Tax-filing season promotional kit

Tax tips
  1. What’s new this tax-filing season
  2. What’s new for tax professionals and tax preparers this tax-filing season
  3. Doing your taxes online makes it easier to file on time
  4. Eight things to remember at tax time
  5. Top questions the CRA gets at tax time
  6. It’s tax time! Don’t panic: there’s free tax help
  7. Auto-fill my return makes doing your taxes easier
  8. So you’ve filed your 2017 tax return, now what?
  9. Don’t get scammed! Beware of fraudsters claiming to be from the Canada Revenue Agency
  10. Did you donate to a charity? You may be able to claim a charitable donation tax credit
  11. Did you know you may be eligible to claim medical expenses?
  12. Students: here’s what you need to know this tax season
  13. New to Canada? Learn about taxes and benefits
  14. Benefits and credits for northern residents
  15. Do you paper file your taxes? Here’s how to get an income tax and benefit package
  16. New parent? Learn about tax breaks and benefits for your family
  17. What to do when a loved one dies
  18. Seniors: Ready to do your taxes? Make sure you’re receiving your benefits and credits!
  19. Income tax information you need to know if you bought or sold a home
  20. Two accounts, one password
  21. Need help doing your taxes? Get them done for you, for free!
  22. Last-minute tax-filing tips
  23. Doing your taxes online has never been so easy!
  24. You file online. Now get your Notice of Assessment online too
  25. Are you self-employed? Know your tax obligations
  26. Involved in the sharing economy? Know your tax obligations
  27. Report the sale of your principal residence
  28. Remember, the deadline to file most returns is April 30
  29. How to make a payment to the Canada Revenue Agency
  30. Benefit payments for you and your family
  31. Has your marital status changed?
Videos

Filing deadline

Transcript:

It’s tax time!

The deadline for most Canadians to do their taxes is April 30.

If you’re self-employed, or your spouse or common-law partner is, you have until June 15, to file your taxes. But remember, any balance owing is still due by April 30.

For more information about doing your taxes this year, go to Canada.ca/taxes-get-ready.

Doing your taxes

Transcript:

Not sure where to start when doing your taxes? The Canada Revenue Agency is making it easier than ever to file your return.

Just go to the Canada.ca/taxes-get-ready and follow the step-by-step guide on how to file your return.

Doing your taxes is the key to keep getting your benefit payments – don’t miss out!

Community Volunteer Income Tax Program

Transcript:

Meet Marie, she’s a student filing her taxes for the first time, but Marie doesn’t know where to start.

That is, before she discovers…free tax clinics

If you have a modest income and a simple tax situation, volunteers in your community can do your taxes for you, for free!

File tour taxes on time, get benefits and credits, all for free!

So, Marie goes online to find a clinic right away. Canada.ca/taxes-help

Volunteer Program (Québec)

Transcript:

The Volunteer Program is a partnership between the Canada Revenue Agency and Revenu Québec that helps eligible people who have a modest income and a simple tax situation complete their income tax and benefit return.

Last year, more than 3000 volunteers and 535 organizations helped over 160,000 people in Quebec do their taxes.

To learn more or to become a volunteer, go to revenuquebec.ca/volunteer.

Fraud/Scams

Transcript:

All taxpayers should beware of fraudulent phone calls and emails that claim to be from the Canada Revenue Agency but aren’t. Phishing and other scams could result in financial and identity theft.

The Canada Revenue Agency will never:

  • use nasty language or threaten you;
  • ask for your credit card information or for you to make a payment using prepaid credit or gift cards; or
  • request or communicate taxpayer information by email.

To learn more about avoiding and reporting fraud and scams, go to canada.ca/taxes-fraud-prevention.

Account Alerts

Transcript:

The CRA’s Account alerts is a fraud prevention service that notifies you by email when your direct deposit or address information has been changed. We’ll also send you an email if paper mail that we sent to you gets returned to us, so you’ll know that you may need to update your mailing address.

Account alerts will also let you know when a representative is added or removed from your account.

Sign up for Account alerts in My Account at canada.ca/my-cra-account or use MyCRA mobile web app at canada.ca/cra-mobile-apps.

Save money at tax time

Transcript:

You may be able to claim a number of deductions and credits to increase your refund or reduce the amount of tax you owe.

Child care expenses, medical expenses, and eligible moving expenses are just a few examples.

Take advantage of these and other deductions and credits available to taxpayers. Find out more at Canada.ca/taxes-get-ready.

Canada Child Benefit

Transcript:

The Canada child benefit is a tax-free monthly payment made to eligible families to help them with the cost of raising children under 18 years of age.

The CRA uses information from your income tax and benefit return to calculate how much your Canada child benefit payments will be.

To get the Canada child benefit, you have to do your taxes every year, even if you didn’t earn income in the year or if your income is tax-exempt. If you have a spouse or common-law partner, they also have to do their taxes every year.

To learn more, go to canada.ca/canada-child-benefit.

GST/HST Credit

Transcript:

The GST/HST credit is a tax-free quarterly payment that helps individuals and families with low or modest incomes offset all or part of the GST or HST that they pay.

You don’t have to apply for the GST/HST credit. The CRA will automatically determine if you’re eligible when you do your taxes. So file a return this year, even if you have no income to declare.

Go to canada.ca/gst-hst-credit to learn more.

Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS)

Transcript:

If you currently receive the guaranteed income supplement, remember to file your income tax and benefit return on time every year so your payment will be automatically renewed.

For information on how to apply, go to canada.ca/gis.

Receipts/Records

Transcript:

When you file your return, make sure to keep receipts and documents to support your claims.

Sometimes we need to review tax returns to make sure that income, deductions and credits are correctly reported. In case the Canada Revenue Agency asks to see them, you should keep your receipts and documents for at least six years. Keeping records on hand makes it easier for you to respond to these requests.

For more information about doing your taxes this year, go to Canada.ca/taxes-get-ready.

My Account

Transcript:

Save time with the Canada Revenue Agency’s My Account digital service. Sign up today at canada.ca/my-cra-account.

If you're already registered for My Account, you can use the Auto-fill my return to automatically fill in certain parts of your return when using most certified tax software.

Payments

Transcript:

It's so easy to pay your taxes using online or telephone banking services, the same way you pay your phone or utility bill.

You get immediate confirmation of your payment. It's a fast, convenient and secure way of making a payment at any time, from anywhere.

Prefer handing your payment to a person? You can now generate a personalized payment code online and bring it to any post office in Canada to pay with cash or debit.

Find out more at canada.ca/payments.

Auto-fill my return

Transcript:

If you're registered with the Canada Revenue Agency’s My Account, you can use Auto-fill my return to file your return online faster than before.

Auto-fill my return automatically fills in certain parts of your return, saving you time and reducing possible errors when doing your taxes.

To learn more, go to canada.ca/auto-fill-my-return.

Express NOA

Transcript:

Getting the refund you expected? Sure you don’t owe money to the CRA? Find out right away by getting an Express Notice of Assessment from the CRA.

If you file your return electronically and are registered for online mail, you can now receive an Express Notice of Assessment.

An Express Notice of Assessment will be delivered through your tax software immediately after you file your return with NETFILE-certified software.

To learn more, go to canada.ca/express-noa.

CRA Mobile Apps

Transcript:

The Canada Revenue Agency has mobile web apps to help you manage your tax and benefit information whenever you want, from your mobile device.

The MyCRA mobile web app lets you view important tax and benefit information, such as your notice of assessment and return status. You can also make changes to your address, phone number, and direct deposit information.

The MyBenefits CRA mobile web app gives you personalized benefit information, such as your next payment dates and amounts. You can also update your marital status and check the status of your Canada child benefit application.

To learn more, go to canada.ca/cra-mobile-apps.

Direct Deposit

Transcript:

Direct deposit is a fast, convenient, reliable, and secure way to get payments directly into your account at a financial institution in Canada.

In most cases, if you file your return online and are signed up for direct deposit, you can receive your refund in as little as eight business days.

To learn more, go to canada.ca/cra-direct-deposit.

NETFILE Software

Transcript:

Did you know there is free certified tax software that you can use to file your income tax and benefit return online?

Filing online is fast, easy, and secure. To save you time and money, the CRA publishes a list of certified tax software packages, some of which are FREE for everyone.

To view the list of certified software, go to canada.ca/netfile-software.

Canada caregiver credit

Transcript:

Are you supporting someone who is dependent on you due to a mental or physical infirmity? The new Canada caregiver amount is available to those supporting their spouse or common-law partner, child or other eligible relatives, even if the dependent person does not live with them.

Learn more about this and other deductions and credits available to taxpayers at tax time. Go to Canada.ca/taxes-get-ready.

Medical Expenses tax credit

Transcript:

Did you have medical expenses? You may be able to save on your taxes.

If you paid for hospital services or medications in order to conceive a child, paid to live in a nursing home, or bought medical supplies such as pacemakers, vaccines, or walking aids, you may be able to claim the medical expenses tax credit to reduce the amount of federal tax you owe.

Medical expenses paid for yourself, your spouse or common-law partner, your dependent children (if they were born in 1998 or later), and other dependants may be eligible.

Learn more about this and other deductions and credits available to taxpayers at tax time. Go to Canada.ca/taxes-get-ready.

Tuition credit

Transcript:

Do you qualify for the tuition amount?

The eligibility criteria for the tuition amount has been enhanced under certain conditions to include fees paid for occupational skills courses that are not at the post-secondary level.

Learn more about this and other deductions and credits available to taxpayers at tax time. Go to Canada.ca/taxes-get-ready.

Moving expenses

Transcript:

Did you move to work or run a business in a new location? Or did you move to attend a post-secondary program at a university, college or other educational institution full time?

If your new home is at least 40 kilometres closer to your new work or school, keep your receipts! You may be able to claim your moving expenses on your return and save money.

Learn more about this and other deductions and credits available to taxpayers at tax time. Go to Canada.ca/taxes-get-ready.

Change my direct deposit

Transcript:

Need to update your direct deposit information for CRA payments?

Go to your CRA My Account at canada.ca/my-cra-account or use MyCRA mobile web app at canada.ca/cra-mobile-apps to update your direct deposit information, and update your CPP payment information at the same time!

Report all income

Transcript:

When you file your return this year, don’t forget that money earned through other sources of income such as tips, renting out a basement suite, or ride sharing is all considered income. Not declaring it can lead to penalties and interest.

Learn more at Canada.ca/taxes-get-ready.

A second chance to correct your taxes

Transcript:

The Voluntary Disclosures Program gives you a second chance to change a return you previously filed or to file a return that you should have filed. To apply, go to canada.ca/taxes-voluntary-disclosures.

ReFILE

Transcript:

Want to make a change to your tax return?

If you filed your return electronically, you can now use the ReFILE service. Simply use your tax software, make the changes and instantly submit your revisions.

It is quick, cost efficient, environmentally friendly and simple to use.

To learn more, go to canada.ca/ReFILE.

Questions and answers

What is the deadline to file your 2017 income tax and benefit return?

Income tax and benefit returns are due on April 30, 2018.

What is the deadline to file if I am self-employed?

Self-employed individuals and their spouses or common-law partners have until June 15, 2018, to file their 2017 returns. However, any balance owing is due on or before April 30, 2018.

Do I have to file an income tax and benefit return?

Find out about your tax obligations and whether you need to file an income tax and benefit return.

Even if you don’t have income to report for 2017, you should file a return to claim a refund or receive certain benefits and credits you may be entitled to. These may include the Canada child benefit, the goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax credit, the working income tax benefit, and the guaranteed income supplement.

When can I expect a refund?

If you file your income tax and benefit return electronically using EFILE or NETFILE and choose direct deposit, you can get your refund in as little as eight business days. If you file a paper return, it will usually take the CRA up to 8 weeks to process it.

What methods other than paper are available to file income tax and benefit returns?

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) invites you to join the growing number of Canadians who file online. Last year, 86% of Canadians filed online! Electronic methods are convenient, easy-to-use, and secure. The CRA has prepared a step-by-step guide that will help you fill out your income tax and benefit return.

To help you file electronically, the CRA offers you a list of certified desktop and online software products, and web service options, including those that are free of charge.

You may be able to get free help from a community organization to help you file your income tax and benefit return. If you have a modest income and a simple tax situation, volunteers can prepare your return for you, for free.

New for this tax-filing season, the File my Return service invites eligible Canadians file their income tax and benefit return by providing some personal information and answering a few questions through an automated phone service.

What is Auto-fill my return?

The Auto-fill my return service allows you and your authorized representatives to automatically fill in parts of your 2015, 2016, and 2017 income tax and benefit returns with information the CRA has available at the time you are completing your return. To use the Auto-fill my return service, you must be registered for My Account and use a certified tax software product.

Last year, how many returns were filed electronically?

Last year, 86% of returns were filed electronically.

How long do I need to save my receipts or records?

Whether you file online or on paper, keep all supporting documents for your return for at least six years from the date you file your tax return. These documents include receipts to support any deduction or credit you claimed.

What are some of the benefits of using NETFILE when you do your taxes?

NETFILE is an electronic tax-filing service that lets you send your income tax and benefit return directly to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) using the Internet and a NETFILE-certified software product. NETFILE streamlines the tax-filing process and offers you these benefits:

  • update address information
  • use of the CRA’s Auto-fill my return service if you’re registered for My Account
  • Receive your Notice of Assessment right after filing your return with the XNOA service. You must be registered for My Account and Online mail.
  • faster refunds (with direct deposit, you could receive your refund in as little as 8 business days)
  • no paper return to mail
  • no receipts to send in (The CRA may ask for receipts later)
  • immediate confirmation that your return has been received
  • the ability to electronically submit a change to your filed return, when you use certified tax software that offers the ReFILE functionality.

Is my information safe online?

The Canada Revenue Agency's secure online services use the highest level of online protection. It is the same technology used by banks and other financial institutions for their online services.

What methods are available to pay if I owe money?

There are various ways to pay any amount you owe.

  • You can pay the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) any amount owing in person at your financial institution, or by using their online or telephone banking services.
  • Pre-authorized debit is an online, self-service, payment option. Using this option, you can authorize the CRA to withdraw a pre-determined payment amount from your bank account to pay tax on one or more dates. You won’t have to remember to mail your payments again.
  • The CRA's My Payment service is a secure and convenient online payment service that allows individuals and businesses to send a payment to the CRA using Visa Debit, Debit MasterCard, or Interac Online debit card.
  • Taxpayers can pay in person with cash or debit at any Canada Post retail outlet by creating a personalized quick response (QR) code online.

Should I file my return on time if I owe money and can't afford to pay the outstanding balance immediately?

Yes, even if you cannot pay the full amount of your balance owing by April 30, 2018, you should file your return on time to avoid a late-filing penalty.

What if I cannot pay my balance owing?

The Canada Revenue Agency is ready to discuss payment options if you can’t pay your debt in full and on time. Call us right away at 1-888-863-8657 to discuss a payment arrangement.

What are the penalties for filing late and not paying a balance owing on time?

If you owe tax and do not file your return on time, we will charge you a late-filing penalty. The penalty is 5% of your balance owing, plus 1% of your balance owing for each full month your return is late (up to a maximum of 12 months).

If we charged a late-filing penalty on your returns for 2014, 2015, or 2016, your late-filing penalty for 2017 may be higher. It will usually be 10% of your 2017 balance owing, plus 2% of your 2017 balance owing for each full month your return is late, to a maximum of 20 months.

Is direct deposit available?

Yes, you can have your refunds and benefits payments deposited directly into your account at a Canadian financial institution. With direct deposit and online filing, individuals will often receive their refund in as little as eight business days.

How do I sign up for direct deposit?

You have several ways to start direct deposit:

How do I change my address with the CRA?

You can do this by using My Account, My CRA mobile app, MyBenefits CRA mobile web app, by mail or fax, with NETFILE, or by calling 1-800-959-8281. If you move, tell the CRA your new address as soon as possible. 

What is My Account?

My Account is a secure online service that lets you manage your income tax and benefit account. You can use My Account to:

  • make a payment
  • track the status of your return
  • register for online mail and account alerts
  • set up direct deposit
  • view your T4 information, notice of assessment, and other information slips
  • request a change to your return using Change My Return (CMR)
  • check the dates and amounts of your benefit and credit payments
  • check the status of your Canada child benefit application, and information about the children in your care
  • check your RRSP deduction limit and TFSA contribution limit and more

This year, if you are registered for My Account, you can use the Auto-fill my return service when you file your return online.

How do I register for My Account or the mobile web apps?

You can register for My Account or the mobile web apps online by creating a CRA user ID and password or by using a Sign-In Partner.

To register with a CRA user ID and password you will need to provide personal information:

  • Enter your social insurance number, date of birth, and current postal code or ZIP code.
  • Enter an amount you entered on one of your income tax and benefit returns. Have a copy of your returns handy. The line amount requested will vary. It could be from the current tax year or the previous one. To register, a return for one of these two years must have been filed and assessed.
  • Create a CRA user ID and password.
  • Choose and answer 5 security questions.

You will then be issued a CRA security code. The CRA security code has an indicated expiry date. Follow the provided instructions before the code expires. Or you will have to contact the Individual tax enquiries to have a new CRA security code issued to you.

Once you receive your CRA security code, you will return to My Account, select “CRA login”, enter your CRA user ID and password, and when prompted enter your CRA security code.

Then you will have access to all of the services available in My Account.

To register with a Sign-In Partner, you will need to:

  • Select which Sign-In Partner you would like to use and enter your login information.
  • Enter your social insurance number, date of birth, and current postal code or ZIP code.
  • Enter an amount you entered on one of your income tax and benefit returns. Have a copy of your returns handy. The line amount requested will vary. It could be from the current tax year or the previous one. To register, a return for one of these two years must have been filed and assessed.
  • Request your CRA security code.

To access the services anytime in the future, return to the CRA login services page, select the service you want to use and login. You will have access to all of the services available in My Account.

Can I register for online mail?

Yes, the CRA’s online mail service for individuals is quick, easy, and secure.

You can register to receive online mail from the CRA by:

  • logging in to My Account and selecting the “Manage online mail” service
  • using MyCRA mobile web app or My Benefits CRA mobile web app, or

Your legal representative can also register you for this service.

To access your mail online, you must be registered for My Account .My Account is the only place to view your mail online. Once you register for online mail, you will no longer receive paper versions through the mail.

What mobile web applications are available for individuals?

The Canada Revenue Agency has two mobile web applications for individuals: MyCRA and MyBenefits CRA.

These mobile web applications will let you securely view and manage your key parts of your tax information.

MyCRA links to several webpages where you can quickly get information about income tax and benefit matters.

With MyCRA mobile web application, you can:

  • verify the status of your tax return
  • Inform you of your contribution limits for your registered retirement savings plan or tax-free savings account
  • personalized benefit payments and the dates they are issued
  • update your contact information
  • manage your direct deposit information
  • register for online mail
  • request a proof of income statement ( option “C” print), and more

MyBenefits CRA mobile application lets you instantly view all your benefit information from your mobile device.

The MyBenefits CRA gives you personalized benefit information such as:

  • a list of your benefits and credits
  • your next benefit payment dates and amounts
  • the status of your Canada child benefit application.

Can anyone contact the CRA on my behalf to get my information?

No, taxpayer information is confidential. If you want the CRA to deal with another person or persons as your representative, we need your consent.

How do I authorize a representative?

You can give us your consent through My Account or by filling out and sending us Form T1013, Authorizing or Cancelling a Representative.

Does the CRA ever use email to communicate with taxpayers?

The CRA will not send information about your refund or benefit payments by email. As well, it will not ask for personal information by email or leave personal information on an answering machine. However, if you have registered for online mail, the CRA will notify you by email when you have new mail to view in My Account, such as your notice of assessment or notice of reassessment. Also, if you call the CRA to request a form or a link for specific information, a CRA agent will forward the information you are requesting to your email during the telephone call.

Where can I get an income tax and benefit guide and forms book?

To serve Canadians better, the CRA will mail the 2017 income tax and benefits guide and forms book to individuals who filed on paper last year.

If you want to file on paper and don’t receive a guide and forms book, you can order one at canada.ca/get-cra-forms or call 1-855-330-3305 (for service in English) or 1-855-330-3310 (for service in French). You can also print the forms from canada.ca/taxes-general-package.

Starting February 26, 2018, you can also obtain a tax package at Canada Post, Service Canada and most Caisse Populaire Desjardins locations. Limited quantities will be available in those locations this tax season only. Beginning in 2019, tax forms and guides will only be available from the CRA directly.

We won’t automatically send a tax package to individuals who filed their return by paper after November 24, 2017, or who moved after they filed their return without updating their address with the CRA. These individuals will need to contact the CRA to get a tax package. As well, we won’t send a tax package to individuals who used software to prepare their return or used the services of a tax professional. However, these individuals can still order or download tax and benefit products.

What is the File my Return service?

File my Return is a new Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) service that lets eligible Canadians, particularly those with low or fixed incomes whose situations remain unchanged from year to year, file their income tax and benefit return by answering a few questions over the phone through an automated phone service. The service is free, secure, and easy-to-use, with no paper forms or calculations to complete.

The service uses the information the CRA has on record at the time of the call, plus the answers given by the individual on the automated call to complete and file their return, and allow all the deductions, benefits and credits they are eligible for.

Individuals who are likely eligible will receive, in mid-February 2018, an invitation letter in the mail with all the steps they need to file their return using the service. In some cases, eligible Canadians living in British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Ontario, and Yukon may have to give some dollar amounts related to provincial or territorial credits so that the CRA can properly calculate refund amounts.

Who is eligible for the service?

Individuals with low or fixed incomes whose situations remain unchanged from year to-year may be eligible for File my Return. Eligible individuals must have received an invitation letter from the CRA to use this service. They will get their invitation letter in mid-February 2018.

If I have questions about my taxes, where can I get information?

You can get information from the following sources:

  • Your CRA My Account
  • Get ready to do your 2017 income tax and benefit return
  • Doing your taxes
  • Tax Information Phone Service (TIPS): 1-800-267-6999
  • Telerefund: 1-800-959-1956
  • Individual tax enquiries: 1-800-959-8281. Telephone agents are available Monday to Friday (except holidays) from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm local time. From February 26 to April 30, these hours are extended to Monday to Friday (except holidays) from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm local time and Saturday (except Easter weekend) 9:00 am to 5:00 pm local time.

What is the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program?

The Community Volunteer Income Tax Programhelps eligible individuals and families with modest incomes and simple tax situations prepare their income tax and benefit returns, for free all year around. Volunteer tax preparation clinics can be held at any time during the year, however, most clinics are offered in March and April.

What new services are available for tax time this year?

  • Express NOA This service delivers a notice of assessment directly into your certified tax software right after you file. To use the service, you must be registered for online mail and file electronically using certified tax software. If you use an accountant or tax professional to help you file your tax return, ask them to provide you with an Express NOA right after filing your tax return.
  • Account alerts – As a fraud prevention measure, this new service sends you an email when someone has changed your home or mailing address or direct deposit banking information has been changed, or if paper mail from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) was returned to us. You may register for this service through My Account or MyCRA mobile app.
  • ReFILE – The ReFILE service now lets you change your return using your NETFILE certified tax software.
  • Filing an income tax and benefit return on paper - Starting this year, the CRA is mailing a redesigned 2017 income tax and benefits guide and forms book to individuals who filed paper returns last year. These individuals won’t have to go to Canada Post, Caisse Populaire Desjardins, or Service Canada locations to get printed tax products. If you want to file on paper and didn’t receive a guide and forms book, you can find what you need online or order it from the CRA. Each individual can only order nine packages.
  • File my Return – Canadians eligible to use File my Return will receive personalized invitation letters. This new service lets you file your return by answering a few questions over the telephone through an automated service without the need for calculations or paper forms to fill out.
  • Our new automated phone service will let you quickly and securely verify your balance owing to the CRA.
  • CRA BizApp – The CRA has released a new mobile web app called CRA BizApp. This app lets small businesses and sole proprietors view their business account balances and make payments by pre-authorized debit to their corporation tax GST/HST, payroll, and excise duty accounts.
  • Pay taxes in person – You can now pay your personal taxes, benefit and credit overpayments, and other select payments to the CRA in person with cash or a debit card at any Canada Post outlet across the country. To pay in person, you must first create a personalized QR online.

What types of benefits payments, tax credits and deductions are available?

Depending on your situation, you may apply for one or more of the following benefits or credits:

  • Canada child benefit is a tax-free monthly payment to eligible families to help them with the cost of raising children under the age of 18. Families could get up to $6,400 annually for each child under 6 and $5,400 annually for each child aged 6-17.
  • GST/HST credit is a non-taxable quarterly payment that helps individuals 19 years or older and families with low and modest incomes offset all or part of GST/HST they pay. Individuals do not have to apply for this credit. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will determine automatically your eligibility when you file your income tax and benefit return. They will inform those who are eligible to receive the credit.
  • Working income tax benefit is a refundable tax credit available to eligible individuals and families who work but earn low income. You can also apply to get up to half of the tax credit amount in advance payments.

You can also claim several deductions, credits and expenses on your return to increase your refund or reduce the amount of tax you pay. Some of these include:

  • Northern residents deductions: If you live on a permanent basis in a prescribed northern zone for a continuous period of at least six consecutive months starting or ending in the tax year, you may be eligible for a deduction based on how many days you lived there during the tax year.
  • Eligible educator school supply tax credit: Eligible teachers and early childhood educators may be able to claim up to $1,000 for eligible teaching supplies purchased in the taxation year for a maximum credit of $150.
  • Canada caregiver credits: This non-refundable tax credit gives tax relief for eligible individuals who have a spouse or common-law partner, or dependant with an impairment in physical or mental functions. The Canada caregiver amount combines the family caregiver amount, the amount for infirm dependants age 18 or older, and the caregiver amount.
  • Pension income splitting: Pensioners may be able to split up to 50% of their eligible pension income with their spouse or common-law partner and reduce their overall tax payable.
  • Volunteer firefighters’ amount and Search and rescue volunteers’ amount: Volunteer firefighters or search and rescue volunteers may be able to claim a non-refundable tax credit of up to $450.
  • Child care expenses deduction: Parents may be able to deduct a portion of their child care expenses from their income.
  • First-time donor's super credit (FDSC): From 2013 to 2017, first-time donors to charity may be able to claim up to $1,000 of the money they donated after March 20, 2013. This is the last year to claim the FDSC as it expired at the end of the 2017 tax year.

Do I have to report the sale of my principal residence?

As of 2016, you have to report basic information on your income tax and benefit return when you sell your principal residence to claim the full principal residence exemption for capital gains.

You do not have to pay tax on any capital gain when you sell your house if it was your principal residence for all the years you owned it and did not use any part of it to earn income.

What are some common mistakes people make with their taxes?

Some common mistakes include:

  • not reporting all income - Make sure you report all your income from all your slips, such as T4 slips. You should receive most of your slips from your employer, payer, or administrator by the end of February. If you have not received, or have lost or misplaced, a slip for 2017, ask the issuer of the slip for a copy. If you are registered for My Account, you be able to view your tax information online.
  • not keeping information up to date - It is important to tell the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) as soon as possible of any change in your address or direct deposit details. You are also required by law to tell the CRA about any changes to your marital status, which helps avoid any disruption in your benefit and credit payments.
  • making an incorrect claim - Various non-deductible amounts, such as funeral expenses, wedding expenses, loans to family members, a loss on the sale of a home designated as a principal residence, and other similar amounts are sometimes claimed in error. If the CRA concludes that a taxpayer has made a mistake or made a claim they are not entitled to, it will adjust their return.

These common mistakes can slow the processing of your tax return and delay your tax refund.

What is a non-refundable tax credit?

Non-refundable tax credits reduce your federal tax. If the total of the non-refundable tax credits is more than your federal tax, you will not get a refund for the difference.

What should I do if I make a mistake on my tax return?

The ReFILE service allows Canadians to submit adjustments through NETFILE and EFILE certified tax software. Change my Return also allows My Account users to submit a change online. You may also send a completed Form T1-ADJ, T1 Adjustment Request, along with any supporting documents to your tax centre indicated on the T1-ADJ form.

Audio clips

Filing deadline

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It’s tax time!

The deadline for most Canadians to do their taxes is April 30.

If you’re self-employed, or your spouse or common-law partner is, you have until June 15, to file your taxes. But remember, any balance owing is still due by April 30.

For more information about doing your taxes this year, go to canada.ca/taxes-get-ready.

Receipts/Records

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When you file your return, make sure to keep receipts and documents to support your claims.

Sometimes we need to review tax returns to make sure that income, deductions and credits are correctly reported. In case the Canada Revenue Agency asks to see them, you should keep your receipts and documents for at least six years. Keeping records on hand makes it easier for you to respond to these requests.

For more information about doing your taxes this year, go to canada.ca/taxes-get-ready.

Community Volunteer Income Tax Program

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Did you know you may be able to get free help to file your income tax and benefit return?

Volunteers with the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program help people with modest incomes and simple tax situations file their returns. In Quebec, it’s called the Volunteer Program.

Last year, more than 15,000 volunteers prepared more than 760,000 returns for people in communities across the country.

Volunteer tax preparation clinics are generally offered from February to April each year, but some are open year-round. Use the MyCRA mobile web app at canada.ca/cra-mobile-apps or go to canada.ca/taxes-help to find a tax clinic near you.

Volunteer Program (Québec)

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The Volunteer Program is a partnership between the Canada Revenue Agency and Revenu Québec that helps eligible people who have a modest income and a simple tax situation complete their income tax and benefit return.

Last year, more than 3000 volunteers and 535 organizations helped over 160,000 people in Quebec do their taxes.

To learn more or to become a volunteer, go to revenuquebec.ca/volunteer.

Fraud/Scams

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All taxpayers should beware of fraudulent phone calls and emails that claim to be from the Canada Revenue Agency but aren’t. Phishing and other scams could result in financial and identity theft.

The Canada Revenue Agency will never:

  • use nasty language or threaten you;
  • ask for your credit card information or for you to make a payment using prepaid credit or gift cards; or
  • request or communicate taxpayer information by email.

To learn more about avoiding and reporting fraud and scams, go to canada.ca/taxes-fraud-prevention.

Account Alerts

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The CRA’s Account alerts is a fraud prevention service that notifies you by email when your direct deposit or address information has been changed. We’ll also send you an email if paper mail that we sent to you gets returned to us, so you’ll know that you may need to update your mailing address.

Account alerts will also let you know when a representative is added or removed from your account.

Sign up for Account alerts in My Account at canada.ca/my-cra-account or use MyCRA mobile web app at canada.ca/cra-mobile-apps.

My Account

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Save time with the Canada Revenue Agency’s My Account digital service. Sign up today at canada.ca/my-cra-account.

If you're already registered for My Account, you can use the Auto-fill my return to automatically fill in certain parts of your return when using most certified tax software.

Payments

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It's so easy to pay your taxes using online or telephone banking services, the same way you pay your phone or utility bill.

You get immediate confirmation of your payment. It's a fast, convenient and secure way of making a payment at any time, from anywhere.

Prefer handing your payment to a person? You can now generate a personalized payment code online and bring it to any post office in Canada to pay with cash or debit.

Find out more at canada.ca/payments.

The CRA can help/Get Ready

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It's tax time! Everything you need to do your taxes this year is online at canada.ca/taxes-get-ready.

You’ll find useful information, forms, and guides to help you do your taxes, claim benefits, and pay any tax owing on time.

Since its tax time, the Canada Revenue Agency also offers extended evening and Saturday telephone service from February 20 until May 1, 2018. If you can't find the information you're looking for online, call 1-800-959-8281.

Auto-fill my return

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If you're registered with the Canada Revenue Agency’s My Account, you can use Auto-fill my return to file your return online faster than before.

Auto-fill my return automatically fills in certain parts of your return, saving you time and reducing possible errors when doing your taxes.

To learn more, go to canada.ca/auto-fill-my-return.

Express NOA

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Getting the refund you expected? Sure you don’t owe money to the CRA? Find out right away by getting an Express Notice of Assessment from the CRA.

If you file your return electronically and are registered for online mail, you can now receive an Express Notice of Assessment.

An Express Notice of Assessment will be delivered through your tax software immediately after you file your return with NETFILE-certified software.

To learn more, go to canada.ca/express-noa.

Mobile apps

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The Canada Revenue Agency has mobile web apps to help you manage your tax and benefit information whenever you want, from your mobile device.

The MyCRA mobile web app lets you view important tax and benefit information, such as your notice of assessment and return status. You can also make changes to your address, phone number, and direct deposit information.

The MyBenefits CRA mobile web app gives you personalized benefit information, such as your next payment dates and amounts. You can also update your marital status and check the status of your Canada child benefit application.

To learn more, go to canada.ca/cra-mobile-apps.

Direct deposit

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Direct deposit is a fast, convenient, reliable, and secure way to get payments directly into your account at a financial institution in Canada. 

In most cases, if you file your return online and are signed up for direct deposit, you can receive your refund in as little as eight business days.

To learn more, go to canada.ca/cra-direct-deposit.

NETFILE software

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Did you know there is free certified tax software that you can use to file your income tax and benefit return online?

Filing online is fast, easy, and secure. To save you time and money, the CRA publishes a list of certified tax software packages, some of which are FREE for everyone.

To view the list of certified software, go to canada.ca/netfile-software.

Canada Child Benefit

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The Canada child benefit is a tax-free monthly payment made to eligible families to help them with the cost of raising children under 18 years of age.

The CRA uses information from your income tax and benefit return to calculate how much your Canada child benefit payments will be.

To get the Canada child benefit, you have to do your taxes every year, even if you didn’t earn income in the year or if your income is tax-exempt. If you have a spouse or common-law partner, they also have to do their taxes every year.

To learn more, go to canada.ca/canada-child-benefit.

GST/HST Credit

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The GST/HST credit is a tax-free quarterly payment that helps individuals and families with low or modest incomes offset all or part of the GST or HST that they pay.

You don’t have to apply for the GST/HST credit. The CRA will automatically determine if you’re eligible when you do your taxes. So file a return this year, even if you have no income to declare.

Go to canada.ca/gst-hst-credit to learn more.

Save money at tax time

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You may be able to claim a number of deductions and credits to increase your refund or reduce the amount of tax you owe.

Child care expenses, medical expenses, and eligible moving expenses are just a few examples.

Take advantage of these and other deductions and credits available to taxpayers. Find out more at canada.ca/taxes-get-ready.

Canada caregiver credit

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Are you supporting someone who is dependent on you due to a mental or physical infirmity? The new Canada caregiver amount is available to those supporting their spouse or common-law partner, child or other eligible relatives, even if the dependent person does not live with them.

Learn more about this and other deductions and credits available to taxpayers at tax time. Go to canada.ca/taxes-get-ready.

Medical Expenses tax credit

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Did you have medical expenses? You may be able to save on your taxes.

If you paid for hospital services or medications in order to conceive a child, paid to live in a nursing home, or bought medical supplies such as pacemakers, vaccines, or walking aids, you may be able to claim the medical expenses tax credit to reduce the amount of federal tax you owe.

Medical expenses paid for yourself, your spouse or common-law partner, your dependent children (if they were born in 1998 or later), and other dependants may be eligible.

Learn more about this and other deductions and credits available to taxpayers at tax time. Go to canada.ca/taxes-get-ready.

Tuition credit

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Do you qualify for the tuition amount?

The eligibility criteria for the tuition amount has been enhanced under certain conditions to include fees paid for occupational skills courses that are not at the post-secondary level.

Learn more about this and other deductions and credits available to taxpayers at tax time. Go to canada.ca/taxes-get-ready.

Moving expenses

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Did you move to work or run a business in a new location? Or did you move to attend a post-secondary program at a university, college or other educational institution full time?

If your new home is at least 40 kilometres closer to your new work or school, keep your receipts! You may be able to claim your moving expenses on your return and save money.

Learn more about this and other deductions and credits available to taxpayers at tax time. Go to canada.ca/taxes-get-ready.

Doing your taxes

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Not sure where to start when doing your taxes? The Canada Revenue Agency is making it easier than ever to file your return.

Just go to the canada.ca/taxes-get-ready and follow the step-by-step guide on how to file your return.

Doing your taxes is the key to keep getting your benefit payments – don’t miss out!

Change my direct deposit

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Need to update your direct deposit information for CRA payments?

Go to your CRA My Account at canada.ca/my-cra-account or use MyCRA mobile web app at canada.ca/cra-mobile-apps to update your direct deposit information, and update your CPP payment information at the same time!

Report all income

Transcript:

When you file your return this year, don’t forget that money earned through other sources of income such as tips, renting out a basement suite, or ride sharing is all considered income. Not declaring it can lead to penalties and interest.

Learn more at canada.ca/taxes-get-ready.

A second chance to correct your taxes

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The Voluntary Disclosures Program gives you a second chance to change a return you previously filed or to file a return that you should have filed. To apply, go to canada.ca/taxes-voluntary-disclosures.

ReFILE

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Want to make a change to your tax return?

If you filed your return electronically, you can now use the ReFILE service. Simply use your tax software, make the changes and instantly submit your revisions.

It is quick, cost efficient, environmentally friendly and simple to use.

To learn more, go to canada.ca/ReFILE.

Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS)

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If you currently receive the guaranteed income supplement, remember to file your income tax and benefit return on time every year so your payment will be automatically renewed.

For information on how to apply, go to canada.ca/gis.

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