I did not know that the Government of Canada had made the decision to stop issuing cheques. Now that I’ve heard, it makes a lot of sense. In the past, I’ve received cheques for income tax refunds, GST rebates and Universal Child Care amounts. Other payments may include CPP pension amounts, old age security, GIS or veterans benefits.

Early on, I requested direct deposit, so that I would quickly and safely receive my government payments in my bank account. The benefit is that cheques are never late or lost. The only downside is that the one time I changed banks in the last five years, I had to notify the government. Having said that, I didn’t need to notify them when I moved and changed my mailing address, and the direct deposits kept coming.

From the government’s perspective, direct deposit is cheaper and safer. Rather than printing cheques and paying postage, they can distribute it via banks and ensure the money is getting to the right person. So I understand their push to get the word out to all Canadians that they will no longer be issuing paper cheques.

With tax season upon us, now is the ideal time to make any changes to your account with the Government of Canada. Verify your address and marital status and enrol for direct deposit before you complete your tax return. You verify information about you by phoning 1-800-714-7257 or by accessing CRA’s My Account at www.cra.gc.ca/myaccount. You can also find your RRSP contribution limit and TFSA room there.

I expect that most of my readers are already enrolled for direct deposit. May I suggest that you talk with older family members and even offer to help them enrol, if needed. The government has set up a dedicated website, and provided this fancy infographic:

26360_PEWGSC_DD_Enrolment_infographic_EN_v2

PSA: Direct Deposit

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