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April 18, 2021

Have you ever botched your tax return?

It's not unusual during tax filing season to discover that you botched a previously filed return. Ok, mistakes happen. Now what? 

Most people don't realize that they can adjust their tax returns if they miss something and that they can often go back as far as 10 years in certain instances.

If it's a straightforward omission, you can send a letter to your tax centre requesting an adjustment to your return and completeting Form T1-ADJ, a T1 Adjustment Request.

It's a one-page document where you simply make note of the lines on your tax return you'd like to change, provide an explanation at the bottom, and send it in. Generally, there's no need to file a complete amended tax return.


Even better, many accounting and tax preparation firms will review your current or prior tax returns for free -- even if they've been prepared elsewhere -- to ensure you claimed all the available deductions and credits.

Many taxpayers miss credit and deduction carry-forward balances, for instance. Others just didn't know the rules.

H&R Block's Maureen Dos Reis, a tax planner in Princeton, B.C., has found more than $105,000 in tax refunds in recent years.

Some of the errors her office has uncovered include: a miscalculation of capital gains and losses over several years that resulted in a $62,000 refund; close to $50,000 in unclaimed disability tax credits for clients; and nearly $7,500 in refunds for long-haul truckers who neglected to claim meals and lodgings.

Have you been able to convince the CRA that you made a filing mistake? How were things resolved?

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...