Tax season: Here’s what you need to know

Ottawa –

The Canada Revenue Agency kicked off the tax season this week by urging Canadians to file their taxes on time and reminding them of their potential tax liability.

This year’s April 30th filing deadline falls on a Sunday, so Canadians must complete their tax returns by May 1st. But a looming strike against CRA workers could be on the horizon.

Here’s what you need to know and a look at some of the new perks you might qualify for this year.

It’s faster to file your taxes online

CRA aide Gillian Plunke is in charge of the tax season this season and encourages people to file their taxes online. She said 92% of her Canadians applied online last year.

“For individuals who sign up for direct deposit and file electronically, you can expect to receive your refund within about eight days,” Pranke said.

If you apply by mail, it may take up to 8 weeks to receive your refund.

The government may owe you money

Canadians who do not file their taxes may miss out on unpaid money.

In the fall, the CRA said it had about $1.4 billion in uncash checks in its vaults.

Mr Planke said it was a misconception that only people who owe money should file taxes.


The government has introduced or expanded several tax credits that Canadians can claim.

  • First-time homebuyer tax credit. The amount used to calculate the first-time homebuyer tax credit has been increased to $10,000 for homes purchased after December 31, 2021. That means Canadians who bought their first home last year could be eligible for a rebate of up to $1,500.
  • Home Accessibility Tax Credit. This credit can be used for eligible home renovations or alteration costs aimed at making a home safer or more accessible for people with disabilities. This year, this benefit has been enhanced, allowing Canadians to claim costs of up to $20,000.
  • Payment of climate action incentives. Rebates aren’t new per se, but as of this year, residents of Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island are newly eligible to receive incentive payments to offset the cost of federal prices for carbon pollution. Residents of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario will continue to be eligible for payment.
  • Disability Tax Credit. The tax credit, which reduces income taxes that persons with disabilities and their families may have to pay, has been updated to cover people with type 1 diabetes and will apply from the 2021 tax year.
  • Simplified Northern Resident Travel Credit. The CRA has launched a pilot project to make it easier for Northern residents to determine the cheapest round-trip airfare (the amount required to claim a travel credit). I’m here. The streamlined process includes a table showing the lowest round-trip airfare available on the Government of Canada website.

Strikes can cause some chaos

Marc Briere, national president of the union of tax officials, said a strike vote had begun and is expected to end in early April.

Briere said he expects CRA workers, represented by the union, to vote in favor of a strike that will affect tax returns this season.

His advice to Canadians is to file your taxes early to avoid disruption from a potential strike.

Plunke didn’t say how the strike would affect the timing of tax payments, but encouraged Canadians to file their taxes online.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help – and beware of scams

For moderate-income earners, Planke said various resources are available to help with the application process, including free online software.

The CRA also partners with over 3,100 community organizations that run tax clinics, for more information visit the website.

The agency’s helpline is also available for those who have missed past tax returns or are afraid to make a mistake, Planke said.

She added a word of caution: Canadians should be vigilant to avoid falling for scam calls and text messages claiming to be from CRA.

“When we contact you, we make it clear who we are. And we go to great lengths to protect client information.

This report by the Canadian Press was first published on February 22, 2023.

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