Friday, March 13, 2015

So you didn't register your PRESTO card, now what?

date:Thu, Mar 12, 2015 at 7:37 AM
subject:Thanks Presto

Hi CJ,

I was getting all the documents together to prepare for the annual onslaught of filing tax returns for each member of my family (five of us) and asked my son, who is still living at home to download his Presto usage for 2014.

He's very computer literate, and called me over when he couldn't see the downloadable usage PDF for 2014. All the other dialogue boxes on that screen worked fine. I told him to call the Presto help line this past Tuesday on his day off to see what the story is.

Here's the response from Presto:

"Sorry, but you didn't register your card by January 31st of this year and you're out of luck. We can't do anything for you. Goodbye."

He's been using his card since last May (since graduating community college), and really had no need to register his card because he always pays cash or debit when he tops up. 
We're talking about a $1500 usage of his Presto card that he won't be able to claim.

Any of your loyal followers encounter this problem?


from:Cindy (Cj) Smith
date:Thu, Mar 12, 2015 at 7:49 AM
subject:Re: Thanks Presto

Do you mean not registering the card or not understanding that the card has to be registered to claim the credit?
You're the first! But I'm sure there are hundreds more.
I would claim the money anyway. If you get audited asking for the report, download your son's banking statements or get all the receipts that would have been emailed to you when you loaded the card online. Try to find any evidence you have the proves you actively put money on that card since May.
The transit report just makes things easier but it doesn't mean because you don't have one, you are ineligible for the credit.
It just means you have to provide more or alternative documentation to prove the expense. 

to:Cindy Cj Smith
date:Thu, Mar 12, 2015 at 7:57 AM
subject:RE: Thanks Presto

He never registered the card at all after he got it. He just kept going to the kiosk to top it up. I don't think registering the card was a priority.

He's going to go in to Toronto a little earlier tomorrow to plead his case to Presto at Union. If that fails, we'll follow your suggestions.

rom:Cindy (Cj) Smith
date:Thu, Mar 12, 2015 at 8:00 AM
subject:RE: Thanks Presto

I totally understand.
How did he pay? Debit?
If so, print out the transactions on his bank account since May.
With TD I can look at my account month by month and I can download to a spreadsheet.
I really don't think they're going to be helpful but tell him I wish him luck!

to:Cindy Cj Smith
date:Thu, Mar 12, 2015 at 8:05 AM
subject:RE: Thanks Presto

Hi Cindy,

My wife works for RBC and I just go her to do exactly what you suggested below.
All the transactions are there, and she can spit them out if needed.

from:Cindy (Cj) Smith
date:Thu, Mar 12, 2015 at 8:07 AM
subject:RE: Thanks Presto

Add them up and claim it!

Hold on! Before you comment!

I am aware this may or may not work but I have in my possession notes from a phone call I had with a Revenue Canada agent in the Fall about supporting the claim when I thought they were outright rejecting my transit usage report. I asked how else I could prove it. 

The agent said, and I quote, "If the electronic receipt from PRESTO is showing you added money to the card online and you can support through documentation that you used those funds to take the eligible amount of trips, it would be considered. It doesn't mean we would accept it but it would be considered."

What about a bank statement?

"Normally  we don't consider a bank statement a valid receipt. But if the statement identifies the transit agency or the name of the fare card, it would be considered as a means to support the claim."

So would I have to itemize the trips on a spreadsheet and prove each deposit was used to pay for my trips? How do I prove the fare amount to support 32 one way trips. Would it help if I printed out one of my transaction reports from PRESTO to show the fare calculation?

"I would suggest you send in everything you have that could prove you are a PRESTO cardholder, that you spent money on the card and demonstrate an amount that would support the debit. If you can satisfy the claim, you will be eligible for the credit."


Squiggles said...

This is one of the reasons I save the receipts from the top ups. And I always top up at a wicket.

My reasoning: If I wasn't using the card, why would I consistantly be putting money on it?

It is also why I PDF the monthly transaction history. Anything and everything to make things easy if I am audited.

Here's hoping things work out for BB and that the son had registered his card!

Anonymous said...

Tax auditors are such wonks...

Anonymous said...

I just don't get why it needs to be registered in order to get the usage report. Isn't using it enough to get a usage report?

Bicky said...

Ditto what Squiggles said. I PDF both the detailed report and monthly summary ones. I also keep my Presto receipts when I top up at the window.

But not registering the card is foolish. What if the card was lost or stolen? SOL, my friend. All that moola on it is now in the hands of the finder-keeper.

Hope BB's son registers his card.

KM said...

I rarely top up online since I realize too late in the game that funds are getting low. But I register my card in case I ever lose it/ it gets stolen! Then I still have access to my funds. :) Hope they get it all sorted out!

Anonymous said...

States right in the presto broucher your card MUST be registered in order to claim it for tax purposes...

C.J. Smith said...

I'll ask if the broucher was included at the time of purchase. But first, can you tell you more about this broucher?

Anonymous said...

Of course, why would you not register the card? It's a no brainer, especially if you lose the card.

Michael Suddard said...

So let me get this straight:

Presto says they can't put our names on the TUR reports even when our names our required to register. But these reports are still valid because they have a "unique identifier" on them. Yet without our names registered by a certain date they can't issue the TUR report? Yup, sounds right!