Please help me get my tax refund
July 17, 2008 9:13 AM   Subscribe

I'm Canadian. I was lazy, and forgot to file my tax returns for the three previous years. I also lost all of my T4 slips, and some of my work was done for companies that no longer exist. Am I up the creek without a paddle?

I was a pretty disgusting slob for a while (World of Warcraft, don't ask :( ) and didn't file my tax returns for the years of 2005, 2006, and 2007. I didn't owe anything in 2005 or 2006, but I have a fairly sizeable refund owed to me for the year of 2007.

Here's my problem: I'm not sure how to get my giant refund in 2007 without filing my 2005 or 2006 reports. I don't know how I can file those without either fudging the details or somehow re-obtaining my T4 slips (some of which were issued by companies that are no longer in business). Are employers obligated to send T4s to the government as well as employees? If so, can I obtain a copy?

Else, is there some way I can make a (very good-faith) declaration that I didn't owe any income tax that year, or, for that matter, skip paying it altogether, and receive my refund for 2007?

Also, slightly less important, but would still be helpful. Since the 2007 return is overdue, will I still receive my refund in full?

Thanks :D

Throwaway email -
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I've had this happen and in calling Revenue Canada they were more than willing to send me hardcopies of all my T4s from several past years, as well as the form for the year in question. I guess they get copies of these T4s anyway or something.

Re: your refund, if you owed in the previous years they will deduct thatt, plus penalties, but my experience was if you coe forward they were reasonable.
posted by Rumple at 9:30 AM on July 17, 2008

On the other hand, if you are filing a tax return for a prior year, and you have not received, or have lost or misplaced your information slips for that year, you can call 1-800-959-8281 for a copy of your slips for that year.
posted by Phalene at 9:33 AM on July 17, 2008

Revenue Canada should have your T4s, and can mail them to you. They know how much tax you've paid. Fill out all your returns. You'll get a full refund for all years provided you didn't owe them money. They can be quite civilized to deal with.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 9:33 AM on July 17, 2008

You should be asking Revenue Canada how to proceed. Contact numbers.
posted by Neiltupper at 9:48 AM on July 17, 2008

"Are employers obligated to send T4s to the government as well as employees? If so, can I obtain a copy?"

Yes and Yes. Assuming the companies weren't in so much trouble that they didn't submit them.

"Since the 2007 return is overdue, will I still receive my refund in full?"

Yes, but just your refund no interest or anything.
posted by Mitheral at 10:32 AM on July 17, 2008

You probably know this, but if you didn't owe anything in 2005 and 2006 (e.g. your employer deducted the correct amount during the year, or you just didn't have any income) you're not obliged to file a tax return for those years except in fairly unusual circumstances, which are set out here.

So there's no obvious reason to worry about 2005 and 2006 *unless* your 2007 refund depends on "carried forward" allowances from those years.

For 2007, you've already passed the regular filing deadling, but if you're definitely due a refund that's nothing to worry about; the Government will happily hold on to the interest-free loan you've given them for as long as you'll let them, and they won't even charge you a penalty for the privilege ;)
posted by standbythree at 10:36 AM on July 17, 2008

You'll be fine. You only get into trouble if you owe money.
posted by randomstriker at 10:41 AM on July 17, 2008

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