Computer glitch halts online tax filing in Canada
Business and Law Features

Computer glitch halts online tax filing in Canada

Halifax (Nova Scotia) - A glitch in a federal computer network has led to problems with the online tax filing system in Canada, which has prevented citizens from filing their taxes for more than a week.

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) said the problems are also preventing the government from processing and sending out refund checks for people who have already sent in their forms.

The problem has now been identified and it is just  a matter of implementing the fix, according to the CRA.  "We expect to have all of our taxpayer services...back into full service no later than on Thursday March 15, 2007," said agency commissioner Michael Dorais.

Most of the seasonal employees were sent home on March 5 after the tax department noticed "some irregularities" in the system.  The online services have been down ever since, but the CRA says workers will be called back into work tomorrow.

Because the CRA shut down its network, there were no significant problems as a result of the glitch.  It is reminiscent of a similar situation in the US in 2004.  A glitch in the then-primitive e-filing system rejected tens of thousands of virtual tax forms and caused a massive headache at the IRS.