Tax Tips from the CRA
The 2021 tax-filing season has begun and the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) understands that many Canadians are facing challenging situations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Below are some tips and links to help you get ready, simplify your filing experience, and help you receive the benefits, credits, and deductions you may be entitled to. Remember, the deadline for most Canadians to file is April 30, 2021.
File online using certified software and sign up for direct deposit to avoid mailing delays, and get your refund, benefits, and credits faster.
Last year, 90% of Canadians filed their returns online. Don’t miss out!
- Direct deposit allows the CRA to deposit your benefit payments and refund into your bank account so you don’t have to wait for a cheque in the mail. Register for direct deposit before filing online.
- My Account helps you manage your tax affairs online and view your personal income tax and benefit information. Activate email notifications for enhanced security.
- Auto-fill my return automatically fills in parts of your return using information the CRA has on file. Register for My Account and use certified tax-filing software to use Auto-fill my return!
- Express NOA lets you view your notice of assessment (NOA) in your certified tax software, right after the CRA has received and processed your return.
- ReFILE, available in all certified tax software, lets you make changes to your tax return if you forgot something, made a mistake, or want to make a change after receiving your notice of assessment.
Entering COVID-19 benefit payments on your tax return
- Did you or someone you know receive COVID-19 benefit payments? The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB), Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB), Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB), and Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) are all considered taxable and you will need to enter the total amount you received on your return.
- For any of these payments, you will receive a T4A slip (for taxable benefits issued by the CRA) or a T4E slip (for taxable benefits issued by Service Canada) in the mail no later than March 10, 2021 with the information to enter on your return. Quebec residents will receive both a T4A and RL-1 slip. Visit our web page about benefit amounts on your T4A slip for more information.
Home office expenses for employees
- Put your hand up if you worked from home in 2020 due to the pandemic. You may be able to claim a deduction for home office expenses (work-space-in-the-home expenses, office supplies, and certain phone expenses). For more information, go to canada.ca/cra-home-workspace-expenses.
Benefits, credits, and deductions
- You may be eligible for the Canada child benefit (CCB), related provincial or territorial benefits, and to deduct child care expenses if you have a child.
- Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario residents may be eligible for the climate action incentive payment, which they can claim when they file their return.
- If you have a disability, you may be eligible for the Disability Tax Credit (DTC). You can apply for the DTC by submitting a completed T2201 Disability Tax Credit Certificate form any time during the year.
Are you a northern resident?
Are you, your spouse or common-law partner self-employed?
The deadline for self-employed individuals and their spouse/common-law partner to file is June 15, 2021. All taxes owed must still be paid by April 30, 2021. Wouldn’t it be great to know that you are doing things right, before you file your tax returns? We’re here to help you understand your tax obligations. The CRA’s Liaison Officer service offers free virtual guidance and support, over the phone or by videoconference, so you can better understand your tax obligations, possible tax deductions, and how to avoid common tax errors.
Go to canada.ca/taxes-get-ready.
Volunteers from the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program may be able to complete and file your taxes for free by videoconference, phone, or through a document drop-off arrangement.
Want to help?
Consider becoming a volunteer if you want to help others get their benefits and credits.
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