7 Things You Need To Know Right Now If You've Left Your Taxes Until The Last Minute

The deadline is coming up! 🚨

Trending Staff Writer
An H&R Block store front. Right: The CRA headquarters in Ottawa.

An H&R Block store front. Right: The CRA headquarters in Ottawa.

Alert: this is your last week to complete your taxes in Canada for the 2021 fiscal year!

As you might be aware, the end of April is the deadline to file your taxes. But, if you've left them until the last minute, don't worry! There's still hope for you yet.

For the last-minute tax-doers out there, the following is a crash course for everything you should think about for this tax season.

Some big things to remember include a bit of wiggle room on the deadline, some great credits and benefits you might qualify for, as well as an overview of the elephant in the room — what does an audit look like?

With these, hopefully, you'll feel energized to get started on that task, finish it up and get it over with. Heck, some of us just work better under pressure. Right?

The deadline isn't fixed

While yes, the technical deadline to get your taxes in is April 30, there's actually a bit of leeway this year because that date falls on a weekend.

Matter of fact, your taxes will still be considered on-time if Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) receives them on or before Monday, May 2.

The same rule applies if your taxes have been postmarked on or before May 2.

So, consider it an extension on your homework.

There are tons of CRA resources online

The CRA is absolutely loaded with information and services to help you get your taxes done. Most basic questions can be answered by their FAQ or you can even ask their AI assistant Charlie The Chatbot.

They also have a "Tax Tips" section on their site, which goes over a whole bunch of different tax situations and how to work through them.

And, if your question is a bit more specific and warrants a call, you can check call wait times online and request a call back if you prefer not to sit on hold.

Find out more

If you worked from home, you can claim that

Now that hybrid or full remote positions are more of a norm across Canada, this is one that a lot of folks qualify for.

On your 2021-2022 tax return, you're able to claim any expenses you may have accrued while working at home.

This includes setting up a home office, internet usage, electricity, or anything else that is vital to your work.

Just remember that certain things should be prorated depending on how much you actually use for work purposes.

There are one of two ways to do it, one is used calculating your exact expenses backed up with receipts, and the other is calculated via a flat daily rate.

Find out more

If you moved, you can get money

Another quick and easy way to get some money back on your taxes if you qualify.

If you had to move in 2021 because of your work or school, you can actually claim some of your moving expenses.

The only catch is that you need to have moved at least 40 kilometers to make attending work or school easier.

And you'll have had to have made income in that new location. Whether that be through employment or through scholarships, bursaries or other academic funding.

Find out more

You might qualify for the Climate Action Incentive

If you live in either Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba or Ontario, there's a chance you qualify for what is called the Climate Action Incentive (CAI).

The CAI is a way for the government to offset the costs of federal carbon pricing on folks living in these areas and if you live there, you will be automatically applied for it once you file your taxes.

While in the past it was typically something that would come back to you on your tax return, it has now changed to regular payments done throughout the year.

Find out more

You can claim tons of expenses

You might not know it, but there are many expenses that are claimable on your taxes.

For example, if you had to undergo some type of medical procedure or had a medical expense that you had to pay for out of pocket, you may be able to claim those on your taxes and get some credit.

The CRA has a master list of eligible costs and all the details about how to claim each one.

That's not the only big expense you can claim. If you've had to renovate your home or even buy a new home, there are a bunch of ways that, depending on your situation, you can get tons of money from the government – up to $5,000.

What happens in an audit

The big thing that you might be stressing about is the dreaded audit. The biggest thing that triggers an audit, according to UFile tax expert Gerry Vittoratos, is "usually overly inflated claims for certain expenses."

In other words, when a claim looks too big to be true.

Another big target of audits are businesses that are primarily cash-based, as the CRA wants to make sure that companies are reporting all of their income.

From there, the CRA will take a look at your expenses, your claims and then determine if you owe them, they owe you, or even if you broke some laws.

Learn more

Okay, you've now had a crash course, so get out there, and get filing Canada!

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

Tristan Wheeler
Trending Staff Writer
Tristan Wheeler is a Staff Writer for Narcity Canada’s Trending Desk focused on money and budgets and is based in Toronto, Ontario.