5 Frequently Requested Receipts From Canada Revenue Agency

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Does a sense of panic rush through you when you receive that brown envelope from Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) asking you for additional information, and receipts, after filing your tax return?  After preparing thousands of personal tax returns over the years I feel confident in sharing the 5 frequently requested types of receipts the CRA is looking for.

1. RRSP Contributions

If one year you make a large, out of the ordinary, RRSP contribution the CRA will request to see it.  Besides confirming the amount recorded on your personal tax return they will be looking at the date the contribution was made and checking to see if it was a spousal contribution.

2. Child Care Expenses

 

The CRA examines these to determine a number of facts.  If you’re paying an individual for child care, the receipt needs to indicate the name and social insurance number of the individual supplying the care. In the past, some clients have tried to claim babysitting costs while at the gym or spa.  Needles to say I didn’t allow the client to claim them on their tax returns but many do try to slide them through, with some very creative logic, and that’s what the CRA is looking for.

The above two expenses have a large impact on your personal tax returns because they directly reduce your income by 100%. For every $1.00 contributed to either, your total income is reduced by that amount to determine your net income, then taxable income.

Medical expenses and Donations and Gifts are non-refundable credits.  That means they help reduce your tax payable.

3. Medical Expenses

 

The amount claimed in medical expenses on personal tax returns have increased dramatically over the last few years.  Whether it’s due to the aging population, cut-backs on group health plans or greater awareness of eligible medical expenses, this can result in a significant tax credit.  When saving your prescription receipts make sure you have the one signed by the pharmacist.  A tape showing what and how you paid does not qualify.  Neither does the label on the bag that the prescription came in. The CRA is looking for qualified medical expenses that fall within a 12 month period and the relationship to the individuals whose expenses are listed.  Since this is a very detailed topic here is the link for more details on what is eligible and the details required if requested.

4. Donations and Gifts

 

If you contributed to an organization that would send a child to the circus or some other event, the receipt is not an eligible donation receipt. Yes you are donating the money for someone else’s benefit, but it does not qualify. The receipt must have the organizations charitable donation number, name, address. date of donation and who made the donation. It is the taxpayer’s responsibility to ensure the organization has a valid charitable number.

5. Property Tax and Rent Paid

 

This is a refundable credit, based on the amount paid and directly related to the net family income.  A rent receipt must show name and address of landlord, address of tenant, number of months rent paid and total rent paid.  The property tax receipt supplied from the town, city or district you lived in, showing the property owners name is required.

If you claimed expenses based on personal records but don’t have the receipts, now is the time to start requesting them, just in case.

Original receipts are required to be submitted. And make sure you scan or photocopy before sending them off.  It’s not uncommon for some not to arrive on the desk of the CRA.

There is so much more to share on these topics so if you have any questions or would like me to elaborate on any item, just drop me a line and I’ll try to guide you on eligible expenses and dealing with the CRA.

 

 

I would love to get your feedback! Here on my blog, you’ll get commentluv. This is an opportunity to leave a link back to your own site when you leave a comment. Just click on the commentluv box underneath the comment section.

Until next time,

Maureen

 

43 replies
  1. Kamdem
    Kamdem says:

    Hello,

    I do not have a rent bild for my landlord because we made an arrangement that I am helping her to cook food and clean the house 4 times a week, so I can not pay the $385 a month. Now revenue Canada is asking for the rent bills.
    Please what can I do?
    Thank you in advance

    Kamdem

    Reply
    • Maureen
      Maureen says:

      Hello Kamdem

      If the agreement with your landlord was to exchange services for rent, and you will not be receiving rent receipts then you have nothing to supply to the CRA. You shouldn’t have claimed the rent expense without receipts. Proof for rent or property tax paid is one of the most requested by the CRA each tax year.

      Maureen

      Reply
  2. Kaitlin
    Kaitlin says:

    Hi,

    I shared a place between my friend and her parents. Both my friend and I’s rent portion was given to her parents, and then her parents paid the total rent to the owners of the property. I believe I was technically subcontracting from them. I have requested rent receipts as I have claimed them in my tax receipt but now the parents are being very sketchy about it. They want the landlord (who never recieved money from me, only from the parents)to somehow “split” the receipts for the portions that everyone paid..does this even make sense or even possible? Shouldn’t her parents be providing me a receipt since they cashed my cheques? My cheques were made only to her parents, not to the owners of the property.

    Thanks

    Kaitlin

    Reply
    • Maureen
      Maureen says:

      Hi Kaitlin

      I’m sure this got way more complicated than you ever expected. I can see it from a few points of few. The parents would not want to issue receipts for rent paid since they would have to include it as income in their tax returns. I can see the landlord not wanting to go to the trouble of issuing separate receipts after the fact. I’m not going to even try to give any legal advice here but will ask you this – was your name on the lease or was it just her parent’s listed on the lease. If you didn’t sign a lease agreement then your name won’t be on it. Do you have cancelled cheques for the rent payments? If so I would use those if requested by the CRA. If not I would try and get a receipt from the landlord. Going forward make sure you get a receipt monthly for any rent you pay or pay by cheque indicating it is for rent and the month the payment is for. And don’t make the cheque payable to cash!

      Maureen

      Reply
  3. Heather
    Heather says:

    If I have paid a deposit for the last months rent in 2012, but am still in the house can I include that amount as “rent paid” in 2012?

    Reply
    • Maureen
      Maureen says:

      Hi Heather
      You are to claim no more than 12 months rent or property tax paid in the year of the personal tax return you are filing. So if you have filed your 2012 return, indicating 12 months of rent paid in 2012 and not included the deposit then you should include it on your 2013 return, or whenever the last month is that you are still in the house.
      Maureen

      Reply
  4. Kanwar
    Kanwar says:

    Hello sir,
    I have a question regarding rent reciepts . Cra mail mean ask for rent reciepts for 2011 n 2012 . I m able to provide it for 2011 bt nt 12 . The apartment in which I live in 2012 was leased by someone else . And he already claimed for that . However I claimed it for the rent too . Bt now cra send me letter asking for slips . I am unable toh provide it what I can do now ? Just return the checks ?

    Reply
    • Maureen
      Maureen says:

      Hi Kanwar

      If the person you leased the apartment from claimed the expense they should also have claimed the income that you gave him. For your 2012 receipts I would suggest you send the cancelled cheques, or copies of the front and back to the CRA if that’s what your bank gives you monthly. If you send them the originals make sure you make copies, since sometimes the originals go missing on the way to or at CRA. I would also include a brief note to the CRA explaining the situation and any contact information you have for the person you rented the property from.
      Good luck, Maureen

      Reply
  5. Rene
    Rene says:

    Hi Maureen

    Today I received a letter from CRA asking for receipts or supporting documents for the rental we paid for our apartment for year 2013. My husband and I are low-income seniors receiving GIS/OAS/CPP/ only. My husband is entitled to the Disability Tax Credit although both of us do not generate either employment or self-employment income. I have erroneously declared a rental payment of approximately $14,050 instead of $13,600, a difference of $450. This is a genuine mistake on my part because of the landlords inconsistency in accepting my rent cheques in a professional manner. How should I explain this to CRA so that I may not get a black mark on my file. I know this will affect our OTB (approximately $116 a month for both of us based on family income of $30,147).
    A professionally written explanation with the receipts attached would clear my mind. I look forward to your response and help. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Maureen
      Maureen says:

      Hello Rene
      I suggest you respond to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) with proof of your 2013 rent payments and include an explanation just as you described to me. These mistakes happen and if this is your first “rent incident” they will not necessarily put a black mark on your file.

      Reply
  6. Taneesha
    Taneesha says:

    Hi,

    I claimed that I paid rent during the year of 2013 and the CRA sent me a letter saying that I need to supply them with my tax receipts. It’s not a problem to provide them but on the form it stated a number of $4,750. What does this number mean? Is it the amount my rent should equal? I heard that if I don’t supply my proof of rent paid then that’s the amount I need to pay back. This is very confusing.

    Reply
    • Maureen
      Maureen says:

      Hi Tanessha
      Yes the $4,750 represents the amount you claimed as rent paid during 2013. If you don’t supply them the proof of payment then they will request you pay them any monies you already received as credit for the rent. You would have been paid that on your monthly Trillium Benefit payments. I can’t estimate how much you would owe as it depends on your income for that year.
      Maureen

      Reply
  7. Samn
    Samn says:

    Hi My land lady is not tech savy so she did not give me an invoice or any rental receipts she said the money isnt rent but its just room and board but I filed my taxes on it regardless. I also created an invoice and I put her name and my info how much I paid and how many months etc because the government requested it, I feel guilty for creating it on her behalf but I got tired of revenue Canada mailing me , will this get me in any sort of trouble and will that invoice be mailed to her annually Ive done this only twice

    Reply
    • Maureen
      Maureen says:

      Hello Sam
      You could be charged with Fraud. Even though your landlady is not tech savvy I would suggest you have her sign the forms you prepared which indicate the amount of rent you paid.
      If she won’t – you’ve put yourself in a very precarious position
      Maureen

      Reply
  8. Chris
    Chris says:

    Hi there , CRA has requested receipts for childcare provided in 2013 however we have misplaced some of the original copies as they are given to us on a monthly basis. Am I able to provide copies of the receipts that I obtained from the childcare provider along with the originals I have? If this won’t suffice am I able to have the provider write a new receipt to reflect the payments we made over the course of the year? Thanks for any help

    Reply
    • Maureen
      Maureen says:

      Hi Chris
      Probably the easiest and best approach at this stage would be to have your childcare provider supply you with a letter indicating the amount you paid for 2013. It must include the year that caregiving was supplied, name of child(ren), caregiver address, phone number, social insurance number and signature.
      Maureen

      Reply
  9. jaya
    jaya says:

    Hi,
    My previous landlord gave me rental receipts for the time I was renting from him, but after I moved, I lost them.
    Can I still use it for the returns, when I file my income tax?
    What would be the proper procedure I would have to follow?
    Also, I don’t know if this makes a difference, but there was no address on the rental receipts.
    Thanks

    Reply
    • Maureen
      Maureen says:

      Hi Jaya
      First I would ask your previous landlord for a duplicate receipt or letter indicating the rent you paid along with the additional pertinent information I’ve outlined in my blog.
      If the CRA requests copies of your receipt(s) and you can’t supply them you’re setting yourself up for trouble. And I never recommend being on the wrong side of the CRA.

      Maureen

      Reply
  10. Will Gibson
    Will Gibson says:

    Wondering what happens when you are trying to declare medical deductions for the uncovered portion when you have a insurance plan such as Alberta blue cross who also required the original receipt? The blue cross website has detailed specifics of what mine and my wifes plan covered and what our portion was. Would this be sufficent?

    Reply
    • Maureen
      Maureen says:

      Hello Will
      I believe a print-out of the Blue Cross statement would be acceptable. It’s no different than submitting the original receipt to a group health plan and them sending a statement, along with a cheque, for the portion that was covered. During tax season we calculate numerous customer medical expenses based on the difference of the original receipt and what was reimbursed. Specific questions from Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) would relate to it being an allowable medical expense, and additional documentation may need to be supplied to confirm the medical credit.
      Maureen

      Reply
  11. Pikachu
    Pikachu says:

    So I want to know if this is doable.

    My mother has no any income.
    I have no income.

    My mother has a condo-no mortgage. she pays property tax.
    I live with her.

    I want to file that I pay rent to her so I can get refund from ontario trillium benefit.
    I want to make sure her refund would not be affected.

    To my understanding, she does not have any credit, so as long as her total pyable from line 435 is 0 then she does not have to pay tax. and if her income is below to ontario basic personal amount around 9600 then she does not pay any tax.

    http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/taxcredi…rQuestions.asp
    when I play around on this website, I found out as my mom income increase till like 25000, it does not affect her refund. This website does not tell you any tax you need to pay to CRA as your income increase right?

    So my question is , if I report 9000 rent that I paid to my mom. My mom will receive same amount of
    refund and no tax needs to be paid while I can receive more tax credit refund.

    Also, paying rent to mother is okay to CRA right? is a contract needed or my mom writes a slip would be fine?

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Maureen
      Maureen says:

      Hello Pikachu
      The easiest way to explain this is by saying – if you claim rent expense she needs to claim rent income. There’s more to this than lines on a tax return. The additional amount she would need to claim in income could affect subsidies and credits she should receive. If Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) questions you, or her, regarding this you will need to provide a detailed receipt signed by your mother. I strongly suggest you don’t claim the rent expense without your mother’s approval, and the receipt.
      Maureen

      Reply
  12. john
    john says:

    Hi,

    I came in Canada in june14, and I am paying rent in cash till date but my landlord refused to give any receipt for it now as he told earlier that will provide to me.

    Can I still apply for the trillium benefits as my income was low in last year but I don’t have any rental receipt with me.

    Thanks in advance,

    Reply
    • Maureen
      Maureen says:

      Hello John.
      If you decide to try and claim the credit for rent paid in 2014 there is a strong possibility you will be asked to supply the rent receipts. And if you’ve already received any of the monthly Ontario Trillium Benefit Fund amounts you will have to pay them back. It’s always best to have the agreement of written receipts being supplied by the landlord in your signed rental agreement. Even though a rental agreement cannot be used as a receipt for tax purposes, it gives you some authority in requesting it. I would also suggest getting a receipt as soon as you pay your landlord, whether it’s weekly, monthly or some other time frame.
      Maureen

      Reply
  13. Maureen
    Maureen says:

    What should a rent receipt look like (ie. intended for submitting to CRA if required) for an entire year of renting a room in my home to someone? Is there a form I can find somewhere that I can just fill in and give it to my ‘tenant’?

    Thanks! 🙂

    Reply
  14. Katie
    Katie says:

    Hi!
    I am thinking of going to work in Saudi Arabia for a year. In order to make the tax-free income one must become a non-resident (be out of Canada for more than 183 days per year, give up employment here, severe ties to social groups, cancel bank accounts and OHIP, sell property etc.). I don’t own property, my question is, will the CRA know if I sublet my apartment? Will they know that a rental agreement is still under my name? I will not be making a profit on the sublet, so it won’t be income.
    Thanks,
    Katie

    Reply
    • Maureen
      Maureen says:

      Hi Tina.
      I’m sure it’s been difficult with all your medical conditions to have to fight for these issues. Congratulations on your perseverance and I hope you get the results you’re looking for.
      Maureen

      Reply
    • Maureen
      Maureen says:

      Hi Katie
      CRA, WSIB and other government type organizations have a way of finding obscure information. If you’ve eliminated everything you listed to be classified as a non-resident then I think you should be fine. You could look at the apartment and sublet as a liability, not an asset. But if it was me I would contact CRA and ask them. You don’t have to give your name or social insurance number, as it’s a general question. It’s then up to you on how you want to proceed.
      Maureen

      Reply
  15. Natalie Kando
    Natalie Kando says:

    Hi, I’m a casual babysitter, meaning that I offer childcare outside of my home for a few hours every so often. I typically get paid in cash or with a cheque. How do I record my earnings, and how do I file this? I’m in BC.

    Reply
    • Maureen
      Maureen says:

      Hi Natalie
      You are allowed to make $500 total, in self-employed income annually, without having to report it to CRA. If you’re making more than that I would suggest you complete a T2125 http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pbg/tf/t2125/t2125-fill-14e.pdf when preparing your 2015 tax return. That way you can claim your income and also claim some of the expenses you incur. i.e. travel to the clients, perhaps a small percentage of your cell phone if that’s how your clients contact you. Even if you don’t owe tax based on your income and expenses you really are obligated to report all your income.
      Maureen

      Reply
  16. Macy
    Macy says:

    Hi Maureen,

    If i’m living in ontario and the CRA has requested rent receipts but I am unable to provide them, I know that I will be refunding any money that I have received from them. Does this have a lasting negative impact on my credit rating/history? Will the CRA audit more years from me?

    Reply
    • Maureen
      Maureen says:

      Hi Macy

      You are correct, you will have to refund the CRA with the credit they gave you for your rent expense, plus interest. This issue will not affect your credit rating with companies like TransUnion or Equifax. But you could be at greater risk from the CRA for requests for documentation after filing tax returns going forward, or potential audit.
      Maureen

      Reply
  17. Heathee
    Heathee says:

    My mother passed away in Sep 2014 and left the house to me and my two siblings. Mom was a senior and paid all the property taxes for thar year 2014 prior to her passing. My one sister and her (now) 8 year old daughteer lived with Mom for over 30 years up to the time of death and continues to live in the house until we sell it in Dec 2015. Sis never ever paid or claimed rent to Mom ever. We (all 3 of us) are the executors and have been paying the Mom’s bills and property taxes. My sister is living there rent free. Can any of us claim the property taxes on our 2015 income ta x return?

    Reply
    • Maureen
      Maureen says:

      Hello. The person that is claiming the house as their principal residence can claim the property tax on their tax return if they can show proof of payment. I suggest you speak to a professional tax preparer regarding the length of time it’s taken to sell the house and the implications of your sister living there without paying rent at fair market value.
      Maureen

      Reply
  18. Stephen
    Stephen says:

    Hi Maureen,

    I’m in charge of my late father’s estate and I have to do his final tax return, but I don’t have any rental receipts for his apartment for the current tenant or the previous tenant. How would I claim any rental income if I can’t be sure exactly how much he received? He went a couple of months without a tenant too, so I really have no idea what the value would be. Should I maybe go based on deposits made into his bank account near the beginning of the month or claim nothing?

    Thank you!

    Reply
    • Maureen
      Maureen says:

      Hello Stephen.
      I would ask the current tenant for proof of rent payment, of a copy of the rent agreement. Hopefully the tenant understands the situation you’re in and would want to be helpful. You could also explain that you wouldn’t be able to give a rent receipt for tax purposes without knowing the amount your father received. As for a previous tenant – yes your suggestion of looking at the bank statements to see if there is some consistency with unknown deposits might help. You can always ask the bank for detailed copies of the deposits you’re questioning. I don’t suggest claiming nothing if you know there were paying tenants.

      Maureen

      Reply
  19. colin misner
    colin misner says:

    I`m on Canada pension and claim my rent with proper receipts every year how much of a percentage will I be likely to get back with income of 5500.oo and a rent receipt of 5100.oo for 2015

    Reply
    • Maureen
      Maureen says:

      Hello Colin.
      Rent receipts, or property tax credits, are not refunds. They help you reduce any tax you may owe. Thank you for contacting me but I only do any personal calculations for my customers.

      Reply
  20. Kas
    Kas says:

    So I am having difficulties getting a proper receipt from my ‘landlord’. She gave me an email which she had me believe was a proper receipt however when I got a letter asking for proof from the CRA, I read over their info and realized I did not have a signature on the receipt. So after many emails she tells me her printer doesn’t work so she can’t sign and email a scanned copy, but she wants to charge me for it. I googled if it’s normal to be charged a receipt and I read that they should be free – so I said I need the receipt else I’ll print these emails and say I couldn’t obtain them. She says she’d charge me with threatening her. She informs me that I am just a boarder and those rules don’t apply, so she can charge. I never used her kitchen and from my understanding (stated in emails) we boarders had our own kitchen and bath. The only shared part was the main entrance and laundry room.

    What do I do? Can she actually charge me for a receipt and then charge me with threatening her when I was trying to give her a heads up about what I have to do due to a lack of proper receipt? I’ve asked if we can meet in public since she moved and I do not know how to find her new address she hasn’t responded yet.

    Reply
    • Maureen
      Maureen says:

      Hello Kas,
      You have a number of issues to address here and I will address them in no particular order.
      * Normally a landlord wouldn’t charge for issuing a receipt, but there’s no rule that says she can’t
      * It appears threatening her isn’t going to get you want you want and the CRA’s rules for what they will accept as proof is very specific *Can you supply proof of how you paid her i.e. e-transfer, cheque? If it was cash and you didn’t receive a receipt at that time then I believe your defense stops there *Whether you rented a room or an apartment she is supposed to claim the income on her personal tax return. You in turn, with receipt, could claim the credit on your personal tax return.
      I know it’s currently a very expensive rental market, and the landlords seem to hold all the cards. Going forward try to ensure you have everything in writing and get a receipt when rent is paid. Don’t wait months or a year after the fact.

      Good luck,
      Maureen Burleson
      CPB, Certified QuickBooks Online ProAdvisor

      Reply
  21. Kathy
    Kathy says:

    Hi.
    Hoping you can help me. A friend has CRA knocking on their door. They were paying bills through their personal account on behalf of the company they were a partner to when the company was struggling. They were reimbursed with cash and deposited it to their personal account to pay off the debts the company had incurred. The cash nor expenses were claimed by my friend. CRA wanted to know where the cash came from. My friend explained the situation, that it was reimbursement for expenses and has proof of original invoices/credit card receipts made to the company name to offset the cash deposits. CRA is insisting my friend prove they received the cash from the company. There is animosity between partners and the partners still running the company are, I’m assuming, pretending they didn’t give the cash so that they in turn, don’t have to prove where they got it from. Should the receipts not be proof against the cash that this was the case and shouldn’t CRA be turning their sights back to the original company being audited? What should my friend do now?

    Reply
    • Maureen
      Maureen says:

      I agree that you friend is in a very difficult situation. It sounds like your friend is experiencing a Lifestyle Audit. In simple terms a Lifestyle Audit is performed to determine if a lifestyle exceeds reported income. Some of these audits are triggered by; being in the construction or home renovation industry, income versus postal code, a former spouse files a complaint with CRA… you get the picture. I can suggest a number of options, but the blow back could be worse.

      First your friend has to determine if the penalty and interest the CRA is trying to collect is worth digging into old records and relationships? Specifically those of the partnership. Seven years of tax records must be kept by individuals, partners and corporations.

      Your friend can;
      1) Ask for these, since entitled while a partner
      2) Get a lawyer involved and take the partners to court for all the documentation
      3) Turn the CRA onto the partners as a last resort. Which I don’t recommend. Unless you know the records were a clean set of books you could be opening up a real can of worms, which would include you. And the CRA wouldn’t just be looking at reimbursement for expenses. A payroll and/or GST-HST audit could be triggered. And if penalty or interest owing, could come back to you.

      A lifestyle audit normally only goes back 3 or 4 years, so the demise of the partnership wouldn’t have been that long ago.
      Your friend will have to determine what is in their best interest, considering the time, money and stress making the wrong decision could cause.

      Maureen Burleson
      CPB, Certified QuickBooks Online ProAdvisor

      Reply

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