This is the first of our two part blog series on tax filing. Read below for important deadlines and dates to start planning your tax return, even if you only earned a small amount of income. In Part 2, we list tax filing resources available online, and the pros and cons to filing your own taxes.
Deadline to file taxes in 2021 is April 30
The last day to file (and pay) personal income taxes is April 30, 2021.
Last year, when the pandemic began, there was a one-time extension when you could file your 2019 income taxes by the spring and payments weren’t due until the fall. Not so this year, so start planning early!
Tax slips for COVID-19 related benefits are sent by end of February
All of the federally rolled out benefits designed to help Canadians during the pandemic (including CERB, CESB, CRB, CRSB and the CRCB) are considered taxable income. That means that on your tax return, you need to include the total of the amounts you received. If you received benefits from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) you will get a T4A. If you received benefits from Service Canada, you will get a T4E. Tax slips typically arrive in the mail before the end of February.
Although it’s nice to get a tax refund, it’s also important to plan ahead just in case you are required to pay. For example, some CERB recipients will need to repay the benefit if they applied for and received it from both Employment Insurance/Service Canada and from the CRA for the same eligibility period.
Read more about who will need to repay CERB, here.
Plan to remove one-time only boosts from your budget this year
Canada Child Benefit – one-time change in 2020
The Canada Child Benefit (CCB) is a tax-free monthly payment to help your family with the costs of raising children. Because last year was the first year of the pandemic, the Government of Canada added a one-time boost to May 2020 payments, However, there will be no additional boost in 2021. You can view the schedule of CCB payments in 2021, here.
Goods and Services Tax Credit – one-time change in 2020
The Goods and Services Tax credit is a tax-free payment that helps individuals and families with low or modest incomes. Similar to the CCB, in 2020 there was an additional one-time emergency payment in early May. However, in 2021, the schedule returns to its usual 4 times per year.
March 2nd Webinar: Filing your 2020 Taxes
On March 2, 2021 at 10am MST, ask questions and get answers from Bonnie McIntyre, our guest presenter from the CRA. Register for the webinar here.
Now that you know the key dates, should you file your own taxes? Learn the benefits in Part 2 of this series – Tax Filing Resources Everyone Should Know.