Canadians who filed their income tax return electronically or who have not enclosed their information slips and receipts with their paper-filed return should keep their tax records on hand in case they are contacted by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) or Revenu Quebec (MRQ).
After returns are filed, the CRA and MRQ begin work to verify reported income, as well as credits and deductions claimed. These reviews are an important method to ensure Canadians are paying their fair share of taxes.
Some of the reviews of deductions and credits are done when returns are filed and before taxpayers receive their notice of assessment. However, most reviews take place later in the year, as the CRA and MRQ work to verify the information on an individual’s return and compare it with information provided by other parties, such as an employer or spouse.
During this review process, the CRA and MRQ may contact taxpayers by mail, to ask for more information on income or credits. They may ask for copies of receipts or information slips to support a number of different claims, for example:
- medical expenses
- charitable donations
- child care expenses
- spouse or child support payments
- moving expenses
Keeping your records on hand makes it easier to respond to these requests and will help you explain your tax and benefit situation to the CRA and MRQ.
Generally, you should keep your supporting documents for six years. Have the receipts and documentation to support your claims ready in case you are selected for review.
Source: Canada Revenue Agency