The Annual Canadian Tax Filing for 2020 is here. Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has already opened the window to submit 2019 tax returns.
Gathering appropriate receipts always causes panic and rush to beat the deadline. The process becomes even more stressful when crowds are involved. Without time to correct mistakes, or complete the process peacefully, it turns more stressful and hated by most Canadians.
For this reason, we provide a guide to the tax season in 2020 hoping you will garner enough to fix your taxes in time, and receive that coveted refund if eligible for.
Deadlines to file your taxes – Canada Tax Filing 2020
The key step in the plan for a successful tax filing is the preparation of documentation in advance. It is not wise to wait for the tax deadlines to begin the process as many people do.
If you owe taxes, remember the last day is 30th April 2020, which is also the last day to pay your taxes if you owe the government.
If you know there is a chance you will owe taxes; it is critical to file several weeks in advance before the due date. This action will give the Canada Revenue Agency time to assess your returns before the last day.
For 2019, every taxpayer can earn taxable income of $11,809 ($11,635 in 2017) before paying any federal tax. The basic personal tax credit is calculated by multiplying the tax rate for the lowest tax bracket by the basic personal amount. The 2018 tax credit is 15% x $11,809 = $1,771 (15% x $11,635 = $1,745 in 2017)
Cons of paying the taxes late – Canada Tax Filing 2020
Filing late and ending up with taxes due means you will pay interest and penalties on your outstanding tax balance until you submit the payment.
For the self-employed, there is little more wiggle room on filing dates. As a result, most of them wait until the last day to be part of the rush. For this reason, there is often an extension to the filing deadline (June 15, 2020). It is still safer to complete the payment by the 30th of April to avoid more interest charges
You have to file your taxes by April 30th; is the last day to file your taxes this year.
Note that even if you think you do not owe taxes to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), it is critical to file early instead of getting into the mad rush as the deadline approaches.
In case you owe taxes, filing gives you enough time to have the return assessed well before the deadline. If you do not owe money, the early filing will result in your refund reaching the bank account sooner.
How to file your taxes in Canada in 2020?
For the baby boomers and old school Canadians, they traditionally send in forms by snail mail.
However, there are other better and easier routes to file tax returns with the CRA online.
The available options are NETFILE or EFILE – Canada Tax filing 2020
NETFILE, which gives the individuals a chance to prepare their tax returns using computer software (such as TurboTax).
The EFILE option is reserved for those with tax returns prepared with professional expertise. Tax preparers are responsible for this type of filing. This means an accountant or tax preparation service.
You can find all the information on tax filing from the official CRA website by clicking here
What is the difference between NETFILE AND EFILE, and how do they apply to you?
To begin with, both involve the electronic transmission of a tax return to CRA, and have a series of exclusions; conditions that if they apply, make the return ineligible to be transmitted electronically and so must be sent by traditional mail to CRA.
This is the electronic service that most individuals are familiar with from filing their yearly tax returns. It allows you to file your personal income tax and benefit return directly to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) using the Internet.
However, you are not able to change your name, address, or Direct Deposit information using the NETFILE service.
You must first contact CRA with the change of information before you attempt to NETFILE the return. Additionally, you are only allowed to file your own taxes for the current year using NETFILE, although it is possible this may change in the future.
Lastly, there is a limit of twenty returns total per computer that can be filed using NETFILE, so if the whole family is preparing their taxes using NETFILE and there are more than twenty family members filing, they would need to use more than one computer to get them all filed.
EFILE is an automated service that permits those who prepare and file taxes on behalf of others to electronically file the current year income tax and benefit return to the CRA via the Internet.
Because EFILE representatives are registered with CRA as tax professionals, there are somewhat fewer restrictions on what can be done using the service, for example changing a client’s name, address or Direct Deposit information while filing their return. They also have no limit on the number of tax returns that can be filed from a single machine.
Filing Taxes On Time
Technically, only those who owe the government, are required to file their taxes. However, it is still a good practice every year for every citizen. Even if you do not owe the government any money, there is a high likelihood; you will be receiving a refund from the government.
You may use it to make some appropriate changes to improve your finances.
This means that either way, you still stand a chance to benefit.
Secondly, the government will be using your tax returns to assess whether you qualify for various programs available. For example, one of the most helpful programs is the GST/HST tax credit. This is a tax-free quarterly payment, which is focused on helping Canadians with low income. You will automatically get a chance for this benefit.
If you file tax even, you do not owe the government money you will be assessed and qualify. Other major benefits used by the tax return forms are the Canada Child Benefit (CCB). It is a monthly payment made to families, which have children under the age of 18 years who do not qualify as adults.
The CRA takes the information from tax return files to help make accurate calculations on how much payment will be. For this reason, it is important to make the file returns as a family promptly without fail whether or not you had no income.
Latest Tax News In 2020
The previous year had a slew of tax credit changes, which ranged from covering fertility treatments to the loss of some funds in education, as well as transportation. There have been many changes to date; from how and when to file the returns.
Many economists predict that 2020 will have many tax changes with the introduction of new policies. The new changes focus on small business owners or professionals to help them improve their living standards and boost the economy by employing more people.
The benefits exceed beyond the individuals.
Documents Checklist to File Your Taxes
You may not require all the documents mentioned below, but collecting as many possible, which is applicable in your case will quicken the process of tax filing for you and your family. So better be prepared for before filing your taxes or going to the accountant.
SIN number of your family members and date of birth ‐ if this is your first visit.
Bank information: Branch code, institution code and account number ‐ if you are not already set up with Canada Revenue Agency
New immigrants should bring the date landed in Canada, Income of the part of the year before
landed in Canada
Letter from your landlord stating rent paid ‐ otherwise bank statement shows the amount paid to
Tuition slips such as T2202A and T4A ‐ if you or your spouse attended college/university
T4E and other slips for employment income, EI income, disability benefits, retirement benefits
T5007 slip ‐ if you have received social assistance
Notice of assessment for 2017 ‐ if this is your first visit
Prescribed drugs, vision care and dental expenditures made
RRSP contribution slips ‐ last day to subscribe in RRSP is yet to declare by the bank (normally first
week of March 2019)
Money receipt from child care home (Child fitness and arts amount is eliminated effective
Property tax document in case you own apartment/condominium/house
Any T‐slips such as T4, T5008, T5, T3
T2200 Declaration of Conditions of Employment signed by your employer to claim employment
Property tax document, mortgage interest paid, renovation cost receipts, total rent received in
the case you own house/apartment/condominium that had been leased to the tenant
Disability payment slips in case you have a disability (first-time disability claimant should bring the
letter from approved authority) charitable donation, political donation slips.
Any other slips you have received that says related to the tax return you might have
Taxicab operators: Total income and expenses related to operating taxi cab
Business owners: Total income and expenses related to your business and vehicle logbook
Self-employed individuals: should bring all income expense invoices and vehicle logbook
Uber drivers: Tax summary and filled in the format provided.
Although Millennials will not be facing many tax changes this year, there are many deductions, which have not been seen in previous years.
For example, renters living in Ontario need to request a recipe from the landlord for the verified rent paid in the previous year.
The information obtained will be essential for determining whether you qualify for the Ontario Trillium Benefit, which is a refundable credit designed for low-income families.
Donations, Charity and Tax claim
If you made donations, you should get the receipts, as they can be useful to claim them on your taxes. If you have unclaimed donations the previous year, you can also file them. These donations can be claimed up to five years after payment, and still stand the right to claim them.
You should, therefore, request for evidence of payments in terms of receipts from charitable organizations. If you are a new homeowner, you will feel the financial crunch, which comes with the new homeownership. Beware that you can qualify for up to $5,000 first-time home buyer’s tax credit.
It is vital to acquaint yourself with information on tax returns, so you take advantage of the benefits.
Please let us know your thoughts and comments below.
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Sagar Sridhar is a personal finance blogger from Canada. His genuine passion for personal finance coupled with his unique style of writing is what stands out. Professionally, he is a computer engineer, agile certified and has a master’s degree in Project Management. His writing has been featured or quoted in the leading Canadian publications such as Credit Canada and many other personal finance publications. While he is juggling between his day job and blogging, he is the main author on this blog and has miles to go before making the final pit stop.