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File Your Tax Returns

Unsure How to File Your Tax Returns in Canada as a Resident? Here’s What You Need to Know.

If you’re feeling lost and overwhelmed about the approaching tax deadline, don’t fret. This blog will guide you through modern and innovative ways to file your Canadian tax returns. You’ll also receive a comprehensive overview on determining whether you need to submit a tax return and the necessary paperwork involved.


What is a Tax Return in Canada and How to File It?

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) oversees income tax management in Canada. The tax year for Canadian citizens is from January 1 to December 31, and any outstanding income taxes must be paid by April 30 of the following year. Business owners, on the other hand, must file their tax returns with their partners by June 15. Late applications are accepted, but penalties may apply.

A tax return is a mandatory document that must be completed annually by individuals or businesses with significant revenue details and submitted to the CRA. In this article, we will explore various methods for filing your tax return in Canada.

File Your Tax Returns

Different Ways to File Your Tax Returns in Canada

There are several options available for Canadians to file their tax returns.


Electronic Filing: A Convenient Option for Canadians

As a leading IT nation, Canada is constantly evolving and attracting new technology developments. It’s no surprise that filing your taxes online is easy and hassle-free.

To offer diversity and convenience, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has introduced tax filing software such as NETFILE and ReFILE, which have received approval from the CRA. You can file your taxes from anywhere, whether it’s from home, work, or even while shopping at the supermarket.

However, there are eligibility criteria and restrictions for filing taxes on NETFILE. Make sure to visit the official website for more information on the eligibility criteria.


Filing by Mail: The Traditional Method

The most common and straightforward method of filing taxes in Canada is by mail. You can complete all the necessary paperwork and documents and send them to your local office or the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) office. You can easily download all the required documentation from the official Canada NETFILE website.


Community Agencies: Get Professional Assistance for Filing Your Taxes

If you need help filing your tax returns, you can seek assistance from local agents and specialists who can make the process simple and efficient. Even if you are a busy working person with little time to spare for tax filing and documentation, you can hire an agent to assist you with this task.


Filing by Paper: A Manual Option

According to the government of Canada’s official website as of May 6, 2021, you can file your tax return manually on paper and submit it in person at the designated desk.


Volunteer Assistance: Seek Help from Family Members

If you need help filing your taxes, you can also ask a close relative or family member to assist you. It is a free and fast way to complete all the necessary documentation. Moreover, you can provide them access to your tax account to easily complete and submit the return.

How to Determine if You Need to File a Tax Return in Canada?

Determining if you are eligible for tax returns can sometimes be confusing. However, the following list can help you understand:

  • Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has requested you to file a tax return
  • You owe money to the government by law
  • You need to file a state income tax return
  • You are eligible for the GST/HST credit
  • You meet the eligibility criteria for the child tax credit
File Your Tax Returns
What Documents Do You Need to File a Tax Return?

Canadian citizens may need these two documents:

  • Social Insurance Number (SIN)
  • Individual Tax Number (ITN)


In order to apply for a social insurance number in Canada, you typically need to have a work or study permit. Additionally, those who work both on and off campus may also require approval for their application.

If you are a scholarship student in Canada and are not eligible for a social insurance number, you will need an individual tax number (ITN) instead. You can typically apply for an ITN through the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), and it’s recommended to submit your application during the winter or in late February, as required by your university or institution.