Sending a tax return

There are several ways to file or send your tax return. However, if you are a non-resident, the only method currently available to file is by mail.

By Internet


NETFILE is a secure service that allows you to file your income tax and benefit return electronically using tax preparation software or a web tax application. For a list of available software and applications, including free ones, go to NETFILE.


Before filing online, your information, including your address, must be up to date. If you have registered for the full version of CRA's My Account or MyCRA service, you can change your address and update your direct deposit information in participating NETFILE certified tax preparation software. If not, you must tell the CRA your new address by phone.

For the 2021 tax year, prior to filing your tax return electronically with NETFILE, you will be asked to enter an Access code after your name, date of birth, and social insurance number. Your eight-character Access code is made up of numbers and letters and is located on the right side of your Notice of Assessment for a previous tax year. While this Access code is not mandatory, if you do not enter your Access code, you will not be able to use any information from your 2021 tax return when confirming your identity with the Canada Revenue Agency. You will have to rely on other information for authentication purposes. This code does not apply to you if you are filing your tax return for the first time.

EFILE for individuals

EFILE is a secure service that lets authorized service providers, including a discounter, complete and file your return electronically. For more information, go to EFILE for individuals.

Auto-fill my return

Auto-fill my return is a secure CRA service that lets you or your authorized service provider automatically fill in certain parts of your current year return. The CRA will have most tax information from most tax slips, such as T4s, as well as registered retirement savings plan information, and carry forward amounts.

To auto-fill your return, you must be registered with My Account and be using a certified software product that offers this option. For more information, go to Auto-fill my return.

By mail

Whether you are a resident or a non-resident, you can mail your return to your tax centre.

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.

If you prepare your return or other people’s returns, mail or deliver each person’s return in a separate envelope. However, if you file returns for more than one year for the same person, put them all in one envelope.

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