What is a Notice of Assessment NOA in Canada?

A notice of assessment (NOA) is a document the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) issues to you after processing your tax return.

Everyone who files a tax return receives a notice of assessment.

The notice of assessment shows details about a tax refund you may receive or taxes owing.

The timeline to receive an NOA depends on the method you use to file your tax return and if you provided the required supporting documentation. 

The notice of assessment is an important tax document that you need to keep safe.

However, you can contact the CRA to get a current copy or previous copies of your notice of assessment.

If you need to challenge any information on your notice of assessment, you have 90 days from when you receive the assessment to do this.

You can file a formal objection online or via mail stating the reasons for your objection.

Information on a Notice of Assessment

Your notice of assessment will show if you have any balances owing from the current tax year or previous years.

It also provides information about the deduction limit and contribution room for your registered retirement savings plan.

Your notice of assessment will include the following:

1. Your Account Summary

The account summary section of your notice of assessment provides your tax return details after being assessed or reassessed by the CRA. 

This section describes if you will receive any money from the CRA as a refund, if you have a zero balance, or if you need to pay taxes to the CRA.

The amount you see in your account summary will also include any balances you’ve owed from previous years.

2. Your Tax Assessment Summary

The tax assessment summary section shows the line details on how the Canada Revenue Agency calculates your tax return.

If the CRA has made any changes or applied any tax penalties or interest to your owed balances, you can find the related information in this section.

3. Explanation of Changes and Other Important Information

The CRA makes changes based on the information you have provided to them through your tax return and any other information in their records.

To have your tax return assessed correctly, you need to provide updated information to the CRA.

If the Canada Revenue Agency makes any changes to your tax return, they will provide the details of such changes in this section.

4. RRSP Deduction Limit Statement

This section shows your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) deduction limit and how much contribution room you have for the following year.

The RRSP deduction limit statement reports how the CRA calculates the deduction limit for your registered retirement savings plan based on the information in your tax return, such as your income and deductions claimed.

You need to know your RRSP contribution room to avoid over-contributing to your RRSP and incurring the 1% tax on over-contributions.

If you participated in the home buyer’s plan or the lifelong learning plan, you can find details of any amounts you owe and the minimum repayment amounts for the following year in this section.

Information on your home buyer’s loan or lifelong learning plan is essential as this helps you to pay any balances owing and avoid interest charges.

Guy reviewing his CRA notice of assessment

Accessing Your Notice of Assessment

Generally, when you file your tax return, the Canada Revenue Agency will send you a notice of assessment within two to eight weeks from when they receive it, depending on the method you use to file your return.

If you need to get a copy of your notice of assessment, you can access it online through your CRA My Account profile or the web app.

Alternatively, you can request your NOA via the phone by providing your personal details such as name and address, social insurance number, a previously assessed return, or notice of assessment.

Why is the Lender Asking for my NOA?

A lender may ask for your notice of assessment or tax return to show proof of your income and ensure that you do not owe taxes to the Canada Revenue Agency.

Self-employed individuals or entrepreneurs who do not have regularly scheduled pay cheques may need to provide a notice of assessment to apply for loans such as a mortgage. 

Sometimes, lenders also request a proof of income statement document, which you can also obtain from the Canada Revenue Agency.

The proof of income statement shows a simple version of your tax assessment or reassessment and provides an overview of your income, less deductions for the year.

You may also need a proof of income statement to apply for a government benefit or subsidy.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is notice of assessment the same as a tax return?
  • How long does it take to get your NOA from CRA?

Adeola is a Chartered Accountant and business finance professional. She is very passionate about financial literacy and education. When she’s not crunching numbers, she loves spending time with family.