Tax tip: If you're a senior, here are some tips to help you this tax season!
Source: The Bassano Times
The following are recommendations by Canada Revenue Agency. Every tax situation is unique and should be reviewed by a legal or tax consultant.
Getting all the benefits and credits to which you may be entitled to as a senior is not only top of mind for you, but for us as well! The following recommendations by Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) are to help you avoid interruptions to your benefit and credit payments. These tips will also help you when completing your income tax and benefit return. The tax-filing deadline for most individuals is April 30, 2022. Since April 30, 2022 falls on a Saturday, your return will be considered filed on time if: the CRA receives it on or before May 2, 2022; or it's postmarked on or before May 2, 2022.
You have until June 15, 2022, to file your tax return if you or your spouse or common-law partner are self-employed.
The payment deadline is April 30, 2022. If you have a balance owing, your payment is due on April 30, 2022.
If you or your spouse or common-law partner are self-employed, your payment is still due on April 30, 2022.
If you filed your 2020 income tax and benefit return and qualified for interest relief, you have until April 30, 2022, to pay any outstanding income tax debt for the 2020 tax year. This applies to the tax owing for the 2020 tax year only, and not for any previous tax year.
Since April 30, 2022, falls on a Saturday, in all of the above situations, your payment will be considered paid on time if CRA receivse it on or before May 2, 2022.
CRA encourages you to file your taxes before the deadline. Doing so will ensure your benefit and credit payments are not interrupted. Even if you owe tax, don't risk having your benefits interrupted by not filing. If you cannot pay your balance owing, CRA can work with you on a payment arrangement.
Sign up for direct deposit and file online You can sign up for direct deposit and file online. Doing so will let you get any refund, for which you may be eligible, faster and avoid delays. You can also sign up for My Account. It's the fastest and easiest way to view and manage your tax and benefit information. If you own a business, you can sign up for My Business Account.
CRA service standard is to issue your notice of assessment within two weeks of receiving your return online. Due to COVID-19, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) may take 10 to 12 weeks to process paper returns. The CRA will process them in the order they are received. Canadians who file online and who are signed up for direct deposit may get their refund in as little as eight business days.
The Get ready to do your taxes page has information on online filing, deadlines, and other helpful links. This page will be updated as of late January 2022.
If you received benefits issued by the CRA in 2021, such as the Canada Recovery Benefit, a T4A information slip will be mailed to you by the end of February 2022. Residents of Quebec will receive a T4A slip and an RL-1 slip.
T4A information slips from the Government of Canada for COVID-19-related benefits will also be provided online if you're registered for My Account and have full access. To have full access to My Account, you need to enter the CRA security code issued to you after completing the first step of the registration process. You can view some tax slips online starting in early January in My Account. T4A information slips, including information for COVID-19-related benefits, are also available through the Auto-fill my return service in certified tax filing software. This is because this service automatically fills in parts of an income tax and benefit return with information that the CRA has on file. To use the service, you must be registered for My Account.
When the COVID-19 benefits were paid, some tax was withheld at source. If you end up owing more tax on top of that, CRA understands that payment could present significant financial hardship. In that case, CRA expanded payment arrangements could work for you. This will give you more time and flexibility to repay based on your financial situation. Also, taxpayer relief is available if you can't meet your tax obligations because of circumstances beyond your control. The CRA may cancel or waive penalties or interest under certain conditions.
You may have received the one-time payment for older seniors. This payment is a taxable benefit. Service Canada will send you the required T4A tax slip. You will need to declare this payment when you file your income tax and benefit return.
There may be other effects to filing your return that are specific to the COVID-19 benefit you received, or if you're a resident of Quebec.
Your employer or other payers prepare your tax slips for the filing year. Your other payers could include pension providers and financial institutions. If you've lost a slip or haven't received one, ask your employer or payer for it. Registering for CRA My Account may give you access to copies of your tax slips online. Also, if you register with My Account, you can use auto-fill my return in your certified tax software. Auto-fill my return quickly fills in parts of your return with the information the CRA has on file. This includes the tax slips for your COVID-19 benefits.
If you're still missing information, don't worry. You can use pay stubs and statements to estimate the amount of income to use when completing your return. To avoid penalties and interest, file your return by the due date.
If you're looking for slips from previous years, you can get them through My Account. Auto-fill my return also provides tax slips for the current tax year and five previous years. You can use your My Account credentials in tax software to get the information from the tax slips the CRA has on file.
If you're registered for My Account and you file using a NETFILE-certified software, you may be able to use Express NOA. It is a secure service that allows individuals and authorized representatives to view the notice of assessment in their software, right after the return has been received and processed by the CRA.
Get free tax help
If you have a modest income and a simple tax situation, volunteers at a free tax clinic may be able to file your return for you. Free tax clinics are available in person and virtually. To find out if you're eligible and to find a tax clinic, go to the CRA free tax clinics page. You can also quickly and securely file your return online. The CRA has a list of certified tax software products that are easy to use, fast, and secure. Some of which are free!
Protecting you from scams and fraud
The safety and security of Canadians and their information is a priority for the CRA. Being a victim of scams, fraud, or identity theft can result in significant financial and emotional effects. Know when and how the CRA might contact you. The Be Scam Smart page provides information on the ways in which the CRA may contact you, including by: phone, email, mail CRA also provides information on securing CRA accounts and encourage you to: Use unique and complex passwords. Always use unique passwords for your CRA and online banking accounts. Do not reuse the same password for different systems. Create a PIN. CRA suggests you set up a personal identification number (PIN) in My Account or have a contact centre agents help you set up your PIN. Your PIN will be used to help confirm your identity on future calls with the CRA. Sign up for email notifications. CRA recommends you sign up for "Email notifications" through My Account. That way, you will receive an email if your address or direct deposit information has been changed on CRA records. These notifications can act as an early warning about potential fraudulent activity. Effective February 2022, as a fraud prevention initiative, it will be mandatory to provide an email address to access My Account. This will allow the CRA to inform taxpayers in real time of changes made to their account.
Monitor your account for suspicious activity. Check your online CRA accounts regularly for any suspicious activity. Look for changes to your address and direct deposit information that you did not make or request. Also, please watch for benefit applications made for you. It is important that any such changes that you did not make are reported to the CRA right away. Get benefits, credits, and claim other expenses You may be eligible for benefits and credits when you file your return, such as the: goods and services tax /harmonized sales tax credit-related provincial or territorial credits If you owe money this year, you may be able to claim certain non-refundable tax credits. If you are eligible to claim them, non-refundable tax credits lower the taxes that you owe at tax time. For example, you may be able to claim the: Canada caregiver credit, Disability tax credit, medical expenses, home accessibility expenses, age amount, pension income amount Also, you may be able to take advantage of pension income splitting.
Do you receive the guaranteed income supplement? The supplement is a monthly benefit for old age security pension recipients who have low income and are living in Canada. If you receive the supplement, by filing your return on time you'll avoid any delay in the payments for which you're eligible.
You may be eligible for the climate action incentive (CAI). The Government of Canada has announced its intention to deliver the CAI payment as a quarterly benefit. If you are a resident of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, or Ontario, and you are eligible, you will automatically receive your CAI payments four times a year, starting in July 2022. To receive your payments, you have to file a tax return even if you have not received income in the year. You may qualify for the supplement for residents of small and rural communities if you currently reside outside of a census metropolitan area (CMA) and expect to continue to reside outside of a CMA on April 1, 2022.
Making sure you claim potential benefits and credits is important. It helps you pay for what you need, and puts more money in your pocket. Do your homework on the benefits and credits you may be eligible to receive so you don't miss out!