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How to Change a Canadian Income Tax Return


Review the Notice of Assessment from the Canada Revenue Agency. The Notice of Assessment will aid in determining if a change is necessary. This will also prevent the agency from holding up the tax review process, if they get a hold of the change before the review is complete. Quirky, but it happens.


Determine if the income tax change can be made by mail or online. If the change is for the current or previous tax year, it's likely that the income tax change can be made online. For example, if the current year is 2010, online changes can be made for the 2008 and 2009 tax years only. Prior year requests must be made through the mail.


Register online for a Government of Canada epass to gain access to "My Account" tax service. After creating a user name, password and answering three secure questions, a CRA Security Code will be mailed to you. Upon receipt, log into and choose "Change Tax Return" option. Make the adjustment to the appropriate tax return.


Write a letter or fill out a T1 Adjustment Request Form to mail a change for a Canadian income tax return. Use this option to keep written proof of correspondence, tracking or if the online option is not available. Incidentally, if the change to the tax return is further back than the previous two tax years, the change can only be made through written correspondence.

Tips and Warnings

  • Income tax return changes can be made up to ten years back through mail.
  • If registered on the Canada Revenue Agency website, you can elect to receive the Notice of Assessment online through Click Revenue electronic services.
  • The further back the change, the greater the likelihood that the income tax change must be made through the mail.

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