How Long Should You Keep Your Tax Records In Canada & Why?

a pile of documents

Taxes… not the most exciting topic – we know!

However, if you live and work in Canada, you have to pay them!

You should know that if you pay tax in Canada, you must keep your Canadian tax records for some time after the end of the tax year.

This even applies if you are on a working holiday in Canada and move home when your visa expires.

In this guide, we will explain why you need to keep your tax records in Canada and help you to ensure you keep your tax records for the right period of time.

So…let’s get started!

How long do you have to keep tax records in Canada?

You must keep your Canadian tax records for six years. You must keep your records from the end of the last tax year that you filed a Canadian tax return for.

For example, if you file a tax return for the 2021 tax year, your tax records must be kept until the end of the 2027 tax year.

The Canadian tax year begins on 1 January and ends on 31 December each year.

You must keep all of your supporting documents regardless of whether you used them for your Canadian tax return.

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What are Canadian tax records?

Canadian tax records include a copy of your Canadian tax return(s), the related notice of assessment, and any notice of reassessment.

It also includes any of the supporting documents that you used in order to prepare your Canadian tax return. This may include:

  • T-slips
  • Receipts for expenses like medical care or moving expenses, and any other expenses you claimed a tax deduction or tax credit.

Why do I have to keep my Canadian tax records for six years?

You must keep your Canadian tax records for six years because the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) may choose to conduct a review of your Canadian tax return within this timeframe.

By keeping your tax records, you will have this information to support any records or information you have given to the CRA.

However, sometimes depending on your personal circumstances, you may need to keep your Canadian tax record for a different period of time.

If the CRA requires that you keep your tax records for longer than six years, you will be notified of the period in question by a CRA official either by mail or in person.

I want to dispose of my Canadian tax records but the six-year timeframe is not complete, what do I do?

In order to get rid of your tax records before the retention period ends, you must seek permission from the CRA.

It is advised that you do not get rid of your tax records without the permission of the CRA. If the CRA does not give you permission and you destroy your tax records, you may face prosecution.

In order to request permission to get rid of your tax records, you can do either of the following:

  • Fill in Form T137 and mail it to your Tax Services office
  • Apply by writing to the Tax Services office.

Where do I keep my Canadian tax records?

If you live in Canada, you must keep your tax records at your place of residence or at your place of business.

When an individual changes the place of residence they must take all personal records to the new place of residence. The CRA must be informed about the new place of residence.

If you move out of Canada, permission is required when it is related to business records.

You can do this by writing to Tax Services requesting permission. If your request is approved by the CRA, you must make your tax records available when requested for review by the CRA.

It is important to note that if you leave Canada and you store your Canadian tax records outside of Canada where they can be accessed electronically, these records are not considered records kept in Canada.

Who can help me with Canadian tax?

tax calculator

If you need help with filing your Canadian tax return or have more questions about Canadian taxes and tax records, Taxback is here to help.

Did you know that if you have spent time working in Canada, you could be due a tax refund? We can apply for your Canadian tax refund on your behalf – The average Canadian tax refund is $998.

Every year, thousands of employees including working holidaymakers overpay taxes and leave their money at the Canadian tax office. It’s your hard-earned cash… why leave it behind? will take care of all the paperwork and complicated forms and ensure you get your maximum legal refund!

Why choose Taxback?

  • 20 years experience
  • Live Chat team available 24/7 to assist you with your tax queries
  • It’s a safe and convenient online service. We take care of the complicated tax forms! You get the cash!
  • We ensure that you get your maximum legal Canadian tax refund

Want to claim a tax refund from Canada?
Contact Taxback

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