Your Tax Refund FAQs Answered by a Toronto Tax Advisor

As a Toronto tax advisor, we know that clients often have the same queries and concerns about tax refunds. To help you understand more about how tax refunds work and how long the process typically takes, here are the answers to the most commonly asked questions we receive. 

Who Can Claim Tax Refunds in Canada?

Any employed or self-employed individual who pays more tax than they owe can claim a tax refund. The concept is straightforward. If you pay more tax than you owe, you receive a refund from the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA). 

If you're unsure how to properly calculate your taxes, or you're curious how much of a refund you may be entitled to, contact us for help. 

How Long Does It Take to Process My Refund? 

How long the refund takes depends on many factors — not least of all the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Typically, you can expect a tax refund:

  • Within two weeks if you file online
  • Within eight weeks if you file a paper return

If you live outside Canada, a return can take up to 16 weeks. It can also take longer if your account gets flagged for an in-depth review for whatever reason. 

Can I Check My Refund Status?

Yes, you can. It's a good idea to wait at least eight weeks before checking, though, because delays happen. If you stay outside Canada, you should always wait at least until the 16-week period is up. 

You can check online through the CRA, or you can give them a call. 

Can I Adjust My Refund?

You can adjust your refund by first adjusting your tax return. You can adjust returns for the past 10 years. Once you get your notice of assessment, you can amend whatever lines you need to change. 

How Can I Speed Up My Tax Refund?

The good news is that there are some simple steps you can take to speed up the tax refund process a little. To get your tax refund as quickly as possible, you should:

  • File online over paper, where possible
  • Have all the documents you need for credits and deductions
  • Ask us for help — you don't need to struggle with your tax applications alone.  

Why Didn't I Receive My Refund?

Sometimes, the CRA will keep all or part of your tax refund rather than send it out. This may happen if:

  • It's a very small refund — for example, $2;
  • You have certain proprietorship or partnership returns still to make; 
  • You already owe, or will shortly owe, a balance; or
  • You have certain other debts outstanding. 

If you're concerned about your tax refund, don't hesitate to reach out to us. 

Let Us Help You With Your Tax Returns 

Whether you're struggling with tax filing or you need help calculating your refund, we are here to help. At Leonard Tam Professional Corporation, we've been supporting people with all their tax and administrative needs for over 25 years. As Toronto tax advisors, we are perfectly placed to advise you on every Canadian tax issue that may affect you. For a free consultation, sign up or contact us today. 

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