The glitch that has plagued Canada Revenue Agency for the past two weeks appears to be fixed.
“The systems are back online today so people can use Netfile, Telefile, Efile and My Account to process their tax returns,” says CRA spokesperson Beatrice Fenelon.
She adds that they were gradually putting up the programs, and were able to restore the system a day earlier than the agency had anticipated.
The system had been down since March 5, a first for CRA, “There has never been a problem like this before,” says Fenelon.
While media spokespeople for CRA are still not providing details as to what exactly went wrong saying it would be “premature”, the CRA’s announcement from Dorais stated that a malfunctioning software patch was the cause of the service interruption.
According to Fenelon, the cause of the glitch was definitely not a virus attack or a result of the system having been hacked.
“What we do know is that we have traced the source of the problem to software maintenance conducted on March 4,” she says. “It’s not because of any illegal activity.”
CRA had suspended online tax filing indefinitely, thereby prolonging any early refund that eager tax filers might have been hoping for.
The interruption in service meant individuals could not file their personal returns electronically by Netfile, Telefile or Efile.
One million people have already filed using Netfile, and Fenelon remains confident the agency will top last year’s total of 3.8 million. Despite the hitch, she says, CRA was anticipating four million to file electronically this year.
Fenelon also explained the downtime may have caused some confusion about whether CRA had actually received an online submission of tax returns.
“Once you file your return through Netfile, you get a confirmation number that indicates we’ve received your return. If you have your confirmation number, you do not have to resubmit that return,” she says.
The statement from CRA also mentions that the agency will work quickly to clear up the backlog and return to normal service standards.
“I would also like to reiterate once again that the integrity and safety of personal data was never at risk,” says Dorais.