Tax Time: How To Avoid Headaches During Tax Season

Woman during Tax Season, holding head

On time is good, early is best.

For most Canadians, the deadline to file your tax return is April 30. However, with that date falling on a weekend, May 2 is your deadline for 2022.

Though you have the extra time, delaying your tax return is inadvisable. File your taxes early to ensure you receive any benefits, refunds, or credits you’re entitled to. In addition, The Canadian Revenue Agency has tons of online tools to help with early tax filing.

Go digital this tax season and you can:

  • Autofill parts of your return to avoid mistakes
  • See uncashed CRA cheques at a glance and request a duplicate
  • Easily send documents directly to the CRA
  • Pay any owing balance online
  • Register a formal dispute or objection

The CRA has also launched a new online learning tool that helps you gain a better understanding of taxes. Why we pay them, how to read pay stubs, and even how to file your taxes personally.

Tax time is scam time

2021 in Canada:

Reports of Fraud
Victims of Fraud
0 M
Lost in Fraud

If you receive a call from someone claiming to be a CRA agent, it’s always better to err on the side of caution. Ask for the caller’s name, phone number, and office location. Hang up and verify this information by contacting the CRA. If all checks out, call them back and discuss the reason for the call.

You can always verify a CRA agent’s identity even if you aren’t suspicious. However, there are some red flags to watch out for. If the caller:

  • Does not provide proof of identity such as their name or office location.
  • Uses aggressive language or pressures you to act now.
  • Asks for an unusual payment method such as a prepaid credit card, gift card, or cryptocurrency.
  • Asks for information unrelated to your tax return or money owed such as your credit card number.
  • Recommends that you apply for benefits or offers to apply on your behalf (You can apply for benefits directly from the Government of Canada website).

Scammers are becoming more sophisticated, but protecting yourself doesn’t need to be complicated.

Everyone’s tax process is unique

Most tax returns are not identical to another and year over year, things change. The aforementioned online learning tool is a perfect way to stay up to date on any changes.

There are also unique benefits and credits you don’t want to miss out on. To help, seniors and students have dedicated pages on the Government of Canada’s website. They will guide you through the unique personal and financial situations of each one.

COVID-19 benefits also bring potential variations to your tax return. If you received benefits in 2021, a T4A information slip should have already been mailed to you.

COVID-19 Benefits

When COVID-19 benefits were paid, some tax was withheld at source. Due to this, you may end up owing more. If this presents a significant financial hardship, the CRA offers payment arrangements that offer more flexibility. Under certain circumstances the CRA also offers Taxpayer relief, canceling or waiving penalties and interest.

Don’t slip up on your tax return

Finally, review your tax return from last year. It will help you see what slips you need to file this year.

Beware: The CRA charges penalties for any income slips missing from your return. These penalties also grow more severe with each subsequent year. If you missed a slip last year, be sure not to miss it again this tax season.

You should receive most of your slips by the end of February. These slips are prepared by your employer, payer, or administrator. Missing a slip or didn’t receive one on time? You can request a copy of your current or prior year’s tax slip directly from the CRA.

Tax Time doesn’t need to be something to fear.  Be sure to utilize all the tools and information on the Government of Canada’s website and you’ll stay headache free this year.

If your also struggling to navigate your Business SR&ED grants and incentives, grab a spot at our webinar.

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