Tax filing

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.

See simplified online tax filing in action


It’s a quiet Saturday morning in February at Mike’s home…The kids are playing outside… The kettle’s on and like millions of Canadians, Mike is getting ready to do his taxes. Mike goes to the “get ready” page on the website and follows the steps outlined in the “Doing your taxes” section. Mike knows that being prepared will make filing his return easier. To begin, he gets all the information he needs in front of him, such as T4 slips, receipts and has his social insurance number—and a cup of tea.

Mike prefers to do his taxes online because it’s fast, easy and secure. Mike is already signed up for the CRA’s My Account service so he can do his taxes online. With My Account, Mike can access “Auto-fill my return, to automatically fill in parts of his tax return.

Mike clicks “Find certified tax software” on CRA’s get ready page and selects a free software that works with “Auto-fill my return” in My Account. After Mike follows the instructions, parts of his return are automatically filled in with tax information for the year, such as T4 slips. This makes Mike’s job much easier—no more typing in everything by hand! He also checks the CRA’s get ready page to see what benefits, credits and tax deductions he might be eligible for. Mike can claim medical expenses, moving expenses, childcare expenses, and more to reduce the amount of tax he has to pay.

When all of Mike’s information is entered, he checks it over to be sure it’s correct. The software then calculates Mike’s taxes and tells him if he owes money or gets a refund.

To finish, Mike sends his return electronically to the CRA and receives a confirmation number, which he keeps for his records. Having signed up for online mail through My Account and using software that offers Express NOA, Mike receives his notice of assessment right away. And because Mike uses direct deposit, he should expect his refund in his bank account in as little as eight business days. And since Mike has sent the CRA his tax return, he will continue getting his benefit payments without any delays or interruptions. Not bad for a morning’s work!

Filing online is fast, easy and secure and Mike still has time to go play outside with his kids! Visit to find out more about how to do your income tax and benefit return online!