Tax season is around the corner and many Canadians might be looking to file their taxes online.
In fact, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is recommending that residents file their taxes online for faster processing times and quicker tax returns.
Last year, almost 93% of Canadians filed their taxes online and the CRA has outlined a few of the benefits that come with filing your income taxes online, how to file your taxes online and what happens after filing.
The CRA recommends using its secure online system called NETFILE. These services are available for free, and using them can speed up the processing of tax returns, resulting in faster refunds. In fact, the CRA says that some refunds can take as little as two weeks.
Here’s everything you need to know about filing your 2023 income taxes online using NETFILE:
What is NETFILE?
Per the CRA, NETFILE is an electronic tax filing service enabling Canadian residents to submit their personal taxes online and directly transmit their income tax and benefit returns to the CRA.
More about NETFILE
How to use NETFILE?
To use NETFILE, you need to opt for one of the recommended free or pay-what-you-want filing software options provided by the CRA.
Upon selecting your preferred software, locate the eight-character access code on your previous tax year’s notice of assessment, situated on the right-hand side. Input this code into the filing software to seamlessly transmit your return to the CRA. Upon completion, you’ll receive a confirmation number from the CRA.
Subsequently, expect to receive your 2022 notice of assessment either via mail or electronically through My Account.
More about filing your taxes online
Who can use NETFILE?
NETFILE is available to most taxpayers. However some types of tax returns can’t be sent electronically, the CRA says.
Certain types of tax returns can’t be sent to the Canada Revenue Agency electronically such as:
- a return for any taxation year other than 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 or 2022
- a tax return for another person (for example, if a taxpayer prepared a spousal/family return, each taxpayer must send his or her return separately)
You can’t use NETFILE to file your tax return if:
- you went bankrupt in 2022 or 2023 (does not include a proposal for bankruptcy)
- you are a non-resident of Canada
When is NETFILE available to use?
NETFILE can be used 21 hours a day. Due to daily maintenance, NETFILE is not available between 3 a.m. to 6 a.m. EST.
Per the CRA, the NETFILE and ReFILE services are now closed for the electronic filing of your initial and amended T1 personal income tax and benefit return. NETFILE and ReFILE services will re-open on Monday, February 19, 2024, at 6:00 a.m. EST.
What happens after your file online?
Once you’ve successfully submitted your return through NETFILE, the CRA will promptly issue a confirmation number following a brief preliminary review. It’s essential to retain this confirmation number for your records.
If further clarification or verification is required by the CRA, ensure that you have provided a valid telephone number on your tax return.
Any necessary communication from the CRA may result in delays to your refund and the processing of your notice of assessment.
More about post-filing your income taxes
This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.