(Almost) Everything I need to know about filing my taxes

Published by
Maude Marcotte
Maude Marcotte

The tax filing deadline is fast approaching. Here's what you need to know to file your taxes on time.

When do I have to file my taxes? 

For the vast majority of individuals, the deadline to file their 2022 tax return is April 30, 2023. However, since this date falls on a Sunday this year, the deadline has been extended to May 1, 2023. If you owe amounts to the Canada Revenue Agency or Revenu Québec, you must also pay these amounts by this same date. 

For a self-employed person and his or her spouse, the deadline for filing a tax return for the year 2022 has been extended to June 15, 2023. However, if you owe amounts to the Canada Revenue Agency or Revenu Québec, you must still pay these amounts by May 1, 2023. 

What do I need to send to my accountant (or tax specialist) so that he or she can file my tax returns?

First, it is very important to tell your professional about any changes that have occurred for you during the year. Did you go back to school? Did you have a child? Does someone in your family have a disability? Do you have a child in school? Are you in higher education? All of the answers to these questions could be very relevant to your tax filing. 

Here is also a non-exhaustive list of the documents you need to provide for filing your taxes: 

  • T4 slip and Relevé 1 (employment income)
  • RRSP contributions
  • T4RSP and T4RIF slips (RRSP or RRIF withdrawals)
  • Medical expense receipts
  • Charitable donation receipt
  • T5 slip and Relevé 3, T3 slip and Relevé 16, T5008 slip and Relevé 18 (investment income)
  • Last year's federal and provincial notices of assessment
  • T4E slip (employment insurance)
  • T4A slip and Relevé 2 (pension and annuity income)
  • Interest paid on eligible student loans
  • Deductible carrying charges

If you are a homeowner or tenant, it would be appropriate to add : 

  • Relevé 31 (housing information)
  • HBP (Home Buyers' Plan) repayment
  • Declaration of the sale of a house

If you have children, you can add: 

  • Relevé 24 (child care receipts)
  • Relevé 19 (advance payment from Revenu Québec for child care expenses)
  • Relevé 6 (QPIP (Quebec Parental Insurance Plan) benefits)
  • Receipts for children's activities (under 16 years of age)

Why should I file my tax return on time? 

If you do not pay your taxes and/or do not file your tax returns on time, the Canada Revenue Agency and Revenu Québec may charge you interest and penalties for late payment and/or late filing. Here are the possible interest and penalties: 

  • Interest at the current prescribed rate (8% for the first quarter of 2023) on your unpaid taxes increases daily from the due date. 
  • Interest at the current prescribed rate (8% for the first quarter of 2023) on penalties is charged from the first day after the filing deadline. 
  • The late filing penalty is 5% of your tax liability, plus 1% for each full month that your tax liability is late, up to a maximum of 12 months.

Therefore, interest on taxes will begin to accrue, if you have an unpaid amount, as of May 2, 2023. Late filing penalties and interest on penalties will begin to accrue on May 2, 2023 for most individuals and on June 16, 2023 for self-employed individuals.

The main reason to file a tax return on time is to avoid all the interest and penalties that can mount up very quickly. 

What if I don't have to pay taxes? 

If you don't owe any tax, interest or penalties for late filing do not apply to you. However, it may still be to your advantage to file your tax returns. 

In particular, you may be able to access tax credits or benefits (GST/HST credit, Canada Child Allowance, Canada Workers' Compensation, etc.) that are only available after you file your tax returns. 

In addition, it may be advantageous to file your tax returns in order to start the limitation period. Once the return is filed, the Canada Revenue Agency and Revenu Québec generally have 3 years to reassess. After that time, the tax year is statute-barred and nothing more can be done. 

To learn more about your tax obligations or to find out if you need to file a tax return, you can talk to one of our professionals.

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