The 4 Key Things Every Canadian Should Know About Paying Their Taxes

By Myles Leva


Last Updated: February 9, 2022



Tax season is coming once again. While it’s a bit early to be filing your taxes, looking and planning ahead can help you avoid surprises and stay on top of your taxes.

To get started, let’s go over the 4 key things Canadians should know about paying taxes.


One: What Are Important Tax Deadlines In Canada?

The most important thing every Canadian should know about their taxes is their tax deadlines.

Depending on the nature of your income, you will have a few deadlines to worry about.

Regular Income Filing Date

For regular income taxes, the deadline for filing is April 30th, 2022. However, because that regular filing date is a Saturday, you have until May 2nd, 2022.

Self-Employed Income Filing Date

If you or your spouse/common-law partner is self-employed, you have until June 15th, 2022.

RRSP Contributions

If you still want to make RRSP contributions and receive deductions for the 2021 tax year, you must do so before March 1st, 2022.

Any RRSP contributions you make on March 1st or later will be counted towards your 2022 returns. The same deadline and rules apply for:

  • PRPP
  • SPP


Two: When Can I File my Taxes in Canada?

You can start filing your 2022 taxes on February 24th, 2022. The CRA accepts electronic returns starting on this date.


Three: When Will My Refund Arrive?

There is no set date or schedule for the timing of your CRA refunds. However, the CRA has set goals they set which they consistently follow whenever possible.

  • Electronically filed tax returns should result in refunds within 2 weeks
  • Returns filed on paper should result in returns within 8 weeks

However, it’s important to note that these CRA goals are only applicable for returns filed before the deadline. There are a few exceptions, such as late filing, which may result in long wait times for tax refunds.

If you live outside Canada and file non-resident income tax returns, it can take up to 16 weeks to receive your refunds. If your return is selected for a detailed review, or especially for an audit, the process may take even longer.

In general, in any given situation, you can expect your refunds faster if you set up a direct deposit. You can set up direct deposit with the CRA by clicking here.


Four: Why Haven’t I Gotten My Refund?

Some people find that months after they file their returns, they have not received their refunds.

One thing that is important to know in advance is that there are several circumstances under which the CRA keeps all or part of your refund.

If you owe or are even about to owe, a balance to the CRA, they may withhold your refund in part or in whole. They may also withhold your refund if you have a garnishment under the Family Orders and Agreements Enforceable Assistance Act.

Government debts are another common reason why the CRA will delay your refunds. Any outstanding debt with Federal, Provincial, or Territorial Governments, including student debts, may slow or halt the process.

Overpayments of employment insurance, social benefits, training allowances, or immigration loans may also lead to a halt of your refunds.

Lastly and perhaps most strangely, the CRA may not send you your tax refunds if your refund is for $2 or less.

If you want to receive your tax refunds without a prolonged delay, take the time to ensure you don’t currently meet any of the conditions listed above.



Bonus: What Should I Know About Doing My Taxes?

Taxes on Lottery Winnings Canada

Although very few people fit into the category of “lottery winner”, there are actually no taxes on lottery winnings in Canada.


Online Tax Return Canada

Doing your tax returns online is generally better than doing them via mail.

The main reason for this is that your dealings with the CRA will be faster if they’re done online.


Inheritance Tax Canada

Inheritance taxes are a bit strange compared to other taxes.

There is technically no tax on inheritance in Canada. When someone dies, a final tax return must be prepared for any income they earned before the date of their death. If they had debts, their estate must pay them off before the remainder can be transferred to beneficiaries.

If you inherit property, it’s generally presumed that you acquired it at fair market value (FMV). There are some exceptions, so this is certainly an issue where it’s recommended you consult a tax professional.


Are You Ready For Tax Season? 

No one looks forward to paying their taxes, but knowing what is expected can make it less of a hassle. 

Make things easier on yourself by being prepared, filing on time and crossing it off your list! 

Photo by StellrWeb on Unsplash


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