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Ways to File Personal Income Tax Returns

 

There are several ways you can file your tax returns
Paper Return Telefile EFile NETFile
 
CRA also offers convenient e-services and helpful options

Your  Rep. My Account Epass Access Code
 
Forms & Publications

T.I.P.S-Tax Information Phone Services

Telefile, Efile, Netfile, MyAccount, epass services logos are proprietary to Canada Revenue Agency

File a Paper Return

  • Printed T1 Personal Tax Income Tax forms are available at Canada Post Post Offices and postal outlets.   
  • You can also download the T1 Personal Tax Income Tax forms from the CRA Web site by clicking here.

The downloadable form is available in pdf format.  Download the form, print it out and Fill in the  forms.  The CRA Tax Package download also includes helful instructions on how to fill out your Tax return.  You can mail in your Tax Return using your  mail-in label if you received one.  Make note of the address for future reference. You may also mail in your Return using the envelope contained in the Forms book; or choose to deliver the forms in person to a Service Canada office.

To find out how you can order printed copies of your Tax Return Forms, click here.

Québec personal income tax return forms

If you are a resident of Québec, you have to file a provincial tax return as well as a federal tax return.  Most software packages will include the Québec personal tax return.  If you are filing manually, you can get the Québec tax return forms from the Québec Revenue Ministry website.

Québec tax returns can be filed electronically through NetFile Québec.

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File using TELEFILE

 TELEFILE

 TELEFILE is an interactive computer program that allows eligible taxpayers to electronically file their tax return for free using a touch-tone telephone.

All you need to use the service is a touch-tone telephone, your social insurance number (SIN), your personalized access code and your completed tax return.

 The Telefile  option is good for simple Returns.  You may be able to file your return by telephone for free.  TELEFILE is a service designed for taxpayers with the most common types of income tax information such as employment income, pension income, interest income, registered pension plan contributions, and charitable donations. More Complex Returns are not supported by Telefile.  First-time filers are not eligible to use TELEFILE.

You need to have the 4 digit Access Code provided by CRA to use Telefile.  The four-digit access code is printed on the label sheet in your 2007 tax package that is mailed to you by CRA.

If you do not have an access code, call 1-800-714-7257 to get one.

Once you have your access code, call the toll-free number 1-800-959-1110 to file your return.

Note
If a disability prevents you from using a touch-tone phone pad for TELEFILE, please call 1-800-714-7257 for assistance.

If you use Telefile, you need not send in a paper return or information slips, but you must keep these for 6 years.

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How do you use TELEFILE?

Step 1—Complete your tax return, including all necessary forms and schedules, using the information in your tax package.

Step 2—Call the TELEFILE service toll-free at 1-800-959-1110. You must use a touch-tone telephone and call from within Canada or the continental United States. TELEFILE is available seven days a week. Click here to check the Hours of Service.

Step 3—Enter your tax information using your telephone keypad.

The TELEFILE service will guide you every step of the way.

You will be asked for your SIN and personalized access code (shown on your personal label sheet included in your income tax package).

You will also be asked to confirm your marital status, and if applicable, your spouse or common-law partner's SIN; his or her net income and the amount of Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB) that is included in their net income to determine amounts for which you may qualify, such as the goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) credit and the Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB).

You will then be guided through the entry of the information from your tax return.

Step 4—Confirm that you want to file the information as your tax return. You will be given a  confirmation number after which CRA immediately begins processing your tax return.

Write down this confirmation number and keep it for your records. It is your proof that CRA has received your tax return.

It is important to note that your income tax return has not been filed until you receive your confirmation number. Be sure to listen for it before hanging up.

Tips for using TELEFILE:

  • To answer “yes“ to a question press the one (1) key.
  • To answer “no“ to a question press the zero (0) key.
  • If you want to have a question repeated, press the star (*) key.
  • Enter dollar amounts only unless TELEFILE asks you to enter amounts in dollars and cents.
  • After you have finished entering an amount, press the pound (#) key. TELEFILE repeats each entry.
  • If you make a mistake, you can correct it, or hang up and call again up to six times.

Benefits of TELEFILE

  • It's free!— All you need is a touch-tone telephone and your personalized access code.
  • Faster refunds—Over 98% of taxpayers who used TELEFILE to file their tax returns last year received their refund within two weeks.
  • Quick and easy—TELEFILE takes only minutes to do using your touch-tone telephone.
  • Paperless—There's no paper return to submit and no receipts to send in, unless CRA asks for them at a later date.
  • Acknowledgement—At the end of your telephone call, we'll issue a confirmation number that indicates that we've received your tax return.

Telefile Service for Seniors

CRA has a special Telefile Service for Seniors .  This Service does not require the tax return to be prepared in advance.  Please click here  for more information.

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 receipts.

Forms for prior years are also available on the CRA website.

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File using EFILE

EFILE
EFILE for Individuals - Professional Tax Preparation

You can have an EFile Service Provider prepare and file your tax return. EFILE is a service that allows  authorized service providers to file individual income tax returns with CRA electronically. EFile Service providers can be any individual, firm, or organization wishing to electronically file personal or corporate tax returns for members of the public, clients, or employees.  E-file Service providers must register with CRA, and must use EFile software certified by CRA.

As an EFILE  Customer or Client, you must take your documents to a registered tax preparer.  The authorized person will prepare your return for a fee and send it to CRA electronically using EFILE.

Benefits of EFILE

  • Faster refunds - EFILE reduces manual steps, most electronic returns are processed in about 2 weeks.
  • Improved accuracy - Before CRA accepts a return for processing, they perform a series of computer checks and balances which results in greater accuracy.
  • Paperless - There are no paper returns to file and, unless CRA ask for receipts, none are needed. With few exceptions, EFILE is an environmentally friendly, paperless system.
  • Ease of mind - You have a professional prepare your taxes and you can authorize them to represent you.
  • Ease of payment - Individuals can file early and do not have to pay any amount owing until April 30.

Almost all Canadians (95%) are eligible to use EFile for filing their Tax returns. EFile cannot be used by Individuals who are non-residents, people who have declared bankruptcy, and those who have to pay income tax to more than one province or territory.

For more details and to locate an electronic provider close to you for the EFile service, click here

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Access Code

If you prefer filing electronically, you will need your unique four-digit access code provided by CRA.  Your 4 digit code is printed on the information or label sheet in your tax package sent to you by  mail.

If you didn't receive an access code or you misplaced it, you can get it:

  • online by clicking here; or
  • by calling the CRA Helpdesk at 1-800-714-7257

The Access code on-line service for your 2007 tax return becomes available, starting February 11, 2008.

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File using NETFILE for individuals

NETFILE

NETFILE is an electronic tax-filing option. This service allows you to file your personal income tax and benefit return directly to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) using the Internet. You can only transmit your own tax return to the CRA using NETFILE. You cannot transmit tax returns on behalf of your clients.

When you use NETFILE, you cannot change any of your personal information such as your name, address, date of birth, or direct deposit information.

The NETFILE transmission service is open from February 11, 2008, until September 30, 2008, for the electronic filing of your 2007 personal income tax and benefit return. Tax returns filed via NETFILE must first be prepared using one of the commercial tax preparation software packages or Web applications certified for NETFILE.

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Benefits of NETFILE

  • Faster refund
  • Even faster using direct deposit
  • Convenient Internet filing with instant acknowledgement
  • No need to send us your receipts
  • Access Code available on-line
  • File Now - you can file at any time of the day 24/7 during tax filing time windows!

NETFILE is available to most Canadians; however, there are some types of tax returns that cannot be submitted electronically. NETFILE is only for Individuals.

Tax preparation service providers cannot use NETFILE to file tax returns on behalf of their clients. They must use EFILE.

Eligibility Check list

checkmark Click here to check your eligibility by reviewing the restrictions for electronically filed tax returns.

checkmark Click here if you need to change your current address using CRAs My Account online service using epass.  CRA needs your current address before you can transmit your tax return using NETFILE.  You cannot change your address or other personal information through NETFILE.You can call the e-service Helpdesk at 1-800-714-7257 for assistance.

checkmark Get your paperwork, receipts, and NETFILE-certified tax preparation software or Web application ready. (Links to certified providers can be found on the CRA website).

checkmark Click here to be aware  of your legal obligations for filing electronic returns.

checkmark Click here to know about new legislation that could affect you.

checkmark Click here to make sure the "cookie" function within your browser is enabled.

checkmark Click here to confirm  the hours of Service for NETFILE transmission.

checkmark Click here to find out your payment options if you have a balance owing.

To file your return using NETFILE, you have to agree to the terms and conditions.  Then you will be asked to enter the following information:

  • your social insurance number;
  • your date of birth;
  • your four-digit access code (from your tax package); and
  • the location of your ".tax" file containing your tax return prepared using NETFILE-certified tax preparation software or Web application.

After you've entered this information, you'll have to read a declaration and select the appropriate link to indicate whether you're ready to file your tax return. If you decide to file, be sure to wait a few seconds while your file is uploaded. Then you'll receive your confirmation number. Keep this number for your records — write it down, print it, or save the Web page.

Restrictions

There are some types of tax returns that cannot be submitted to the CRA electronically.
If this is your first year filing an income tax return with CRA, you may not use NETFILE.
However, you can seek the services of an authorized EFILE service provider or you can mail a paper return.
If you have no other restrictions, you will be able to use NETFILE next year.

You cannot use NETFILE to send:

  • an amended tax return;
  • a tax return for any year except the 2007 tax year; or
  • a tax return for another person (for example, if a client prepared a spousal/family return, the client must create a separate ".tax" file and each client must file his or her own return with his or her own access code).

You cannot use NETFILE to file your tax return if:

  • you are in bankruptcy;
  • you are a non-resident of Canada;
  • you have income from a business with a permanent establishment outside your province or territory of residence (you have to complete Form T2203, Provincial and Territorial Taxes for 2007 - Multiple Jurisdictions); or

Are there any other restrictions?

The following is a list of specific situations that prevent you from filing a tax return through the NETFILE service:

  • Your tax return was discounted by a third party.
  • You're considered a deemed resident (not subject to provincial or territorial tax).
  • You're filing a tax return for an individual who died in 2007 or 2008.
  • Your social insurance number begins with a "0" (zero).
  • You went bankrupt in 2007 or 2008 or are in bankruptcy status according to our records.
  • You are an immigrant, emigrant, or non-resident of Canada for the 2007 tax year.
  • Your address is outside Canada.
  • You're electing to defer tax on a distribution of spin-off shares by foreign corporations.
  • You're claiming less than the maximum federal foreign tax credit.
  • You're reporting any one of the following:
    • Canadian-source income from Lloyds of London;
    • employment income earned from an international organization;
    • lump-sum pension income accrued to December 31, 1971;
    • more than six sets of financial statements;
    • an Ontario, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, or Yukon Qualifying Environmental Trust Tax Credit (may also be referred to as Mining Reclamation Trust Tax Credit); or
    • a statement of qualifying retroactive lump-sum payment (Form T1198).
  • You're claiming any one of the following:
    • foreign taxes paid to more than one country, or a business foreign tax credit(s);
    • a deduction for scientific research and experimental development expenses;
    • an Overseas Employment Tax Credit (Form T626);
    • an Alberta Stock Savings Plan Tax Credit (Form T89);
    • a Saskatchewan Royalty Tax Rebate (Form T82);
    • a Manitoba Investment Tax Credit (Form T86);
    • a Newfoundland and Labrador Research and Development Tax Credit (Form T1129);
    • a disability amount for yourself, for a dependant other than your spouse or common-law partner, for a transfer from your spouse or common-law partner and this is a first-time claim or a new Form T2201 is required;
    • a claim at line 318 involves more than ten dependants;
    • a Nova Scotia Research and Development Tax Credit Recapture.
  • You're reporting farming income with AgriStability and/or AgriInvest programs application which involves:
    • farming income from a partnership reported on a T5013 slip or the partnership includes a corporate partner;
    • a Canadian Indian reporting self-employed income which is “tax exempt income”;
    • SFD type 9 with more than 10 occurrences in section 7 and/or 8 from page 7 of Form T1273;
    • SFD type 9 with more than 8 occurrences in section 10, 11 and/or 12 from page 7 of Form T1273.

If any of the above situations apply to you, you cannot use the NETFILE service to file your tax return. If you have to file an amended or previous-year tax return, or any other tax return that doesn't qualify for NETFILE, you will have to mail it to your tax centre listed in our directory.  Click here to see a list of all CRA Tax Centres

Use a software package to NetFile your return

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, which may be free of charge if you have low net income and a simple return.  

Click here to see the CRA approved list of tax software packages which are approved for NetFile.

  • 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 weeks.

  • Not all tax returns qualify for NetFile - check Restrictions that apply (see above).

  • You need an access code from CRA in order to NetFile.  If you didn't receive one, you can call their e-service Help Desk, or you can get an access code online. (see above)

  • The NetFile service is available from mid-February until September 30 for filing of personal income tax returns for the prior year.

  • For more information, visit the Canada Revenue Agency web page on NetFile by clicking here.

Note: Québec tax returns can be filed electronically through NetFile Québec.

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Appointing your Representative & Your Privacy

Your personal information is confidential. However, you can authorize someone (such as your spouse or common-law partner,tax preparer, or accountant ) to represent you to discuss your file and these are called "Representatives".

You can authorize your  appointed representative  to get information on your tax matters and submit or provide information on your behalf.

CRA will accept information from and/or provide information to your representative only after they are satisfied that you have authorized them to do so either through your online My Account or in writing.

Your authorization will stay in effect until you cancel it, it reaches the expiry date you choose, or CRA receives notification of your death.

The personal information that you provide on your income tax forms is collected under the authority of the federal, provincial, and territorial income tax acts and will be used to administer and enforce these acts and their regulations.

In certain cases, CRA provides some of your information to other government bodies to administer the law. In all cases, strict procedures are followed before giving your information to anyone.

If you call CRA and ask for personal tax information, CRA will ask you to identify yourself and give information about the contents of your return to protect this information.

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Tax Information Phone Service (T.I.P.S.)

You can get personal and general tax information from our automated Tax Information Phone Service (T.I.P.S.). The number to call is 1-800-267-6999.

When you call T.I.P.S., you have several different services to choose from, depending on the time of year.

  1. Telerefund lets you know if your income and benefits return has been processed and when you can expect your refund. This service is available all year.

  2. The GST/HST credit service tells you if you're eligible for the goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) credit and the date you can expect to receive your payment. This service is available from three weeks before through two and one-half weeks after each GST/HST credit payment is issued. Payments are issued quarterly on about the 5th day of January, April, July, and October.

  3. Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB) and Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB)

    By selecting this menu option, you can access the following two services:

    • The Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB) service will tell you if you're eligible for the CCTB and the date you can expect to receive your payment. This service is available from one week before through one week after each CCTB payment is issued. CCTB payments are issued on about the 20th of each month.

    • The Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB) service will tell you if you're eligible for the UCCB and the date you can expect to receive your payment. This service is available from one week before through two weeks after each UCCB payment is issued. UCCB payments are issued on about the 20th of each month.

  4. RRSP (registered retirement savings plan) deduction limit and General Information

    By selecting this menu option, you can access the following three services:

    • The RRSP deduction limit service lets you know the amount of RRSP contributions you can deduct on your current-year return and, if it applies, any unused contributions available for you to claim. This service is available from mid-September through the end of April.

    • Info-Tax gives information on a number of tax topics to help you file your current-year return. It's available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from mid-January to the end of December. See the table below for the list of message numbers and topics.

    • Bulletin Board contains recent tax and benefit information that may interest you. It's available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all year.

  5. The Business Information service gives information to help individuals who operate a business or are thinking of starting a business. It's available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all year.

If you choose the Telerefund, GST/HST credit, Canada Child Tax Benefit, Universal Child Care Benefit, or RRSP deduction limit service, be ready to give:

  • your social insurance number;
  • your month and year of birth; and
  • the total income you entered on line 150 of your return.

If you call before May 1, 2008, you'll need the total income amount you entered on line 150 of your 2006 return. If you call on or after May 1, 2008, you'll need the total income amount you entered on line 150 of your 2007 return.

For more information about T.I.P.S click here

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My Account

My Account is a secure online service for individuals that gives you the convenience and flexibility of viewing and managing your personalized information. This service connects you to your personal tax and benefit information 21 hours a day, 7 days a week within a secure web site.

  • With My Account you can see information about your:
    • tax refund or balance owing;
    • direct deposit;
    • RRSP, Home Buyers' Plan, and Lifelong Learning Plan;
    • tax returns and carryover amounts;
    • disability tax credit;
    • account balance and payments on filing;
    • instalments;
    • Canada Child Tax Benefit and related provincial and territorial programs payments, account balance, and statement of account;
    • GST/HST credit and related provincial programs payments, account balance, and statement of account;
    • Universal Child Care Benefit payments, account balance, and statement of account;
    • pre-authorized payment plan;
    • authorized representative; and
    • addresses and telephone numbers.

    With My Account you can also manage your personal income tax and benefit account online by:

    • changing your return;
    • changing your address or telephone numbers;
    • applying for child benefits;
    • arranging your direct deposit;
    • authorizing your representative;
    • setting up a payment plan; and
    • formally disputing your assessment or determination.

    To sign up for this CRA Service and set up your own My Account, please click here.

  • Use a software package to print and mail your return.  You can print your return from your home computer using income tax preparation software, and send the printed return to CRA.

  • If you are preparing other people's returns, mail or deliver each person's return in a separate envelope. However, if you are filing returns for more than one year for the same person, put them all in one envelope.

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CRA Epass services

To access a CRA epass service for the first time, you will be asked to register for an epass. If you are enroling for My Account or My Business Account, a CRA Security Code will be mailed to you. For more details and to register for your epass, click here.

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Ordering Forms and Publications from CRA

You can download and print copies of CRA Tax forms and publications for yourself by clicking here.

Or, you can order printed copies in one of the following ways:

Order Online
You can order Forms and Publications from the CRA website by clicking here.

These will be delivered to your address.

Order By telephone
You can order forms by phone from anywhere in Canada or the United States by  calling:

 1-800-959-2221 from Monday to Friday 8:15 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (local time).

For TTY (Teletypewriter) service, call 1-800-665-0354 (Canada only).

If you're calling from outside Canada or  the United States, you will need to contact the International Tax Services Office.

Multiple formats
Forms and publications are available in multiple formats for persons with a visual impairment. Many are available for download from the CRA Web site in Braille and etext. They can also be ordered in Braille, etext (CD or 3 1/4 diskette), audio cassette, MP3, or large print format.

Self-service kiosks
 Self-service kiosks are located in CRA tax services offices across Canada. The kiosks stock small quantities of the most frequently requested CRA forms and publications.

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Telefile, Efile, Netfile, MyAccount, epass services logos are proprietary to Canada Revenue Agency

 


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