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Opening an account, which ID is needed?
February 20, 2018
4:45 pm
Saver-Mom
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Spouse is a client at a big bank and has been for years, with personal and business accounts, and had previously had a US dollar account which he closed. He wanted to re-open a US dollar account, but the bank insisted upon seeing his driver’s licence and medicare cards! This has never occured in the past...all that was needed was the SIN number. He pushed back and refused to show his medicare card, threatened to close his accounts, and they backed down, suddenly saying it was ok, they had “found” his SIN. What gives?

February 20, 2018
5:14 pm
AltaRed
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Generally, a photo ID is required to open an account to prove a person is who s/he says s/he is....to ensure there is not someone else misrepresenting him/her. That is regardless of being a current client of the institution. It is a result of anti-laundering legislation and regulation. One should be happy to show photo ID. However, why they would ask for 2 pieces of photo ID is a mystery.

February 20, 2018
5:42 pm
Saver-Mom
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He offered the driver’s licence and was told that was not enough!!
Medicare card allows access to private medical information now that medical files are being compurtised, so no business of a bank, in my opinion. For same reason I am fighting Revenue Canada who demand to know the names of my medications, rejecting the pharmacy receipt that purposely leaves off names of meds for privacy sake.

February 20, 2018
7:10 pm
Norman1
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Saver-Mom said
…For same reason I am fighting Revenue Canada who demand to know the names of my medications, rejecting the pharmacy receipt that purposely leaves off names of meds for privacy sake.  

The expenses eligible for the medical expense credit are listed in subsection (2) of section 118.2 of the Income Tax Act.

I think it would be an interesting challenge to show that the medications are among the eligible without naming them. Just a pharmacy receipt, with no drug name or DIN, wouldn't be enough.

I think people used to ask a pharmacist to dispense drugs that don't need a prescription. They would then get a receipt to submit to their drug plan for reimbursement. The plan administrators are smarter now and look up the drug identification number (DIN) to see if the drug actually does require a prescription.

February 20, 2018
7:32 pm
Loonie
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I have found it has become standard to be asked for two pieces of ID for most purposes, to the point where, when I recently had to go to RBC about being added to an account, I automatically offered both photo ID and credit card.

In Ontario, it is not permitted,legally, to ask people for their health card as a form of ID, due to privacy considerations - to the point where, if you offer it, you will often be told that it can't be accepted. Same should be true in QC, where consumers generally have better protection than in other provinces. I do find that sometimes the people asking for ID are not too familiar with the actual requirements and seem to make them up. Good for your spouse for being wise enough and confident enough to stare them down on this! I imagine most people just succumb, and so the practice continues.

If forced to give over the health card (which I doubt would happen, push come to shove), tape over the number. They don't need to see the number. The sticky part of post-itTM can be trimmed for this purpose.

Suggestions for possible action: Complain to the branch manager and up through the banking ombudsman process, complain to the Privacy Commissioner (federal? provincial?), ask your MPP/MLA for legislation banning use of health card for ID (might work as a private members' bill if not endorsed by party in power), prevail upon the medical profession to take a stance against it.

As I understand it, what CRA is interested in is whether the meds are legitimate "prescription drugs" or whether they are more in the category of OTC supplements etc.
I don't know if there is an issue with the particular format your pharmacist uses for receipts - perhaps that could be improved? - but I agree that it's none of their business what the scripts are specifically. All they need to know is that a doctor prescribed them and they are in the formulary. I suppose there could be some issues with things like VitaminC, which can easily be purchased over the counter but which some physicians will prescribe and pharmacists will fill as such.

In my personal view, anything that is prescribed or recommended by a registered regulated health professional should be accepted as a medical expense. And that would include naturopaths and acupuncturists, who are registered, in Ontario at least.
A good pharmacare programme, which is less expensive overall, would eliminate a fair number of these issues.

After dragging its heels for many years, Ontario finally introduced a photo-ID card for non-drivers, which looks very much like a drivers's licence. Unfortunately, it has to be renewed every five years and you have to pay for it every time. On the other hand, citizenship cards, which are also accepted as photo ID, are only issued once and do not have to be renewed. This is unfair. All Canadians should be on equal footing.

February 20, 2018
8:29 pm
Norman1
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Loonie said
… On the other hand, citizenship cards, which are also accepted as photo ID, are only issued once and do not have to be renewed. This is unfair. All Canadians should be on equal footing.  

Any Canadian citizen could have a citizenship card. Naturalized Canadians used to get one as part of the naturalization process. But, someone who has Canadian citizenship by birth could also have applied for one, without having to take any exam.

The federal government phased the citizenship cards out in 2012. Now, one just gets a certificate with no photo. See Government of Canada: Documents we accept as proof of citizenship for samples.

The cards are no longer available. But, if you wish, you could apply for a certificate. It is the formal, direct proof of Canadian citizenship. sf-smile

February 20, 2018
10:51 pm
Loonie
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so, I think what you're saying, Norman, is that nobody can get a photo-ID citizenship card now. However, I don't think it's true that a Canada-born citizen could ever get a plastic citizenship card. The major reason Ontario was persuaded to create the photo-ID card for non-drivers is precisely because there was nothing else available in an era which increasingly required photo-ID, and this was creating a lot of problems for people.

Ontario also phased out the Senior Citizens ID card, which could be used for various things including drugs paid for by the provincial health insurance. People just a few years older than I still have them, but I can't remember if they have photo; I think not. I think this must have been when they brought in the photo-ID cards for non-drivers, which can't be as widely used as the old seniors cards could be.
The net result seems to be a concerted effort to ensure that everybody has to pay a periodic fee to be able to identify themselves in future. Should be a tax-deductible expense at the very least as it's just about impossible to live without it.

Question for Saver-Mom: Do QC health cards show the SIN? Ontario''s do not. If they don't show it, then seeing it would not have provided them with what they said they were looking for, so perhaps they were just incompetent.

February 21, 2018
5:19 am
Norman1
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The citizenship cards were, and citizenship certificates are, available to anyone with Canadian citizenship. Birth certificate alone is not really proof of citizenship. There are many situations where Canadian birth does not result in Canadian citizenship.

I confirmed that availability to citizens by birth first hand by applying years ago and receiving my citizenship card. Same with others I told. I have used it successfully, instead of my Canadian birth certificate, for my passport applications.

I originally applied for the citizenship card as a backup to my passport. The card used to be a valid re-entry document into Canada. Now, with tightened border security, that is no longer the case and one needs a Canadian passport.

There's no address on the citizenship card. So, it cannot serve as a secure proof of address or residence, like a drivers license or Ontario photo ID card.

February 21, 2018
5:36 am
Loonie
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Fascinating. I wish I'd known about this when it was still available. Got any other secrets we should know about now?sf-cool

February 21, 2018
5:46 am
Yatti420
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The Liberals weren't persuaded to create an ID card.. They created a brand spanking new revenue stream (cash grab) from the public.. What I love about the ID cards is technically if you have no ID then what/how/who has been doing what with your information should be of a bigger concern imho and/or can you really afford an OntarioCard.. No different then an Outdoor card either..

February 21, 2018
5:56 am
Top It Up
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February 21, 2018
6:04 am
Loonie
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What's an Outdoor card?

Definitely a cash grab for that Ontario non-drivers' card - but it also was something that was needed or else they couldn't have made any money off it. The manager I dealt with at RBC recently happened to remark casually on the fact that they make you renew it every five years, saying this was not necessary. If the bank doesn't require it to be recent, then nobody else has any reason to.

February 21, 2018
7:27 am
AltaRed
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Saver-Mom said
For same reason I am fighting Revenue Canada who demand to know the names of my medications, rejecting the pharmacy receipt that purposely leaves off names of meds for privacy sake.  

As already noted, CRA has a right to know about medications via DIN numbers to validate eligible medical expense deductions. Same as any other receipts used to claim expense deductions. I had to be able to show receipts for my expense account claims as well with my corporate employer.

February 21, 2018
8:45 am
Top It Up
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Saver-Mom said
For same reason I am fighting Revenue Canada who demand to know the names of my medications, rejecting the pharmacy receipt that purposely leaves off names of meds for privacy sake.  

As a fellow Canadian taxpayer, I'm always hoping that the government holds everyone accountable on their tax filings.

As for privacy sake - the information on income tax returns is deemed to be Protected when Completed

February 21, 2018
1:27 pm
Doug
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Saver-Mom said
He offered the driver’s licence and was told that was not enough!!
Medicare card allows access to private medical information now that medical files are being compurtised, so no business of a bank, in my opinion. For same reason I am fighting Revenue Canada who demand to know the names of my medications, rejecting the pharmacy receipt that purposely leaves off names of meds for privacy sake.  

If it was not expired and a Canadian driver's license, that would be enough to cash a Government of Canada cheque as a non-customer of the bank. Unfortunately, a second piece proving his name would be all that he'd to provide. A print of his Notice of Assessment would work well for this. Alternatively, a debit or credit card with his name on it, provided it's not expired as well. More details here.

If he has no second piece and you currently bank there, you can vouch for him as a "personal reference". A written letter is not required. At HSBC, we simply noted "Personal Reference" in the second type and indicated the "vouching customer's" HUB base number (or "customer profile" number, the last three digits of the transit followed by a hyphen and six digit HUB number) and, optionally, linked that other customer's HUB base number under "relationships". 🙂

If they refused to open the account, this is one of those cases I told Loonie about in another thread where the bank, legally, must present him with a form letter denying the account opening. If they failed to do this, and you wanted to, you can report this to the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada. What would happen is that financial institution would typically receive a formal "warning" or "note". No actual monetary penalties would result unless it was a chronic offender in this area. 🙂

Cheers,
Doug

February 21, 2018
1:30 pm
Doug
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Norman1 said

The expenses eligible for the medical expense credit are listed in subsection (2) of section 118.2 of the Income Tax Act.

I think it would be an interesting challenge to show that the medications are among the eligible without naming them. Just a pharmacy receipt, with no drug name or DIN, wouldn't be enough.

I think people used to ask a pharmacist to dispense drugs that don't need a prescription. They would then get a receipt to submit to their drug plan for reimbursement. The plan administrators are smarter now and look up the drug identification number (DIN) to see if the drug actually does require a prescription.  

Good point, but not having her middle name or something on the pharmacy receipt would not be sufficient grounds for CRA to deny the expense. Careful with medical expense dates, though, Saver-Mom. It's 12 months back from the "end date" you specified on that year's income tax return. You cannot then claim medical expenses outside of that 12 month timeframe even if in that same calendar year. 🙂

Cheers,
Doug

February 21, 2018
1:35 pm
Doug
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Loonie said
If forced to give over the health card (which I doubt would happen, push come to shove), tape over the number. They don't need to see the number. The sticky part of post-itTM can be trimmed for this purpose.

If required, I generally prefer to offer my health card as opposed to a provincial ID card, but that's just me. Nowhere can they "force" you to give it up, though. The best regulator is actually FCAC in this case. If the bank refused to open the account, it had to have given him a form letter (and documented it in their internal recordkeeping), just like refusing to cash a government cheque. If they didn't get a letter, and/or the bank has no internal recordkeeping of same, then that's grounds for a formal "warning" from FCAC, should the client choose to complain. Bear in mind, though, the bank will not like that and, in the end, blame it on the account manager to "save face" and the account manager may be reprimanded even though it could be a systemic problem. 🙁

Cheers,
Doug

February 21, 2018
1:41 pm
Doug
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Norman1 said
The federal government phased the citizenship cards out in 2012. Now, one just gets a certificate with no photo. See Government of Canada: Documents we accept as proof of citizenship for samples.

That's lame...I considered getting one of those but the application process was extensive and, at the time, Service Canada wasn't permitted to authenticate ID and citizenship documents. They also said the photo requirements weren't the same as passports and I didn't know if Shoppers Drug Mart could do a proper CIC photo. 🙁

All provinces charge for provincial ID cards, if they have them. In B.C., it is $15 every five years ($35 for Enhanced version which permits U.S. border entry by land or by sea only), so not particularly onerous. B.C. (and Ontario) also have photo health care cards.

The issue I have is making it mandatory to have one's middle name on provincial government photo ID. I can see on a birth or citizenship certificate but middle names should be optional, as they are on Passports and SIN cards.

If your husband still has his SIN card, not just the number, that's a valid secondary piece of ID. Trouble is, the feds stopped issuing plastic cards of those awhile back, too. Now you just get a print out of the number itself, which can only be used for income tax reporting purpose by the bank. 🙁

Cheers,
Doug

February 21, 2018
1:43 pm
Doug
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Loonie said
Question for Saver-Mom: Do QC health cards show the SIN? Ontario''s do not. If they don't show it, then seeing it would not have provided them with what they said they were looking for, so perhaps they were just incompetent.  

If the bank only needs the SIN for income tax reporting purposes, a card is not required. It can be spoken or he could show a recent T-slip or Notice of Assessment. 🙂

They can only ask for it for income tax reporting purposes, not require it for ID. And, you have a right to refuse to give it up but, not doing so may subject to annual $50 (I think?) penalties from CRA if they wish to impose it.

Cheers,
Doug

February 21, 2018
1:45 pm
Doug
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Norman1 said
The citizenship cards were, and citizenship certificates are, available to anyone with Canadian citizenship. Birth certificate alone is not really proof of citizenship. There are many situations where Canadian birth does not result in Canadian citizenship.  

Not true for citizens born in Canada. That is one's only proof of citizenship and, for applying for a Passport, all that is required. 🙂

Cheers,
Doug

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