Canadians who filed their income tax and benefit return electronically or who have not enclosed their information slips and receipts with their paper-filed return should keep their tax and benefit records on hand in case they are contacted by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
After returns are filed, the CRA begins work to verify reported income, as well as credits and deductions claimed. These reviews are an important method for the CRA to ensure Canadians are paying their fair share of taxes.
Some of the reviews of deductions and credits are done when returns are filed and before taxpayers receive their notice of assessment. However, most reviews take place later in the year, as the CRA works to verify the information on an individual’s return and compare it with information provided by other parties, such as an employer, a spouse, or a common-law partner.
During this review process, the CRA may contact taxpayers, usually by mail, to ask for more information on income sources or dependents. The CRA may ask for copies of receipts or information slips to support a number of different claims, for example:
- medical expenses
- charitable donations
- child care expenses
- spouse or child support payments
- moving expenses
Once the CRA is in contact, you have 30 calendar days to respond. Keeping your records on hand makes it easier to respond to these requests and will help you explain your tax and benefit situation to the CRA if you do not agree with your reassessment.
Receiving a request for receipts or documentation to support certain deductions and credits does not mean you are being audited by the CRA. When an individual is selected for an audit, the CRA tells them that their tax and benefit situation is being reviewed and calls to arrange a meeting to begin the audit.
For more information about reviews of returns by the CRA, go to www.cra.gc.ca/reviews.