Get a head start on your taxes by using the CRA’s digital services

December 14, 2023

Ottawa, Ontario

Canada Revenue Agency

It’s almost that time of year again: tax season. Many of us put off filing our income tax and benefit returns until the last minute or avoid filing altogether. By not filing, you might be missing out on certain benefit and credit payments, or a potential refund.

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is here to help you file, so you’re not scrambling at the last minute before the deadline. You can avoid stress by getting ready early and using our digital services!

Take advantage of digital services and electronic filing

To stay ahead of the game, register for My Account before the tax season rush. Once you register, you can manage your tax affairs online. This includes updating personal information, including your address, marital status, and phone number. You don't need to call the CRA to make these types of changes.

For full access to My Account, you will need to enter the CRA security code we will mail to you after you complete the first step of the registration process. Receiving a CRA security code by mail usually takes 5-10 business days. This is why it’s best to start early, before tax season begins.

When you have full access to My Account and file electronically with NETFILE-certified software, you’ll be able to use Auto-fill my return. This secure service lets you automatically pre-fill parts of an income tax and benefit return with information that the CRA has available at the time of the request. You will also have access to Express NOA, which lets you view your notice of assessment (NOA) right after your return has been received and processed by the CRA.

When it comes to filing your tax return, electronic filing is a great option. But why stop there? You should also set up direct deposit. With direct deposit, your payments will be deposited into your bank account, so you don’t have to wait for a cheque to arrive in the mail. By combining direct deposit with electronic filing, you could receive your tax refund in as little as eight business days! This means faster access to your money.

Keep these dates in mind!

Circle February 19, 2024, on your calendar. That’s when you can start filing your 2023 tax return online. And don’t forget about April 30, 2024. That’s the deadline to file a tax return for most Canadians. By filing your tax return on time, you’ll avoid potential delays to your refund, benefit, or credit payments.

We’re not here to pretend that having to make a payment is fun. It’s not. But when we pay any money we owe, we’re supporting our communities and the programs and services that we all rely on. If you owe money to the CRA after filing your tax return, the deadline to make a payment is also April 30, 2024. By filing and paying on time, you’ll avoid late-filing penalties and interest. When you file your tax return, you could reduce the amount of tax you owe by claiming deductions, credits, and expenses.

You have extra time to file if you’re self-employed

It’s true! If you or your spouse or common-law partner are self-employed, both of you have until June 15, 2024, to file your tax returns. As that date falls on a Saturday, your return will be considered filed on time if the CRA receives it or it is postmarked on or before June 17, 2024.

If you owe money to the CRA, you'll still need to pay by April 30, 2024, to avoid interest.

Keeping your information safe and secure

Some of you may worry about security when using digital services. Protecting your personal information is one of our top priorities. We have security measures in place to protect your personal information, including Multi-factor authentication. We also proactively revoke user IDs and passwords that may have been obtained by unauthorized third parties through sources external to the CRA, such as data breaches or email phishing schemes. These security measures help prevent unauthorized activity on your accounts.

In addition, My Account users need to have an email address on file to help protect their online accounts from fraudulent activity. If you don’t have an email address on file, you will need to provide one when you sign in. Signing in before tax-filing season may help you avoid delays when it comes to accessing My Account and using our secure digital services in certified tax software.

There are ways to protect yourself from scams and fraud. One way is by knowing how the CRA might contact you. Take a moment to visit our Scams and fraud page, where you will find information to help you recognize the signs of a scam and learn about the ways the CRA may contact you, whether it’s by phone, email, mail, or text message.

Need more information?

If you need more help, check out our free online tool that teaches you about taxes, where your money goes, and how to file a tax return on your own. You can also find quick answers to your tax-filing questions from Charlie, our friendly chatbot! You'll spot Charlie on the CRA homepage and many of our other webpages on


Media Relations
Canada Revenue Agency


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