Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is so excited about tax time that they released an announcement opening the season! To be fair, the majority of the release, after proudly proclaiming, “the 2019 tax filing season is officially open,” focused on the ways 2019 could be your easiest filing to date.
“Over the past three years, our Government has put service improvement at the top of our priorities. The new services we have introduced at the Canada Revenue Agency have made it easier, faster and more secure for Canadians to file their taxes,” notes the Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue. “These changes are delivering real results for Canadians. Whether online or on paper, I encourage all Canadians to file their 2018 taxes to claim the credits and benefits to which they are entitled, such as the Canada Child Benefit and the Climate Action Incentive in applicable provinces.”
What’s New for the 2019 Tax Season?
CRA cites “significant improvements” to its call centres with a modernized phone platform that gives callers easier access to agents. The self-serve options remain in use, as does the estimated wait time automation and CRA call-back options. CRA also says it has provided better training for its agents. Likely this is in response to scathing reviews that called the agency out for giving incorrect advice and blocking calls.
What Must You Know for the 2019 Tax Season?
For the 2019 tax season, most Canadians must file by April 30, 2019. However, self-employed entrepreneurs can file by June 15, 2019. Since that is a Saturday, technically self-employed returns are not considered late if they are received or postmarked on the next business day, which is June 17, 2019. Regardless of the extended filing date, anyone, individuals or businesses, with a balance owing, must pay it by the 30th of April.
Those in the gig economy and making money with Uber, Lyft, Skip the Dishes, etc., must count their earnings as income. This is regardless of if you work full or part-time at your gig. Companies like PayPal and Square have already been asked by CRA to hand over their records, so you can be sure the agency is looking for people making money with gigs but failing to report it.
If your income is exceedingly modest, you may qualify for free tax help through CRA’s Community Volunteer Income Tax Program. For DIY taxpayers that want to file on their own, free services like NetFile and EFILE are available.
An Accountant Makes an Audit Less Likely
If you own a small business, trust your 2019 tax season to a professional. Accountants know what is new for 2019, what deductions you and your company can claim, which forms to use, and how to ensure you file on time. Also, when CRA sees that an accountant has filed your tax return on your behalf, they are much less likely to flag you for an audit. It is far too easy for entrepreneurs to miss something vital or incorrectly claim something, even when they have the best of intentions. That is because taxes can be complicated, frustrating and confusing. Accountants take the stress out the situation and ensure your 2019 tax season is as stress free as possible.
Contact us today to learn more.
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