With April’s tax filing deadline around the corner many Canadians will soon be reminded how frustrating it is to deal with the Canadian Revenue Agency. Its systemic problems, inefficient call centers and tendency to give taxpayers wrong advice are no secret to anyone who has ever had to deal with the CRA. Still, the agency might have a nice surprise for you if you are one of the 5 million Canadians who have failed to claim one or more uncashed cheques from the CRA.
Government cheques never expire or stale-date, and the CRA cannot void the original cheque or issue a new one unless the taxpayer requests for it. Over time, for a variety of reasons, payments made for refunds, benefits and credits get lost and the cheques go uncashed. Every day, half a million dollars gets added to $1.2 billion in uncashed CRA cheques issued over the past two decades. The average value of an uncashed cheque is around $150.
The good news is that the CRA has a nifty online tool to help you find out if there is a cheque waiting for you.
To access this tool, visit CRA’s website and look for the agency’s “My Account” service.
Once logged in, click on the “Uncashed Cheques” link at the bottom of the “Related Services” column on the “Overview” page.
Any unpaid amounts that have sat dormant for over six months will be listed on that page, as well as the necessary forms to claim your money.