Filing your income tax and benefit return on paper

Due to possible delays caused by COVID-19, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) may take 10 to 12 weeks to process paper returns

We encourage you to use our digital services and file online this year. Filing online improves how fast your assessment is processed and how quickly you will receive refund or payments you are owed.

If you filed your return on paper last year, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will mail you the 2020 Income tax package. The package has everything you need to file your taxes on time without you leaving your home. The mailed package should arrive by February 19, 2021, but may arrive later due to COVID-19 delivery delays. We appreciate your patience.

To get the forms by mail, your return must have been processed and your address with the CRA must have been updated before December 1, 2020.

Consider filing online to avoid delays

COVID-19 may cause delays in processing paper returns, and processing changes to your return, as well as delivering notices of (re)assessment and cheques in the mail. The CRA will process paper returns and any changes requested in the order it receives them.

Since these delays do not impact the processing of electronic returns, the CRA encourages you to file your 2020 return or any adjustments online. This will help you get any refund faster and avoid interruptions to any benefit and credit payments. If you are registered for direct deposit, you will receive your payments without delay.

You can file as early as February 22, 2021 with NETFILE. The CRA has a list of NETFILE certified tax preparation software to help you with your taxes, some of which are free. You can also request changes to your return using the ReFILE service with your certified tax preparation software or the Change my return service available in My Account.

Filing online is fast, easy, and convenient.

Visit the Get Ready webpage for tax tips, to see what you need to know before you file your taxes, and to learn about deadlines, new benefits and credits, and other helpful tax-filing information.

If you are registered for My Account, you can also use Auto-fill my return to quickly fill in parts of your return with information that the CRA has on file.

If you haven’t receive the 2020 Income tax package you can:

It can take up to 10 business days for the 2020 Income tax package to arrive by mail. There may be delays because of COVID-19.

The Income tax package includes:

  • a letter from the Minister of National Revenue and the Commissioner of Revenue
  • the 2020 Income Tax Package, which includes
    • the Federal Income Tax and Benefit Guide
    • a provincial or territorial information guide (not for the Province of Quebec)
    • two copies of the Income Tax and Benefit Return (includes Schedule 1)
    • Form 428 for provincial or territorial tax (not for the Province of Quebec)
    • File my Return invitation letter and information sheet, depending on eligibility
  • personalized inserts or forms, depending on eligibility
  • a return envelope

Important notice

Please remember to file by the deadline to avoid interruptions or delays to your benefit payments including the Canada child benefit, GST/HST credit, related provincial and territorial benefit programs, child disability benefit, old age security pension, or guaranteed income supplement. 

Need help with your taxes or have tax questions?

If you have a modest income and a simple tax situation, a volunteer may be able to do your taxes for free through the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program. This year, volunteers may be able to complete and file your taxes virtually by videoconference, by phone, or through a document drop-off arrangement.

Get answers to frequently asked questions about filing your taxes, go to canada.ca/cra-questions-answers

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