The CRA may owe you money from years ago—and there’s an easy way to check

Parenting

Some of your old refund cheques from the CRA might still be sitting uncashed. Here’s how to see what free money you might be missing out on.

Kids are expensive, so no matter what your current financial situation is, any extra money that you weren’t expecting is a good news story. And now, there’s an easy way to find out if the Canada Revenue Agency owes you some cash.

A couple of years ago, the CRA launched a new feature on its site called “Uncashed cheques.” Essentially, with a couple of clicks, you can find out if the CRA owes you some money, dating back to as long as you’ve been filing taxes. And as it turns out, LOTS of people are owed money. Last week, the government announced that it is holding $1.4 billion in uncashed cheques!

Why would the CRA owe you money?

Let’s say they snail-mailed you a cheque years ago but it was lost in the mail, or was sent to your old address and never got forwarded. Or maybe you received the cheque, but forgot to deposit it, or lost it before you could, then forgot about it. There are myriad reasons the government might owe you some money, but do you really care what the reason is? Just check already!

How to find out if you have uncashed cheques from the CRA

1. Log in to your CRA account online. It’s called the “My Account” portal. Click here for info and/or to sign in. Note: If you don’t have a log-in for the CRA, you can log in using your username and password for your online banking. They’ve made it really easy!

That said, you may be asked to do a “multi-factor authentication” process (which is quick and painless) and you may also be asked to provide the CRA with your email address for their files.

2. Once you’re logged in and on the main page, you’ll see a section the right called “Related Services.” In the list of services, look for “Uncashed cheques,” which you’ll find at the bottom of the list, and click on it.

4. From there, you’ll be able to see a list of every uncashed cheque owed to you, if there are any. It will display the payment type (e.g., GST payment), the payment date and the amount.

5. If there’s money oweing, you can click through to a form to fill out and submit to the government for payment. Details on exactly how to do this are provided.

In case you wondered, government cheques do not expire, so even if the money owed to you is from decades ago, you’ll still get it.

While this may seem like a long shot, Canadians across the country are reporting finding unclaimed cheques. This morning, one of our Today’s Parent editors found $100 owed to her—a Universal Child Care Benefit cheque that she never received or somehow missed.

This is not a scam! Good luck, parents!

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