File your tax returns by April 30

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If you haven’t already got your paperwork in order, this weekend might be a good time to get it done with because the deadline to file your 2017 tax returns is April 30. However, if you or your spouse or common-law partner are self-employed, you have until June 15 to file your 2017 tax return. But if you owe taxes, you still must pay the full amount no later than April 30 to avoid interest charges. This is an important thing to remember because many self-employed individuals haven’t factored in the interest on tax returns if they miss the deadline.

Here are some tips to make last-minute filing easier:

• Do your taxes online: The CRA has a list of certified software packages and web applications, including some that are free.

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• Register for My Account: Save time by using My Account, the CRA’s secure online service for individuals. You can view your detailed notice of assessment or reassessment, view the status of your tax return, view your personalized benefit and credit information, register for account alerts and online mail, and much more. Register today.

• Use Auto-fill my return: You can use the Auto-fill my return feature if you’re registered for My Account and are using NETFILE-certified tax preparation software that offers the service. It lets you automatically fill in certain parts of your current and previous-year income tax and benefit returns.

• Do your taxes on time: Even if you don’t have income for the year or your income was tax exempt, you should still do your taxes on time every year to avoid interruptions or delays to your Canada child benefit, GST/HST credit, or child disability benefit payments and to avoid a late-filing penalty.

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• See if a volunteer can do your taxes for free: If you need help doing your taxes, and you have a modest income and a simple tax situation, a volunteer from the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program may be able to do your taxes for you, for free. To find a tax clinic near you, go to

• Know your payment options: If you owe taxes, there are several payment methods to choose from, including online banking, CRA’s My Payment service using your Visa Debit, Debit MasterCard, or Interac Online debit card, and pre-authorized debit from your account at a financial institution. If you prefer to pay in person, you can now pay by cash or debit at any Canada Post outlet.

• Explore payment arrangements: If you cannot pay the whole amount you owe before the due date, consider making a payment arrangement. If you’re eligible, a payment arrangement will let you make smaller payments over time until you pay the whole amount. The CRA will still charge daily compound interest on any outstanding balance starting May 1, 2018, until you pay your balance in full. To set up a pre-authorized debit agreement, use My Account or call the CRA at 1-888-863-8657. -CINEWS

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