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An annual tradition, filing taxes is akin to spring cleaning. You might wonder where the year went. Maybe you had a baby, got married, got divorced, got laid off… When you file your taxes, it is time to reflect on everything and anything from the past year that impacts your tax bill.

Despite the complexity, it remains essential to file (and pay) your taxes on time. Of course, to do that, you need to know when to file. The deadline for filing is different depending on your situation. To help you better understand when to file your 2023 taxes, we’ve broken down the specifics for the most common situations. Let’s take a look. 

When Can I File My 2023 Taxes In Canada?

Your tax deadline varies based on the type of tax return you’re filing. Typically, any amount owing becomes due and payable on the deadline date. To avoid interest, knowing which category represents your return (and to file on time) is important. 

Individual Tax Return Deadline

The earliest you can file your tax returns electronically is on February 19, 2024. The last day to file taxes is Tuesday, April 30, 2024. Unless you have made other arrangements with Revenue Canada, this is the day any amount owing becomes due. After this time, it will begin to accrue interest.

Self-Employed Tax Return Deadline

Those who are self-employed have a later deadline, the last day to file is June 15, 2024. However, since this lands on a Saturday this year, it’s pushed to the next business day, Monday June 17, 2024. The deadline also applies to the spouses of self-employed individuals.  

Due Dates For Tax Installment Payments

If you arrange to pay portions of your tax bill throughout the year, the payments must be submitted quarterly. The due dates are March 15, June 15, September 15, and December 15. Failure to meet these deadlines results in needing to pay a higher amount. This applies to both employed and self-employed individuals

Due Dates For Final Tax Returns

This applies to those who are representing the estate of a deceased person. Let’s say you are the Executor of a will. As Executor, you must complete the final tax return of the deceased. 

If the person died before October 31, 2023, the deadline for the final return is April 30, 2024. If the person died between November 1st and the end of the year, the return is due six months after the death occurred. 

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What Happens If You Miss The Tax Deadline In Canada?

Missing a deadline is never a good thing — but missing your tax deadline is possibly the worst deadline to miss. In addition to the extra stress you face from racing the clock, filing your taxes late comes with costly expenses. 

Late Tax Filing Penalty

If you miss your tax deadline, then Revenue Canada will charge you five percent of any amount owing. Every subsequent month, an additional one percent is added to the total. For those who are late filing for previous years, the penalty increases to ten percent upfront and an additional two percent every month. The maximum penalty period is 20 months. 

Example: If you owe $2,000 on your income tax bill and you file two months late, you will get a late penalty of $100 (five percent of the total). If you pay the full amount within the month, you will owe $2,100. 

Were you to pay three months late, the added penalty would increase. One percent of $2,000 is $20. It gets added to the total every month, raising the amount to $2,160.

Are you struggling to pay your taxes? Find out if bankruptcy is the right solution for your tax debt.

Tax Changes For The 2023 Tax Season You Should Know About 

Given the fluctuating nature of all the details associated with filing your income taxes in Canada. It’s important to stay up to date with all the latest tax news so you can file your taxes quickly and without any surprises. 

The Basic Personal Amount (BPA) Is Higher

The Basic Personal Amount for 2023 is $15,000. The government will not tax you on the first $15,000 that you earned, depending on the tax year. 

The Federal Tax Brackets Have Changed

One good thing to come out of life getting that much more expensive is this: the federal tax brackets have shifted so that you might catch a break. These brackets also affect your provincial tax rate.

The first $15,000 of income you earn is tax free. It is your Basic Personal Amount. These adjusted tax brackets apply to any taxable income you have. That means anything over the BPA.

Federal Tax RateFederal Income Tax Brackets
15%Applicable to taxable income up to $53,359
20.5%Applicable to taxable income over $53,359 up to $106,717
26%Applicable to taxable income over $106,717 up to $165,430
29%Applicable to taxable income over $165,430 up to $235,675
33%Applicable to taxable income over $235,675

Canada Pension Plan Maximum Contributions Are Higher

The maximum pensionable earnings for the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) is now $68,500, and the basic exemption is $3,500. That means slightly more money for you in your old age.

TFSA Limit Went Up

The annual limit on tour Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA) is higher. If you have had a TFSA since the beginning (2009) and never made a deposit, your eligible amount is a maximum of $95,000. The yearly contribution limit for 2024 is $7,000.

RRSP Limit Increased

You still can only contribute 18% of your annual income to your registered retirement savings plan (RRSP). However, there is a maximum amount that any Canadian, regardless of income, can put in their RRSP. This year, the maximum is $31,560.

Don’t agree with your Notice of Assessment? File a Notice Of Objection.

Ways To File Your Taxes In Canada For The 2023 Tax Season

There are multiple ways to file your taxes, thanks in large part to evolving tax software. You can choose whichever option you’re most comfortable with, be that on paper or online. Options include:

  • Filing Online Using Software: Using either EFILE or NETFILE, you can file your taxes online. EFILE is used by tax professionals working on your behalf. NETFILE is the program approved by Revenue Canada that lets you file your taxes. NETFILE is integrated with most mainstream tax software programs available.
  • Voluntary Tax Clinics: The Community Volunteer Income Tax Program has clinics throughout the country, meant to help those with lower income and basic tax returns. Experienced tax professionals facilitate the returns.
  • Mail-In Paper Returns: If you are more comfortable with the traditional way of filing taxes, you can still do your taxes on paper and mail them to the CRA. You can order the paperwork online or download it and print off the documents.
  • CRA FIle My Return Service: A service available for low-income individuals, it lets you file your taxes using the automated phone service. Those who qualify will receive paper correspondence from Revenue Canada to inform them of this program’s availability. 

When Will You Get Your Tax Refund?

If you electronically file your taxes before the deadline, the CRA will generally provide your tax refunds within 2 weeks. However, if you file by paper, your tax refund can take up to 8 weeks to reach you. Do keep in mind that these numbers are estimates and the CRA does not guarantee you will receive your refund within the period mentioned. Moreover, if the CRA requires additional information or if you’re getting audited, your refund may be delayed further.

2023 Tax Season FAQs

What happens if the tax due date falls on a holiday or weekend?

If due dates fall on a weekend (or holiday), the CRA extends the deadline to the next business day. If you mail in your tax forms, be sure that they are either postmarked by the deadline or received in advance. Those who file returns electronically must transmit the complete taxes by midnight, at their local time, on the date of the deadline. Late filing incurs a penalty and interest fees. 

Do I have to file my taxes? 

Individuals who don’t owe any taxes, and who meet certain criteria, may not have to file a return. However, if you made $400 in self-employment income, you need to file and pay tax. That said, if you made less than this amount, you aren’t obligated to file a return.

What’s the deadline for my RRSP contributions?

The deadline for RRSP contributions is February 29, 2024. You can add to your Registered Retirement Savings Account at any point, though it only qualifies for a refund if you added money before the deadline. 

How do I pay my taxes?

Paying your taxes is fairly straightforward, with multiple ways to remit amounts owing. Options include using PayPal, Interac e-Transfers, or paying through your online banking service. You can establish a pre-authorized debit to let the government take the money directly from your account. Other options include paying by credit card, at the bank or any Canada Post location, or sending in a cheque by mail. 

What happens if I don’t get my T4 slip on time?

Generally, employers will send you your T4 slip by the end of February. However, if you do not receive it, you can contact your employer to ensure they have your correct contact information. If your employer is simply slacking on their duties, you can try to obtain the form yourself by going to your CRA MyAccount. Sometimes your employer may directly submit it to the CRA.

Corrina Murdoch avatar on Loans Canada
Corrina Murdoch

Corrina Murdoch has been a dedicated freelance writer and editor for several years. With an academic background in the sciences and a penchant for mathematics, she seeks to provide readers with accurate, reliable information on important topics. Working as a print journalist for several years, Corrina expanded her reach into the digital sphere to help more people gain insight into the realm of finances. When she's not writing, you can find Corrina swimming and spending time with family.

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