Each year, Canadian families are losing out on thousands of dollars in credits and benefits by not filing their tax returns. Why? Because a lot of refundable tax credits and government benefits are based on the information entered in a tax return (such as income, family situation, number of dependants, etc.). So if you don’t file a return, you have no chance of getting any of these credits or benefits back!
Even if you have little or no income for the year, you should still file your tax return, to get back as many credits or benefits as you can, such as the:
- GST/HST credit
- Canada child benefit and
- Working income tax benefit
And remember, money you get back from these credits and benefits is tax-free!
I haven’t filed my taxes for years. What should I do?
- Start by gathering the following documents for each year you want to file a return:
- information slips (such as your T4, T5, RC62, etc.)* and
- receipts for your:
- medical expenses
- public transit
- tuition amounts
- student loans
- childcare expenses
- children’s physical activity and arts amounts
- RRSP contributions
Note: This list is just an example of some of the things you might need; check out our detailed checklist for everything you might need to complete your tax return.
*Remember, you can also download all of your information slips from prior years from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)’s website using their My Account service (if you’re registered for it).
- File your tax return for each year starting from the oldest return. This is so that you can take advantage of certain carry forward amounts that you might have available from a previous year including:
- Your tuition, education, and textbook amounts
- Your net or non-capital losses
- Your donations and gifts
If you’re preparing your return(s) electronically, you must use tax software that’s specific to the year you’re filing for. If you need to complete a return for 2015 or earlier, you can visit an H&R Block retail office and one of our Tax Experts will be happy to help.