At the end of February, each and every year, the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) opens the tax season and Canadians across the country begin filing their income tax for the previous calendar year. Whether you were born in Canada, or have recently started your life here, every person who is employed in Canada has to file income tax.
If this is your first time filing Canadian taxes it might seem confusing and you’re unsure where to go or how to get help. Here is some helpful information as to when you need to file, how to file, what you can expect and where to go if you need help.
For personal income tax filings, you need to ensure you’ve filed by April 30th for the previous calendar year. Filing by this date helps to avoid penalties, or even interest, on any amounts you may owe on your taxes. If you are late in filing but you don’t owe anything on your taxes, you may not have to pay any penalties but that doesn’t mean you won’t take a small financial hit. If you file after April 30th the government may hold onto any refund you’re eligible for, or delay the processing, and it could delay receiving GST or HST installments during the year.
What if you owe on your return
If your income tax filing states you owe money, meaning you should have paid more in income tax during the year, you have until April 30th to pay the balance to the government. Starting May 1st you will begin to incur interest on any outstanding balance you haven’t paid yet. The penalty starts at around 5% owing plus 1% of the balance owing for each full month it is late.
What if you don’t file at all
Not filing your income tax could result in serious financial implications for you. If you fail to file income tax twice in a four year period you could find yourself facing a “repeated failure to report income” penalty. This penalty is 20% of the total income that was earned and not reported in the most recent year.
After you file
Once you, or your authorized representative, have filed your income tax the government will begin preparing your Notice of Assessment (NOA). The Notice of Assessment is a summary of your income you’re being assessed on, a zero balance refund, your total refund or amount owing. It will also show any deductions you are eligible for, and it will contain the Home Buyer’s Plan information if you qualify. This statement will typically be mailed to you once the government has completed your assessment, but there is a service offered by CRA called Express NOA that allows access to your assessment much sooner than waiting for it to be mailed.
This service is secure and offered by CRA so that you, or your authorized representative, can view your NOA immediately after the return has been received and processed by the CRA. In order to use this service, you must meet the following requirements:
- Be registered for MyAccount
- Be registered for online mail
- Use a NETFILE-certified software that offers express NOA service
It’s important to note that if you are having your tax prepared and filed by an authorized representative on your behalf and you select to have the NOA made available electronically, the CRA will not send a paper copy of the NOA to you and the assessment will only be available electronically to the individual who prepared your taxes.
Filing Taxes with Serving People Group
Our income tax service is highly qualified and offers an extensive range of financial expertise to help ensure all your tax needs are met. Our professionals are here to help you with all kinds of tax needs. Outside of our extensive experience, there are many other benefits to working with Serving People Group for filing your tax needs.
We offer appointments to fit your schedule and ensure we are meeting when it’s best for you. Booking this appointment guarantees that our experts are giving you completely undivided attention to properly assess you financial situations and we completely understand your situation.
Serving People Group also gives you ongoing assistance, and it isn’t just a one time appointment. Contacting and working with us means you will receive continuous assistance in preparing your taxes. When your income tax is ready to file we will also complete the electronic filing process on your behalf, at no additional charge to you.
On top of filing your taxes for you, we will communicate with CRA on your behalf should there be any complications or need for additional information. We can also review any previous filings you completed to ensure they were completed correctly, or correct any items that were incorrect and file them again for you.
A copy of your income tax return will be provided to you when the filing is completed so you can retain it for your records. Further, many of our staff are bilingual so if you feel more comfortable communicating in a language other than English we can help.
We have multiple offices in Ontario and British Columbia to help you with tax preparation. In Ontario, we have offices located in Hamilton, Ottawa, St. Catharines, Toronto, Vaughan and Woodbridge. In British Columbia, our office is located in Burnaby.
Booking an Appointment
We offer appointments based on your schedule, and we would be happy to schedule time to work with you when it’s convenient for you. You can contact us by the following methods
Phone: (905) 605-8181
Toll Free: 1 (800) 269-0065
Filing your taxes every year is important, but when the process is different from what you’re used to it can be overwhelming. We are here to help you make sure you have filed correctly and all the paperwork is in order. We want to help you and make your experience in Canada stress free.