It used to be you had to fill out tax forms by hand and trek to the nearest government office mailbox to deliver them. Today, in many cases, it’s possible to complete and file taxes online — yet more can be done. The Government of Canada is going further to assist Canadians in the filing of their taxes.
Tax forms that fill themselves out (almost!)
Every year, Canadians are asked to provide information for tax purposes that the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) may already have. Auto-fill my return is a secure CRA service that allows individuals and authorized representatives using certified software to automatically fill in parts of an income tax and benefit return with information that the CRA has available at the time of filing the return. Since 2015, the secure “Auto-fill my return” service has been saving people time by filling in parts of their tax forms with that data — including employer-submitted amounts for the T4 form and investment income information for the T5. This directly addresses Canadians’ preference to enter information only once wherever possible.
An approach to helping people do their taxes
The Government of Canada has launched a new service for the 2018 tax-filing season to help eligible individuals — those with low or fixed income whose situations remain unchanged from year to year — do their taxes. With the new File My Return service, eligible individuals can file their income tax and benefit returns simply by giving some personal information and answering a series of short questions through an automated phone service. The Canada Revenue Agency will continue to offer this free service for the 2019 tax‑filing season. File My Return is free, secure and easy to use, with no paper forms to fill out or calculations to do.
We are also enhancing the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program, which allows community organizations to host free, volunteer-run tax preparation clinics. The program is open to Canadians living on a modest income and who have simple tax situations. Budget 2018 provided funding to increase the reach of the program, which will include funding for additional year-round tax preparation clinics and more outreach activities to support vulnerable population segments including seniors, newcomers, people with disabilities, youth and Indigenous communities.