Walk into a Canadian household in April and you’ll likely find a kitchen table littered with receipts and pairs of reading glasses.
Yet with all the receipts and tax slips you’re supposed to keep, it’s likely some are going to go missing – and a missing slip can mean a big swing in your tax bill. Before you go ahead and file your return, you’ll want to do your due diligence to avoid any penalties on missing or inaccurate information.
Check your account online
My Account for Individuals is a great place to start to check your info. Logging into your account, you should be able to find online versions of your T4 slips. You’ll also be able to check carry forward balances like tuition credits or capital losses, as well as your RRSP contribution limits. While you’re there, you can also sign up for direct deposit to get your refund faster and deposited directly to your bank account.
Call the CRA
Only some of your tax slips will show up in My Account, namely the slips that begin with T4. To verify all your tax slips that the CRA has on file, particularly ones that relate to investments, you can call the Individual Enquiries line at 1-800-959-8281. Before you call, make sure you’ve got your SIN and last year’s tax return handy (which you can view online). After answering a few security questions, you can ask to confirm the slips they have on file for you and compare their records to yours to see if you’ve missed anything.
How do you know if the CRA has all your slips?
The majority of T3s, T4s, and T5s will all be processed through the CRA’s system. As the processing of these slips requires a SIN, the income on the slip is then attributed to you which you can then verify when you call the CRA.
However, not all slips go through the CRA’s system.
Certain slips such as T2202As for tuition deductions, T5008s for capital gains and losses and RRSP contributions are not always processed by the CRA. While the rules differ across the various types of tax forms, some slips can be generated independently and don’t have to go through the CRA’s system first. For these slips, you’re going to want to track them down from the source provider since the CRA won’t have them on file. For example, if you know you’re meant to receive a tuition credit, call the school to grab your form. If you’ve made some stock trades in the year, call your bank to grab a gains and losses report. Unfortunately there’s no fool-proof way to know that you’ve got all these types of slips – you’ll just need to remember!
What happens if you still miss a slip?
If you file your taxes with a missing slip, don’t expect a collections officer at your place. If the missing slip contained only a small amount of income, you may get lucky and the CRA may just ignore it. On the other hand, if it’s a significant amount of income, you may be automatically reassessed. When this happens, as long as you’re in a refund position, you likely won’t have interest to pay. Unfortunately, if the swing is big enough to generate a balance owing, you may have some interest to cover.
If you missed a significant slip that the CRA does not have on file such as a tuition slip, not to worry, you can file an adjustment to your return down the road if you’re able to track it down.
Before you file your return, double checking that you’ve got all your slips covered will mean a faster refund, no interest and less stress!