Filing your income tax and benefit return on paper

If you filed on paper last year, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will automatically mail you the 2021 income tax package by February 21, 2022.

The package you will receive includes:

  • a letter from the Minister of National Revenue and the Commissioner of Revenue
  • the Federal Income Tax and Benefit Guide
  • an information guide for your province or territory (except for the province of Quebec)
  • two copies of the income tax and benefit return
  • Form 428 for your provincial or territorial tax (except for the province of Quebec)
  • File my Return invitation letter and information sheet, if you’re eligible for the service
  • personalized inserts or forms, depending on your eligibility
  • a return envelope

If you haven’t received your package by February 21, you can:

It can take up to 10 business days for publications and forms to arrive by mail.

Consider filing online to avoid delays

If you choose to file by paper, file before the deadline to avoid any interruptions to any benefit and credit payments. Our service standard is to issue your notice within two weeks of receiving your digital return. Due to COVID-19, the CRA may take 10 to 12 weeks to process paper returns. The CRA will process them in the order they are received. Taxpayers who file electronically and who are signed up for direct deposit may get their refund in as little as eight business days. 

We encourage you to file your taxes online and sign up for direct deposit and My Account early. Filing online is the fastest and easiest way to do your taxes. If you’re registered for My Account, you can also use Auto-fill my return to quickly fill in parts of your return with information the CRA has on file. Filing online also helps you get your refund faster and avoid any delays. If you’re registered for direct deposit, you’ll receive your payments without delay.

You can file as early as February 21, 2022 with NETFILE. If you chose to file online using NETFILE, you’ll need an eight-character alphanumeric access code before filing. This unique code can be found to the right, beneath the Notice details box on the first page of your notice of assessment. Your access code will let you use information from your 2020 tax return when confirming your identity with the CRA. Your access code isn’t mandatory, but without it you’ll have to rely on other information for authentication purposes.

The CRA has a list of NETFILE-certified tax preparation software to help you with your taxes, some of which are free. You may also be able to make online changes to your T1 tax return using the ReFILE service directly from your EFILE or NETFILE certified tax preparation software, or with our Change my return service available in My Account.

Filing online is fast, easy, and convenient.

Visit the Get ready to do your taxes web page for 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.

Need help or have questions on filing your income tax and benefit return?

If you have a modest income and a simple tax situation, volunteers at a free tax clinic may be able to complete your tax return. Free tax clinics are available in-person or virtually. Find out about the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (or the Income Tax Assistance – Volunteer Program in the province of Quebec) by going to canada.ca/taxes-help.

If you have a lower or fixed income, you may be eligible to use File my Return. This service will let you file your return by answering a series of short questions through a secure, dedicated, and automated telephone service. If you filed a paper return last year and are eligible to use File my Return, you’ll receive an invitation letter with the 2021 income tax package sent by the CRA. Starting February 21, 2022, you can use File my Return to quickly file your return by phone.

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