After filing your taxes in Canada, the next question on your mind might be how long it will take to receive your tax refund. The good news is that if you choose direct deposit as your method of receiving your refund, it can significantly speed up the wait time compared to traditional mail-in refunds.

Typically, for a direct deposit refund, you can expect to receive your money within two weeks of filing your return. This is a vast improvement compared to the 4-6 weeks it can take for a paper check refund to arrive in the mail.

However, there are some factors that could affect how long it takes to get your tax refund back via direct deposit. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) advises that if you file your taxes electronically, your refund will take approximately eight business days to process.

How long does it take to get your tax refund back direct deposit in canada
How long does it take to get your tax refund back direct deposit in canada?

But if you decide to file a paper return, you’ll be looking at a longer wait period of four to six weeks. It’s essential to note that these timelines can vary depending on the volume of returns that the CRA is processing at any given time.

Another factor that could affect your refund timeline is if there are any errors or discrepancies in your tax return. In such cases, the CRA will need to review and verify your information, which can delay the refund process. This is why it’s crucial to ensure that you double-check all your information before submitting your tax return.

If you’re wondering why it takes longer to receive a paper check refund, it’s because of the manual processing involved. With direct deposit, the entire process is automated, which helps speed up the wait time.

Additionally, direct deposit is considered a more secure and convenient way of receiving your refund as there is less risk of your check getting lost or stolen in the mail.

Related post: Why is it useful to have your bank account and routing numbers when using tax preparation software?

Now let’s take a closer look at the steps involved in receiving your tax refund via direct deposit:

Step 1: Filing Your Tax Return

The first step in getting your refund back is, of course, filing your tax return. This involves gathering all your necessary documents and filling out the appropriate forms accurately.

Depending on your specific tax situation, this can be a straightforward or more complex process. It’s always recommended to seek professional assistance if you’re unsure about any aspect of filing your taxes.

Step 2: Choosing Direct Deposit as Your Refund Method

Once you’ve completed and submitted your tax return, the next step is selecting direct deposit as your preferred method of receiving your refund. This can be done either through online tax software or by indicating it on your paper tax return.

Step 3: Verifying and Processing Your Return

After the CRA receives your tax return, they will verify all the information to ensure its accuracy. If there are any discrepancies or errors, this could delay the processing time. It’s essential to keep in mind that the CRA receives a high volume of returns during tax season, so it’s not uncommon for there to be some delays.

Step 4: Receiving Your Refund

Once your return is processed and verified, the CRA will issue your refund via direct deposit. You should receive an email notification confirming that your refund has been deposited into your designated bank account. If you opted for a paper check refund, you’ll receive it in the mail.

It’s important to note that refunds can be subject to review at any time by the CRA, so it’s crucial to keep all your tax documents and receipts for at least six years. If there are any discrepancies in your return, the CRA may request additional information or documentation to support your claim.

It’s also important to note that if you owe any outstanding taxes or have any other debts with the government, the CRA may use a portion or all of your refund to pay off these amounts. In such cases, you will receive a notice outlining how much of your refund was applied to your debts.


In conclusion, the time it takes to receive your tax refund back via direct deposit in Canada can vary depending on several factors. However, by choosing this method of receiving your refund and ensuring that all the information on your return is accurate, you can significantly speed up the process and have your money in hand within two weeks.

Remember to keep a record of all your tax documents and receipts, and if you have any questions or concerns about your refund, don’t hesitate to contact the CRA for assistance. Happy filing!

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