The CRA My Business Account is very useful if you own a small business or are self-employed. Similar to the popular Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) My Account for individuals, this online portal makes your business GST/HST, income taxes, and payroll returns easier to manage.
The My Business service is available 21 hours a day, 7 days a week, and you can easily create an account and log-in if you have your business number and a CRA user ID and password.
In this post, I will show you how to register your CRA My Business Account in a step-by-step format. As a bonus, I will also shed some light on how to register a business number online.
What Can You Do With Your CRA My Business Account?
The CRA My Business Account is very versatile and simplifies the process for managing the various CRA program accounts, such as:
- GST/HST: You can file a GST/HST return, adjust a return, view previous returns, file an election, check your account balance, make payments, and more.
- Corporation Income Tax: Transmit your corporation income tax return, track the status of your return, view account balances, register a formal dispute, make requests, and more.
- Payroll: File payroll information and request CPP/EI rulings.
- Excise duty and Excise tax: File a return or refund and view transaction details.
Other returns, records, and services you can use the platform for include:
- Air travellers security charge
- Softwood lumber products export charge
- Excise tax on insurance premiums
- Registered charity
- Contract payments (T5018)
You can use your My Business Account to set up pre-authorized debit so that one-time or periodic payments can be made to CRA directly from your bank account. In addition, the account allows you to authorize representatives to act on your behalf, update your address and phone numbers, receive online mail from CRA, and add new business accounts.
How To Set Up Your CRA My Business Account
The CRA My Business Account page is similar to your CRA My Account for individuals page and you can register using a new CRA user ID and password or choose to use your existing online banking login details.
If you prefer to use the same login details you use for your banking, the following banks are classified as “Sign-In Partners” with CRA.
After you click to register, the next page will ask you to validate your identity using your social insurance number.
Provide further information to identify yourself.
If all the information you entered is accurate, your account is successfully set up and you should be able to view your various business accounts. For example, I have a sole proprietorship and a corporation.
This is how the sole proprietor page looks like when I select using the “Select a Business Number” dropdown:
For my corporation, these are the options currently available when it is selected i.e. GST/HST and corporation income tax.
You are all set up now with your CRA My Business Account.
If you were wondering how I came by the business numbers that showed up in the My Business Account, I show you how below.
How To Register Your Business With CRA
When you register a business name, either as a sole proprietor, partnership, or corporation, you will be given a Business Number comprising of 15 characters. The first nine digits are unique to your business and stay the same. The two letters identify the program area and the last four digits identify the account number within the program area.
For example, a corporation ABC may have the following business number: 123456789 MC0001. ‘MC’ represents the Manitoba Companies Office in this example.
For the corporation above, the GST/HST number would be 123456789 RT0001 while its corporate income tax account number would be 123456789 RC0001.
These numbers are generally provided with the package you receive after registering your business. If you can’t find them or you are not sure what they are, you can still register your business online via the Business Registration Online service and then join the CRA program accounts applicable to your business.
Some of the common CRA program accounts are:
- Corporation Income Tax
- Registered Charity account
If you’d rather not go the online route, you can register via phone at 1-800-959-5525 (available Mon-Fri from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.) or complete Form RC1 and mail it to the nearest tax centre in your area.
For the Online Business Registration, here are the steps:
Access the Business Registration Online website and click on “Register Now.”
Validate your identity by entering your SIN.
Enter more details about your identity.
Choose whether you agree (or not) to CRA’s disclaimer. Hint: In order to continue with your registration, you need to agree with their terms and conditions.
Register the business owner details. You can add multiple owners.
Enter more business details so that CRA can search for your Business Number. The “certificate number” is found on your certificate of incorporation document – also referred to as the “registry number.”
If you do know your Business Number and only want to register for a program account (such as GST/HST, payroll or corporate income tax), the steps to follow vary a bit.
⇒ Identify that you already have a business number.
⇒ Provide your Business Number and type of business.
⇒ Continue the process by validating your business number information.
Register your desired program account such as GST/HST if your total taxable business income exceeded $30,000 over the last four (or less) quarters.
After you have registered the relevant accounts, you can sign out or if applicable, transfer directly to your provincial business registration website.
That’s it! The program accounts you sign up for through the Business Registration Online (BRO) service will now show up when you sign-in to your CRA My Business account.
A few things to note:
1. If you are in Canada on a visitor’s or student permit, you will not be able to use BRO to register a business. You fall into this category if your SIN # starts with a 9.
2. If you have never filed an income tax return with the CRA, you can’t use BRO.
3. If your business is located in Quebec, you need to file your GST/HST separately with Revenu Quebec.
Make sure to have the following information handy before you commence registration for your Business Number or CRA My Business Account.
- Social Insurance Number
- Date of birth and postal code
- Business/Corporation name
- Business Number (if known)
- Certificate Number (Corporation)
- Date of Incorporation
- Type of business e.g. corporation or sole proprietor
When opening a GST/HST program account, you will be asked to supply your annual worldwide taxable income, the effective date of registration, and fiscal year-end.
Using Your CRA My Business Account
After your CRA My Business Account is set up online, you will have limited access. Full access is granted after you enter the CRA security code that is mailed to your address via Canada Post.
The CRA has a Business Tax Reminder app that you can download on iOS, Android, and Blackberry. You can add custom alerts to the app so that you receive a reminder to file your return or make installment payments when they are due.