Area of Law: Tax Law
Answer # 177
Tax refundsRegion: Ontario Answer # 177
Generally, you are entitled to receive a tax refund if you have paid more tax during the year than you were required to. For people earning employment income, taxes are withheld by the employer based on your estimated income for the entire year. The employer usually calculates the taxes you will owe based on tax tables provided by Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). In most cases, employers do not take into consideration whether you have deductions or tax credits to claim or if there are circumstances that will cause you to have taxable income less than the estimated amount.
Even if you are entitled to a refund, you will not receive it unless you file a tax return. When you file your tax return, you or your accountant will calculate the correct amount of taxes you owed and will determine if you should receive a refund. Once you file your tax return, CRA will review and process it. It usually takes four to six weeks before you receive your refund. The earlier you file a return, the less time you will have to wait to receive the refund.
If, for prior years, you think you are owed a refund based on deductions that you forgot to take, or want to claim a capital loss, you may still be entitled to do so. You must first find out if CRA will review returns as far back as you wish to go, and if your reasons for wanting a reassessment qualify. If you are able to make your request, it will be necessary to refile a tax return for the year in question with all receipts for deductions, credits and capital losses attached. CRA will then make its assessment.
For legal advice and assistance with tax planning, a CRA tax dispute, or other tax issues, contact Tax Chambers LLP
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