The deadline to file your income tax and benefit return is fast approaching. Most Canadian income tax and benefit returns for 2015 are due on April 30, 2016. However, as this date is a Saturday, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will consider your return as filed on time and your payment to be made on time if the CRA receives your submission or it is postmarked by midnight on May 2, 2016.
Haven’t filed your return yet? Don’t panic! Here are some tips to make last-minute filing easier:
- File your return online for free –The CRA has a list of certified software packages and web applications to fit all budgets, including ones that are free.
- Use Auto-fill my return – You can use the new Auto-fill my return service if you’re fully registered for My Account and file online using certified tax preparation software that includes the service. This makes online filing even simpler, by allowing you to automatically fill in parts of your return with information on file at the CRA, including your T3,T4, and T5 slips.
- File on time – Even if you cannot pay all of your balance owing for 2015, you should still file your return on time to avoid a late-filing penalty. The penalty is 5% of your 2015 balance owing, plus 1% of your balance owing for each full month your return is late, to a maximum of 12 months. You should still file on time even if some income slips or receipts are missing.
- Explore payment arrangements – If you cannot pay all of your balance owing for 2015 before the payment due date, consider making a payment arrangement. If you are eligible, a payment arrangement will let you make smaller payments over time until you pay the whole balance. To set up a pre-authorized debit agreement, use My Account or call us at 1-888-863-8657.
- Pay electronically – Did you know you can choose to make your tax payments online? There are several payment methods to choose from, including online banking, Interac Online, Visa Debit, and pre-authorized debit from your account at a financial institution. For more information, watch our video Change it up: Pay your taxes online.
- Visit a Community Volunteer Income Tax Program clinic – If you need help, have modest income and a simple tax situation, volunteers from the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program may be able to prepare and file your tax return for you. To find a clinic near you and to determine your eligibility, go to www.cra.gc.ca/volunteer.
- Register for My Account – My Account is a secure portal that lets you view your income tax and benefit information, and manage your tax affairs online. It’s convenient, easy to use, and secure. Once you’re fully registered, My Account lets you view your detailed notice of assessment or reassessment, the status of your return, your personalized benefit and credit information and much more. Register for My Account today.
- Change your return – You will have to wait to receive your notice of assessment from the CRA before you can make a change to your return, but it’s easy to make a correction if you realize after filing it that you made a mistake. For more information, go to www.cra.gc.ca/changereturn.
- And remember, filing a tax return is key to receiving benefits!