Reviews don't always happen at tax time. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) reviews tax returns all year around. There are three main types of reviews:
After you submit your tax return, the CRA may review the different deductions and credits you claimed. The CRA conducts this type of review before it issues you a notice of assessment and possibly a refund. Most of these reviews take place between February and July each year.
- Processing Review Program This is very similar to the pre-assessment review, except for timing. These reviews take place after the CRA has issued you a notice of assessment, usually between June and November.
- Matching Program This review also takes place after the CRA sends you a notice of assessment, usually between September and March. The purpose is to compare information on your tax return with information provided by third parties, such as your employer, banks or brokerage firms. For example, your reported employment income can be compared to the employment income shown on T4 slips that your employer filed with the CRA.
Tip: In case you are ever reviewed, keep all your tax documents and receipts for six years. Organize and file them by tax year so you can retrieve them easily.
Remember: A tax review can happen at any time of the year. The best way to prepare is to have your documents in order. Staying organized can save you major headaches if the CRA ever contacts you about your return. Content in this section is provided in partnership with the Investor Education Fund, a non-profit organization promoting financial literacy to Canadians. To find out more go to GetSmarterAboutMoney.ca.