Missed the tax deadline? Here’s what you need to know.

May 24, 2023

It happens – April is a busy month and suddenly, the May 1st tax deadline has come and gone. Or, perhaps you were confused by the CRA workers strike, and weren’t able to complete your tax filing. Now what?

Tip number one – breathe. We’re going to walk you through the steps in how to correct this and to get your taxes completed with minimal to no penalties.

Firstly, if you’re self-employed, you actually haven’t yet met the filing deadline. For those who work for themselves, the deadline is June 15, 2023. If you owe money, though, that was due on May 1st, so the below still applies to you.

Next, gather your documents and bring them to an H&R Block, or do them yourself using our tax software. Most of our offices are open and accessible after the tax deadline – just use our office locator for an open office near you. You can also upload your documents from home and have a Remote Tax Expert help you.

For a quick check, you can use this tax calculator to determine if you’re going to get a refund or owe taxes. If you are set to get a refund, then you don’t owe taxes and therefore won’t have any late-filing penalties. But – you won’t get your refund until you file. This can also include monthly or quarterly payments, such as the Canada Child Benefit which yields hundreds of dollars per child per year on a monthly basis, or the GST/HST payment. Without filing there are other credits and benefits that can be withheld as well. You also need your tax return to get a mortgage or take out a loan.

If you owe money and don’t file on time, the late-filing penalty charged by the CRA and Revenu Québec is 5% of your balance due plus 1% interest for each full month that your return is late, up to a maximum of 12 months.

If you can’t pay the taxes you owe, the CRA will accept late payments, but you’ll be charged compound daily interest on all amounts due. Your best bet would be to contact them and work out a payment plan or instalments. The CRA isn’t out to get you. In fact, they have programs in place where they can cancel or waive interest or penalties.

What if you filed your taxes, but now realize you made a mistake, and actually owe taxes? The CRA has a program for just that. It’s called the Voluntary Disclosure Program. If you come to them before they come to you with the error, they’ll evaluate on a case-by-case basis if your mistake can be forgiven (from persecution or penalties, not… emotionally. They’re not personally offended).

If you have any questions about how to file your taxes, H&R Block Tax Experts are here to help! Find an office near you to book an appointment today.

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