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[lp-ca-on] Fwd: CRA opening up electronic trust returns

From: Greg Knittl
Subject: [lp-ca-on] Fwd: CRA opening up electronic trust returns
Date: Sat, 8 Dec 2018 01:50:33 -0500
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:60.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/60.2.1

Hi All,

It turns out the CRA lost my paper Trust filing for 2017 so I went ahead and resubmitted the Trust return for 2017 electronically.

This may be the first tax return submitted from Linux in Canada! (remember it's a "nil" Trust return not a Personal return)

I already use jEdit with plugins for XML validation of some of my personal files. Whichever validator jEdit is invoking under the covers had no problems with the CRAs schemas. I did have to scrape the CRA sample XML off their website and go at the comments with sed. I did encounter a few minor errors in the sample XML the CRA supplied - I believe this is the first year for this type of electronic filing. There is a CRA help line for electronic submission that actually helps and I have reported the issues to them.

The end submission is just an XML file. It would be possible to fill it in in a (validating) text editor but I updated my tax program to output XQuery Update statements to run against the sample XML. The CRA requires truncating the cents in most fields and I prefer the program to do it to hopefully avoid transcription errors. I also wrote a small XSLT program to strip comments and unused elements out of the XML before submission. That gets rid of all the validation errors for empty fields and allows for better manual verification.

Submission simply involved uploading the XML file. It's not clear if the CRA does any validation of the XML or calculations at submission time. So far there is no feedback. It typically takes the CRA 17 weeks to process a trust return so it may be a while...

From what I have seen the CRA uses a similar XML approach for personal returns. I have no idea why they can't open up the XML schemas for personal returns as well...

-------- Forwarded Message --------
Subject: CRA opening up electronic trust returns
Date: Fri, 31 Aug 2018 18:30:17 -0400
From: Greg Knittl <address@hidden>
To: Libreplanet Canada Ontario <address@hidden>

Hi All,

I haven't been able to make any progress on an income tax program for Linux. Meanwhile the CRA has introduced electronic filing for a subset of trust returns starting with the 2017 tax year. This is a totally open solution with - publicly available xml layouts - publicly available xml validation schemas
. electronic submission through one of the existing CRA systems.

Offhand that looks to me like a suitable solution for T1 personal returns. Conceptually, I don't see any big difference between the supported T3 return and a T1 personal return. I'm not sure why the CRA
can't make this type of infrastructure available for T1 returns...

I actually have a Trust return that qualifies for the electronic filing.
I think the biggest hurdle for me would be to get the xml schema validation working. Any xml experts out there?

Have a great Labour Day weekend!

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