Canada's tax agency says nearly 9 million Canadians are owed some sort of government cash, and it's going to send out reminders starting this month to tens of thousands of people to let them know.
The Canada Revenue Agency said Monday that it has roughly $1.4 billion worth of uncashed cheques on its books, some of which has been owed as far back as 1998. As of May, 8.9 million Canadians had some sort of uncashed cheque attached to their name. The average amount owed is $158, the tax agency said.
"We want to make sure this money ends up where it belongs. In taxpayers' pockets!" the tax agency said.
The tax agency said it will soon notify roughly 25,000 recipients of the Canada child benefit and related provincial/territorial programs, GST/HST credit and Alberta Energy Tax Refund if they are owed money. Another group of 25,000 will be notified in November, and another group in May 2023.
While the tax agency handles billions of dollars in taxes and rebates ever year, not all of it makes it into the hands of Canadians who are entitled to it, mostly due to people either losing the cheques, or changing addresses, meaning they never received it in the first place.
The CRA started working on its backlog of uncashed cheques in February 2020, and since then it said it has returned $802 million to taxpayers who were owed money and didn't know it.
The CRA said Canadians can check if they have uncashed payments by logging in to or signing up for an online CRA account.