Tax time can be a hectic part of the year. Fortunately, there’s plenty you can do to get ready. Check out these tips to get through the season without breaking a sweat.
1. Get ready. Everything you need to know to do your taxes, including important due dates, is available here.
2. Do your taxes on time — and online. If you owe taxes, file your return and pay on time to avoid late-filing penalties and interest. If you don’t owe taxes, you should still do your taxes on time to receive your Canada child benefit and GST/HST credit payments without delay. If you’re expecting a refund, it can be in your bank account in as little as eight days if you file online and sign up for direct deposit.
You can prepare your return yourself using the “auto-fill my return” service to fill in parts of your return, available in some NETFILE-certified tax preparation software programs when you are registered in the Canada Revenue Agency’s My Account. Check out the CRA website to see certified products — you may also be eligible for free software.
3. Claim your deductions, benefits and credits. Learn about the deductions, benefits and credits you may be eligible for on the CRA website. These include child and family benefits, credits for medical expenses and charitable donations, the disability tax credit, and more.
4. Get help. If you have a modest income and simple tax situation and need help completing your return, many community organizations host free tax preparation clinics that can help. The Community Volunteer Income Tax Program is a great resource that helps thousands for free every year.
5. Ask for a payment plan. Some taxpayers may not be able to pay all their taxes by the due date. If you owe taxes but can’t pay, you may be able to set up a payment arrangement to pay in smaller amounts over time.