With the Check CRA Processing Times tool, you can quickly find out when you can expect them to complete your request or get back to you for tax returns and other tax-related requests. The information provided is the same as you would receive by calling. But, if calling is more your speed, you can check the CRA’s phone wait times here.

Income tax and GST/HST objections

The CRA regularly updates the average length of time for an appeals officer to be assigned to an objection and for the CRA to resolve it. The number of days includes all the time that the objection is with the Government of Canada but excludes the time it takes you to provide more information, if needed, to support your objection. Objections are resolved on a case-by-case basis and there are three levels of complexity for objections – low, medium, and high. 

Low complexity income tax objections take an average of 120 days from the date the objection was submitted. These objections include issues with individual tax credits, personal deductions, the Canada child benefit, and the disability tax credit. So for example, Sandy’s child benefit objection that’s now being assigned to appeals officer Marie was received in November 2021. In the 2021–2022 fiscal year, the CRA apparently met its low complexity objections service standard 81 percent of the time.

Medium complexity income tax objections are completed in an average of 249 days from the date the objection was submitted. These objections usually include issues with business expenses, partnerships, more complex individual income tax issues, and small and medium corporation (T2) related issues. For example, Laura’s business expense objection now being assigned to appeals officer Rafiq was originally received in October 2021. In the 2021–2022 fiscal year, the CRA says they met their medium complexity objections service standard 72% of the time.

High complexity income tax objections take much longer to resolve than other objections. They usually involve large corporations, complex business transactions, international transfer pricing, general anti-avoidance rule assessments, and tax avoidance schemes. They represent only two to three percent of the CRA’s total Objections Program workload. On average, it may take over 690 days to resolve high complexity income tax objections. For example, Tony has been waiting almost two years for notice about his tax avoidance scheme objection, but during this time, CRA representatives have been in semi-regular contact with him.

Keep in mind that the CRA’s processing times may be longer than usual due to a backlog of certain workloads that accumulated during the pandemic.

If you or your authorized representative have questions about the status of an objection that you have already filed and you don’t have the contact information for your appeals officer, call the objection enquiries toll-free phone line: 1-800-959-5513.

If it can be done online, that’s likely to be the easiest and fastest way:

My Account

If you don’t yet have a My Account, we strongly encourage you to register for one. With My Account, you can view CRA mail or check to see if you have any uncashed cheques. Each year, the CRA issues millions of payments to Canadians for refunds and benefits. These payments are usually issued by cheque or direct deposit if the user has signed up for the service through their account. Government cheques never expire or stale date, so the CRA cannot void the original cheque and reissue a new one unless requested by the taxpayer. Want to find out how you can check if any cheques are owed to you? Read our article “How To Find Unclaimed Cheques on CRA Website

My Business Account

My Business Account is a similar secure online portal, but one that provides an opportunity to interact electronically with Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) on various business accounts. This is where you can access information regarding your corporate income tax, GST/HST, and payroll. To get access, you need your CRA user ID and password, and your Business Number.

You can now also login to My Account or My Business Account with a Sign-in Partner. This allows you to log in with a user ID and password that you already have, like for online banking. 

Rep A Client

Represent a Client is a service that provides Canadians with secure online access to both individual and business tax information. Many people can use the service, including a representative from a business that provides tax or payroll services for clients. This could include an accountant, a payroll service employee, a bookkeeper, a public trustee, a lawyer, a financial planner, a friend or family member, an executor, power of attorney or legal guardian.

You are responsible for providing your tax information to your representative. They will need to have things like the following:

  • your name, address, date of birth
  • your social insurance number
  • your business number
  • the trust account number
  • your notice of assessment or notice of reassessment
  • your tax return

Personal tax matters include information to do with your taxpayer account and business tax matters include information related to your program accounts. 

Levels of authorization 

The list of services available to a representative is different for personal tax accounts, business tax accounts, et cetera. If you don’t specify a level of authorization, the CRA will assign level one access.

There are two levels of authorization you can give your representative on your personal tax account:

  • get information only (level one)
  • request limited changes and get information (level two)

A level one representative on a personal tax account can’t update your address, whereas a legal representative has access to all of your information. They can do all the tax-related activities that you can, including changing your address or direct deposit information and granting or cancelling an authorization for another representative for your personal or non-resident tax account.

There are three levels of authorization you can give your accountant or another representative on your business accounts:

  • get information only (level one)
  • update and get information (level two)
  • delegate authority, update and get information (level three)

A level three delegated authority can also authorize another representative or delegated authority on behalf of the business.

There’s a new way to confirm authorized representatives, as of 2022, using My Account or My Business Account. It’s an easy, two-step digital process that helps you protect your tax information and make authorizing new representatives more efficient and secure. Otherwise, if prefer calling, you should expect a wait time which varies depending on the day and time. Learn how to confirm an authorized representative using the two-step digital process here.

Waiting for something to be processed?

Did you send it electronically? It’s more efficient to E-file your tax return, so keep that in mind if the traditional route calls to you. Feel free to mail it to the correct tax center, but it does take some time to hear back, so be patient. But also don’t wait too long, keeping in mind the average number of days to complete a request or respond back for tax returns and other tax-related requests. There’s always the possibility that you may need to resend. Consider, also, the time of year, as tax season is very busy for a government department working through millions of returns. Good luck!