Fellow Canadians, it's that time of the year again, tax season has returned.
And while the thought of filing your taxes can be overwhelming, it doesn't have to be a stressful experience. In fact, with a little bit of preparation and knowledge, you can breeze through your tax return and maybe even score a sweet refund. So, whether you're a seasoned tax filer or a first-time taxpayer, we've got you covered with everything you need to know about filing your taxes in Canada in 2023, including the latest tax changes to helpful tips and tricks.
Filing and Payment Deadlines
For most Canadians, the deadline to file your tax return is April 30, 2023. But, since that day falls on a Sunday, you'll still be considered on time if the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) receives your return or if it's postmarked by May 1, 2023.
If you're self-employed or your spouse/common-law partner is, you get a bit of a break. Your deadline is pushed back to June 15, 2023, so long as you file your return by then. It's important to get your return filed by the appropriate deadline to avoid any hiccups with your benefit or credit payments.
And, if you owe money to the CRA, you'll need to make your payment by April 30, 2023. As long as the CRA receives your payment or a Canadian financial institution processes it by May 1, 2023, you're good to go.
Register for Direct Deposit and File Online
CRA has made it easy for Canadians to file their taxes by allowing them to register for a direct deposit and to file online to get any refund they may be eligible for faster.
To file online, the CRA has a list of certified tax software products that are easy to use, fast, and secure, some of which are free!
When you file using NETFILE-certified software, you may be able to use:
- Auto-fill my return. This is a secure service that allows individuals and authorized representatives using certified tax software to automatically fill in parts of an income tax and benefit return with information that the CRA has available at the time of the request. This service can retrieve information from the current year and six years prior. Once Auto-fill my return has populated the return with the information, make sure that all the proper fields on the return are filled in and that the information provided is true, accurate, and complete before you file your return.
- Express NOA. This is a secure service that allows individuals and authorized representatives to view their notice of assessment (NOA) directly in their certified tax software and My Account, immediately after the return has been received and processed by the CRA.
If you file your taxes electronically, you typically will get your refund processed within two weeks. And, if you file online and registered for a direct deposit, you could receive your refund in as little as eight business days. However, if you file a paper return, CRA’s standard processing time is eight weeks from the date they receive your return.
Things to Be Aware Of:
- Climate Action Incentive Payment (CAIP) – The CAIP is a tax-free amount paid to help individuals and families offset the cost of federal pollution pricing. You may be eligible for the CAIP if you are a resident of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, or Ontario.
- Canada Dental Benefit – Starting from December 1, 2022, families with an adjusted family net income of less than $90,000 in 2021 can apply for the new interim Canada Dental Benefit, which provides financial support to parents and guardians of children under 12 years old who require dental care services but do not have access to private dental insurance plans.
- One-time top-up to the Canada Housing Benefit – The government introduced a tax-free one-time $500 payment to help lower-income renters facing housing affordability challenges. As of December 12, 2022, this benefit is available to renters who must meet specific eligibility requirements.
- Elections Canada Boxes – When filing your taxes, checking “Yes” to the two questions related to Elections Canada ensures that you’re on the list of electors at your current address and ready to vote in any federal election.
What’s New on the Income Tax and Benefit Return
This year, there are a number of new incentives and benefits that Canadians might be eligible for. Check out the latest changes below and see if you’re entitled to any of them.
- Simplified northern resident's travel deduction
- Disability tax credit
- First-time home buyers’ tax credit
- Home accessibility tax credit
- Labour mobility deduction
- Medical expense tax credit (for surrogacy and other expenses)
- Request to deduct federal COVID-19 benefits repayment in a prior year
- Zero-emission vehicles
Did you know that if you have a modest income and a simple tax situation, you may be able to get your taxes done for free by volunteers at a tax clinic? According to CRA, these tax clinics are available both in person and virtually, so you can get the help you need no matter where you are. To find out if you’re eligible and to locate a tax clinic near you, visit CRA’s Free Tax Clinics page.
Watch Out for Scams
It's important to protect yourself from scams and fraud. The CRA might reach out to you through different channels like phone, email, mail, and text messages. To stay informed about these methods and avoid falling for any traps, check out CRA’s Scams and Fraud page and check your accounts frequently for any unusual activity.
As you start to prepare to file your taxes this year, remember to stay organized, keep track of important documents, and seek professional help if needed. And above all, don't stress too much - with a little bit of effort, you'll have your taxes filed in no time.