Ways to do your taxes - Personal income tax

You have several ways to do your taxes, including options that are free or have varying costs, or others where you are invited by the CRA.

Choose a filing option

Certified tax software (electronic filing)

Use CRA-approved tax software to calculate and file your taxes electronically. Options include online, downloaded, or installed on your computer, mobile, or tablet.

Who can use: Canadian residents

Cost: Free or can vary

Processing time: Typically within 2 weeks

For details: Certified tax software

Authorize a representative

Authorize a family member, friend, or an accountant to act on your behalf to complete your taxes and access your tax accounts.

Who can use: Anyone

Cost: Free or can vary

Processing time: Typically within 2 weeks

For details: Representative authorization

Community volunteer tax clinic

Find a free tax clinic to have a volunteer complete your taxes for you.

Who can use: People with a modest income, and a simple tax situation

Cost: Free

Processing time: Typically within 2 weeks

For details: Free tax clinics

Discounter (tax preparer)

A discounter is a tax preparer who calculates your refund and pays you a discounted tax refund right away, before they file your tax return.

Who can use: Anyone

Cost: Can vary

Processing time: Discounted refund is paid by the tax preparer right away

For details: Discounter information

Paper tax return

Complete and file your taxes manually on a paper return.

Who can use: Anyone

Cost: Free

Processing time: 10 to 12 weeks (expect delays due to COVID-19)

For details: Get a tax return

Filing options by invitation only

The CRA will send an invitation letter if you are eligible to either file your tax return through an automated phone line or be assisted by a CRA agent.

If you receive an invitation letter from the CRA

Automated phone line (File my Return)

CRA will send an invitation letter to eligible people. To file your taxes, enter your information through the automated phone line.

Who can use: Invited people with a low or fixed income, and a simple tax situation

Cost: Free

Processing time: Typically within 2 weeks

Tax filing assistance from a CRA agent

Complete and file your taxes over the phone with a CRA agent. The CRA will send an invitation to those eligible through mail or My Account.

Who can use: Invited people with a modest income and a simple tax situation

Cost: Free

Processing time: Typically within 2 weeks

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