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How long does it take to get your tax return or refund in Canada?

If you are reading this, you must be wondering how long does it take to get your tax return or refund in Canada. It is always a good idea to have a basic understanding about timelines. This will help in avoiding frustration at the time of filing taxes.

CRA, or the Canada Revenue Agency will not start processing tax returns in Canada until mid-February every single year. Even if you file earlier don’t expect it to get processed until February end. It takes anywhere from 2 – 8 weeks for CRA to process the information and issue refunds.

The duration of 2-8 weeks can increase or decrease based on the individual’s residency. If it’s a new comer filing taxes for the first time (on work permit or student visa), it will take more than 2 weeks for the refund cheque or direct deposit to come. On the other hand, if it is a repeat filer who has been in the country for long time, their refunds will come within the first 2 weeks of filing.

tax return in Canada

Time taken to process tax refund:

There is no exact time taken by the CRA to process tax refunds. It varies based on the way you file for the tax return and when you do it.
If you file for the tax return via paper, it will take around four weeks to six weeks for the CRA to process them. In case if you file for taxes via paper before 15th of April, you will need to wait for a period of four weeks to check the refund. But if you file for taxes via paper after 15th of April, you will need to

Wait for a duration of six weeks:

Likewise, the time taken would vary for the electronic returns as well. All the electronic returns would take around 8 business days to process. However, you will still need to wait for a duration of at least four weeks, so that you can take a look at the tax refund.

What would happen to the tax returns that are selected for review?
Some of the tax returns are selected for reviews. This is applicable for electronically filed tax returns as well as paper based tax returns.. If your tax return got selected for a review, the 2-8 weeks timeline for refunds is not applicable. The review can take months where you will be asked to provide some additional documents. Along with these additional documents, you will be expected to verify the selected deductions or income claimed on your tax return.

However, it is important to keep in mind that this is not something similar to a tax audit. It is just another initiative that is taken by the CRA to overcome common misunderstandings that people have with the tax system that exists in Canada.

Communication and correspondence with CRA can sometimes be cumbersome. If you need any support with audit queries, feel free to get in touch with an expert tax consultant such as Taxants. They will be more than happy to guide you with the process.

How to check the tax refund or its status?

The answer depends if you are a first time filer or repeat filer. If you are a first time tax filer, unfortunately your profile with CRA is not created yet. The profiles get created with CRA after the first tax filing. Only option available is to call CRA and use the automated tele-refund service. For repeat filers, you have the privilege of checking your refund online

For repeat filers, tax refund or its status can be checked online using CRA’s My Account Service. My Account online tool is a great portal to get answers to questions related to your tax return.

Before you access this online portal, you will need to sign up. You can sign up using the online banking information you have or by registering with your email. In addition,

Make sure that you have the following pieces of information before getting started:

  • The social insurance number
  • Last year’s tax return
  • Your postal code

Once you sign up, you will need to wait for a period of around 5 to 10 days for a security code that is sent via postal mail. In the meantime, you can access some of the limited services available online.

It is also important to keep in mind that the security code sent to you via mail is associated with an expiry date. Therefore, you should use that and log in as soon as it arrives to your home. Otherwise, you will have to go through the entire process again and wait for more days to get a new security code.

Can you check your tax refund over the phone?

Yes, you will be able to access your tax refund information over the phone as well. To help you with that, there is an automated tele-refund service. This service is available within the Tax Information Phone Service and their number is 1-800-267-6999.

Read more at Taxants

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