It’s already March which means we’re well into tax season. With the filing due date fast approaching, we’ve got a few tips and reminders to help make the process a little less stressful.
File your income tax even if you have little or no income
If you’re earning a smaller annual income, there’s a good chance that you are eligible for credits and benefits. Filing a return is the only way you’ll be able to receive them though.
The sooner your taxes are filed the better. If you file late, your may not receive your benefits on time. Furthermore, if you have a balance owing and you don’t file your return on time, you’ll be penalized with a late fee. The penalty is 5% of your 2015 balance owing on the due date of the return, plus 1% of your balance owing for each full month that your return is late, to a maximum of 12 months.
So, get them done asap. The Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) has published a list of CRA-certified commercial tax preparation software packages and web applications that will enable you to submit your taxes digitally.
Most Canadians need to file by the end of April
The due date for 2015 taxes and all payments is April 30, 2016, but self-employed individuals and their spouses or common-law partners will have until June 15 to submit a return.
Bonus: Because April 30 falls on a Saturday, the CRA will consider returns and payments as filed on time if the CRA receives your submission, or it is postmarked, by midnight on May 2, 2016.
Families and seniors get additional breaks
Did you know that your kids’ extracurricular activities may save you money on your taxes!? If your child was enrolled in a sports or arts program you may be eligible for the Children’s fitness tax credit or the Children’s arts amount.
If you are a senior and receive a pension, you may be able to give up to half of your eligible pension income to your spouse or common-law partner to reduce your combined tax payable. You may also be eligible to claim the age amount and medical expenses tax credit.
Don’t forget about charitable donations
Charitable donations of cash, goods, land, or listed securities made to a registered charity or other qualified recipient may be eligible for a charitable tax credit. There’s also a first-time donor’s super credit on donations of money to a maximum of $1,000 you can claim if you are a first-time donor, and if the donation was made after March 20, 2013.