How to Check Tax Refund Status in Canada – 2021

refund status in Canada

According to CRA, most income tax refunds in Canada are issued anytime between 2 weeks and 16 weeks, depending on the specific type of tax returns and when you file. Suppose you file returns on or before the due date. In that case, you will receive a Notice of Assessment and applicable tax refund within 2 weeks after CRA receives your electronically filed tax returns, 8 weeks of paper-filed returns, or 16 weeks of getting your non-resident paper-filed tax return. It’s also possible to check your tax refund status in Canada and know what to expect. 

How you file tax returns matters too. The CRA’s goal is to send your refund within 2 weeks if you file online (NETFILE or EFILE) or 8 weeks for Canadians who prefer filing paper returns. Before you start checking your tax refund status, it’s essential to understand these processing times for paper returns and processing times for electronic returns.

Keep in mind that these timelines are valid for income tax returns received on or before the due date. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) says that tax refunds are often faster if you opt to use direct deposit.

Why you haven’t received your income tax refund 

The Canada Revenue Agency may keep part or all of your tax refund if you; 

  • Have a garnishment order in accordance with the Family Orders & Agreement Enforcement Assistance Act
  • Either owe, or you’re about to owe balances
  • Have an income tax refund of $2 or less 
  • Have outstanding HST/GST returns from a partnership or sole proprietorship 

The CRA may also keep your refund if you have outstanding territorial government debts, provincial, or federal government debts. Some of these debts include employment insurance benefit overpayment, student loans, social assistance benefit overpayment, training allowance overpayments, and immigration loans. 

Interest on your tax refund (2021)

The CRA is expected to pay Canadians compound interest on tax refunds for the year 2020. The calculation of this amount will begin on May 31st, 2021, a day after tax overpayment, and the 31st day after you filed your return. Find more information about the prescribed interest rates here

Tax returns selected for further review

Tax Refund Status

Some Canadian income returns, both electronic and paper, may be selected for a detailed review by the CRA before being assessed. That means the CRA may ask for relevant documentation to facilitate verification of the claims you submitted. 

This isn’t a tax audit. Instead, it is part of efforts to identify and clarify various areas of misunderstanding in the tax system. If your income tax return is selected for a detailed review, there is a good chance it will slow down the entire assessment process and any applicable refund.

Checking your tax refund status in Canada

The Canada Revenue Agency doesn’t begin processing Canadian income tax returns until mid-February every year. Regardless of how early you file your tax returns, you won’t be in a position to get information about your tax refund status in Canada until mid-March. 

It is also recommended that you wait until 4 weeks after filing your income tax returns before you start checking the status of your expected tax refund. Suppose you file your tax returns after April 15th. In that case, you are supposed to wait for about six weeks before you check your tax refund status. 

What do I need to check tax refund status?

To check your income tax refund, you need to provide your social insurance number, date of birth (the month and year), and the total amount (entered as total income) on line 150 of your tax return for the previous year. If you are unsure of the information you need to check the status of your income tax refund, it is in your best interest to consult with the tax returns and refund experts at PersonalBanker.

Whether you are corporate or individual, you can successfully check the status of your tax return or refund with the CRA. Here are four options to check the status of your income tax returns and refunds. If you are still unsure of how to check your tax information, PersonalBanker is just a call away. Our tax filing & refunds experts will be glad to help. 

1. Individual online account

The individual online accounts with Canada Revenue Agency are for individual tax returns, including partnerships and sole proprietorships. If you have a good browser, you can successfully view your notice of assessment, the status of your tax return, make changes to your tax returns, edit or add direct deposit information, get information about your registered retirement savings plan, and make payments.

Your online account with the CRA also allows you to get information about tax-free savings accounts, update your contact information, submit relevant documents, and more. Note that this is an easy and fast way of checking the status of your tax returns and refunds. 

2. MyCRA web App

MyCRA web App allows Canadians to view the status of their tax returns, RRSP/TFSA contribution limits, a notice of assessment, update contact information, and manage direct deposits. It is also a quick and easy way of checking the status of your tax returns in Canada. 

3. Business accounts with the CRA

Business accounts with the Canada Revenue Agency are for businesses and corporate tax returns. If you have a reliable browser, you can view, file, and check the status of your corporate tax returns and refunds. It is also possible to address any necessary changes, manage direct deposits, and file notice of objection, particularly for disputed tax returns.

4. Phone 

Canadians can use the automated Telefund service available on the TIPS (Tax Information Phone Service) to find out if their income tax returns have been processing. They can also get reliable information on when to expect a tax refund cheque. 

Can I get my tax refund quickly?

Tax Refund Status

The Canada Revenue Agency recommends signing up for a direct deposit to expedite the tax refund process. Generally, direct deposit allows the Canada Revenue Agency to use your bank account information to quickly transfer refunds. People who are eligible for any of the following payments can sign up for direct deposit; 

  • Income tax refund
  • Canada child benefit and other similar territorial and provincial payments
  • Good & services/harmonized sales tax credit and other territorial and provincial payments
  • Deemed overpayment of tax
  • Working income tax benefits

Canadians can successfully sign up for direct deposit via MyCRA mobile App, by mail using the enrollment form for Canada direct deposit, via phone, or ‘My Account‘ for individuals. If you need help to set up direct deposit for faster tax refunds, PersonalBanker is ready to help. Contact us

Business organizations eligible for any of the following payments can also sign up for a direct deposit. 

  • Refund of payroll deductions
  • Corporation income tax refund
  • Refund of excise taxes or any other level
  • Goods & services/harmonized sales tax credit 

Businesses or their representatives can quickly sign up for direct deposit electronically via Represent Client or My Business Account (with the CRA). They can also use mail (Form RC366 – the Direct Deposit Request for Businesses). 

For all direct deposits related to trusts, the particular name on the bank account should be similar to the trust name. You can sign up for such direct deposits via Form T3-DD (the Direct Deposit Request) or use the direct deposit section of T3RET

PersonalBanker is ready to help 

One way of gaining control of your finances is to recover unclaimed tax refunds in the past ten years. PersonalBanker can help you understand your financial situation and help you reduce the overall impact of taxes on your income. One way to achieve this is by recovering unclaimed tax refunds. 


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