Tax Tips & Pits: Why should you file your tax return?

Whether you are owed by or owing to CRA, clearly the recommendation is to file 2013 as soon as possible.

If you qualify for refundable tax credits like the GST credit, why not file?

If you qualify for dependant payments like the Universal Child Care Benefit, why not file?

If you qualify for reduced premiums like MSP, why not file?

If you are owed a refund, why not file?

Now if you owe tax and if you have not filed, your continued procrastination will continue costing you money.  In fact, the day after April 30 – May 6 this year due to CRA’s e-services shut down in early April – the tax you owe may have a 5% penalty applied, and not to be alarmist, but that penalty could be as high as 50% of taxes payable.

As each month passes, an additional 1% penalty is applied.

In addition to the possible penalty, Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) charges 5% interest compounded daily on taxes and penalties owing.

To clarify tax return deadlines for proprietors.  It is true that the due date is June 15 for the filing of the return, but if taxes are due, they were payable on April 30, like everybody else’s.  If you haven’t filed, then it might be wise to estimate taxes due and pay that amount now.

Whether you are owed by or owing to CRA, clearly the recommendation is to file 2013 as soon as possible.

By the way, not filing is sometimes in reaction to not being able to pay the taxes due. Why file if you can’t pay anyway?

If you can’t pay, filing sooner than later is still the best course of action. CRA looks much more kindly on those taxpayers who self-identify than those they have to chase.

The next step you should take after filing is to call CRA and state a payment date or offer installments.

There’s no guarantee a plan will be accepted but at least your file will be tagged as cooperative.

Filing late is a sure way of attracting CRA’s attention, and I’m not aware of anyone who enjoys being contacted by CRA.

If you would prefer CRA to stay out of your life, file your return. File on time, preferably.  And don’t let a CRA enquiry go unanswered, even if your initial answer has to be, “I’m working on it”.

Ron Clarke has his MBA and is a business owner in Trail, providing accounting and tax services. Email him at To read previous Tax Tips & Pits columns visit

Just Posted

Columbia Basin Trust offering business accelerator program

Trust seeking motivated companies for customized support and mentorship program

Trail military exercises provide crucial training

Exercise Sapper Crucible: ‘The nuts and bolts of what a soldier is’

VIDEO: SPCA ushers in new era with Castlegar facility

$2.69-million project had ribbon cutting on Friday

Thrums, Riondel, and Slocan, revisited

Place Names: Scottish author delighted by Thrums name origin

Last stand for Silver City summer

Fall officially arrives in Trail at 6:54 p.m. on Saturday

Conservation officer frees B.C. deer from flotation gear mishap

BC Conservation Officer Service is reminding residents to keep backyards clear of entanglements

Lions earn stunning 35-32 OT win over Ticats

Epic comeback lifts B.C. past Hamilton in CFL thriller

Czarnik nets 3 as Flames dump Canucks 5-2

Calgary picks up exhibition win over Vancouver

Ottawa to name new ambassador for women, peace and security, Freeland says

Chrystia Freeland also confirmed Canada would spend about $25 million to fund number of initiatives

‘A little bright spot:’ Ottawa residents rescue dog trapped beneath rubble

Freelance journalist says rescue of a dog trapped under rubble was happy ending amid chaos in Ottawa

B.C. deaf community wants different sign languages on federal accessibility act

Advocates also want Indigenous Sign Language to be recognized on the Indigenous Language Act

VIDEO: B.C.-born firefighter remembered by MP in emotional speech

Family asks first responders to look after one another in wake of suicide, growing concerns of PTSD

Airline has ‘close call’ with drone while en route to B.C. airport

Jazz Aviation reported the drone sighting near Vancouver to the RCMP and Transport Canada

Tragic accident claims life of B.C. toddler

Fundraising effort has been created to help mom and family

Most Read