When it’s time to do your taxes, some people are happy to file to get a refund or benefit payments. Others might feel stressed out by the whole process. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) knows this, and they’re here to help.

Here are some common mistakes people make at tax time. Avoiding these mistakes can save you time and make filing your taxes as easy as possible.

Remember to Report All Your Income

Sometimes, you might forget to include some income on your tax return. Here are some examples of income you need to remember to report:

  • Tips and extra money from your job
  • Money from selling goods or services if you have a small business (like side jobs)
  • Money from gig jobs, ride-sharing, renting out a place, and selling things online
  • Money from online business activities
  • Money from outside Canada (like interest or other income from investments)

If you’re not sure if you should report some income, check the list of all types of income.

Update Your Personal Information

If things like your address, phone number, kids, or marriage status have changed, tell us quickly. You don’t need to call us. You can easily update your information online. This way, you’ll get the right benefits and payments on time.

Claiming Personal Expenses

If you qualify, you can get money back by claiming some costs and credits to pay less tax. But remember, you can’t claim every cost. Here are some costs you can’t claim:

  • Funeral and wedding costs
  • Loans to family members
  • Losing money when you sell your home or car

If CRA find a mistake or something that doesn’t fit your situation, they’ll change your tax return. This might mean you pay interest or get a penalty.

Paying Part of Your Taxes

Do you send your tax forms on paper? If yes, here’s a mistake to avoid. If you’re only paying part of what you owe, don’t write the amount you are paying on your paper tax form. The payment you send with your form will count towards what you owe. It will show up as a “payment on filing” on your assessment notice.

Remember, if you can only pay part of your debt now, you can set up a payment plan. A payment plan lets you pay the rest of your debt over time.

Keeping Track of Your Money

Keeping good records helps you prove your income and expenses. Matching your income with other records can help make sure everything is correct. These other records can be:

  • T4 slips
  • Bank statements
  • Pay stubs from other jobs
  • Receipts from things you buy

CRA might ask for these if they check your tax return. Having good records will make this faster and easier.

Learn About Canadian Taxes

You can use free online tools to help you learn about taxes and income tax filing, and what you get from it. The CRA wants to help people do their own taxes and make sure they know about the money and credits they can get.