How Can You Change Your Return?

By Randall Orser | Personal Income Tax


tax-return-tnThere are times when you need to change your return, such as getting a slip late, or noticing you missed a deduction. Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) doesn’t always automatically adjust your return, unless it’s in their favour. You need to take the change into your own hands, and file an adjustment, and this is how you do it.

Do not file another return for that year. Wait for your notice of assessment before asking for changes to your return. Generally, you can ask for a change to a return for a tax year ending in any of the 10 previous calendar years. For example, a request made in 2016 must relate to the 2006 or a later tax year to be considered.

Tax Preparer

If you used a tax preparer to do your taxes, then you need to contact them, and let them know that something was missed. The tax preparer will need the slips or what was missed on the return. They will file what’s called a T1 adjustment, which details the lines on the return that need to be adjusted. Along with the T1 adjustment, slips and other information must be included that pertain to the adjustment. You must also sign and file a T1013 consent form, either with the adjustment or before, in order for the tax preparer to adjust your return on your behalf.

Once the consent form is filed and accepted by the CRA, the tax preparer can logon to CRA’s website via Represent a Client, and file the adjustment electronically. This is much faster than sending a paper form.

My Account

If you filed your own taxes, then the best way to adjust your return is through My Account on the CRA website. If you haven’t done so, you must set this up first online, and CRA will mail (yes that’s correct) you an access code (usually a couple of weeks) and then you go back online, enter the access code, and now you can do the adjustment.

Once you’re in My Account, on the side bar you’ll notice a link to change my return. Click here and then you can to the adjustments as necessary. You will have to know what line you need to change as CRA goes by line numbers as based on the tax return. I won’t get into how to actually do this adjustment as it’s more than a blog post.

By Mail

Send both of the following to your tax centre:

  • a completed Form T1-ADJ, T1 Adjustment Request, or a signed letter giving details of your request (including the years of the returns to be changed), your social insurance number, your address, and a telephone number where we can call you during the day
  • all supporting documents for the change, including those for the original assessment, unless you have already sent them to us

Send your current year return separately from any request to change a return for another year.

Processing Times

  • online, usually within 2 weeks
  • by mail, usually within 8 weeks

It may take longer if:

  • Your request is sent in spring or early summer
  • Your request needs more review
  • We have to contact you or your authorized representative for more information or documentation

Changing your return doesn’t have to be a daunting task, though you will need to know exactly which line on the return you are changing.

About the Author

Bookkeeper Extraordinaire Number Crunchers® Financial Services Learn how to just say stuff it to this bookkeeping thing with our 'Just Say: "Stuff It" To Bookkeeping program.