All your tax slips are in, and you’re ready to complete your return! You already know the standard deadline for filing your return and paying your taxes is April 30, 2019 and June 17, 2019 if you’re self-employed. You may have even contributed extra to your RRSP before March 1, 2019 for extra tax savings. You’re avoiding the rush and not leaving your work to the last minute, giving yourself extra time in case of any mistakes.

You’ve already read how to do Tax Season Right, and chosen between filing yourself, using software, or hiring a tax professional based on reading our previous post.

Before starting, you’ll need to make sure your personal information is up to date. Notify the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) if there are changes to your marital status, number of children in your care, address and banking information, as these affect any benefit and credit payments. You are required to report the income you received from all sources, both domestically and internationally.

Whichever method of tax filing you’ve chosen, make sure the following information is organized and easy to consult: charitable contributions, tax credits you qualify for, life events like an inheritance or a divorce, as well as a detailed list of expenses if you have rental income or are self-employed. To help maximize these, double-check what deductions and tax credits you qualify for:

Finally, complete and send your return to the CRA. You can file online or through the mail to a designated tax centre. Check here for the right location for your return, including if you are a non-resident.

It’s important to keep this year’s return information organized and on file for six years after the date you’ve filed, in case of an audit. The CRA may ask to look at any claimed expenses, deductions or tax credits, as well as receipts and related documents.

One more step: Getting your notice of assessment, which confirms the CRA has received your return! If you used certified tax software that has the Express NOA service, you’ll get this right away. Otherwise, it will take about two weeks if you filed electronically and eight weeks if you filed a paper return by mail.

If you’re expecting to receive a tax refund, filed online and chose the direct deposit option, you can receive the funds in as little as eight business days. Refunds for paper returns should be received in about eight weeks. If you owe money to CRA, you need to pay any balance in full to them on or before April 30 to avoid interest or other financial penalties.

If you’ve made a mistake on your return or need to adjust it, there are three options: the ReFILE service offered through certain certified tax preparation software packages, CRA’s MyAccount e-service, or by mail through the submission of the Form T1-ADJ T1 Adjustment Request.

Congratulations on completing another year of your taxes! Let us know if you have any additional tips for easing the process in the comments.

Karen Ho

Author Karen Ho

Karen K. Ho is a business, media and culture writer whose work has appeared in TIME, GQ, Refinery29, Toronto Life, The Globe and Mail, and other publications. The avid traveller and theatre fan splits her time between Toronto and New York.

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Join the discussion 4 Comments

  • Fatima says:


  • Kinjal says:

    Nice explanation

  • Maryanne says:

    Excellent article, love it.

  • Suzanne Stubbins says:

    My husband and l are retired. We lost most of our investments when stock market crashed 2007. We inherited 450.000 dollars from his mother’s estate. We have mortgage, ($140,000), have two adult children, youngest starting university this fall. She is covered for school. We have no cable, don’t eat out, spend on groceries, kids have jobs. Question, How to budget this $450, 000, per week.

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