Import CRA Data and I keep getting the error "Your session with the CRA's online services did not initiate or timed out. Please close this window and try again."

I am trying Import CRA Data in a client file in ProFile and I keep getting the error "Your session with the CRA's online services did not initiate or timed out. Please close this window and try again." I tried closing and trying again as well as restarting ProFile. Any suggestions? Is this a CRA issue?


Answer

Let's review the process in using the AFR (Auto Fill My Return):
 - Select AFR.  You are taken to the CRA webpage.  You log in using your credentials.
 - CRA then presents you with the SIN numbers of your return.
 - You acknowledge by pushing the Next button to continue the import.
 - CRA's webpage changes stating it is processing the information, then moments later, it changes again to the following screen:  "Successfully connected ... We've connected to CRA My Account and are ready to import data. ... Return to your tax product to continue. ...  Sign out from your CRA My Account.  You can now close this window."

I believe this is the part that confuses people.  I'm guessing you are pushing the "Sign Out" button before the data is successfully downloaded.  Since the CRA webpage is typically hiding the Profile program, you can't see what's happening in the background, so you don't get clued in that the data hasn't downloaded it and is still processing. Notice that the message states, "Return to the product to continue".  So you need to go back to Profile, observe that the Import is still processing, wait until it completes the import process, then push the "Import Selected Data" button to actually import the data.  You will then get the message that it was successfully imported.   Once this is complete, you can now return to the webpage and sign out from CRA's website.  I use two monitors on my computer.  I keep Profile on one monitor and the webpage on the other monitor.  This makes it easy to interact with both screens.

As you become more proficient at this, you will find that you can keep the CRA connection open by not logging out and import multiple tax files for different clients.  If you need to actually log into the clients account to verify data, you can open a new tab and go to the Represent a Client webpage.  Since you are already logged in, you will be immediately presented with the screen to enter the client's SIN number, thus saving the step to enter your credentials yet another time.  

As a side note, because of the high demand on CRA's servers during tax season, log off if you have completed everything you needed to accomplish that session.

Hope this helps.

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