Why file online?
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) receives two thirds of its tax returns online. Learn why so many Canadians have made the switch to fast and easy online tax returns.
Get your money faster! The average processing time for a return filed online is two weeks. For paper, the average is four to six weeks! And when you combine filing online with direct deposit, you may have your refund in your account in as little as eight days!
Filing online is fast and easy
A software package, that has been certified by the CRA does all the work for you - making your calculations, and asking you the right questions. All you do is key in your amounts and follow the prompts.
You can file online for free
There are many certified software programs that meet the needs of most taxpayers, available with different features at different price points. There are also products that are completely free or free with limited restrictions and/or exclusions.
Your information is safe
The CRA uses the same high levels of security that your financial institution uses to protect your banking information.
How you file does not increase your chance of audit
Do you always file on paper so you can include your receipts, thinking it will lower the chances that your return will be audited? When you file online, sometimes the CRA may request some receipts to support your claims. This is a routine verification - not the same thing as an audit. When the CRA selects a return for audit, how you filed is not a factor in the decision. With a verification, just slip a copy of the requested receipt(s) in an envelope and mail it to the CRA. It's that simple.
What do I need to know before I file?
Being prepared will make filing a smooth and easy process. Review these steps for ways to make sure you're ready.
- Gather all your income tax information: T4 and T5 slips, receipts, a copy of last year's return for reference, etc.
- You don't need My Account to file online. However, registering for this service has many benefits. Don't delay – register for My Account now to make sure you can access it when you need it.
- If you need to change your address or direct deposit information, do so before you file.
- Discover all the ways to reduce your taxes this year. Check out the various tax credits you may be entitled to.
- See more tax information for people just like you:
File my return on paper
Wait! Before you file on paper, read Why file online? and see why so many Canadians have moved away from paper.
Paper returns and guides can be printed from our Web site. For the 2012 tax package, go to General Income Tax and Benefit Package for 2012 and select your province or territory. For previous-year packages, go to Tax packages for all years. The 2013 tax package will be available online in early January 2014.
If you are not able to print your own package, you can call the CRA and ask us to mail a package to you.
The T1 General income tax and benefit package for 2012 is no longer available at Canada Post outlets and Service Canada offices. The T1 General income tax and benefit package for 2013 will be available at Canada Post outlets and Service Canada offices starting in February 2014.
The CRA has a number of resources available to you when filing your return.
General help with preparing a tax return
Video series: Preparing your income tax and benefit return
In this video series, you can find general information on preparing and filing an income tax and benefit return. Skip between segments and find exactly what you're looking for. Also see other videos for individuals and families in our Video gallery.
Find a volunteer to help you
The Community Volunteer Income Tax Program is run in clinics across the country to help modest income Canadians complete their tax returns. Volunteer tax preparation clinics are generally offered between February and April; however, there are some clinics that run year round.
Call us—we can help
If you have questions about how to complete your return, you can call the CRA.
If you experience technical difficulties while filing, you can contact our e-Services Helpdesk.
To be notified when new or updated information for individuals is posted to our Web site, subscribe to our: