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How Long Does It Take to Get Your Tax Refund in Canada?

ON March 26, 2019

It seems like it was tax time just a few months ago, yet here we are again. It’s the time of year when so many people wait as long as possible to submit their taxes, but once they have done so, they can hardly wait to receive their refund.


So just how long does it take to receive your Canadian income tax refund?


That answer is dependant on when and how you filed your return. Did you file on time? Did you file by mail or electronically? A few other factors apply as well.


The Canadian Revenue Agency offers a few guidelines on what to expect when you file on or before the due date. You can expect a notice of assessment and any refund that you are owed within 2 weeks of them receiving your electronically-filed return. If you went the paper route, expect your refund within 8 weeks. If you are a non- resident and filed a paper return, your wait will be up to 16 weeks.

Filing electronically is the fastest method. Your return will be processed much faster, often within 8 business days. Requesting direct deposit further speeds up the refund process. Regardless of the method you choose or when you submit, the earliest you can receive your refund is March, as the CRA only starts to process income tax returns in mid-February.

Following Up On Your Return’s Status

If you want to check on the status of your return, there are a few ways to do so. You may use one three methods online. Two are for individual returns, while the third is for corporate returns. The methods are:

  • Individuals (including sole proprietorships and partnerships) can log in to My Account. There you can view your return status and notice of assessment, modify your return, enter or edit your direct deposit information, make payments, and more. You may submit documents or get information regarding your RRSP from here as well.


  • Using a mobile device, you may use the MyCRA This, like the above, is for individuals. The app allows you to view your return’s status and your notice of assessment, update your information, manage direct deposits, and more.


  • For corporate returns, you may use My Business Account on a browser to check your status, manage direct deposits, make corrections to your address, and file a Notice of Objection if disputing a return.

Another manner in which you can check your return is to call the CRA’s Telerefund line (1-800-959-1956) or the Tax Information Phone Service (1-800-267-6999).  In order to access your tax information, you will need to provide the following:

  • Your Social Insurance Number (individuals) or business number (corporations)
  • Your name or your business name
  • Your home address (individual) or business address
  • Date of birth (for individuals)
  • If an individual account, you will need to also provide details from your account or from a previous return or notice of assessment
  • If a business account, you will need details from your account or most recently assessed return

When using Telerefund or the TIPS line, the earliest you will see information is mid-March, and that is if you filed in mid-February. In most cases, you will have to wait 4 weeks minimum, though if you filed after mid-April, your wait will be at least 6 weeks.


Reasons for Delays

Even if you file electronically, your refund can be delayed for a number of reasons, such as:

  • Your contact information has changed
  • You made errors on your return
  • Your return was selected for a review (reasons include being chosen randomly, large year-over-year changes in deductions, or your tax history if you have been penalized in the past or have been previously assessed. If you are being reviewed, you may need to supply documents to support your claims.)

As you can see, there are several factors affecting the speed at which you will receive your refund. If you need your refund quickly, file early and be sure of the accuracy of all of your information.


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