What you need to know for the 2023 tax-filing season

Millions of Canadians file their income tax and benefit returns every year. For the 2022 tax-filing season, Canadians filed approximately 31 million returns and 92% of them were filed electronically. Also, there were over 17 million refunds processed, resulting in a total amount of $37 billion!

We know that having the information you need on hand makes filing easier. Below, you’ll find what you need to know for this year, including what’s new.

Filing and payment deadlines

The deadline for most Canadians to file this return is April 30, 2023. Since April 30, 2023, falls on a Sunday, your return will be considered filed on time if the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) receives it, or it is postmarked, on or before May 1, 2023.

If you or your spouse or common-law partner are self-employed, you have until June 15, 2023, to file on time. Filing your return before the respective deadline will allow you to avoid interruptions to any benefit or credit payments you may be entitled to.

If you have a balance owing, your payment is due on April 30, 2023. Your payment will be considered on time if the CRA receives it, or a Canadian financial institution processes it, on or before May 1, 2023.

Register for direct deposit and file online 

You can register for direct deposit and file online to get any refund you may be eligible for faster. To file online, the CRA has a list of certified tax software products that are easy to use, fast, and secure, some of which are free!

When you file using NETFILE-certified software, you may be able to use:

  • Auto-fill my return. This is a secure service that allows individuals and authorized representatives using certified tax software to automatically fill in parts of an income tax and benefit return with information that the CRA has available at the time of the request. This service can retrieve information from the current year and six years prior. Once Auto-fill my return has populated the return with the information, make sure that all the proper fields on the return are filled in and that the information provided is true, accurate, and complete before you file your return.
  • Express NOA. This is a secure service that allows individuals and authorized representatives to view their notice of assessment (NOA) directly in their certified tax software and My Account, immediately after the return has been received and processed by the CRA.

Electronic returns are generally processed within two weeks. Individuals who file online and are registered for direct deposit may get their refund in as little as eight business days. However, for paper returns, our service standard is to process them within eight weeks of receipt.

Learn about online filing, deadlines and more with our Get ready to do your taxes page.

Get free tax help

If you have a modest income and a simple tax situation, volunteers at a free tax clinic may be able to do your taxes for you. Free tax clinics are available in person and virtually. To find out if you’re eligible, and to find a tax clinic, go to our Free tax clinics page.

CRA debt recovery activities

The CRA has resumed efforts to recover taxpayers’ debt. One of the tools the CRA uses to recover debt is called offsetting. Offsetting proactively applies tax refunds and benefit payments (such as the GST/HST credit) to tax debts and other government debts. To learn more about how government payments can be applied to specific debts, go to canada.ca/balance-owing.

Climate action incentive payment

The Climate action incentive payment (CAIP) is a tax-free amount paid to help individuals and families offset the cost of the federal pollution pricing. You may be eligible for the CAIP if you are a resident of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, or Ontario.

To get the CAIP, you and your spouse or common-law partner (if applicable) must each file an income tax and benefit return for the year and be an eligible individual. The CRA will automatically determine your eligibility when you file your return. If you have a spouse or common-law partner, only one of you can get the CAIP for the family. The CAIP will be paid to the spouse or common-law partner whose return is assessed first. No matter which one of you receives the CAIP, the amount will be the same. 

If you are eligible to receive the April 14, 2023, payment, you and your spouse or common-law partner (if applicable), must have had your income tax and benefit returns assessed on or before March 24, 2023. If your tax returns are assessed after this date, your payment will be included in a subsequent payment.

The CAIP also includes a supplement for residents of small and rural communities.

This year, you may also be eligible for the CAIP if you are a resident of Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, or Prince Edward Island. The same eligibility rules and filing requirements mentioned above will apply. You will not be eligible for the April 2023 payment because the federal fuel charge will only apply to these provinces as of July 1, 2023. If you are eligible, you will automatically receive your first payment in July 2023.

Canada Dental Benefit

Applications for the new interim Canada Dental Benefit opened on December 1, 2022, for eligible families with an adjusted family net income of less than $90,000 in 2021. It provides financial support for parents and guardians of children under 12 years old if they receive dental care services and do not have access to a private dental insurance plan. Children already covered under another government dental program may also be eligible if the dental costs are not fully paid by that program.

Parents and guardians can apply for a maximum of two payments for each eligible child.

Elections Canada boxes

When filing your taxes, checking “Yes” to the two questions related to Elections Canada ensures that you’re on the list of electors at your current address and ready to vote in any federal election. To register and vote in a federal election, you must be at least 18 years old and have Canadian citizenship. For more information, go to this Elections Canada web page.

What’s new on the income tax and benefit return

Simplified Northern Residents Travel Deduction The CRA launched the Simplified Northern Residents Travel Deduction, a pilot project to make it easier for northern residents to determine the lowest return airfare, one of the three amounts required to claim the travel deduction come tax time. Available on canada.ca/lowest-return-airfare, the simplified version features tables that identify the lowest return airfare amount found from airports with regularly scheduled commercial flights to a designated city. The airfare tables contain more than 135 airports, almost all of which are located in the prescribed zones.

Disability tax credit – For 2021 and later tax years, an individual diagnosed with type 1 diabetes is deemed to have met the two times per week and an average of at least 14 hours per week requirements for life-sustaining therapy.

First-time home buyers’ tax credit – The amount used to calculate the first-time home buyers’ tax credit has increased to $10,000 for a qualifying home purchased after December 31, 2021.

Home accessibility tax credit – The annual expense limit of the home accessibility tax credit has increased to $20,000 for the 2022 taxation year.

Labour mobility deduction – The labour mobility deduction provides eligible tradespeople and apprentices working in the construction industry with a deduction for certain temporary relocation expenses. Eligible individuals may be able to deduct up to $4,000 in eligible expenses per year.

Medical expense tax credit (for surrogacy and other expenses) – The list of eligible medical expenses has been expanded to include amounts paid to fertility clinics and donor banks in Canada to obtain donor sperm or ova to enable the conception of a child by the individual, the individual’s spouse or common-law partner, or a surrogate mother on behalf of the individual. In addition, certain expenses incurred in Canada for a surrogate or donor may be considered medical expenses of the individual, if they are of a type that would be otherwise permitted as medical expenses of the individual.

Request to deduct federal COVID-19 benefits repayment in a prior year – Complete and attach Form T1B, Request to Deduct Federal COVID-19 Benefits Repayment in a Prior Year, to your 2022 income tax and benefit return to request to have the amount of federal COVID-19 benefits that you repaid in 2022 deducted on your 2020 or 2021 return or split between your 2022 return and the return for the year that you received the benefit. The CRA will then automatically reassess your return(s) to apply the deduction so that you do not need to make a separate request to change your prior year return(s).

Zero-emission vehicles – A used vehicle may now qualify as a zero-emission vehicle and may be included in Class 54 or Class 55, provided it is acquired after March 1, 2020, and becomes available for use prior to 2028 (and meets other criteria). The capital cost allowance (CCA) rate for class 54 is 30% and the CCA rate for class 55 is 40%. For such property, a higher deduction (up to a maximum of 100%) may apply for certain eligible vehicles (phase out starting after December 31, 2023).

What’s new with our services

Disability tax credit digitalized web application – The CRA has launched a fully digitalized web application for medical practitioners for the disability tax credit (DTC). This will make the DTC application process easier for persons with disabilities.

Change My Return modernization – Improvements have been made to the Change My Return service in My Account including a new layout, improved search functionality, new interfaces, and less restrictions.

Email notification – Change My Return & ReFILE supporting documents notification – When you use Change My Return or ReFILE, the CRA may ask you for supporting documents. You will receive an e-notification and a letter will be automatically generated (in the preferred official language on your file) advising that supporting documents are required. The letter will be available in the Mail section in My Account.

Payment arrangements – If you cannot pay an existing debt in full, you may be eligible for a payment arrangement. Payment arrangement options have been expanded to reflect current realities. The Payment Arrangement Calculator has also been added to My Account and My Business Account. This self-service tool allows you to submit a potential payment arrangement without having to contact the CRA. If the proposed payment arrangement does not meet the CRA payment policy, a CRA officer will reach out to complete the arrangement.

Taxpayer self-service – A new “Available payment(s)” section is available on the “Accounts and payments” page in My Account. A “Transfer payment(s)” option is available to taxpayers and their authorized representatives to transfer available payments to an existing tax balance or to a current year instalment within the Individual tax account, in real time.

Underused Housing Tax – Services for Underused Housing Tax will be added in both My Account and My Business Account for those that need to manage taxes on properties within Canada and that do not meet the usage requirements.

Protecting you from scams and fraud

To avoid scams and fraud, be aware of when and how the CRA might contact you. The Scams and fraud page provides information on the ways that the CRA may contact you, including by phone, email, mail and text message.

We strongly encourage you to monitor your CRA accounts regularly for any suspicious activity. You can find valuable information on how to secure your CRA accounts on our Security of your CRA My Account and My Business Account page.

More information

If you’re looking for more information, we’ve got you covered! The CRA offers free national webinars on topics such as understanding benefits and credit payments, and tips on being scam smart. You can see the full list of our webinars at Upcoming events. If you miss a broadcast, don’t worry. All webinars are recorded and posted to Outreach materials to print and share shortly after airing.

We also have helpful benefits and credits factsheets and infographics. Check out Outreach materials to print and share for products for students, newcomers, Indigenous peoples, and more.

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