Janine Rogan • May 01, 2019
Your 2018 taxes were due on April 30th. If you’re thinking, “I forgot to file my tax return,” you may be feeling a little stressed. But it’s going to be okay! Take a breath – you can do this.
Don’t know where to start? Well, that’s the whole reason I’m writing this article. Depending on what your situation is, there are a number of steps you may or may not need to take to get your financial house in order.
If you’re owed money from the CRA you don’t technically have to file your tax return. That being said, it’s still incredibly important to file. Not only do you not want to give up some of your hard-earned dollars by filing – you may qualify for a number of government benefits.
In addition, for things like tuition credits, you want to make sure you file and include these amounts so that you are able to carry them forward to future years where you might owe the government taxes. You’ll be able to use these amounts to lower the amount you have to pay. So get your papers together!
If you’re in the position where you owe the CRA money, it’s important to get after this as soon as possible because there are interest charges and penalties associated with your late filing. Contacting the CRA through their phone line to explain your situation is a must. If they know you’re working towards getting your return finished and filed, they may not be as punitive when it comes to the charges on your return. The typical penalty is 5% of the balance owing plus 1% of the balance for each month your return is outstanding.
If you’re in the position where you haven’t filed your taxes in a number of years, there are a few actions you should take to mitigate how much you will owe the CRA.
If at any time you feel overwhelmed by your tax situation it is important to speak to a tax professional. While a tax specialist can be pricey, it can be worth it in the end, saving you time as well as a potential headache.
About the Author
Janine Rogan is a CPA and personal finance writer from Calgary, Alberta. She is a passionate millennial sharing her wealth of financial knowledge with Canadians. Janine has run numerous workshops, spoken at dozens of conferences, and written over 600 articles relating to personal finance. Janine hopes to empower Canadians to take control of their finances and live a value based life. More articles by Janine can be .
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