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5 tax tips you may not know about

            

Tax time can be stressful, but these five simple tips can help you make sure you stay on track with and optimize your tax filing.

1. When is the tax filing deadline?

Generally, the tax filing deadline that most Canadians need to know is April 30, 2021. This is for most personal tax returns. 

In the province of Quebec, Revenu Québec will not charge late-filing penalties if the return is filed by May 31, 2021. 

If you have other tax returns, here are the deadlines for filing and for the taxes owing.

Type of tax return

Tax return due

Taxes owing due

Personal tax return (including Quebec)

April 30*

April 30**

Personal tax return with self-employment/business earnings (including Quebec)

June 15

April 30**

Corporate tax return***

6 months from year-end

3 months from year-end

Trust return

90 days from the trust’s year-end

90 days from the trust’s year-end

* In the province of Quebec, Revenu Québec will not charge late-filing penalties if the return is filed by May 31, 2021

** If there is an income tax balance, Revenu Québec will not charge interest if the payment is made by May 31, 2021.

*** Corporate tax returns are due six months from the corporation’s fiscal year-end. Corporations are required to pay their taxes in instalments. If your income is active, any balance remaining is due three months from year-end. If your income is only passive, any balance remaining is due two months from year-end.

2. What if I miss the tax filing deadline?

For most personal tax returns, the deadline to file is April 30, 2021.  

If you don’t owe additional taxes:

  • There are no penalties for missing the deadline.
  • But it still makes sense to file early: you can get your refund sooner and use the money to pay off debt, invest or spend.

If you owe additional taxes:

  • You could be subject to late-filing penalties for missing the deadline.
  • Even if you can’t pay your tax bill immediately upon filing, it still makes sense to meet your deadline, as you’ll avoid the initial late-filing penalties.

In the province of Quebec, Revenu Québec will not charge late-filing penalties if the return is filed by May 31, 2021. If there is an income tax balance, it will not charge interest if the payment is made by May 31, 2021.

3. What if I can’t find my tax slips?

As tax season rolls around, you might be worried about gathering all the required information together to file your return.

If you file online using certified tax software, you can use the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Auto-fill service. This will let you automatically complete parts of your income tax return, using information the CRA has available from employers, financial institutions, etc. Auto-fill can provide information for more than 15 different tax forms, including the T3, T4, T5, RC62 and PRPP information slips.

To be eligible for Auto-fill, you need to be registered for a CRA My Account and use a tax software package certified by the CRA to complete your return. Several free and pay-what-you-want software packages are on the certified list on the CRA website.

4. What if I make a mistake on my tax return?

If you file your return and then discover income that you didn’t report or tax slips that didn’t arrive in time, wait until you get your notice of assessment. You can use the Change my return feature in My Account or ReFILE.

5. What if I missed credits and deductions from other years?

As you’re completing your tax return, you may notice that you missed claiming a certain credit or deduction from a previous year.

The CRA will let you amend your tax returns for any of the previous 10 calendar years. So, if you missed claiming your medical school tuition fees in 2015, you can still go back and get those added to your filing for that year.

For many changes, you can use the Change my return feature in My Account or ReFILE.

But you can’t use Change my return or ReFILE to change carryback amounts such as capital or non-capital losses or to change certain complex returns, such as a return with income from outside your province or territory of residence. Here, you’ll have to submit the T1-ADJ form.

With these five tips, you’ll be well on your way to successfully navigating tax season this year. A qualified tax specialist can also help you with your income tax return. For personalized financial planning advice, contact your MD Advisor*.

* MD Advisor refers to an MD Management Limited Financial Consultant or Investment Advisor (in Quebec), or an MD Private Investment Counsel Portfolio Manager.

The above information should not be construed as offering specific financial, investment, foreign or domestic taxation, legal, accounting or similar professional advice nor is it intended to replace the advice of independent tax, accounting or legal professionals.