THE deadline to file your income tax and benefit return is fast approaching. Most Canadian income tax and benefit returns are due on April 30. Since that date is a Sunday in 2017, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will consider your return filed on time and your payment made if the CRA receives your submission, or it is postmarked, no later than May 1.

Self-employed individuals and their spouses or common-law partners have to file their return no later than June 15, but if they have a balance owing to the CRA, that’s still due no later than April 30. However, for 2017, the CRA will consider a payment to have been made on time if the CRA receives it, or it is postmarked, no later than midnight on May 1.

Haven’t filed your return yet? Don’t panic! Here are some tips to make last-minute filing easier:

  • File your return online for free – The CRA has a list of certified software packages and web applications to fit all budgets, including ones that are free.
  • Register for My Account – Save time using the CRA’s secure online service for individuals, My Account, where you can view your detailed notice of assessment or reassessment, track the status of your return, view your personalized benefit and credit information, register for account alerts and online mail, and much more. Register for My Account today.
  • Use Auto-fill my return – You can use the Auto-fill my return feature if you’re registered for My Account and file using NETFILE-certified tax preparation software. This feature makes online filing even simpler, by letting you have parts of your return automatically filled in with information from the CRA, including your information from T3,T4, and T5 slips.
  • File on time – Make sure there are no interruptions to your Canada child benefit, goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax credit, or child disability benefit payments. You have to file a return on time even if you did not have income in the year. If you have a spouse or common-law partner, they also have to file a return every year. If you cannot pay all of your balance owing right away or if some income slips or receipts are missing, you should still file your return on time to avoid a late-filing penalty.
  • Get help at a Community Volunteer Income Tax Program clinic – If you need help, and have a modest income and a simple tax situation, a volunteer from the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program may be able to file your return for you. To find a clinic near you and to see if you’re eligible, go to www.cra.gc.ca/volunteer.
  • Explore payment arrangements – If you cannot pay all of the amount you owe before the payment due date, consider making a payment arrangement. If you are eligible, a payment arrangement will let you make smaller payments over time until you pay the whole amount. To set up a pre-authorized debit agreement, use My Account or call the CRA at 1-888-863-8657.
  • Pay electronically – Did you know you can pay your taxes online? There are several payment methods to choose from, including online banking, Interac Online, Visa Debit, and pre-authorized debit from your account at a financial institution. For more information, watch our video.

Visit cra.gc.ca/getready for more last-minute filing tips.