KAWARTHA LAKES-Does the Canadian Government owe you money? The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) says it has approximately $1.4 billion in cheques that have gone uncashed over the years. As of May 2022, there were an estimated 8.9 million uncashed cheques.
The CRA issues millions of payments in the form of refunds and benefits every year. These payments are issued by either direct deposit or by cheque. Over time, payments can remain uncashed for various reasons, such as the taxpayer misplacing the cheque or even a change of address which did not allow for delivery.
“Officials say the CRA will be notifying some recipients of the Canada child benefit and related Provincial/Territorial programs, GST/HST Credit and Alberta Energy Tax Refund (AETR) recipients of any uncashed cheques they may have by email notification. Approximately 25,000 e-notifications will be issued in August and another 25,000 in November 2022, followed by the next 25,000 in May 2023.” said the CRA on Monday.
In 2020, the CRA introduced a feature where taxpayers can view their uncashed cheques and collect unclaimed benefit and credit payments that belong to them. Through My Account, Canadians can check to see if they have an uncashed cheque with the CRA, some dating as far back as 1998. As government cheques never expire or stale date, the CRA cannot void the original cheque and re-issue a new one unless requested by the taxpayer. These upcoming e-notifications are to encourage taxpayers to cash any cheques they have in their possession. According to the CRA the average amount per uncashed cheque is $158. It can pay to sign up for the CRA’s online services.
On My Account, taxpayers will see an option under “related services” entitled “uncashed cheques.” From here, they will be able to easily check if they have a CRA cheque, uncashed for six months or more. Then, all they have to do is complete and securely submit the displayed form online in My Account. Through the Represent a Client Service, representatives can also view uncashed cheques on behalf of their clients.
If a taxpayer is not signed up for My Account or email notifications, they can find out if they have any uncashed cheques by calling 1-800-959-8281.