Tax preparers and professionals: Here’s what you need to know for the 2022 tax-filing season
February 18, 2022
Canada Revenue Agency
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) wants to help you and your clients prepare to file their income tax and benefit return this year.
The tax-filing deadline for most individuals is April 30, 2022
Since April 30, 2022, falls on a Saturday, your clients’ return will be considered filed on time in either of the following situations:
- we receive it on or before May 2, 2022
- it is postmarked on or before May 2, 2022
Your clients have until June 15, 2022, to file their return if they or their spouse or common law-partner are self-employed.
The payment deadline is April 30, 2022
If your clients have a balance owing, their payment is due on April 30, 2022.
If they or their spouse or common law-partner are self-employed, their payment is still due on April 30, 2022.
Since April 30, 2022, falls on a Saturday, in both of the above situations, their payment will be considered paid on time if we receive it, or it is processed at a Canadian financial institution, on or before May 2, 2022.
If they filed their 2020 income tax and benefit return and qualified for interest relief, they have until April 30, 2022, to pay any outstanding income tax debt for the 2020 tax year to avoid future interest charges. This applies to the tax owing for the 2020 tax year only, and not for previous tax years.
Planning ahead this tax-filing season
Tell your clients to plan ahead, and file their income tax and benefit return as soon as they can. Doing so will allow them to:
- receive any refund faster (if applicable)
- avoid interruptions to their benefit and credit payments
- seek help if they need it
To help your clients plan ahead, we encourage them to sign up for direct deposit and to file online. Using these tools will help them avoid delays and get their notice of assessment (NOA) and any refund, if applicable, faster. They should also sign up for My Account. It is the fastest and easiest way to view and manage their tax and benefit information. If they own a business, they can also sign up for My Business Account.
Filing before the deadline is the best way to make sure your clients’ entitled benefit and credit payments are not interrupted. This includes the Canada child benefit, the goods and services tax / harmonized sales tax credit, and any related provincial or territorial benefits. Even if they owe tax, they shouldn’t risk having their benefits interrupted by not filing. If they cannot pay their balance owing, we can work with them on a payment arrangement.
Our service standard is to issue your clients their NOA within two weeks of receiving their online return. Due to COVID-19 delays, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) may take 10 to 12 weeks to process paper returns. The CRA will process them in the order they are received. Canadians who file online and who are signed up for direct deposit may get their refund in as little as eight business days.
Your clients can go to our Get ready to do your taxes page. It has information on deadlines, and other tax tips that can be helpful for them. They can also get answers to frequently asked questions about filing their taxes at our Questions and answers about filing your taxes page.
If your clients received benefits issued by the CRA in 2021, such as the Canada Recovery Benefit, a T4A information slip will be mailed to them by the end of February 2022. Residents of Quebec will receive a T4A slip and an RL-1 slip.
T4A information slips from the Government of Canada for COVID-19-related benefits will also be provided online if your clients are registered for My Account and have full access. To have full access to My Account, they need to enter the CRA security code we issued to them after completing the first step of the registration process. They can view these tax slips online starting in early February in My Account.
Information slips, including information for COVID-19-related benefits, are also available through the Auto-fill my return service in certified tax filing software. This service automatically fills in parts of an income tax and benefit return with information that the CRA has on file. To use the service, your clients must be registered for My Account.
When COVID-19 benefits were paid, some tax was withheld at source. If your clients end up owing additional tax on top of that, we understand that payment could present significant financial hardship. In that case, our expanded payment arrangements could work for them. This will give them more time and flexibility to repay based on their financial situation. Also, taxpayer relief is available if they can’t meet their tax obligations because of circumstances beyond their control. The CRA may cancel or waive penalties or interest under certain conditions.
If your clients received the one-time payment for older seniors in August 2021, they will receive a T4A slip from Service Canada. A small number of Canadians received an incorrect slip, with duplicate amounts in boxes 018 and 205. Amended slips will be issued to these individuals by the end of February 2022. If your clients haven’t received all their slips yet, they may still be able to complete their income tax and benefit return. They can do this by using the slip with the correct information that is available in My Account, or with Auto-fill my return.
There may be other effects to filing their return that are specific to any COVID-19 benefit they received, or if they’re a resident of Quebec.
Protecting your clients from scams and fraud
The safety and security of Canadians, and their information, is a priority for the CRA. Being a victim of scams, fraud, or identity theft can result in significant financial and emotional effects.
Your clients should know when and how the CRA might contact them. The Be Scam Smart page provides information on the ways in which the CRA may contact them, including by:
- text message
We also provide information on securing CRA accounts and encourage your clients to:
- Use unique and complex passwords. Always use unique passwords for their CRA and online banking accounts. Do not reuse the same password for different systems.
- Create a PIN. We suggest they set up a personal identification number (PIN) in My Account or have one of our contact centre agents help them set up their PIN. Their PIN will be used to help confirm their identity on future calls with the CRA.
- Sign up for email notifications. We recommend your clients turn on “Email notifications” through My Account. That way, they’ll receive an email if their address or direct deposit information has been changed on CRA records. These notifications can act as an early warning about potential fraudulent activity. Please note that it will be mandatory to provide an email address to use My Account in February 2022.
- Monitor their account for suspicious activity. They should check their online CRA accounts regularly for any suspicious activity. Look for changes to their address and direct deposit information that they did not make or request. Also, they should watch for benefit applications made for them. It is important that any of these changes that they did not make are reported to the CRA right away.
What’s new on the income tax and benefit return
Canada workers benefit – The Canada workers benefit 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 has announced its intention to deliver the Climate action incentive (CAI) as a quarterly benefit payment. If your clients are residents of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba or Ontario, and they are eligible, they will automatically receive their CAI payments four times a year, starting in July 2022. To receive their payments, they have to file a tax return even if they have not received income in the year. They may qualify for the supplement for residents of small and rural communities if they currently reside outside of a census metropolitan area (CMA) and expect to continue to reside outside of a CMA on April 1, 2022.
Home office expenses – Your client may be eligible to claim a deduction of up to $500 annually for home office expenses in the 2021 tax year using the temporary flat rate method, if they worked more than 50% of the time from home for a period of at least four consecutive weeks due to COVID-19. This method can also be used if their employer provided them a choice to work from home due to COVID-19 during this period.
Zero-emission vehicles – The definition of zero-emission vehicle has changed for vehicles acquired after March 1, 2020. A vehicle may still qualify as a zero-emission vehicle if the vehicle was subject to a prior capital cost allowance or terminal loss claim provided that the vehicle was not acquired by the taxpayer on a tax-deferred “rollover” basis or previously owned or acquired by the taxpayer or a non-arm’s length person or partnership.
Support for farmers - The Government of Canada outlined in Budget 2021 the objective of returning a portion of the proceeds from the price on pollution to farmers in jurisdictions that do not have a carbon pricing system. The designated provinces are currently Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. For 2021, under proposed legislation, farmers who incur eligible farming expenses of $25,000 or more, which are all or partially attributable to designated provinces, may be able to receive a credit of $1.47 per $1,000 in eligible farming expenses.
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 to allow them to claim a 25 per cent refundable tax credit 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 with the 2021 tax year.
Eligible educators, regardless of their income level, who buy teaching supplies may qualify for a refundable tax credit of up to $250 each year. Teaching supplies are consumable supplies such as crayons, glue and paper, as well as certain prescribed durable goods such as:
- books, games and puzzles;
- containers (such as plastic boxes or banker boxes);
- educational support software;
- calculators (including graphing calculators);
- external data storage devices;
- web cams, microphones and headphones;
- multimedia projectors;
- wireless pointer devices;
- digital timers;
- electronic educational toys;
- video streaming devices;
- laptop, desktop and tablet computers, provided that none of these items are made available to the eligible educator by their employer for use outside of the classroom.
Northern residents deductions – Your clients may live in a prescribed zone and be eligible to claim these deductions. To find out, visit Line 25500 - Places located in prescribed zones. The northern residents deductions are available to those who permanently live in a prescribed zone for a continuous period of at least six consecutive months, beginning or ending in the tax year. The residency deduction is based on how many days you lived in a prescribed zone during the tax year. When these changes take effect, the travel deduction is being expanded to be available to eligible northern residents who take a trip even if their employer does not provide travel benefits for personal travel. 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. For more information, visit Northern Residents Deductions for 2021.
What’s new with our services
Notice of assessment or reassessment – In 2023, the CRA will start the process of switching to electronically providing a notice of assessment or reassessment. If your clients file their return using:
- NETFILE or EFILE, they will receive their notice of assessment or reassessment electronically through their NETFILE software, from their EFILE service provider, or through My Account by providing their email address. They can find more information on how to register for My Account here: Registration process to access the CRA sign-in services.
- a paper return, they will receive their notice of assessment or reassessment:
- electronically through My Account, if they provided an email address to the CRA
- by mail, if they did not provide an email address to the CRA
Note: First-time filers will receive a notice of assessment by mail regardless of how they file their first tax return.
The taxpayer’s email address is required for My Account – Effective February 2022, as a fraud prevention initiative, it will be mandatory to provide an email address to access My Account. This will allow the CRA to inform taxpayers in real time of changes made to their account. Taxpayers will have the option to select if they would like to receive their CRA correspondence by paper mail, or to be notified by email, when CRA correspondence is available for viewing electronically in My Account.
Multi-factor authentication has been added to your clients account – We have added multi-factor authentication for all users to help make our CRA sign-in services more secure! To ensure everyone can use it, we’ve introduced a new passcode grid option.
NETFILE and EFILE – NETFILERs filing a tax return with their current NETFILE access code will receive a new randomly-generated and unique code displayed on their notice of assessment for use on the following year’s (2022) tax return. This code will now change annually.
Electronic filers using the EFILE service will be able to file a tax return for Canadians with a mailing address outside Canada.
Users of the EFILE and NETFILE services will be able to file a current year tax return, in addition to returns for the four previous years, instead of just three.
Auto-fill my return – This service will provide information for the current year, plus the previous five years instead of four.
Automated callback service – When available, this service lets callers ask for a callback instead of waiting on hold. Callers on the individual tax enquiries, benefits enquiries, and business enquiries lines may be given the option of a callback. Keep in mind that this service will only be available at certain times of the day and when wait times reach a certain length.
T3 returns – This tax season, if your clients are filing any of these T3 returns (T3ATH-IND, T3RET, T3M, T3S or T3RCA), please note that they can do it online using EFILE. They can register for EFILE today and file a T3 return electronically as of early March 2022.
If your clients need a trust account number, they can visit our Trust Account Registration online service. T3 returns from previous years will not be accepted electronically at this time.
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