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Keep Those Receipts for the CRA

One thing I have noticed over the past few years, is that every time I have added a new or different kind of Tax deduction, credit or such, since I start using E-file, inevitably, I receive something in the mail from the CRA telling me that, “You aren’t being audited, however, can you just kind of send us those receipts now?“.

The CRA wants their money too
The CRA wants their money too

You need to keep all of your receipts if you submit your return via E-file programs, this is very important.

The CRA seems to become quite interested when a “new” claim or some different kind of claim appears on my tax return, I end up with a nice letter asking me to send in copies of my receipts. My guess is their computer review flags “new and exciting” claims which then spits the nice letter to the tax payer asking for proof of this “change of life circumstance” (financially).

A few examples of an “interesting life event” would be:

  • The first time one of the girls went off to University (claiming tuition fees)
  • First time one of the girls claimed living expenses for school (yes they got a letter asking for receipts)
  • This year I am being asked for receipts for school expenses (this is the first year my youngest daughter is at school) and for my Medical expenses (for my son’s schooling).

The thing to remember that this is not an “audit” but it can turn into something bad if you ignore the nice letters from the CRA. Don’t IGNORE letters from the CRA!

Feel Free to Comment

  1. Always keep your expense receipts for a move and never try to claim anything without a receipt. The CRA almost always checks receipts for moving. We knew that before we moved and sure enough the letter requesting the receipts arrived in the summer after our taxes were approved.

    I wonder if they check sports receipts for parents of hockey kids, though. Can you imagine spending LESS than $500 a year on hockey?

  2. Absolutely – keep receipts, and claim stuff only for which you have receipts. Because they do ask for receipts, and if you don’t have them I don’t want to know what happens.

    We had this quite a few years ago. We’d claimed daycare expenses for some odd number like $5248.62 (right to the penny). We got the letter asking for receipts. All we had to do was pull our daycare file, copy the receipts (which totalled exactly to the penny what we’d claimed) and send it off to CRA. Never heard from them again. It took 5 minutes, and if we hadn’t done that, again, don’t want to know what happens next.

    I’d like to think that they whitelist you if you answer their questions promptly like that, but your experience would seem to indicate they don’t. Or perhaps they do whitelist, and they’ve just got your file flagged :).

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