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Home  ->  Filing Your Return -> How Long Will My Refund Take?

How Long Will it Take to Get a Refund?

Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) says it takes about 2 weeks to process returns filed using NetFile, EFile, or Telefile, but they do not start processing returns until mid-February.  For paper tax returns, CRA says it takes about 4 weeks to process returns filed before April 15, and about 6 weeks for returns filed after April 15.

Uncashed Tax Refund Cheques

CRA indicates that there are approximately $1 billion in tax cheques that have not been cashed.  These cheques apparently never become stale-dated.  As of May 19, an estimated 7.6 million cheques were uncashed, dating back to 1998.  You can now check in CRA's My Account to see if you have any uncashed cheques - you may be surprised!  If you have uncashed cheques, from My Account you can request that the cheques be reissued.

See the CRA information New online feature helps you see your uncashed tax cheques.

How Can I Check the Status of My Tax Return?

To check with CRA on the status of your tax return, you need the following information:

bullet your social insurance number
bullet your date of birth
bullet the Total Income amount that you calculated and entered on line 150 of your tax return for the current year or the past year (use the past year if you aren't sure if CRA has received your current year tax return).

The methods to check on the status of your return or your refund are:

bulletusing the MyCRA app on your mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet, and there is also a "web" link if you don't have a smartphone or tablet.  With this service, you can get information about your
bullet tax return status - only for 2014 and later years
bullet RRSP deduction limit
bullet TFSA contribution room as of the past January 1st, once financial institutions have reported all transactions for the prior year
bullet online through the Quick Access e-service - no longer available as of early 2015 - you must use My Account
bullet online through the CRA My Account, which is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  To use the My Account service, you will need a Government of Canada epass, or you can log in using your web banking account with your financial institution.  The My Account web page has a link to the online registration process.
bullet by phoning the automated Tax Information Phone Service (TIPS), which is available from mid-February till December 31.
bullet by phoning the refund enquiries line.
bullet see the CRA web page Contact Information including toll-free telephone numbers and approximate wait times

Will I Get Interest on My Refund?

CRA will pay compound daily interest on your refund, with the interest calculation starting on the latest of the following three dates:

bullet May 31st following the tax year for which the return was filed
bullet the 31st day after you file your return, or
bullet the day after you overpaid your taxes.

Direct Deposit to Your Bank Account - Mandatory

By April 2016, the federal government phased out all government cheques in favour of direct deposits.  This includes:

bulletyour personal income tax refund
bullet GST/HST tax credit
bullet Canada Child Benefit (CCB)
bullet advance payment of Canada Workers Benefit (CWB)

You can set up direct deposit to your bank account online through the CRA My Account, or through your financial institution.

If you do not wish to use the My Account online service to set up the direct deposit, you can do so by telephone, in person, or you can complete and submit a Canada Direct Deposit Enrolment Form (pdf) and mail it to CRA.  See Direct deposit for individuals with a Canadian bank account.  This form applies to:

bulletpayments received from CRA
bullettax refund
bulletGST/HST credit
bulletCTB and related provincial/territorial payments
bulletWITB advance payments
bulletany other deemed overpayment of tax
bulletpayments received from Service Canada
bulletOld Age Security
bulletCanada Pension Plan

For more information, see the CRA web page on Direct Deposit.

Revised: March 27, 2024



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