Important Reminder: Don't Miss the Last Day to File Taxes

March 21, 2024
6 minutes

To avoid paying a late filing penalty and ensure you receive your government benefits on time, plan to file your taxes before the deadline. Even if you have no income, try to file on time to see if you’re eligible for benefits and credits such as the goods and service tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) credit, the Canada Child Benefit, the Canada PRO Deposit, the Canada Worker's Benefit, and more. 

When is the 2023 tax return filing deadline?

Tax filing season officially opened on February 19, 2024. This was the first day to file your paper or electronic tax return for the previous tax year.  


General filing deadline - April 30, 2024

The deadline for most Canadians to file their personal tax return for 2023 is April 30, 2024. By filing your personal income tax return before the deadline, you can avoid delays to any refund, benefit, or credit payments you may receive. 

Self-employed filing deadline - June 15, 2024 

If you or your spouse or partner are self-employed, the filing due date is June 15, 2024. However, June 15th falls on a Saturday this year, so the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will consider your taxes on time if received or postmarked on or before June 17, 2024. 

Payment deadline - April 30, 2024

If you owe money to the CRA, the payment deadline is April 30, 2024. This applies to you even if you’re self-employed.

Filing a ‘final return’

For those filing a ‘final return’ for someone who has died, the deadline is April 30th, 2024 if death occurred between January 1 and October 31, 2023. If the death took place between November 1 and December 31, you can file six months after the death.  

What happens if you miss the tax filing deadline?

If you file your income tax returns after the deadline, there are consequences, including: 

  • Late filing penalties. Filing late will result in a late fee, which is equal to 5% of your 2023 balance owing plus an additional 1% for each month you are late, up to 12 months. For instance, if you owe $1,000 and it takes you two months after the deadline to file your tax return, you’ll have to pay a late filing fee of $50 plus $20 for the two months. It’s easy to see how quickly this penalty payment can add up if you have a large balance owing.  
  • Interest on unpaid taxes. If you miss the deadline to pay your tax bill, the CRA will charge you interest starting May 1st, 2024 and the interest compounds daily. 
  • Delayed benefits. Not filing your taxes on time can also result in a delay to government benefits, tax credit payments, or your tax refund. 

Tips for filing your taxes on time

If you find tax season overwhelming or confusing, you’re not alone. Luckily, there are steps you can take to prepare and simplify the process so you don’t miss the tax deadline.  

Prepare your documents 

Some of the documents you’ll need to file your personal income tax return include:  

Personal information. To file your tax return, you’ll need to provide some personal information such as:  

  • Social Insurance Number
  • Information from Notice Of Assessment (NOA) (document sent by CRA after they assess your tax return)
  • NETFILE access code (found on your NOA and used for filing online)

Income information. To properly report your income, there are a number of different forms you might need when filing your taxes, such as:  

  • T4 from your employer
  • T4A income from scholarships, RESP payments, or pension  
  • T4E for unemployment insurance 
  • T5007 slip if you receive benefits such as workers’ compensation or social assistance 
  • T2202 if you pay college or university tuition
  • Releve if you work and live in Quebec 
  • Other income, such as tips

Receipts. If you plan to use deductions to reduce your taxes owed, make sure you keep all relevant receipts throughout the year. Some examples include receipts for: 

  • RRSP contributions 
  • Childcare expenses
  • Tuition 
  • Moving expenses 

Decide how you want to file 

There are several ways you can file your personal income tax returns, including electronic, paper, and phone methods. 

  • File electronically. To file electronically, you need to use NETFILE-certified tax software. This software will guide you through the filing process and send your income tax and benefit return to the CRA. Once your taxes are submitted, it takes about two weeks for the CRA to process them. You can find free tax software by visiting the NETFILE home page or you can purchase your preferred tax software. 
  • File a paper return. If you’re more comfortable doing your taxes on paper, you can find the federal forms online or request a free tax package from the CRA. By choosing to do your taxes on paper, you are responsible for completing all of the calculations and you must include supporting documentation. Once your paper tax package is received, it takes about eight weeks to process your individual tax returns. 
  • File by phone. The CRA also has an automated phone service called SimpleFile by Phone. This allows eligible individuals to auto-file their income taxes over the phone for free. You don’t have to fill out any paperwork or complete any calculations. This service is available to low or fixed-income individuals with a simple tax situation that is the same year after year. 
  • Hire an authorized representative. If you want help filing your individual income tax return, you can assign an ‘authorized representative.’ You can choose a family member, friend, or professional accountant. If you use an approved tax preparation service provider, your taxes are filed electronically using EFILE-certified tax software. After filing your taxes, it takes about two weeks to process your individual income tax return.  

Don’t miss the last day to file taxes for 2023

If you haven’t filed your 2023 personal income tax returns, don’t worry. There’s still time before the tax deadline. While the process of filing your personal tax returns can feel overwhelming, breaking up the process into smaller steps can help you manage the task. If you’re not comfortable filing your taxes, consider working with an accountant. Whatever you choose, give yourself enough time to file. 

Remember, the last day to file taxes for 2023 is April 30th, 2024. Missing the tax deadlines can result in a late filing penalty and can delay benefits or credits you’re eligible for.  


  1. Government of Canada, “Filing due dates for the 2023 tax return.” Accessed March 18, 2024. 
  2. Government of Canada, “Preparing to do your taxes.” Accessed March 19, 2024. 

March 21, 2024
6 minutes