Friday, March 9, 2012

Be prepared to have problems with the CRA in regards to Presto transit usage reports

The CRA accepted 2011 Presto usage reports without any problems according to several readers who wrote in after May 2012.


I called Presto to complain about the nightmare that is the transit usage reports, indicating how by using those reports it is not possible to 100% determine how much per month that I spent. She informed me that these 'transit usage reports' are NOT official tax receipts and that I should visit the CRA website to determine exactly what I need as an official tax receipt for my transit expenses.

From the CRA Website:

To make a claim, you need:
  • the passes,
  • or the receipts for the passes,
  • or a letter from her employer if her employer participates in a transit pass program.
(For example) Felicia has all her passes, and she just needs to make sure the pass displays:
  • an indication that it is monthly or longer
  • the date or period it was for
  • the name of the transit authority or organization
  • the amount paid
  • and the identity of the rider by name or unique identifier.
The CSR said what I should have been doing is printing off the monthly usage reports each month last year!!! Well fuckyouverymuch and thanks, PRESTO, for telling us that LAST YEAR!!! Especially since one can only go back 3 months on the site. CSR says, 'Ya, I think there was a miscommunication maybe on our part'. I said "No shit Sherlock".


- Pissed off Presto User


Squiggles said...


The whole reason people were waiting with bated breath for those useless reports was to use them for tax purposes.

Glad I already figured that at the end of each month (aka Day 2 of the next) I was going to print out the usage report and staple my receipts to it to use at tax time.

Especially when you consider that the responses keep changing to different questions. Including the whole "Not going to cost more than a monthly pass" now becomes "within pennies difference". Which for one person can add up to 11 dollars a year. Not that big a deal, but multiply that across the system and they are rolling in it. THEN have the nerve to force the switch on everyone.

Now, I am cranky. And it was a good and productive Friday so far.

Bicky said...

Yeah, glad I printed off my report for October last year (the one month I tried out PRESTO).

I also mentioned printing them off for each month in another post about PRESTO.

And boy did they get a piece of my mind when I did the PRESTO website survey from "Let GO Know".

Dumbasses. They are beyond dingbats.

Jenn Jilks said...

love your tweets, Cin. Most of the time I don't know what you're talking about. I usually chuckle with you. This is just plain substandard.

Harith said...

Oh, fuck that noise.

Harith said...

Oh, and look, I can't get to the Presto site right now, just when I wanted to look at their wording regarding tax returns. I'm pretty sure they made it sound _exactly_ like you can use the document they released this month.

Harith said...

OK, thanks to the google cache I was able to get to the FAQ:

Will I qualify for the Federal Public Transit Tax Credit?

Yes, provided that:

Your PRESTO card is registered.
Following registration, you have taken at least 32 one-way trips on a single transit agency’s system within any 4 week period.

Beginning March 1st, sign-in to your online account to access your transit usage report for the year. Your transit usage is reported weekly by transit agency.

NOWHERE does it state that I need to do anything else.

Fuck you, Presto. Fuck you.

TomW said...

I'm heading to H&R Block next week - I'm looking forward to seeing what an actual tax professional makes of the usage report...

Al said...

but the CRA website says this?
Electronic payment cards if:
the card is used to make at least 32 one-way trips during an uninterrupted period not exceeding 31 days; and
the card is issued by a public transit authority that records and provides a receipt for the cost and usage of the card.

I havent really scanned the presto usuage reports but it shows how many rides in a week, cant I just claim the total dollar amount at the bottom of the reciept?

P.S Im in sunny Florida.

Anonymous said...

What a useless pile of red tape bullsh!t. Not impressed Presto, and for that matter GO Transit. Not impressed.

kary said...

I don't think the year-end report will be an issue. It is a weekly report, and you just need to have 32 trips within each 4 week period (consecutive) It does not have to be a calendar month. So if you are averaging 8 trips per each consecutive week on that yearly report you should be good. It's easy enough to figure out how much you spent each 4 week period, but you don't need to anyway.
I'm not an expert by any means, but that is my interpretation based on the CRA's website.

freaky_kel said...

CRA website says "the card is issued by a public transit authority that records and provides a receipt for the cost and usage of the card."
presto's website says PRESTO is an electronic fare collection system. so the presto card is not issued by GO, it's issued by Presto and it's not Go who records and provides cost and usage of the card...Presto does!
and to top all this off...GO's website says "Please note that not all transit systems’ passes meet all the conditions for claiming the credit"....this is a bullshit!

Yawar said...

So what ultimately happened? Did everyone get their tax returns as promised from Presto? I just claimed the amount that was on my year-end transit usage report from Presto and as far as I could tell, the CRA agreed with that amount.

C.J. Smith said...

CRA accepted the reports without complaints

TonyC. said...

The Presto usage report does not address eligibility for tax credits, regardless of accuracy.

The CRA requirement is for at least 32 trips in a 31 day or less uninterrupted period.

Presto usage reports do not address this requirement. It is up to the tax preparer to figure it out.

Yawar said...

@TonyC: If that's true, it is kinda douchey of Presto to issue a year-end usage report ostensibly for tax purposes that doesn't actually tell you straight up how much you can claim. But, I guess we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

TonyC. said...

Since GO has gotten rid of monthly passes for 2013, and never had weekly passes anyway, the only way a regular commuter can qualify for the Transit Tax Credit is through use of the Presto Card.

The current CRA requirement is for at least 32 trips in 31 days or less of UNINTERRUPTED use.

This means that most GO riders will not qualify for the credit, unlike when they had a monthly pass.

C.J. Smith said...

I'm the author of this post.

The CRA accepted my 2011 and 2012 transit usage reports as is with no problems. I've gone through two tax years with Presto.

If you use GO for more than 16 days in a month, taking the train to and from the same station to the same station, you qualify for the credit.

Anonymous said...

I was audited by CRA for the public transit claim. I submitted the Presto usage report and got denied. I have no idea how they calculate the 32 trip out of 31 days as the usage report was all based one 1 week period. I use Go every day so I don't know how CRA reached their conclusion. They probably should hire people that can actually do simple math.

Chris Williams said...

I spoke to Revenue Canada and the issue is their Computer System is flawed and they do not have adequate budget to fix it. Please share this link with your federal leader in hopes they will resolve this issue.