Fortunately, if you’ve made an error on your tax return and need to amend it, don’t worry, there are a few ways to do so that you’ll find quite simple.
First and foremost, if you need to amend your tax return, do not file another return for that year.
You must wait to receive your Notice of Assessment before making any changes to your tax return. Amendments can be made for 10 previous years, so if you are filing this year’s (2020), you can only amend back to 2010.
There are three ways to make amendments to your tax return: through CRA My Account, ReFile using your tax solution, or by mail. There are rules and limitations for each one, and we’ll take you through them so you have a better understanding of which one to choose.
For Quebec residents; If you need to amend your provincial return, please click here for instructions directly from Revenu Quebec.
Requesting an Amendment Online through CRA My Account (or Represent a Client on behalf of someone else)
Requesting an amendment to your tax return online simply requires you to log in to your CRA My Account and click “Change my return”. You select the line that needs to be corrected and input the corrected value.
Do keep in mind that you cannot request an amendment to change any of the following:
- a bankruptcy return
- a tax return where 9 reassessments exist for a particular tax year
- a tax return that has not been assessed
- a tax return prior to the year of bankruptcy
- carry-back amounts such as capital or non-capital losses
- an elected split-pension amount
- a return of an international or non-resident client (including deemed residents of Canada, newcomers to Canada, and individuals who left Canada during the year)
- a return where you have income from a business with a permanent establishment outside your province or territory of residence
Requesting an Amendment using ReFILE and your tax software
Depending on the year of the return you want to adjust, you might be able to make the correction, using your tax software, like TurboTax, and then remit using the ReFILE option. You can make changes to your current and previous 2 tax years through Re-FILE using the same software you used to file originally. You cannot use ReFILE in the following situations:
- Making or amending an election
- Applying for certain benefits
- Applying for the disability tax credit
- Have a current reassessment in progress
- Have not yet received the original return assessment
- If you have to change personal information
Requesting an Amendment by Mail
You will have to complete a T1 Adjustment Request. You can download a PDF copy of the T1-ADJ form from the CRA’s website. As an alternative, you can also submit a signed letter with the following details:
- The years of the returns to be changed
- Your social insurance number
- Your full address
- A telephone number where you can be reached during the day
Whichever option you choose, you’ll have to send all supporting documents for your amendment – including those for the original assessment, – to your tax center (click here to find out which one is closest to you).
- Within 2 weeks if requested online
- Within 8 weeks if requested by mail
Processing might slightly be longer if your request is sent in spring or early summer, needs further review, or if the CRA has to contact you or your authorized representative for more information or documentation.
Once your review is complete, you will receive from the CRA either:
- a Notice of Reassessment showing changes to your return
- a letter explaining why the changes you asked for were not applied
All in all, you can retire any worries if you suddenly realize that you have to make changes to your tax return. Follow the instructions above and the process should be simple and easy.
Correct your taxes with the Voluntary Disclosures Program
The Voluntary Disclosures Program (VDP) gives you a second chance to correct a tax return you previously filed or to file a return that you should have filed. If you file a VDP application and it is accepted by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) you will have to pay the taxes owing, plus interest in part or in full. However, you would be eligible for relief from prosecution and, in some cases, from penalties that you would otherwise be required to pay.