When can you Expect your Tax Refund this year?

By Randall Orser | Personal Income Tax

Are you wondering when you will get your tax refund this year?  We are all hoping that it will not take much longer than usual. The CRA is still processing returns during the Covid-19 pandemic and they are encouraging Canadians to file their returns as early as possible before June 1st.  This is particularly important if you receive income tested benefits such as the GST/HST Credit or the Canada Child Benefit as the payments for 2020/21 are based upon your return for the prior year and are set to begin in July.

The CRA website says that their goal this year is to send refunds within 2 weeks if you filed online and 8 weeks if you file a paper return.  These timelines are only valid for the returns that they receive on or before their due dates. If you live outside of Canada you can expect to wait up to 16 weeks to receive your refund.  

The CRA is encouraging taxpayers to file their returns electronically using professional tax preparation software.  If your return is selected for a more detailed review than it will take longer to process.  The CRA also encourages taxpayer to use direct deposit to get their refunds quicker.

If you haven't received your refund within the timelines above it may be for any of the following reasons:

  1. You owe or are about to owe a balance
  2. You have a garnishment order 
  3. You have other outstanding debts such as student loans, employment insurance, and over payments of social assistance benefits, or immigration loans and training allowance overpayments.
  4. You have any outstanding GST/HST returns from a sole proprietorship or partnership.
  5. You have a refund of less than $2 due.

New this year due to Covid-19 the CRA is recognizing electronic signatures for forms such as the T183 which is signed in-person by millions of Canadians every year to authorize tax preparers to e-file their returns, even though this is only a temporary administrative measure this year.

If you owe money on your 2019 return you have until September 1st to pay which is four months later than the usual April 1st deadline, and you will not be assessed any penalties or interest on your balance due until September 1st, 2020.  if you pay by instalments you now have until September 1st to pay your June 2020 quarterly personal tax instalment with no accumulation of penalties or interest from March 18th to September 1st, 2020.

From an article by Jamie Golombek Financial Post


About the Author

President/CEO Number Crunchers® Accounting Inc. Learn how to just say stuff it to this bookkeeping thing with our 'Just Say: "Stuff It" To Bookkeeping program.