Authorize a representative – Business number
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) needs your consent to deal with a representative for anything related to your business number (BN) and program accounts. Before you can authorize a business representative, you need a BN. To find out if you need a BN, go to Do you need a business number or a program account?
If you have a BN and want to authorize a business representative, see How to authorize a representative on this page.
If you do not have a BN and want to authorize a representative, you may need to complete an authorization for individuals. For more information, go to Authorize or cancel a representative – Individuals.
There are some important differences between contact persons and representatives. For more information on contact persons, go to Contact person.
An authorized representative can be an employee or a person that does not work for your business, such as a:
- customs broker
You can authorize a representative to have access to all your business accounts or you can restrict access to specific accounts. With written authorization, the representative can:
- register your business
- access your accounts
- make account enquiries
- update account information
How to authorize a representative
To allow the CRA to communicate with a representative, you will need to give your consent. You can do this by authorizing a representative for your business or updating your current representatives list. A representative has access to your information until you revoke the authorization.
Your authorization will stay in effect until one of the following:
- you cancel it
- it reaches the expiry date you choose
In most cases,there are three options for authorizing a representative:
- Option 1: You authorize a representative online
- Option 2: The representative submits an authorization request online
- Option 3: You authorize a representative by mail
Option 1: You authorize a representative online
To authorize a representative online you must be registered with My Business Account. Provide the requested information online through the "Authorize or manage representatives" option.
Authorizing a representative online gives them immediate access to your business accounts.
For more information about this service, go to Authorize or manage representatives.
Option 2: The representative submits an authorization request online
If you are not registered with My Business Account, your representative can submit business authorization requests electronically. The representative can do this through the Represent a Client service. After they complete the authorization request, you will need to sign the certification page. Then they will submit the signed certification page using "Submit documents" in Represent a Client.
To submit an authorization request online and have access to clients' files, representatives need an active RepID.
This allows them to log in to Represent a Client.
Option 3: You authorize a representative by mail
To give written authorization, you must fill in and sign Form RC59, Business Consent. Only an authorized person of the business may sign the form. This includes an owner, partner of a partnership, a director of a corporation, an officer of a non-profit organization, or a trustee of an estate.
Before you sign Form RC59:
- Ensure the information provided is accurate.
- Grant the person named on Form RC59 the authority to access your account information at one of these two levels:
- Level 1: disclose information only
- Level 2: disclose and request changes to information
By signing Form RC59, you are authorizing a representative to have access to information regarding your business account (online if specified, via the telephone or by mail). Once filled in and verified, it must be sent to your CRA tax centre within six months of the date it is signed.
A representative with online access can file returns and check their status, view account balances and transactions, transfer payments, view correspondence, and more. See our List of services for representatives of businesses.
For more information on this service, see the instructions on Form RC59.
Business taxpayer responsibilities
It is your responsibility to monitor and understand the transactions your representative is conducting on your behalf. By accessing My Business Account, you can view a list of representatives you have authorized, as well as check the latest activity on your account.
If you feel your representative is not acting in your best interests, immediately remove their access to your information.
The CRA has the legal discretion to decide if it will disclose information about a taxpayer to another person upon consent of the taxpayer.
Managing your account
You should always know the names of the representatives authorized to deal with the CRA on your behalf. You can authorize, change, or view the list of representatives on your account online using the Authorize or manage representatives service of My Business Account.
You can immediately cancel an existing consent by calling us at 1-800-959-5525 or by using the My Business Account service.
You can also cancel an existing authorization by completing parts 1, 4, and 5 of Form RC59, Business Consent.
If a sole proprietor is deceased, the executor of the estate is considered an owner if we receive a copy of the death certificate and one of the following:
- a copy of the deceased person’s last will and testament
- other documents identifying who the legal representative is
The executor has the same rights and privileges as an owner and can work with the CRA on behalf of the deceased.
Trustees or receivers
If we receive court issued documents that we can use to confirm the names of the trustees or receivers, we will automatically consider them an authorized representative.
A contact person is for registration purposes only. A contact person does not have authority unless they are also an authorized representative or a delegated authority. If a contact person does not have authority on the business number program accounts, they cannot change information and we cannot share information. To find out how you can authorize a representative, go to How to authorize a representative.
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