Giving Back Just Got Simple

SimpleTax + Second Harvest

SimpleTax has always helped Canadians by simplifying tax preparation. But this year we’re also helping those in need. For every person who files their return and pays (any amount) through June 1, we’ll donate a meal through Second Harvest.

Second Harvest is Canada’s largest food rescue charity. They recover fresh, unsold food that otherwise would be thrown out and deliver it to hungry Canadians. Since the pandemic, the need is especially strong.

“At a time when so many Canadians are facing unprecedented difficulty and uncertainty, it is crucial that Second Harvest can continue recovering fresh food and making sure it gets to the people who need it most,” said Lori Nikkel, CEO of Second Harvest. “Thanks to the generosity of SimpleTax and their customers, Second Harvest will be able to quickly respond to meet the needs of the hundreds of frontline food programs that we support. Our mission is simple – that no Canadian be left behind.”

So if you needed another reason to file your return by June 1, here it is! Remember, regardless of when you file, you still have until September 1 to pay any taxes owing.

The CERB offers welcome relief, but remember, it’s a taxable benefit

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) was launched by the federal government to help Canadians who have lost their jobs because of COVID-19. It provides temporary income support of $500 per week for up to 16 weeks.

While these funds will be welcome relief for many, the income is taxable and there are no deductions taken at source. This means that you will be taxed on the full amount when you file your 2020 tax return next year. To avoid unexpected taxes owing next tax season, you should consider setting aside a portion of any CERB income, based on your federal and provincial tax rates.

You can also use our tax calculator to quickly estimate your federal and provincial taxes.

To learn more about eligibility and how to apply for CERB, visit the CRA’s website.

As always, if you have any questions, let us know—we’re happy to help!

The tax deadline has been extended—what does that mean for me?

As you might have already heard, the Canadian government has extended the deadline for filing personal tax returns until June 1, and the deadline for taxes owing to September 1. However, this year, more than ever, it makes sense to file as soon as possible.

To begin with, the sooner you file, the sooner you will get your refund, plain and simple. So if you are part of the approximately 75% of Canadians who will be getting money back, it’s in your best interest to file now. The average processing time for a return filed online is two weeks. If you’ve signed up for direct deposit, you may have your refund in your bank account in as little as eight days. Note that if you have taxes owing, you can still file now and wait until September 1 to pay.

For this same reason, if you have outstanding tax returns to file, now’s a great time to play catch up. You can file returns from 2012 onwards with SimpleTax. For returns older than 2012, you’ll need to download paper forms from the CRA’s website and print and mail them to the CRA.

The Canadian government has launched several emergency relief benefits in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligibility for some of these benefits, including the additional GST and Child Care Benefit payment available to low-income Canadians, will require a completed 2018 tax return.

Additionally, a CRA My Account is probably the easiest way to apply for the Canada Emergency Relief Benefit (CERB) (Alternatively, you can apply through a My Service Canada Account or using the CRA’s automated phone service.) To apply for a CRA My Account, you will be asked to verify your identify by providing a line number from a past tax return. Again, another great reason to have your tax filings up to date.

On a somewhat related note, the CRA launched an “Uncashed cheques” feature in My Account this year. To see if any of the unclaimed money (totalling $1B !) has your name on it, log into your CRA My Account and click on the Unclaimed cheques link (you’ll find this link on the right hand side, under Related services on the Overview page).

To save you time, if you’ve used SimpleTax in the past, we’ll pre-fill some of your data and highlight the forms you used last year. If you have a CRA My Account, you can auto-fill most of your return in just a few minutes.

Whether this is your first or your eighth time using SimpleTax, we’re here for you. You can file from the comfort of your home, choose what you want to pay (including $0), and if you have any questions, we’re just an email away.