Do you file your taxes on paper?
Due to COVID-19, paper filing may delay your assessment
January 7, 2021 Ottawa, Ontario Canada Revenue Agency
No matter how you file your return, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) strives to ensure we process your tax return in a timely manner and get your refund to you quickly.
If you are planning to file on paper this year, COVID-19 may affect your filing experience.
Online services are fast, secure and convenient
We encourage Canadians to file their taxes online and sign up for direct deposit to get their refund faster, avoid any delays, and reduce your potential exposure to COVID‑19. The CRA’s digital services are the fastest and easiest way to view your tax and benefit information. We encourage you to sign up for My Account ahead of time, and gather all your information for filing your return.
Online tax returns are processed without delays, but paper returns take longer to process, and could take even longer because of COVID-19. Filing online is the fastest and easiest way to do your taxes, and if you’re signed up for direct deposit, you can get your refund in as little as eight business days.
Last year, we received over 90% of tax returns electronically.
Several NETFILE certified software products are available, some of which are free. Go to canada.ca/netfile to see the list of products. NETFILE is fast, easy, and convenient. If you are 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.
Income tax and benefit package delivery
If you filed a paper return last year, we will mail you the 2020 income tax package by February 19, 2021. The package has everything you need to file your taxes on time without having to leave the comfort of your home.
If you plan to order a copy of the package through our phone service, keep in mind there could be mailing delays.
Once you get your package, file your paper tax return as soon as possible to avoid potential mailing delays due to COVID-19. You should gather all your tax slips and supporting documents ahead of time so you are ready. You can quickly view some of your slips online in My Account.
You can view and download copies of the income tax forms and schedules at canada.ca/taxes-general-package as of January 18, 2021.
Also, starting February 22, 2021, you can call the CRA at 1-855-330-3305 to order a copy. Your Social Insurance Number will be required.
Other ways you can file:
- The Community Volunteer Income Tax Program. If you have a modest income and a simple tax situation, a volunteer may be able to do your taxes for free. This year, volunteers may be able to complete and file your taxes virtually by videoconference, by phone, or through a document drop-off arrangement. For more information, go to canada.ca/taxes-help.
- File my Return. If you have a low or fixed income, you may be able to use File my Return. It’s a service that lets 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 will receive your personalized invitation letter with the 2020 Income tax package we will mail to you. Starting February 22, 2021, you can use File my Return to quickly file your return by phone.
Please remember to file by the deadline to avoid interruptions or delays to your benefit and credit payments.
Get answers to frequently asked questions about filing your taxes at canada.ca/cra-questions-answers.
Canada Revenue Agency
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