Simple Checklist to Make Filing Your Taxes Easier
Written by Robin Taub

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2021

You have to file a tax return if you either owe tax, or you're owed a refund for overpaid taxes, Canada Pension Plan, or Employment Insurance. So use this checklist to help make filing your taxes as efficient and convenient as possible.

Get Organized at Tax Time 

To make sure nothing falls through the cracks, organize your paperwork with an accordion file folder big enough to hold the following documents.

Tax Information Slips:

  • T4 – employment income

  • T4A – RESP payments, pension income, lump-sum payments, self-employed commissions or annuity income. This slip will also report any benefits you received from the CRA due to the COVID-19 pandemic, like the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).

  • T4E – CERB if applied with Service Canada or any Employment Insurance (EI) benefits.

  • T2202A – post-secondary tuition and enrolment certificate

Receipts For:


Records Related To:


Note Important Deadlines

  • The deadlines for receiving most tax information slips is the last day of February, with a few exceptions, for example T3, which is issued 90 days after a trust's tax year end. Since February 28, 2021 fell on a Sunday this year, the deadline was actually the next business day, March 1, 2021.
  • The deadline for contributing to your RSP/RRSP and deducting it on your 2020 return was March 1, 2021.
  • For individuals (other than trusts), the deadline for filing your return is April 30, 2021. All taxes owing are also due on this date.
  • If you're self-employed, the filing deadline is June 15, 2021, however, all taxes owing must be paid by April 30, 2021.

Manage Your Tax Information Online

  • If you haven't already done so, register with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)'s My Account in order to check your RSP/RRSP limit, register for direct deposit, view the status of your return and much more.

Prepare Your Return

  • Use NETFILE-certified tax software to guide you through the various forms and schedules on the tax return.
  • Let the information held by the CRA populate into your tax return, and review for accuracy.
  • Don't feel like you have to complete your tax return all in one sitting. Come back and fill in outstanding information as you receive it.
  • Don't file until your return is complete, otherwise you may have to file an adjustment.
  • If your tax situation is complicated, consider seeking the advice of a tax professional, like a CPA.

File Your Return

  • File online with the CRA using NETFILE, which is fast, easy and secure.
  • Pay any tax owing or wait for your refund!
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