When the CRA calls: Jamie Golombek on his 10-month, transit pass reassessment saga
If you recently received a letter in a plain, brown envelope from the Canada Revenue Agency, chances are it was because your 2017 personal income tax return is being reviewed to “make sure the benefits or credits you’re receiving are correct.”
If you received such a letter, the CRA’s advice, issued in a press release this week, is: “Don’t panic. You’re not alone.”
Each year, the CRA sends out approximately 350,000 letters and questionnaires asking taxpayers to provide additional information to ensure that taxpayers are properly entitled to the various benefits, deductions and credits which they claimed on their returns.
They may ask for documents to confirm that the information in the CRA’s records is correct and up to date. For example, the CRA may ask you to validate your marital status, where you live, and who cares for your children. This information can change as life events occur and may affect both whether you’re eligible to receive certain benefits and credits and how much you may be entitled to receive.
Normally, you have to respond within 45 calendar days. If you can’t get the documents the CRA is asking for or if you need more time to reply, you can call the number provided in the letter to ask for guidance and more time. If you ignore the letter or don’t reply in time, your benefits will stop and you may be asked to repay benefits or credits that were previously sent to you.