The CRA Has Revealed The Most Common Mistakes Canadians Make At Tax Time

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Tax Help Canada: These Are The Most Common Mistakes Canadians Make On Their Taxes
Senior Editor

If you’re looking for tax help in Canada, the federal government has you covered!

In a series of notices about preparing for tax time, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has explained some of the most common mistakes people make when filing.

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Common issues include things like confusion about reporting income, filing forms too late and forgetting to keep personal information up-to-date at all times.

With government officials admitting that tax time is going to be even more complicated than usual this year, it's worth double-checking before you submit any details.

If you want to avoid any errors come April, here are the biggest mistakes the CRA wants you to know about:

Not reporting all income

When it comes to reporting income, the CRA says it’s important to include revenue from all sources.

This includes your main income — like your salary — as well as things like tips, gratuities and income from part-time roles (like freelancing or gig work), among others.

This year, any COVID-19 benefits you claimed in 2020 must also be declared as income.

While some benefits, like the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB), had tax withheld at source, it must still be included.

“Be sure to report all income you earn whether you receive it in cash, or it’s reported as income on your T4 or other slips,” explains the agency.

Not keeping personal information up to date

One of the biggest challenges faced by the CRA come tax time is how many people fail to update their personal information.

This includes any changes to your name, address and direct deposit details.

Canadians are also required by law to tell the government agency about any changes to their marital status. 

Anybody whose information does change is asked to let the CRA know “as soon as possible.”

“This helps avoid any disruption in your benefit and credit payments,” reads their advice.

You can update your details online, via the MyCRA or MyBenefits CRA mobile apps, by mail or by calling the agency.

Making incorrect claims

When it comes to making claims, it’s easy to get a little confused.

According to the CRA, examples of non-deductible amounts that are often incorrectly claimed include funeral and wedding expenses and loans to family members.

If the agency finds mistakes or claims that are ineligible, it will adjust the return accordingly. 

The federal government has been sharing tax tips ahead of April, while some banks have been urging people to prepare for tax season since last year.

If you're really confused and struggling to make sense of it all, eligible Canadians can actually get free tax help.

Helena Hanson
Senior Editor
Helena Hanson is a Senior Editor for Narcity Media, leading the Travel and Money teams. She previously lived in Ottawa, but is now based in the U.K.