Thursday, June 12, 2008

And the Money Keeps Coming

I came home from work and found my Notice of Assessment from Canada Revenue Agency. I forgot to take the employment deduction, so they refigured my return and sent me $79 and change! Can't complain about that. Well, maybe a little. They deducted money they say I owe to Canada Child Tax Benefit (around another $75) but I really don't.

You see, it's this way. If you file your taxes on time and you qualify for the CCTB you get a cheque every month, kind of like the old Family Allowance program back when I was a kid. Unlike the Family Allowance, this payment is based on your income and you have to requalify for it every year. So, this year you might be getting $100 per month but at the same time you had more employment income as a family. Next year you might only qualify for $60 per month. Taxes are due April 30th and the new amounts for CCTB come into effect in July. But, because the CRA is a tad busy during May and June and might not get through everybody's return in time for the new cheque amount to be calculated, they give you a cheque at the old rate in July if they don't have the new information. If it turns out that you don't qualify at all anymore you have to give the money back.

I didn't file last year because I didn't think I owed anything and because all my paperwork was in several of the 400 boxes packed by the restoration company after our flood. I have no clue about the rules in the US, but here in Canada you don't technically have to file even if you earned money so long as you don't owe the taxman any money. But then you don't get the other goodies, like the CCTB. And you do have to file if the CRA asks you to.

So, I didn't file and I didn't get CCTB last year, except for that July payment. But now that I've filed for both last year and this year I will get everything they should have paid me all at once (probably in July). The previous year we qualified for $75 per month but we both made somewhat more money. So maybe they owe us $50 per month for last year and $40 per month for this year (totally guessing on the amounts). That would be a $600 lump sum retroactive payment and then regular cheques around the 20th of each month of $40 (or whatever).

Anyway, the point is that they didn't need to take the whole $75 back and they could have taken the smaller amount that really was overpaid out of the lump sum payment instead of taking it out of the $155 refund. Plus, this was only my 2007 Notice of Assessment. They still have to do the 2006 one and I think I made the same mistake on that return. That means I probably have more money coming to me from that!

But, really, it's all good. For whatever reason, the money has started pouring in from all different sources and I'm happy with that.

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