Even though over 30 million Canadians file income tax returns every year, filing taxes isn’t something we’re taught in school—or anywhere else. That’s why it can be hard to know where to begin.
If the thought of pulling together and interpreting all the required slips and information overwhelms you, this guide is for you. Welcome to our one-stop-shop for everything you need to know about filing your taxes. The easy way.
- The CRA has strict due dates for submitting your tax return and payments. Avoid interest and penalties by filing on time.
- In response to the pandemic and rising cost of living, the government has introduced many new credits and deductions this year. Be sure to find out which ones you’re eligible for.
- By filing your taxes online via NETFILE instead of by mail, you’ll receive your refund (if any) weeks sooner.
1. Know the tax lingo
When you visit an unfamiliar country, learning a few common phrases makes getting around a lot easier. It’s the same with taxes. By familiarizing yourself with key terms like ‘taxable income’ and ‘carry forward’, you can quickly build a foundation and start connecting the dots.
2. Know the important dates
One of the key things to keep track of as a taxpayer is the deadlines for filing your taxes. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has strict due dates for returns and payments. Not to mention, deadlines differ depending on whether you are employed, self-employed, or running a business. When you file on time, you’ll avoid interest and penalties, plus you’ll get your refund earlier.
3. Know what you don’t know
Due to the pandemic and the rising cost of living, the government has put several changes in place for the 2022 tax year. These include increased contribution limits and new credits and deductions you may be eligible for!
To help make sure you’re claiming every tax deduction and credit you deserve, check out the following articles:
- These are the 9 Biggest Tax Changes Canadians Need to Know in 2022
- 20 Popular Canadian Tax Deductions and Credits in 2022
- 9 Tax Credits Every New Parent Should Know About
- EI and Taxes: What Canadians Need to Know
4. Know how COVID-19 benefits impact your taxes
Did you receive the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB), the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB), the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB), or any other pandemic benefit in 2022?
If so, you’ll get a T4A tax information slip from the CRA during tax season for all COVID-19 benefits you received from the CRA in 2022. (Residents of Québec will get a T4A and RL-1 slip).
While all recovery benefits are taxable, 10% of the amount(s) is withheld at the source for tax purposes. Whether you have to pay additional taxes on top of this depends on your total income.
If you can’t meet your tax obligations because of circumstances beyond your control, taxpayer relief is available. The CRA may cancel or waive penalties or interest under certain conditions. If you need more time to settle your tax bill, the CRA offers expanded payment arrangements.
For more information about how COVID-19 benefits impact your tax situation and what you can do to reduce your tax bill, check out what our TurboTax experts have to say: COVID-19 and your taxes: our experts answer all your questions.
5. Know how to file your taxes like a pro
Ready to roll up your sleeves and dive into your taxes? Here’s where we get to the nitty-gritty and offer guidance specifically tailored to you. Which of the following best describes your situation?
- If you’re new to Canada: Taxes for New Canadians: Step-by-Step Guide to Filing Your Tax Return
- If you’re a senior or you’re helping a senior in your life: Tax Credit For Seniors In Canada: Making the Most of your Tax Return
- If you’re a student: The Ultimate Tax Guide for Students
- If you’re a Canadian overseas: The Ultimate Tax Guide For Non-Residents
- If you’re self-employed: The Beginner’s Guide to Self-Employed Taxes
- If you’re filing taxes for someone who’s passed away: 6 Things You Should Know Before Filing a Loved One’s Final Tax Return
- If you’re a landlord: Taxes for Landlords: How Taxes on Rental Income Work
- If you’re a seasoned tax filer, you can use this to triple-check your efforts: 2022 Canadian Tax Checklist: What Tax Documents Do I Need to File My Taxes?
Still not sure where to start? We’ve got you. Not Sure What’s the Best Way to Do Your Taxes? Here’s How to Decide
6. Know the advantages of filing your taxes online
Your future self will thank you for filing your taxes online. Once you take the plunge and create a CRA My Account, you’ll be able to complete and file your taxes online. This can reduce the CRA’s processing time from an average of 10–12 weeks to as few as 8 business days. This also means you’ll receive any applicable refund faster and avoid any interruptions to your benefit and credit payments.
While filing taxes can seem like just one more thing on a massive ‘to-do’ list, getting it done right and on time is a win-win proposition. It means you’ll avoid interest and penalties, and receive any applicable refund sooner rather than later.
TurboTax automatically searches 400+ credits and deductions for you, so you can be sure you aren’t missing a dime.
For even more peace of mind, consider TurboTax Live Full Service. One of our tax experts can prepare your return from start to finish. Whether you’re in the comfort of your own home or on-the-go, start your return from anywhere with the TurboTax mobile app on Android or iOS.
The next step are documents. Watch our tax expert, Emily, share all the documents you need handy for your next appointment.
*TurboTax Live™ Full Service is not yet available in Québec
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