It’s income tax season in North America. Most income taxes are due by April. The deadline is generally April 30. For self-employed Canadians, the deadline is extended until June. However, the deadline for tax filing submissions is April 30. The earliest date the IRS accepts tax returns is February 18.
Most Canadian provinces don’t require their own, separate tax returns. While they have their own tax rules and regulations, they eschew additional paperwork. Instead, they employ agreements with the federal government to collect tax. Quebec, as is often the case, is an exception. In Quebec, provincial tax returns must be filed with the Ministère du Revenu du Québec. Most Quebecers must also file federal tax returns.
The general Canadian tax return is called the T1. The Revenue Agency has a website designed to demystify the process of filing a tax return. It answers common questions about deadlines, credits and benefits that are available to Canadians. For some Western provinces, there are new credits in place for 2019.
These days, most Canadians file their taxes online. There is both free and commercial software available to make this easier. For those who owe, these can be processed quickly and easily online. For those who are owed refunds, entering information for direct deposit can speed the process along. At the moment, only some Caisses Populaires and Trust subscribers are eligible for this service, however.
Overall, the Canadian tax system is relatively simple and direct. There’s a minimum of paperwork. There are, however, some notable exceptions that have to be considered. Those include non-Canadians who live in the country and Canadians who are expatriates overseas.
Non-resident aliens may benefit from filing tax returns in some cases. It’s a good idea to check with the Revenue Agency to see if they must file. For Canadians who live abroad, tax returns may be required. They, too, should check with the CRA to see if a tax return is necessary. Also, Canadians who live overseas should check with CRA to see which credits they are allowed to claim.
By filing a tax return, Canadian voters also ensure their information is updated on the voter rolls. That’s another significant benefit to filing their tax returns.