How Long Does it Take to Get a Tax Refund in Canada?

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Preparing taxes can be a bit tiring for most people. Luckily, Canada rewards you for filing taxes. These rewards come in form of various tax refunds. If you are religious with your tax payment, you might be eligible for some tax refund in Canada.

If you qualify for a refund, you should file your Canadian tax return precisely and on schedule to get your money as soon as possible. An exciting piece of information to know is that your tax refund may accrue some interest if you made payment within the eligible dates – (the 31st day after filing your return, or the day after you overpay your taxes).

Tax Refund Duration

The best way to get a faster refund is by direct deposit. The duration your return will take is determined by the method of payment and the due dates. In Canada, the deadline to file income taxes is April 30. If you owe taxes and file after this deadline, you might face a 5% penalty fee on top of whatever you owe the Canadian government. 

The Canadian Revenue Service (CRA) usually sends a Notice of Assessment once you file your tax return on or before your due date. Below is the duration it will take to get your tax refund once you apply:

  • Online – Filing for your tax refund online takes up to 2 weeks, and 
  • Paper – If you file on paper, It will take up to 8 weeks.
  • Resident outside Canada – If you live outside of Canada and submit a non-resident personal income tax return, it might take up to 16 weeks. 

Reasons for Tax Refund Delay

The CRA may delay some or all refunds in case:

  • You owe a debt
  • You have a garnishment order under the Family Orders and Agreements Enforcement Assistance Act
  • Student loans, unemployment insurance, and social assistance benefit overpayments, as well as immigration loans and training allowance overpayments, are a part of other federal, provincial, or territorial government liabilities you owe
  • You have a refund of CA$2 or less
  • You owe a single proprietorship or partnership any unpaid goods and services tax, or sales tax (GST/HST) returns

Online filed tax refunds can be delayed in case of:

  • An audit of your return was chosen at random.
  • Your deduction claims exhibit considerable year-over-year variations.
  • If you’ve been evaluated or punished in the past
  • You still owe money from past years.
  • Your contact information is to be updated frequently in case of any changes. This will delay the refund process since the CRA doesn’t have your contact information.
  • There are errors on your return. Misreporting income or spending might cause your return to be delayed and put you at risk of a CRA audit.

Tracking your Tax Refund

You can keep tabs on your tax refund application by contacting CRA’s customer representative on the phone – (800) 959-1956 or the Tax Information Phone Service (TIPS) line on (800) 267-6999. Note that you will need some vital information to access your tax account. Some of these details include:

  • Social insurance number (SIN) for individuals 
  • The business number for corporations
  • Individual or business name 
  • Your account details or your most recently assessed business return – for business accounts.
  • Individual or business address
  • Date of birth – individuals
  • Your account details or a previously assessed return, a notice of assessment, etc. – Individuals.

Refund Inquiries

Some of the options provided by CRA for refund inquires are:

  • Individual online accounts– this option is for personal tax returns.
  • MyCRA web app allows you to check the status of your return, examine your notice of assessment, check your RRSP/TFSA contribution limits, manage direct deposits, and update your contact information.
  • Business account– this is for corporate tax refunds.

Conclusion

In Canada, the majority of people choose to file their tax returns on their own. On the other hand, others choose professional assistance, usually from a licensed accountant or other tax experts.

You’ll save on the time and even tension filing your tax yourself but a tax professional may be able to maximize your return or, if you owe money, recommend innovative debt-reduction strategies.

To expedite the tax return process, it is usually best to pay your taxes on time, as requesting a refund would be meaningless otherwise.

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Kareena Maya is a freelance writer focused on the personal finance and travel spaces. He frequently writes about credit cards, banking, student loans, insurance, travel rewards and more. His work has been featured in publications such as Forbes Advisor, Bankrate, Credit Karma, Finance Buzz, The Ascent and Student Loan Planner.

Kareena Maya is a freelance writer focused on the personal finance and travel spaces. He frequently writes about credit cards, banking, student loans, insurance, travel rewards and more. His work has been featured in publications such as Forbes Advisor, Bankrate, Credit Karma, Finance Buzz, The Ascent and Student Loan Planner.