Revenu Québec and the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) are well-known institutions for many individuals and businesses that pay their taxes in Quebec each year. After you file your tax returns, you’ll need to settle any outstanding tax payments. A notice of assessment will be sent to that effect.
But what is a notice of assessment, exactly? How can it help your business? What should you do once you receive it?
Find answers to all of these questions in this article.
What is a notice of assessment?
Revenu Québec and the CRA generally follow the same procedures when it comes to tax returns. Once the returns are submitted, the authorities send a notice of assessment of the taxes.
This document contains several elements that are relevant to the individual or company being taxed:
- The details of your Revenue Québec or CRA account
- The date and amount of your last tax return
- The details of the current tax statement, to be communicated to the authority in question if an issue arises
- The notice’s message and the action required from the recipient (if any)
Provincial and federal notices of assessment confirm the information provided in the tax return and inform the individual or business in question of any action they need to take to settle their account.
Generally, this will be a notice of remaining taxes that must be paid to settle your account, or notice of a tax refund. Whether there are amounts outstanding will depend on the earnings declared and the sums that have already been paid in taxes.
Living or doing business in Quebec means paying taxes to Revenu Québec and the CRA. Each institution sends a separate notice of assessment according to its own tax rate.
How to get a notice of assessment in Quebec
You will automatically receive a notice of assessment after filing your tax return. This should occur on an annual basis.
Generally, Revenu Québec issues a notice of assessment 14 days after you file your tax return online. If the return was filed by mail, then the notice of assessment will be sent to you approximately 28 days after the return is received. Note that this time frame may vary depending on current circumstances in the province and the country.
Where to find the Revenu Québec notice of assessment number
The notice of assessment number serves as a sort of identification for your tax return. It is additional proof provided by Revenu Québec.
To find your notice of assessment number, look for a combination of 11 characters (numbers and letters) in the top right corner of the document. The notice of assessment number will always start with an “M” or a “Q”.
What to do when you receive a notice of assessment from the provincial or federal government
As mentioned above, you should receive your notice of assessment within a few weeks (if filing electronically) or close to a month (if filing by mail) after filing your tax return.
Once you receive the notice, you are required to pay the amount requested, if any. You may receive a tax refund if you have paid too much in taxes or if you receive financial assistance from Revenu Québec or the CRA.
You can use your tax refund to pay a debt to another public institution, such as the Société d’habitation du Québec or other social assistance centres.
Note that your notice of assessment can also be sent electronically upon request.
What to do if you lose your notice of assessment
Sometimes, even important documents get lost. If you lose your notice of assessment, don’t panic! Revenu Québec has planned for such situations and has made it easy for taxpayers to request a new copy.
Simply go to My Account for individuals or My Account for businesses and fill out the request for a new copy of your assessment.
What happens if I am behind in my taxes?
Filing your taxes late may result in interest and penalties being charged on the corresponding notice of assessment.
If you are late settling the amount in your notice of assessment or multiple notices, you may be subject to a more serious penalty—an arbitrary notice of assessment.
This is a response to your unanswered notices of assessment and shows the total balance you owe the tax authority. On top of that, there’s a hefty interest charge and penalties.
It’s best not to ignore this arbitrary notice, otherwise you could find yourself in even more serious trouble with Revenu Québec or the CRA!
Do you need to keep notices of assessment?
It is important to keep your federal and provincial notices of assessment because they are proof that you have filed your income tax returns with the appropriate tax authorities. Whether you are an individual or a business, it’s vital to keep these documents in a safe place.
Notices of assessment may be requested when you apply for credit or a mortgage. For institutions, it is proof of your reliability and your ability to pay. It is a certificate indicating that you have properly filed your tax returns and a way of verifying whether you have any outstanding tax debts with Revenu Québec or the Canada Revenue Agency, something that banks do not appreciate in potential clients.
Do you have questions about your notice of assessment in Quebec?
The notice of assessment is the final step in the annual tax process, and it’s important to remember to settle it in order to avoid penalties and interest. If you aren’t sure how to proceed, you can always call on T2inc’s corporate accountants for help.
Contact us to put your tax concerns to rest!
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