Deadline to file taxes is tonight at midnight

The deadline to file your taxes is tonight at midnight.

Normally, April 30 serves as the cut off. But since that date fell on the weekend this year, the deadline was extended.

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It's one of the busiest days of the year for the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), tax preparers and tax software companies as some Canadians rush to file.

“We are seeing the volume on our servers right now going through the roof,” said Gerry Vittoratos, tax specialist with UFile tax software.

Even though it may seem like time is running out, Vittoratos said with tax software and the CRA’s auto-fill feature it’s still possible to get your tax filings in on time.

According to UFile, about 90 per cent of the average Canadian’s tax return is made up of government slips which can be found on the CRA’s website.

Vittoratos said it can help to have your old tax return available from last year to compare it to this year’s before you file.

“Have your previous years tax return handy with you while your producing this year’s return so you will know you don't miss anything," said Vittoratos.

There are a few changes from last year as the simplified work from home benefit has been increased from $400 to $500. You will also have to claim any COVID-19 benefits you received.

"Each year there are many Canadians who don't file their taxes on time and this could be for many reasons," said tax expert Yannick Lemay with H & R Block.

H & R Block said it's important to file your taxes on time because you can avoid paying interest or penalties. You'll get your refund sooner and it can prevent interruptions to tax credits and potential monthly benefits if you file before the deadline.

"People can receive the GST credit, the Canadian Child Benefit and also the Climate Action Incentive Payment which starts in July. In order to receive these benefits it's important to file your taxes by the end of the day” said Lemay.

Tax software can walk most people through their tax return and it's now easy to file online. You may want to seek professional tax advice if you've had a life-changing event, such as a death in the family, serious illness, a job loss, divorce, or you have a rental property or investment losses.

There is a five per cent penalty on the balance owing for filing late. The deadline for self-employed Canadians is June 15.

Tax experts agree it's best to think about your taxes all-year long to avoid rushing at the last minute. Having a file where you keep your receipts and tax documents can help you stay organized when tax time rolls around.