It’s tax time: Don’t panic. There is free tax help
Did you know?
Even if you have little or no income, you should still file your income tax and benefit return—you may be eligible for credits and benefits. Filing a return is the key to getting your goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) credit and the Canada child tax benefit (CCTB), among others. Whether you are completing your tax return by yourself, or getting help from someone else, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and its community partners are here to help you. Below are some free ways to help you this tax-filing season.
Things you can do
- Do it yourself using free tax software. Using tax software to complete and file your return online has seen increased popularity. Last year, over 82% of Canadians filed online. And while most people purchase software to complete their return, many companies offer free online software that you can use if your tax situation is relatively simple. The CRA updates the list of certified software, including free ones, on its website every year. View the list at: www.cra.gc.ca/netfilesoftware.
- Auto-fill my return. The CRA’s Auto-fill my return service is now available through some certified tax software. This service allows you to automatically fill in certain parts of your tax return. To use the Auto-fill my return service, you must be fully registered for My Account.
- Get the help of a friend or a relative. Many Canadians get the help of someone they trust to complete their tax return. If you also want this individual to take care of your tax affairs, such as file your tax return, check your refund, and access your information on My Account, don’t forget to give them the permission to do so on your behalf by completing and submitting Form T1013, Authorizing or Cancelling a Representative.
- Visit a Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP) tax clinic. The CRA works with local community organizations and their volunteers to help eligible individuals with modest incomes and simple tax situations. These organizations host free clinics, and their volunteers can help prepare and submit your return for you. These clinics are usually held from February to the end of April every year. For more information, go to www.cra.gc.ca/volunteer.
- Use My Account to keep track of your tax and benefit affairs. My Account allows you to track your refund, view or change your return, check your benefit and credit payments, check your RRSP limit, and register for online mail. Check out what else you can do in My Account.
- MyCRA mobile app. The MyCRA mobile app provides taxpayers with remote, secure access to important tax information such as their notices of assessment and reassessment, tax return status, benefits payments and dates, and RRSP & TFSA contribution room.
The CRA’s online services make filing and managing your taxes easier
The CRA's online services are fast, easy, and secure. You can use them to help file your income tax and benefit return, make a payment, track the status of your return, register for online mail, apply for child benefits, and more. Access the CRA’s full suite of self-service options—register for My Account at www.cra.gc.ca/myaccount today, and start managing your tax matters online!
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