Why You Must File On Time: And What To Do If You’re Late

As the deadline for filing taxes looms, we wanted to drive home the importance of filing your taxes on time. The Canada Revenue Agency imposes strict deadlines for filing, and failing to do so will almost certainly result in financial penalties. Nobody looks forward to paying taxes each year, but the consequences for not paying them by the deadline are far worse than getting it done on time. Here’s everything you need to know about when to file, why you must do it on time, and what will happen if you don’t:

Important Tax Deadlines

Here are the important dates you need to remember:

-Filing deadline – April 30th. Note: if you owe a balance, your balance is also due on this date.
Filing deadline for the self-employed – self-employed Canadians must file by June 15th; however, their balance is still owed by the 30th.

Please note that April 30th, 2017, is a Sunday. Your return will be considered on time if postmarked or marked electronically by midnight of May 1st.

Fast fact: The CRA processes 26,000,000 returns per year!

Penalties For Being Late

The CRA strictly penalizes those who file late. The penalties are 5% of the taxes owed plus 1% for each month that you are late.

In addition to this penalty, you will also be charged interest on the amount you owe that is compounded daily.

Please be aware that even if you are not able to pay your taxes, you can avoid penalties by filing on time. If you are stressing about not being able to pay, you still must file on time to avoid things getting worse. Speak to a professional immediately.

Options For Filing Late: The Voluntary Disclosures Program

For those who have not filed their taxes on time, perhaps even for several years, the Voluntary Disclosures Program offers you a chance to catch up on your taxes and perhaps even be forgiven from prosecution or late penalties. You will still be liable to pay the taxes that you owe, but if you qualify for the VDP, then you won’t have to pay the hefty fines and penalties associated with late filings. Any taxpayer can apply, but not everyone will be accepted. Please consult with a professional about your options.

The CRA imposes strict penalties for late filing for good reason. We at Quon & Associates implore every Canadian to file on time. If you don’t, you will have to pay harsh penalties and fines. Are you confused about when you must file or how to pay your balance? Consult a tax professional to help provide clarity!

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