Is there a mistake on your taxes?

Maybe you missed a tax slip or a receipt when you filed your return. Or maybe CRA made a change to your return based on a misunderstanding. However it happens, you can discover that there’s a mistake on your taxes – an error in an income tax return that you already filed. Don’t think for a minute that’s got to be the end of it!

CRA knows you’re not perfect

The pros at CRA know that most of the participants in the Canadian income tax system are just ordinary Canadians – tax amateurs, if you will. So it shouldn’t be surprising that they have a system in place for correcting mistakes in tax returns. To fix a mistake in your taxes you may send CRA a Request for Adjustment — their term for requesting a change to a return — or make your request in My Account via Change My Return.

CRA doesn’t always get it right

When CRA makes a change to a tax return that has been filed, they update their records and also send the taxpayer a Notice of Reassessment. (These changes are frequently the result of the CRA Matching process, where CRA compares your return to the information they have on file for you looking for discrepancies.)

If you have reviewed your Notice of Reassessment and believe CRA to have made an error, you can send a Request for Adjustment to ask for a correction.

How to Read a Notice of Reassessment

The Notice of Reassessment shows the key figures of the return as they were previously filed (e.g., when you first filedĀ  your return) side-by-side with the updated figures, taking into account CRA’s changes. Compare the two columns to see where the changes happen. Usually a change closer to the top of the column has a knock-on effect on the figures below, ending with a change to your tax owing or refund.

Below the columns of figures they include a paragraph explaining the specific changes they’ve made and why they believe these changes are correct. Review your Notice of Reassessment closely to understand what has happened and why.

Filing a Request for Adjustment

A Request for Adjustment can be filed on paper using form T1-ADJ Adjustment Request, or via Change My Return in My Account. Either way you will need to show your changes line-by-line. Be prepared with your reasons for the correction and any supporting documents you might need to back it up. If you file the paper form, you can include your reasons on the form and enclose the supporting documents. If you use the online system, just have these ready in case CRA asks to see them.

You have ten years to go back to request a change or correction to a return. For example, if you want to change your 2022 income tax return, you have until December 31, 2032 to do it. Depending on CRA’s workload and the complexity of the change requested, it can take weeks or months for your request to be processed. Be patient!

Need help?

Personal Tax Advisors can help you correct a return, whether it’s an honest mistake on your part, or a misunderstanding on CRA’s part. Drop us a line to find out more.