OTTAWA, ON, Feb. 10, 2022 /CNW/ – Last year, Canadians filed almost 31 million income tax and benefit returns. Having the information you need on hand to file your return makes the filing process that much easier. We want to help you get ready, so you are in good shape when it comes time to file your return this year.
Here you will find information on filing options, COVID-19 benefits, and what’s new for this tax-filing season.
The tax-filing deadline for most individuals is April 30, 2022
Since April 30, 2022, falls on a Saturday, your 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
You have until June 15, 2022, to file your return if you or your spouse or common law-partner are self-employed.
The payment deadline is April 30, 2022
If you have a balance owing, your payment is due on April 30, 2022.
If you or your spouse or common law-partner are self-employed, your payment is still due on April 30, 2022.
If you filed your 2020 return and qualified for interest relief, you have until April 30, 2022, to pay any outstanding income tax debt for the 2020 tax year. This applies to the tax owing for the 2020 tax year only, and not for any previous tax year.
Since April 30, 2022, falls on a Saturday, in all of the above situations, your 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.
Plan ahead this tax-filing season
Plan ahead, and file your income tax and benefit return as soon as you can. Doing so will allow you to:
- receive any refund faster (if applicable)
- avoid interruptions to your benefit and credit payments
- seek help if you need it
To help you plan ahead, we encourage you to sign up for direct deposit and to file online. Using these tools will help you avoid delays and get your notice of assessment (NOA) and any refund, if applicable, faster. Also, please sign up for My Account. It is the fastest and easiest way to view and manage your tax and benefit information. If you own a business, you can also sign up for My Business Account.
Filing before the deadline is the best way to make sure your 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 you owe tax, don’t risk having your benefits interrupted by not filing. If you cannot pay your balance owing, we can work with you on a payment arrangement.
Our service standard is to issue your NOA within two weeks of receiving your return online. 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.
Go digital this tax-filing season
Go digital this tax-filing season by using our online services such as:
- My Account – This service lets you manage your tax and benefit affairs online. You can update your address, direct deposit information, marital status, and more. You can also sign up for Email notifications and access digital services such as Auto-fill my return and Express NOA in certified tax filing software.
- NETFILE certified software – You can file online using NETFILE-certified software options. There are many products to choose from, depending on your needs. Some of these products are free.
- Express NOA – This service allows you to view your NOA in your certified tax software. Your notice becomes available right after the CRA receives and processes your return, seconds after filing.
- Email notifications – These notifications help you keep track of information in your account. They help prevent fraud by sending you an email when:
- you have mail from the CRA
- your address, direct deposit or other information has been changed
- any paper mail from the CRA that was addressed to you is returned
Please note that it will be mandatory to provide an email address to use My Account as of February 2022.
You can check out our questions and answers about filing your taxes page for more answers to common questions. This page will be updated periodically to incorporate changes that may affect you during the tax-filing season.
Haven’t filed in a while or have never filed a return?
You have to complete and file an income tax and benefit return every year to:
- receive certain benefits and credits to which you may be entitled
- possibly get a tax refund
- pay Canadian taxes you may owe
There are different ways to file your income tax and benefit return(s) if you:
- have never filed a return before
- haven’t filed in a while
- would like to file returns for previous years
You 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 you. You can also get answers to frequently asked questions about filing your taxes at our Questions and answers about filing your taxes page.
We can also help you Learn about your taxes. This year, we are launching a new online course to help you learn about taxes and empower you to do your taxes on your own. The free online course provides you with lessons that help you understand what taxes are, why we pay them, how to read your paycheques and income tax slips, and finally, how to do your taxes for the first time. Following each lesson, you can test yourself with exercises and quizzes.
If you received benefits issued by the CRA in 2021, such as the Canada Recovery Benefit, a T4A information slip will be mailed to you 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 you’re registered for My Account and have full access. To have full access to My Account, you need to enter the CRA security code we issued to you after completing the first step of the registration process. You can view some tax slips online starting in early January 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, you must be registered for My Account.
When COVID-19 benefits were paid, some tax was withheld at source. If you 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 you. This will give you more time and flexibility to repay based on your financial situation. Also, taxpayer relief is available if you can’t meet your tax obligations because of circumstances beyond your control. The CRA may cancel or waive penalties or interest under certain conditions.
There may be other effects to filing your return that are specific to any COVID-19 benefit you received, or if you’re a resident of Quebec.
We are aware that everyone’s tax situation is unique and may require contacting one of our agents. We thank you for your patience in advance. Tax season is the busiest time for the CRA. Unfortunately, this means you may experience long wait times. Agents are working hard to answer calls as fast as possible to deliver services that Canadians expect from the CRA.
We understand that waiting to get through in these situations can be stressful. The individual tax enquiries line is open Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm, local time, and Saturday 9am to 5pm, local time, except holidays.
Protecting you 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.
Know when and how the CRA might contact you. The Be Scam Smart page provides information on the ways in which the CRA may contact you, including by:
- text message
We also provide information on securing CRA accounts and encourage you to:
- Use unique and complex passwords. Always use unique passwords for your CRA and online banking accounts. Do not reuse the same password for different systems.
- Create a PIN. We suggest you set up a personal identification number (PIN) in My Account or have one of our contact centre agents help you set up your PIN. Your PIN will be used to help confirm your identity on future calls with the CRA.
- Sign up for email notifications. We recommend you sign up for “Email notifications” through My Account. That way, you will receive an email if your 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 your account for suspicious activity. Check your online CRA accounts regularly for any suspicious activity. Look for changes to your address and direct deposit information that you did not make or request. Also, please watch for benefit applications made for you. It is important that any of these changes that you 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 you are a resident of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, or Ontario, and you are eligible, you will automatically receive your CAI payments four times a year, starting in July 2022. To receive your payments, you have to file a tax return even if you have not received income in the year. You may qualify for the supplement for residents of small and rural communities if you 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 – You 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 you 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 your employer provided you 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 – You 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 – Planned for July 2022, the CRA will start the process of switching to electronically providing a notice of assessment or reassessment. If you file your return using:
- NETFILE or EFILE, you will receive your notice of assessment or reassessment electronically through your NETFILE software, from your EFILE service provider, or through My Account by providing your email address. You can find more information on how to register for My Account here: Registration process to access the CRA sign-in services.
- a paper return, you will receive your notice of assessment or reassessment:
- electronically through My Account, if you provided an email address to the CRA
- by mail, if you 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.
Your 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 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.
File my Return – This service has been improved to include the use of a PIN. Users of the service who have a PIN and enter it will be able to find out their estimated refund or balance owing, as applicable.
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.
Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP) – If you have a modest income, a simple tax situation, and require assistance, a CVITP volunteer may be able to complete and file your tax returns for free. Services are currently being offered both in-person and through virtual means such as video-conferencing. To find a clinic, please visit our website. Should you live in Quebec, please visit the Income Tax Assistance – Volunteer Program for more information.
T3 returns – This tax season, if you are filing any of these T3 returns (T3ATH-IND, T3RET, T3M, T3S or T3RCA), please note that you can do it online using EFILE. Register for EFILE today to file electronically on or after February 21, 2022.
If you need a trust account number, visit our Trust Account Registration online service. T3 returns from previous years will not be accepted electronically at this time.
SOURCE Canada Revenue Agency