Tax season is full of stress, especially as the April 30th deadline gets closer and closer. You may be wondering what happens if you miss the date for submission. The answer is nothing good. That’s why accountants always recommend filing and getting started as early as possible. And here’s why.
Have it marked on your calendar. April 30th is the deadline that income tax returns have to be submitted by as well as any balance owed to the government. Make sure any payments sent by mail have been postmarked on or before that date or you’ll get a penalty. If you’re self-employed there’s a big more wiggle room. Taxes don’t have to be filed until June 15th but the catch is that any balance owed is still due on April 30th, which confused a lot of people. Talk to your Toronto accountant to make sure you’re following the right dates.
There are some pretty hefty penalties for filing late. You’ll be charged 5% of your owned balance plus an additional 1% for each additional month that your return is late. These penalties can increase too, doubling even, if you are continuously late. If you can’t afford to pay your balance by the due date at least make sure you file your taxes.
Government benefits may also be interrupted in addition to financial penalties. Filing annual tax returns is a requirement in order to receive some government benefits. If you file late, or not at all, the payment for these programs will likely be late.
Programs that are affected by this are:
- Canada Child Tax Benefit
- Universal Child Care Benefit
- Working Income Tax Benefit
- Guaranteed Income Supplement
- GST/HST Benefit
- Ontario Trillium Benefit
I Filed Late: Now What?
If you’ve already missed the deadline the best thing to do is file as soon as possible. Penalties get worse with each day that passes. There’s something called voluntary disclosure which is when you submit your taxes and forms before the CRA audits and asks for them. If you do this you will only be required to pay the amount owed plus interested instead of steeper penalties.
How to Avoid Being Late
Accountants always preach that you should avoid filing late at all costs, even if it means a late night or two. The penalties for filing late are heavy. Start getting all the information you need as early as you can. Don’t wait for the deadline either- file as soon as you have everything ready. Consider hiring an accountant to help you with everything as well. Contact us today if you have any questions, concerns, or are interested in our tax services.