How to File Your Own Tax Return
If you want to file your taxes with the tax clinic, then you can go to our clients page and fill out our client intake form. However, if you want to file your own tax return then this video should give you some useful tips to get started.
Video Notes: The tax filing deadline for the current year is April 30, 2021. The June 15th tax deadline referenced in the turbo tax article shown in the video was last year's tax filing deadline.
To view the document shown in the video you can click on this link.
Topics Covered in the Video
Getting Tax Software
To file your own taxes, you will first need to download a tax software package. You can find a list of free tax software from the CRA's website (note: you will want to pick a software package that is certified for the 2020 tax year). If you are a student, then you also have the option of using a free copy of UFILE (using the promo code "CFS1981") courtesy of the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS).
Getting Your Tax Slips
Your tax slips should be mailed to you by the end of February, if you don't receive them you can contact your employer directly and request a copy. You can also find some tax slips through your bank (T5 slips related to investments), Carleton Central (T2202 tuition slip and T4A for scholarship income), and through your CRA My Account. For a more detailed guide on where to find your tax slips you can visit our webpage on the topic or you can watch our video walkthrough below:
Filing by the Tax Deadline
Your taxes should be filed by April 30, 2021. If you do not file your taxes by this deadline, the CRA will charge you interest and penalties on any taxes that you owe. Note: if you don't owe any taxes (i.e. you are getting a refund) there is no penalty for late filing, but it is still recommended that you file by the deadline.
What if You Are Filing A Tax Return for the First Time?
If you have never filed a tax return to the CRA (either filed it yourself or had someone else submit a tax return on your behalf), then you will not be able to electronically file (NETFILE) your tax return. You will instead have to complete your tax return in your tax software package and then print out a paper copy of your tax return (usually you will see a feature called "Print for CRA"). Then you will need to mail this tax return (with your tax slips and receipts) to the relevant CRA tax center address (the CRA tax center that you mail your tax return to will be dependent on whether you are a resident or a non-resident, and which geographic region you live in).
What if I Get Stuck and Need Help?
If you have tax questions and want assistance you can always call the CRA's Individual tax enquiries line at 1-800-959-8281. The hours of the line are 9 AM to 9 PM (Monday to Friday), 9 AM to 5 PM (Saturday), and it is closed on Sunday. Note: the wait times can be long in the evenings and on Saturdays, so we recommend you call on a weekday morning.
You can also google your tax questions to see if you can find advice online. However, be aware that you are specifically looking for Canadian tax advice, try not to get confused with U.S. tax information that you find online.