Ottawa Tax Preparation Services Can Help You File Your Taxes So You Can Avoid Being Penalized and Missing Out on Benefits
Every year, many Canadians miss the deadline to file their income tax return, and some don’t file at all! May 1, 2017 was the deadline for most Canadians to file their taxes, with a June 15 deadline for self-employed individuals. Tax preparation for Ottawa residents and businesses is a must—not only is it necessary legally speaking, you could be cheating yourself out of valuable benefits and credits.
Those who don’t file their income taxes on time (or at all) miss out, and will be penalized with increasing fees and interest. In some cases, it opens you up to criminal prosecution. will be penalized with ever-increasing fees and interest, and in some cases, face criminal prosecution.
It’s worth it to file your income tax return, even if you can’t pay the full amount you owe right away. If you need help filing your taxes, contact tax preparation experts in Ottawa.
Penalties for Tax Avoidance
If you owe money for taxes, you will be charged a late penalty of 5% interest on your balance owing for 2016. An additional 1% of the balance owing is added for each full month that you haven’t filed your tax return, up to a total 12 months. And if you haven’t filed your taxes for the past few years, the late penalty will be even higher. It can get as high as 10% of the balance owing for 2016 and an additional monthly penalty of 2% for the 2016 balance owing for up to 20 months.
Even if you can’t afford to pay your entire balance owing at the filing deadline, it is still worth it to file the return on time to avoid penalty fees. If you avoid filing your income tax, the fees will add up. Eventually, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will come after you, potentially garnishing your wages, seizing assets, visiting you at your home, and threatening criminal prosecution.
People can request the CRA waive accrued interest and penalties, though. This can be successful, especially in cases where an individual experienced illness, the death of a loved one, or other extreme or extenuating circumstances. If you deliberately avoid claiming income and filing your taxes, then you can face up to five years in prison for tax evasion.
What You’re Missing Out On
If you are owed a refund but delayed filing, then you miss out on any chance of a refund or government-issued benefits for the year. Low-income earners, including teenagers and students, benefit, and will almost certainly get money back, even if they don’t make a lot of money.
As such, it’s worth it to file your taxes on time. You can benefit from the following:
- Childcare benefits;
- Old age security;
- GST/HST rebates;
- Working Income Tax Benefit;
- Education expenses;
- Moving expenses;
- Medical expenses;
- Public transit tax credit; and
- Help with RRSP contributions for retirement and first-time homebuyers.
If you haven’t filed your taxes yet, get on it so you can reap the benefits and avoid the harsh penalties. Contact tax preparation professionals in Ottawa for help getting your tax returns in.