All relevant and most up to date information is readily available on CRA web site Canada Revenue Agency - General Info.

Most information and answers to FAQs provided below is taken from CRA's General Income Tax and Benefit Guide.

  • You have to pay tax for a specific tax year
  • You received a request to file a return for a specific tax year
  • You and your spouse or common-law partner elected to split pension income for that tax year
  • You sold property or realized a taxable capital tax gain
  • You have not repaid any of your Old Age Security (OAS) or Employment Insurance (EI) benefits
  • You have not repaid all of the amounts you withdrew from your Registered Savings Plan (RRSP)
  • You have to contribute to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP)
  • You are paying employment insurance premiums on self-employment and other eligible earnings
  • You received Working Income Tax Benefit (WITB) advance payments in the past year, and you want to apply for WITB advance payments for the current year
  • You want to receive a refund
  • You want to apply for the Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) credit
  • You or your spouse or common-law partner wants to begin or continue receiving Canada Child Tax Benefit
  • You have incurred a non-capital loss and you want to be able to apply in other years
  • You want to carry forward or transfer the unused part of your tuition, education or textbook amounts
  • You want to report income in order to contribute to your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) so that you can keep your RRSP deduction limit for future years
  • You want to carry forward unused investment tax credit


Generally, there is no minimum age to file a tax return. If you meet one of the above requirements, CRA expects to receive a return from you.

Even if you do not have any income it is still a good practice and is recommended that you file your taxes once your age is 18 years or older. This lets CRA know your income situation and that you are up to date. Failure to file a tax return will result in termination of various benefits such as Child Tax Benefit, Universal Child Care Benefits, the Working Income Tax benefit, etc.

"Zero" return is an income tax return when you have no income to report or income tax to pay for that tax year. It is still a good idea to file a "zero" return, as you may qualify for tax benefits such as GST/HST Tax Credit, Canada Child Tax Benefit or various Provincial tax credits.

In order to file a tax return you need to have:

  • your S.I.N.  
  • your T-slips that you have received (such as T3, T4, T4A, and T5 slips, etc.)
  • all supporting documents for any deductions or credits you plan to claim
  • your most recent notice of assessment or reassessment for carry-forward amounts or other amounts you may need to complete your return.

You should have received most of your slips and receipts by the end of February. However, T3 and T5013 slips do not have to be sent before the end of March.

If you are missing T-slips, we will contact the CRA on your behalf to get the missing information. 

If you have to file a return for any given tax year, file it on time even if some slips or receipts are missing. You are responsible for reporting your income from all sources to avoid possible interest and/or penalties that may be charged.

If you know you will not be able to get the missing slip by the due date and if you have registered for My Account, you may be able to view your tax information slips online by going to www.canada.ca/my-cra-account.

In addition, you can use your pay stubs or statements to estimate your income and any related deductions and credits you can claim. Enter the estimated amounts on the appropriate lines of your return. Always keep the original documents for future reference.

  • Generally, the tax return for any tax year has to be filed on or before April 30th of the following year.
  • For Self-employed filers and their spouses or common-law partners the deadline to file is June 15th of the following year.
  • When the due date falls on a Saturday, a Sunday, or a public holiday recognized by the CRA, your return is considered on time if received by CRA or if it is postmarked on or before the next business day.
  • Please keep in mind that to avoid late filing penalties and interest charges, the income tax due for any tax year must be received by CRA on or before April 30th of the following year.
  • To avoid late filing penalties, it is a good practice to file your return by the due date indicated above, even if you cannot pay the tax owing in full by the due date of April 30th

In general, that date is usually sometime in late February. The actual date that you can file your taxes electronically is announced by CRA annually early in the year.

  • If you owe tax for the previous year the late filing penalty is: 5% of the tax-year’s balance owing + 1% of your balance owing for each full month your return is late, to a maximum of 12 months.
  • If you were charged late filing penalty for 3 consecutive year preceding the tax year you are filing for, and you are late filing for that tax year as well, you may be charged higher penalty which is 10% of the tax-years balance owing + 2%/month of the tax-years balance owing to a maximum of 20 months.
  • Depending on the circumstances, in addition to the late filing penalties you might be also charged Repeated failure to report income penalty and/or False statements or omissions penalty.
  • If you have a balance owing for any given tax year, CRA will charge compound daily interest starting May 1st of the following year on any unpaid amounts owing for that year. In addition, they will charge you interest on the penalties explained above, starting the day after your return is due.

Tax returns can be prepared and filed for up to 10 prior years. Don't let another year go by, call us today. You may be entitled to Federal and/or provincial tax credits or benefits that you are missing out, because you did not file.

Keep copies of your tax returns for at least 6 years or longer.  Most people don't need to worry about tax fraud investigations and unreported income but you should keep a copy of your return, particularly if you enlist the help of a tax professional. Your previous tax returns will help you to see trends in your income taxes to better prepare for your future tax returns. If you switch tax preparers it is beneficial for them to review previous years to determine whether any credits or deductions that where missed or need to be carried forward from previous years.

Generally, you need to be 19 years old to be eligible for this credit, but in some circumstances even at a younger age; when you have a child that lives with you for instance or you have a spouse or common-law partner. But you must file your tax return for a previous year, the year you turned 18 years old (or earlier in some circumstances), in order to be eligible.

On a first pay period after you turn 19, but remember that you have to file your tax return for a previous year, the year you turned 18 years old, in order to be eligible.

Generally, YES, you can claim those premiums as part of your medical expenses.

You do not have to claim all of the donations you made this year on your current year return. It may be more beneficial to carry them forward and claim them on your return for any of the next five years. Generally, the amount of donations over first $200 will give you higher tax savings.

When you make an RRSP contribution you get to deduct that amount from your taxable income. The investments inside your RRSP grow free of tax while they stay in the plan. Down the road, however, when money is withdrawn directly from the RRSP or from the registered retirement income fund (RRIF) or annuity to which the RRSP has been converted, it will be taxable.

TFSA is the mirror image of an RRSP. You contribute after-tax dollars. In other words, you don't get a deduction for your contribution in the current year. But once the money is in the plan, it not only grows free of tax, but also comes out free of tax.

Both RRSP and TFSA has limits as to how much you can contribute annually. Check your Notice of Assessment for those limits. 

The deadline is February 28 (most years).