If you’re filing a tax return for the first time, you might be feeling a little overwhelmed with the whole process. Not to worry though, we’re here to help! Before you begin, take a few moments to familiarize yourself with the following tips designed to help first-time filers.
Note: Since this is your first year filing a tax return, you won’t be able to use the services typically available through the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) My Account; this is because the CRA requires that you file one tax return before you can register.
Preparedness is key
We know, once you’ve decided to get your taxes done, you’ll likely be tempted to dive right in. Most things, taxes included, go a lot more smoothly if you make sure you have everything you need before you start.
Before you sign in to H&R Block’s tax software, make sure that you have all of the documents and information you’ll need to complete your return on hand. These can include information slips (like your T4, T3, T5, etc.), receipts for things like medical and childcare expenses, or documents that report your business income and expenses. Check out our detailed checklist that contains everything you might need to complete your return.
Make sure you’re using the most current version of our tax software
Whether you’ve chosen to use H&R Block’s Online or Desktop tax software, it’s important to make sure that you’re using the most up-to-date version. If you’re using H&R Block’s Online tax software, your return will automatically use the most current version of the software whenever you sign in. If you’re using our Desktop tax software, you’ll need to uninstall and re-install the application on your computer.
Take special care to enter your information correctly
We realize there’s probably a million things you’d rather be doing instead of your taxes, but it’s important to take your time when you’re entering your information into the tax software. Once you’ve NETFILED your return, if your personal information (like your name, date of birth, and social insurance number) don’t match what the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has on file for you, there’s a good chance that your return will be rejected.
File by the deadline
In order to avoid penalties and to ensure you receive certain benefits, it’s recommended that you file by the tax deadline. If you’re filing an individual return, you must file your taxes on or before April 30, 2017. If you file your taxes after this date, your GST/HST credit, Canada Child Benefit payments, old age benefit, and any related provincial credits that you would normally receive might be delayed.
If you’re self-employed, you have until June 15, 2017 to file your tax return. Having said that, if you have tax owing you have to pay it on or before April 30, 2017 to avoid paying a penalty.
Are you looking for a bit of extra help? Or some more tips? Check out our ebook 'Tax Tips for Canadians - First Time Filers' - available in many ebook stores!