of the T183 on CRA’s website, and it also now requests the time of signature. That’s an interesting change.

Is this something we would enter on the form once the signed copy is returned by the client? Or do we ask the client to make note of the time when signing? Thanks

Yes, you can enter it on the form… probably when you get the email from your e-Signature provider. Or you can click the “confirm e-Signature” hyperlink I show above.

When you click the hyperlink we also add an event to the file history.

For TaxFolder and DocuSign, we can do all this automatically, of course.

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While this is unbelievably stupid of CRA (is it a surprise?), it seems to be attempting to ensure that a T183 isn’t signed AFTER the T1 is filed. Not, of course, that anyone would ever do that…

Still, it’s dumb and basically useless. Just more bureaucracy on top of more bureaucracy.

For those of us who email a T183 to clients to print, sign and scan back, I’m not sure what this actually means.

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Has anyone found a list on CRA’s site that lists on which forms digital signatures will be accepted? I just had an NR6 rejected because of a digital signature. It would be nice if there was a consistent policy from CRA, or at least a list of forms that can be signed electronically and a list of forms that cannot be signed electronically.


Just a note for people who are manually using DocuSign instead of using TaxCycle’s integration (as we are because we also accept payments through Docusign and that involves features that TaxCycle doesn’t (yet?) support):

You have to go into Settings, Signing Settings, Document Formatting and select the Current Time format to be: HH:MM:SS. DocuSign’s default is date only.

According to CRA, Electronic Signatures are a Temporary measure applying to T183 and T183Corp.

Nothing substantial seems to have changed since initially announced, just some extension of the measure, some additional requirements and technical fine-tuning, expansion to efile software.

Just noticed this today on CRA’s website regarding working from home during covid:

“will accept an electronic signature on the Form T2200S and Form T2200 to reduce the necessity for employees and employers to meet in person (applies to the 2020 tax year only)”

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