Tax return "in Progress" for 7 months

A friend of mine filed his own tax return in April through Netfile and his return has still not been assessed. It was a pretty standard return- T4, T5 and RRSP with a $2000 refund expected. No contact by CRA, no acknowledgement letter or review letter, just “in progress” on RAC. I tried calling CRA and the agent cannot give any details. In August the agent said she could send in an escalation request. My friend called himself this month and the agent said she would send another request. No other information has been provided. This is very odd. The only thing I can think of is that his account was subject to CRB fraud in February 2021. He caught it fairly quickly and reported it and was told that the payments were intercepted and not paid out.

Does anyone have any suggestions how I can help my friend get his refund? With inflation of 7%, withholding taxpayer money for this long without an explanation is unacceptable!

That’s surprising although i’ve had a couple of clients with reassessments that i was told could take up to 20 weeks. CRA is really dragging their heels these days.

Sending a service complaint often gets things moving

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I have a T1 self-employment client who often gives me his business receipts for bookkeeping in early April, when I’m in the thick of processing all my other client returns and have almost no time for bookkeeping. Near the April 30th deadline for payment on amounts owing, I make time to do a very rough draft so he can make a CRA payment (usually more than he owes), and then when we file his return closer to the June 15th deadline, he receives a refund. Normally he owes and his wife gets a refund. We had a situation a couple years ago where on my initial assessment, he was owing and the wife was getting the refund. When we actually filed his taxes in June, it actually worked out better for his wife to owe and for him to receive the refund. CRA took MONTHS to process his return. They couldn’t understand why he made a payment on his account when in reality he was receiving a refund. They did not make the connection that his wife was now owing, treating both parties as being separate entities. They figured there must be an error! During our initial phone calls, the agents had no answer for the delays. Finally after several months of waiting, an agent told my client that they forwarded his file to an accountant for review! My thoughts on hearing this is that an accountant only sees the numbers submitted on the T2125 and has no receipts to validate the data, so pretty useless in my mind. My client contacted his MLA or Member of Parliament, authorized him to represent him to CRA. He received his refund within the month!!!

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What the agent told your client was either misunderstood or a bald-faced lie. That just does not happen at CRA that way. If they wanted to check they’d do a pre-assessment review.

More likely flagged by their system for reasons unknown to humans and shoved into the “put on indefinite hold” file. (ie nobody bothered to look at the file for months on end)

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They “forwarded his file to an accountant for review”?! I’m surprised they just didn’t say the dog ate the return. As excuses go, it’s pretty lame.


That’s a good idea thanks @jimt.

Contacting your MLP? I have never heard of that done before. I wonder how many MLPs are willing to take on CRA on behalf of their constituents. Glad it worked for your client.

As last resort bI have gone through the MLP several times. They have a a direct phone number and the results are good.

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I had a young client pass away unexpectedly. His RRSPs rolled over to his wife. CRA questioned the rollover. After providing supporting documentation a couple of times, they were still dragging their heals. Meanwhile, a young mother of two very young children kept getting statements she owed the CRA almost $60K.

I uploaded a service complaint and that went unanswered for many months. After almost one year, I prepared a package for her to take to her MP. Magically, the problem was resolved in the taxpayers favour within a few weeks. What did the MP do? Filed a very crappy two line manually prepared T1-Adj that was technically incorrect but showed the amount rolled over.

I don’t know what bothered me more. The fact it took a year to resolve something so simple or the fact a politician can get results with almost nothing whereas we have to jump through hoops and still cannot get timely results.

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For those who haven’t worked at CRA: There is a process for MP requests…because they are typically forwarded by an MP to the Minister (the totally useless Diane LeBouthilier in this case) and someone in the Minister’s office sends them on to some high wonk in CRA. They were (at least when I worked there in the 1970s) to be responded to within TWO WEEKS.

Didn’t matter the party of the MP…they were always handled the same way so that the MP couldn’t show the Minister was incompetent.

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The tax return of one of my clients showed a PreAssessment Review upon filing. Never received a letter. However, my client received a letter for her to verify her identity, and then to substantiate me as her Representative. Called CRA, they told me to have her call them again. Then after that, I called them, and they talked to me. They said there was a change in her direct deposit info, prompting them to query. I showed the agent that in the last 3 years her DD info was the same (been doing this return about 20 years). She gave me run around. Phoned the T1 Section Head in Winnipeg, case was resolved that same day, client had refund before week was out. This one also was ‘In Progress’ for 7 months… Moral of the story - call the Section Head in your Taxation Office.

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Did you have the number for the Section Head or did they give it to you? (I used to have an internal phone list…but alas, it’s now quite old…)

Have an old list, either from Efile Association, or else it was from CPA. Phone numbers still work, though it may be a different person heading the dept.

Golf season ia almost over. Some of these gov’t office workers will start working again. I can’t believe that some of these people get away with their work attitude. Regardless of how politely you ask for their supervisor’s phone number it is never given. Usually they have a technical issue and they hang up.

There is an internal CRA form (T196) that gets completed to escalate things. You could check to see if that has been completed on the account and if not ask to have that completed.

If you have enquired previously it may have all ready been completed by an agent but they don’t always do so, or let you know that is what they may be doing.

Sure you don’t mean RC193? T196 has been archived.

Internal form.