As we approach the tax time, here are some answers to questions you may have.
1. Do you need to do your taxes?
Doing your taxes is part of your responsibilities as a taxpayer. Doing your taxes means you have to fill out various forms, including the ones in the income tax packages. They help you figure out if you owe tax or if you will get a refund. Even if you had no income in the year, you have to do your taxes to get the benefits and credits you might be entitled to, such as the GST/HST tax credit, the Canada child benefit and the working income tax benefit.
2. When is your tax return due?
Most Canadians have to fill out their return and send it to the Canada Revenue Agency no later than April 30. Since April 30, 2017, is a Sunday, we will consider that you filed your return on time if we receive it or it is postmarked no later than May 1, 2017.
If you or your spouse or common-law partner carried on a business in 2016, you have to send in your tax return no later than June 15, 2017. However, if you owe tax for 2016, you must still pay it no later than April 30, 2017.
If you or your spouse or common-law partner carried on a business in 2016 whose expenditures are mainly for a tax shelter, you have to send in your tax return no later than April 30. Since April 30, 2017, is a Sunday, we will consider that you filed your return on time if we receive it or it is postmarked no later than May 1, 2017.
If you need to do taxes for someone who died in 2016, the due date for their return will depend on the date of death and whether the person had carried on a business in 2016.
4. When will you get your refund?
If you send your tax return electronically and choose direct deposit, you can get your refund in as little as eight days. If you send a paper return by mail and you choose to receive your refund by cheque, it generally takes eight weeks.
5. Do you owe money?
You can pay the amount you owe in several ways:
- online banking
- debit card
- credit card
- pre-authorized debit
- wire transfer for non-residents
- service provider
- Canadian financial institution
If you cannot pay your tax debt
Ignoring your debt does not make it go away. If you can’t pay the full amount you owe, you can make a payment arrangement. It’s up to you to contact the Canada Revenue Agency before May 1 to avoid any interest or penalties.
After May 1, the Canada Revenue Agency will charge interest on any amount you owe until your balance is paid.
The Canada Revenue Agency can grant relief from penalty or interest, but only in certain circumstances.
Tax time is just around the corner. If you would like more information on various programs, deductions and credits that can help save you money, contact GB Pilley & Associates Ltd., Chartered Professional Accountants at 604 926 3522.