The CRA may owe you money from years ago—and now 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.

The CRA recently 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.

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 it 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! Here’s how:

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!

2. On the right, click on “Related services.”

3. In the list of services (e.g., changing your address or arranging for direct deposit), look for “Uncashed cheques” (it’s 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. It will display the payment type (e.g., GST payment), the payment date and the amount.

In case you wondered, government cheques do not expire, and if you do not know where the originals are, you can follow the instructions on the website to get access to the cheques.

While this may seem like a long shot, Canadians across the country are reporting finding hundreds of dollars of unclaimed cheques. This is not a scam!

Good luck, parents!

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