Personal tax returns are due on April 30 following the end of the calendar year. Since April 30, 2017 falls on a Sunday, you have until midnight Monday to file your 2016 return.
How should you file your return?
You should file the return electronically. If you mail a return you will not have any proof that you did in fact send Canada revenue Agency (CRA) your return. What will you say when CRA wonders where your return is? Saying the return is “in the mail” is not a believable response. When you file electronically you will have a confirmation number to back you up. In my experience CRA does not lose items when you have a receipt or a confirmation number.
What if you do not have all the information that you need to file?
There is a late filing penalty if you file your return tomorrow instead of today — but only if you owe money. If you have gone to the trouble of figuring out if you owe money you are probably pretty close to being able to file the return so don’t wait, file it today.
If you do not owe any tax then there is no penalty, as the penalty is calculated based on the amount you owe. However, you may not owe any money based on the return as you have prepared it — but what if there are more slips to come? What if someone amends or revises your slips, or what if you are wrong about your calculations?
Strategies if you feel that you do not have all the information you need to finish your personal tax return.
· File the return today and amend the return soon — no late filing penalty because you are not late filed.
· Pay a bunch of money to CRA so that you are sure that you do not owe any money.
Why have you waited four months to get your tax return together? Ok — maybe you have not waited 4 months, but you have had your T4 from your employer and the T5 from your investments since the end of February.
Make a vow not to wait until the last minute next year.
So, you have four months to get your personal income tax papers together. However, many returns will be filed today.
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