We strongly recommend using tax software rather than
pre-printed forms to prepare your return,
because this can help to avoid errors and missed tax credits. Many
credits, such as the Canada Employment amount, are calculated automatically.
However, if your return is complicated, it may be best to have your return
professionally prepared, or at least reviewed.
You can use NetFile to submit your tax return from your home
computer. You may either purchase tax calculation software at a retail
store, download software over the internet, or file your tax using an online
tax return. It is not always necessary to spend money to file your tax return
using income tax software. Some of the software packages are free for
some are free if you have low net income and a
simple return. Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) provides a list of tax
software packages which are approved for NetFile, and the list indicates
whether the package includes a free option.
When you use
NetFile to file your return, you do not mail a printed return or information
slips, and if you are expecting a refund it usually arrives within 2
You no longer need an access code from CRA in order to NetFile. Only
your social insurance number and date of birth are required.
The NetFile system is available February 11th to
November 30th, 2013 for filing 2012 income tax returns. This means that returns can be NetFiled even after the tax
return due date, but late filing penalties
may be applicable. NetFile
is available 21 hours a day, 7 days per week during this time, from 6 am
to 3 am eastern time.
For more information, visit the
Canada Revenue Agency web page on NetFile.
Use a software package to print and mail your return
Although our Tax Calculators are intended as
planning tools, and do not include every available tax credit, they can be
used to check most tax returns.
Professional tax preparation
You can have an accounting or tax preparation firm prepare and
file your tax return. These firms usually file your return
electronically, using EFile, so your refund would probably arrive quite
quickly, as it does with NetFile. See our Business
Directory to find a firm in your area. EFile
dates of operation and hours
of operation are available on the CRA website.
If you wish to confirm that a business is registered for
EFiling, or to find an EFiler in your area, you can use the CRA EFiler
search, which allows you to search for an EFiler by postal code or by
is available to any individual, firm, or organization
wishing to electronically file personal or corporate tax
returns for members of the public, clients, or
employees. Those wishing to use E-file must register
with CRA, and must use EFile
certified software. Before applicants are permitted to EFile
returns on behalf of their clients, they are screened for suitability.
For details, see suitability
screening on the CRA website.
If you are mailing your return, you must
include copies of all information slips, and most
receipts, such as medical and donations. The
explanations in the CRA General
Income Tax Guide and the return, schedules, or forms
will tell you when to attach other supporting documents,
such as certificates, forms, schedules, or official
In the past, if your return was very basic, you could
have Telefiled it (by telephone). However, CRA discontinued its Telefile
and Telefile for Seniors service, as of September 29, 2012. See the CRA page
regarding Telefile. See our Telefile
for Seniors page for more
The information on this site is not intended to be a
substitute for professional advice. Each person's situation differs, and
a professional advisor can assist you in using the information on this web
site to your best advantage.
See our Business
Directory for tax, accounting and finance-related firms in your
Please see our legal
disclaimer regarding the use of information on our site, and our Privacy
Policy regarding information that may be collected from visitors to our