Alberta, tax-filing season starts today!
February 21, 2022 Edmonton, Alberta Canada Revenue Agency
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is committed to making sure residents of Alberta get the benefits and credits they are entitled to. Due to the continued challenges of COVID-19, this will be another unique tax-filing season. We are continuously working to improve and adapt our services to meet your tax-filing needs and to provide options for a seamless experience when interacting with us.
This tax-filing season, why not join the 90% of Alberta residents who filed their 2020 taxes online? When combining online filing with direct deposit, you can receive your tax refund in as little as eight business days. Last year, over 14 million refunds were issued by direct deposit to Canadian taxpayers.
What is the advantage of filing an income tax and benefit return? Last year, Canadians received an average tax refund of $1,895 per income tax and benefit return and an average of $6,690 in Canada child benefit (CCB) payments. In order to receive the benefits and credits you may be entitled to, such as the CCB, GST/HST credit, related provincial benefits, child disability benefit, Climate action incentive or guaranteed income supplement, you need to file an income tax and benefit return – even if you have no income to report for 2021 or if your income is tax exempt.
We know that everyone has a unique tax-filing situation. As such, we’d like to share tailored information that can help you file your income tax and benefit return.
Let us help you get started
Mark your calendar – The deadline for most Canadians to file their income tax and benefit return for their 2021 taxes is April 30, 2022. Because this date is a Saturday, your return will be considered filed on time if the CRA receives it or it is postmarked on or before May 2, 2022. Similarly, your payment will be considered made on time if it is received by the CRA or processed at a Canadian financial institution on or before May 2, 2022.
Get ready – Visit our Get ready to do your taxes webpage for the latest tax and COVID-19 benefit information that you need to file your income tax and benefit return. Last year, it was visited by over one million taxpayers and was our most viewed webpage.
Register for My Account – Over 1.8 million Alberta residents are already registered with My Account. This secure portal lets you update your personal information, such as home address, direct deposit information, marital status, and more. If you are registered for My Account, you can also use digital services such as Auto-fill my return and Express NOA (Notice of Assessment) in certified tax-filing software. Business owners can also sign up for My Business Account.
As of February 7, 2022, you are required to provide an email address to use My Account. You will receive an email notification if important information, such as your address or direct deposit information, has been changed on CRA records. These notifications can act as an early warning about potential fraudulent activity.
Learn about your taxes – Questions about the filing of your return? Don’t worry! We have launched a new online tool to help you learn about taxes so you can do them on your own. Go to Learn about your taxes for more information.
Need help filing your taxes? – If you have a modest income, a simple tax situation, and require assistance, a Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP) volunteer may be able to complete and file your tax return for free. Services are currently being offered both in-person and through virtual means such as video-conferencing. To find a clinic, please visit our Free tax clinics web page. CVITP helped over 63,000 Alberta residents file last year.
T4A information slips – If you received taxable COVID-19 benefits in 2021, such as the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB), Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) and Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB), you will need to enter the total amount you received on your return. A T4A information slip will be mailed to you by the end of February 2022. T4A information slips from the Government of Canada for COVID-19-related benefits will also be provided online if you’re registered for My Account and have full access. T4A information slips, including information for COVID-19-related benefits, are also available through the Auto-fill my return service in certified tax filing software.
Targeted interest relief – If you received COVID-related income support benefits in 2020 and owed money to the CRA after filing your 2020 income tax and benefit return, you were not required to pay interest on any outstanding income tax debt for the 2020 tax year until April 30, 2022. This was intended to give you more time and flexibility to pay if you had an amount owing.
To qualify for targeted interest relief, individuals must have had a total taxable income of $75,000 or less in 2020 and received income support in 2020 through one or more COVID-19 measures.
Therefore, if you filed your 2020 return and qualified for interest relief, you have until April 30, 2022, to pay any outstanding income tax debt for the 2020 tax year and avoid future interest charges. This applies to the tax owing for the 2020 tax year only, and not for any previous tax year.
If you cannot pay your balance owing, we can work with you on a payment arrangement.
Updates to benefits and credits from the CRA
Canada workers benefit – The Canada workers benefit (CWB) is a refundable tax credit to help individuals and families who are working and earning a low income. The CWB rates and income thresholds have changed for 2021. A new “secondary earner exemption” has also been introduced.
Climate action incentive payment – The Government of Canada announced its intention to deliver the Climate action incentive (CAI) as quarterly benefit payments. If you are a resident of Alberta and you are eligible, you will automatically receive your CAI payments four times a year, starting in July 2022. To receive your payments, you have to file a tax return even if you have not received income in the year. If you have a spouse or common-law partner, only one of you can get the credit for the family. The credit will be paid to the spouse or common-law partner whose tax return is assessed first. If you currently reside outside of a census metropolitan area (CMA) and expect to continue to reside outside of a CMA on April 1, 2022, fill out Schedule 14, Climate action incentive, as part of your tax return, to get the supplement for residents of small and rural communities as part of your benefit payment.
Support for farmers – Beginning in the 2021 year, the Government of Canada proposes a new refundable tax credit, the Return of Fuel Charge Proceeds to Farmers Tax Credit, as a means to return a portion of the fuel charge proceeds from the federal carbon pollution pricing system directly to farming businesses in provinces that do not currently have a system that meets the federal requirements. These designated provinces are Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Saskatchewan. The credit amount is proportional to the amount of eligible farming expenses attributable to the designated provinces. For 2021, if you’re a farmer in a designated province with eligible farming expenses of $25,000 or more, you can expect to receive a credit of $1.47 per $1,000 in eligible farming expenses increasing to $1.73 in 2022. Form T2043, Return of Fuel Charge Proceeds to Farmers Tax Credit, would need to be completed in order to calculate the amount of the credit.
Educator School Supply Tax Credit – To support teachers and early childhood educators in Canada, the government proposes to expand and enrich the Eligible Educator School Supply Tax Credit. The expansion of this credit will allow teachers and early childhood educators to claim a 25 per cent refundable tax credit, an increase from the previous 15 percent, for purchases up to $1,000 on eligible teaching supplies bought during the tax year. The government also proposes to expand the list of eligible teaching supplies to include electronic devices such as graphing calculators, digital timers, and tools for remote learning. These enhancements would take effect starting in the 2021 tax year.
Northern residents deductions – As a resident of Alberta, you may live in a prescribed zone and be eligible to claim a residency deduction and a travel deduction. To find out if you live in a prescribed zone, visit Line 25500 - Places located in prescribed zones. The northern residents deductions are available to those who permanently live in one or more prescribed zones for a continuous period of at least six consecutive months, beginning or ending in the tax year. Eligible individuals living in a prescribed northern zone can claim the full amount of these deductions, and those living in a prescribed intermediate zone can claim 50% of these deductions. The residency deduction is based on how many days you lived in a prescribed zone during the tax year. The government has proposed changes to the travel deduction. Under proposed changes, the travel deduction will be expanded and be available to eligible northern residents, including eligible family members, who take a personal trip even if no taxable travel benefit was received for that trip. For more information, visit Northern Residents Deductions for 2021.
Have additional tax-filing questions?
We are dedicated to providing you with the highest quality service in the most efficient ways possible. Please keep in mind that tax-filing season is our busiest time of the year.
You can find most of the information you need online. We encourage you to find answers to your tax-filing questions through our digital services. For example, you can check out these resources:
- Benefit payment dates – Find out when you will receive your benefit payments.
- COVID-19 benefits and your taxes - View detailed information on how COVID-19 benefits affect your taxes and how to report the amounts on your tax return.
- Ways to do your taxes – View several ways to do your taxes, including options that are free!
- Questions and answers about filing your taxes – Find answers to common questions Canadians ask us at tax time.
- Tax tips and videos – Find information that could help you with your particular tax situation.
- Charlie the Chatbot – This service can be found on the CRA homepage and many other of our pages on Canada.ca to provide you with quick answers to your tax-filing questions.
“The continued impact of COVID-19 and Canadians’ unique personal situations are top of mind as the CRA brings forth its strong support for another uncommon tax-filing season. All across Canada, no matter where you reside or how you choose to file your taxes, the CRA remains committed to helping you understand and complete your taxes so you can receive the benefits and credits you may be entitled to.”
- The Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, M.P., Minister of National Revenue
Canada Revenue Agency
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