Canada Revenue Agency releases unique tax-filing season opens today
Ottawa, Ontario (STL.News) The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has officially opened the tax-filing season, meaning that Canadians can now file their 2021 income tax and benefit returns online. They can also choose to file a paper income tax and benefit return. This will be another unique tax-filing season, as we are still facing challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. One thing that stays the same, however, is that Canadians need to file their income tax and benefit returns so they can receive the benefits and credits they may be entitled to.
As you have come to trust, we are here to provide information related to benefits, credits, and deductions that can help Canadians and their families lower the amount of tax they owe, or to increase their tax refund.
Every tax-filing season, many Canadians turn to us for guidance and service. We’re here for you. We are constantly working to improve our service so that we can make interacting with us a positive experience.
Here’s what you need to know for this tax-filing season:
Filing options – There are many options available to you to file. You can pick one that best suits your needs. Check out our Ways to do your taxes page.
Deadlines – The deadline for most Canadians to file their income tax and benefit returns for 2021 is April 30, 2022. Because this date is a Saturday, your return will be considered filed on time if the CRA receives it or it is postmarked on or before May 2, 2022. Similarly, your payment will be considered made on time if it is received by the CRA or processed at a Canadian financial institution on or before May 2, 2022.
Eight steps before filing – Visit our Get ready to do your taxes page for the latest tax information! We have eight steps to help you file.
Learn about your taxes – Questions about the filing of your income tax and benefit return? Don’t worry! We have launched a new online learning tool to help you learn about taxes so you can do them on your own. Go to Learn about your taxes for more information.
T4A slips for COVID-19-related benefits – If you received taxable COVID-19 benefits from the CRA in 2021, such as the Canada Recovery Benefit, a T4A 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 slips for COVID-19-related benefits will also be provided online if you’re registered for My Account and have full access. T4A 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.
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 return 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 Free tax clinics web page. Should you live in Quebec, please visit the Income Tax Assistance – Volunteer Program for more information.
Home office expenses – You may be eligible to claim a deduction of up to $500 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.
My Account – This secure portal lets you manage your taxes and benefits 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. If you own a business, you can also sign up for My Business Account.
Email notifications – As of February 7, 2022, you are required to provide an email address to use My Account. You will receive an email if important information such as your address or direct deposit information has been changed on CRA records. These notifications can act as an early warning about potential fraudulent activity.
Still, looking for more information? We’ve got you covered! Check out our What you need to know for the 2022 tax-filing season tax tip for more helpful information.
Putting people first is a top priority at the CRA. Learn more about how CRA employees are working hard to serve Canadians better.
Our Tax tips and new videos can provide you with quick and helpful information tailored to your tax situation.
For those who received taxable COVID-19 benefits, remember to enter them on your income tax and benefit return. These benefit payments are considered taxable income.
For individuals who need to speak with an agent this filing season, the CRA’s individual inquiries line is open Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. local time, and Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. local time. CRA telephone numbers, fax numbers, and addresses are available at our Contact the Canada Revenue Agency page.
We encourage filing online, as it is the fastest and most secure way to do your taxes, but we will continue to support those who choose to file by paper. It may take 10 to 12 weeks to process paper returns. If you choose to file by paper, file as early as you can to avoid any interruptions to your benefit and credit payments you may be eligible for.
Canadians can sign up for direct deposit and file their taxes online to get their refund faster and avoid delays.
The CRA offers a Liaison Officer service that provides free personalized virtual visits by phone or videoconference to small business owners and self-employed individuals to help them understand their tax obligations.
We have expanded payment arrangement parameters to provide Canadians more time and flexibility to repay a tax debt. Those who are in difficult financial situations and find themselves owing money can call a CRA agent for help, toll-free at 1-888-863-8657 between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., Eastern time, Monday to Friday (except holidays).
Resources on how to protect yourself from scams and fraud are available on our Be Scam Smart page. Those who suspect that they have been the victim of identity theft or fraud should call the CRA so they can validate their account and discuss additional security measures.
The CRA has not extended the tax filing deadline. Canadians should complete and submit their tax returns by May 2, 2022, the filing due date for most individuals. Canadians are strongly encouraged to file their tax returns to ensure that their benefit payments continue uninterrupted.
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