Immigrants too are leaving money on the CRA table
CRA, Canada’s tax agency says nearly 9 million Canadians are owed some sort of government cash, and it has started sending out reminders to tens of thousands of people to let them know.
The Canada Revenue Agency said that it has roughly $1.4 billion worth of uncashed cheques on its books, some of which has been owed as far back as 1998.
As of May, 8.9 million Canadians had some sort of uncashed cheque attached to their name. “We want to make sure this money ends up where it belongs. In taxpayers’ pockets!” the tax agency said.
The tax agency said it will soon notify roughly 25,000 recipients of the Canada child benefit and related provincial/territorial programs, GST/HST credit and Alberta Energy Tax Refund if they are owed money. Another group of 25,000 will be notified in November, and another group in May 2023.
While the tax agency handles billions of dollars in taxes and rebates ever year, not all of it makes it into the hands of Canadians who are entitled to it, mostly due to people either losing the cheques, or changing addresses, meaning they never received it in the first place.
The CRA started working on its backlog of uncashed cheques in February 2020, and since then it said it has returned $802 million to taxpayers who were owed money and didn’t know it.
The CRA said Canadians can check if they have uncashed payments by logging in to or signing up for an online CRA account.
How immigrants can check for uncashed CRA payments
In 2020, the CRA introduced a feature where taxpayers can view their uncashed cheques and collect unclaimed benefit and credit payments that belong to them.
Through My Account, Canadians can check to see if they have an uncashed cheque with the CRA, some dating as far back as 1998. As government cheques never expire or stale date, the CRA cannot void the original cheque and re-issue a new one unless requested by the taxpayer.
These upcoming e-notifications are to encourage taxpayers to cash any cheques they have in their possession.
Any taxpayer, regardless of whether they receive a notification, can check if they have a cheque by logging into My Account. Taxpayers will see an option under “related services” entitled “uncashed cheques.” From here, they will be able to easily check if they have a CRA cheque, uncashed for six months or more.
Then, all they have to do is complete and securely submit the displayed form online in My Account. Through the Represent a Client Service, representatives can also view uncashed cheques on behalf of their clients.