How to Save Money » Taxes

Filing your tax return in Canada

In Canada, the tax deadline for filing your tax return is April 30. You don’t want to file late, or you will be charged penalties. As you begin getting your documents together and filling out your forms, here are a few things to keep in mind:

NETFILE is a great way to file your tax return

While you can mail your tax return to one of the tax centers around the country, you might want to consider using NETFILE.

NETFILE is the way that individuals and businesses can file their tax returns directly with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) via the Internet. You do need to make sure that you use a certified software program or web application. Most of the common tax prep options, including TurboTax and StudioTax, are compatible with NETFILE.

If you have a professional file your taxes on your behalf, you can still use the Internet. EFILE is used by registered tax service providers.

Filing by the Internet is fast and secure. If you are entitled to a refund, NETFILE and EFILE can both help you get it faster.

You have options if you can’t pay your taxes

What happens if you can’t pay your taxes? First of all, you still need to file a tax return. If you don’t file, you could find yourself in even bigger trouble. Make it a point to file your return.

If you can pay your taxes, it’s possible to make payment arrangements with the CRA. You have to call, and you need to show that you have made an effort to pay what you owe by re-arranging your finances or looking for funds in other places.

When you would rather pay throughout the year, rather than a single lump sum on April 30, you can set up income tax installments. Consider whether or not this option might work well for you, helping you avoid the stress that comes with trying to pay when your tax return is due.

You can dispute your tax findings

If you aren’t happy with the way things have turned out with your tax return, and what you owe, you can talk to a CRA representative about the problem, and work to resolve the issue. You can request a formal review to look at your circumstance, and determine whether or not you should owe so much. You can make a complaint if you are still unhappy with the outcome.

Make sure to check the CRA web site for information on how disputes are handled. Each dispute is handled individually, accounting for the situation, and the amount involved.

Before you send your tax return

Prior to sending in your tax paperwork, you want to review the information and make sure it is as accurate as possible. You don’t want a mistake to trigger a review by the CRA, or result in you paying more than you owe in taxes.

Make a checklist of the items you need to accurately fill out your forms, as well as other documentation that you might need. You want to make sure that you don’t make extra problems for yourself.


  1. Elizabeth

    I used Turbotax and netfile for the first time last year. So. Much. Easier. Only took me half an hour to file my taxes, and I didn’t have to leave my apartment to do it. I highly recommend filing your taxes online.

  2. Angele @shoeboxbegone

    Another great software is Genutax – it’s free, it works, and it’s incredibly easy to use. It’s almost impossible to miss a tax credit or make a mistake! It’s also certified for NETfile

  3. Stef

    Don’t use it!!!! Takes alot longer and they always ask for the supporting documents anyway. Save yourself alot of headaches and file the old paper way!!! Paper submittal took us 3 weeks to receive our refund…netfile were now at 5 weeks and still not processed!!!

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