Many Canadians expect their tax refund deposit directly to their bank account within a month after they file their tax returns. However, this doesn’t mean that CRA is held accountable for sending you the money. Here is what you need to do when you miss the expected payment. 

There are several reasons that the CRA may withhold some or all of your refund. For starters, if you owe or about to owe a balance, your refund is likely to be withheld. In addition, you may have incurred such outstanding debts as student loans, employment insurance, or benefit overpayments to the federal, provincial, or territorial government. If you own a business, a sole proprietorship, or partnership, you may have outstanding GST/HST returns that withhold your income tax refund. Last but not least, you may have a garnishment order under the Family Orders and Agreement Enforcement Assistance Act. If you aren’t sure, or don’t think any of the circumstances above applies to you, you can access your Statements of Account via the CRA My Account. These Statements show all the amounts you have paid and owed to the CRA and can go back as far as you request.  

If your Statement of Account shows that you have outstanding balance as the result of a reassessment, you need to call the CRA for the cause of reassessment and require a copy. In general, the CRA issues reassessment because you have not responded to the request for supporting documents within the given time period. In this case, you can submit the documents and reinstate your claims for deduction. 


If you disagree with the finding of the reassessment, you can file a Notice of Objection within the 90 days since the reassessment has been issued. If you fail to do so within the time frame, you can still file your objection provided that you have ample reasons. It is highly advised that you consult a chartered accountant or a tax lawyer especially if a substantial sum involves.