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Gap filers -- how do you approach processing?

This has come up for me a few times this year and I’m wondering about others’ approach:

Client can be new or old, but hasn’t filed for a few years. No T1013 on file. May have old history or not on file.

In order to file the T1013, I usually choose the latest year (2018 currently) fill out name/SIN and print and file the T1013 when I get the signed copy. Then I have to go back to the earliest year, AFR/complete those years, working forward (that part is fine)…and then delete the 2018 and recreate or overwrite it. Seems cumbersome, but I can’t figure out a more effective way.

Note: I don’t use the T1013 from an earlier return b/c I’m not sure it’s in the correct format for “current filing” anymore…if it were, I could start with the earliest return, save it and then work forward directly. Does anyone know?

You can use that same 2018 return. If you’ve done all the prior years’ returns, right click when in the 2018 return and choose “Refresh carryforward (from prior years)”. It will update all your carryforwards from the 2017 file (which I assume has the proper carryforwards from other years). Make sure you’ve saved the latest version of the 2017 T1 before you do this.

Ah…didn’t know that…thanks!!

There’s also a button on the Data tab to Refresh. Works great!

…and don’t forget that you can always create a prior year return from the 2018 return…and each of the priors, to avoid having to rekey on the first year return.

Right-click and choose “Prior year” – it will prompt you to create a new previous year return.

When the earliest prior return is complete, you can “refresh” the other years as you do them, in order to get all the c/f’s, etc.


Be very careful how and when you use the “Refresh carryforward (from prior years)”.

Most of my clients have complex and multi-faceted T1 tax returns with lots of forms, elections, and carryfwd amounts.

Very often I will start with a current or a current and prior year engagement first. This is often followed up with prior year filings and/or adjustments.

If this happens to you, I would eFile the years that are eligible for eFile starting with the oldest available for eFile. Until Jan 24,2020 those are 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018. Ignore the paper filed years. After eFile I would take a copy and rename the copied file to “as eFiled”.

Then and only then I would prepare and file the paper filed years starting with the oldest.

After all returns have been prepared and filed, then I would “Refresh carryforward (from prior years)” using the default file and starting with the oldest eFiled return.

Once all the paper filed returns have been assessed, then I would use the “as Efiled returns” starting with the oldest eFiled. Take a snapshot. Create a T1Adjust with CarryFwd. Update the CarryFwd amounts. Verify if you need to ReFile with the new carry forward amounts.

This method is very useful when filing or adjusting more than the past three or four years.

I nearly drove myself crazy this past April trying to prepare multiple years concurrently with every changing client source docs ranging over the past 9 years. I had been thinking that the Refresh Carryforward worked like a table join. It is clearly not a table join. It seems to be a snapshot using an auto fill this field or form capability.