In Canada, personal tax returns for employees must be filed on or before April 30. Business tax returns must be filed on or before June 15 if a taxpayer, taxpayer’s spouse, or taxpayer’s common-law partner carries on a business. It is important to note that all personal tax and business tax balances owing from the previous tax year must be paid on or before April 30.

When a due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or public holiday recognized by the CRA, tax returns are filed on time if received or postmarked on the next business day. CRA-recognized statutory holidays are listed here.

Failing to tax file returns on time may result in delayed or stopped provincial/territorial and/or federal GST/HST credits, childcare benefit payments, old age security benefit payments, and/or late-filing penalties.


Estate Taxes and Deadline

If a taxpayer is the legal representative (the executor, administrator, or liquidator) of an estate for a taxpayer who died in the tax year in question, the taxpayer may have to file a tax return for the deceased for that tax year. If there are no documents assigning the taxpayer as the deceased’s legal representative, the taxpayer may request to be the representative by completing an Affidavit form for intestate situations. For more information, see T4011, Preparing Returns for Deceased Persons and Information Sheet RC4111, Canada Revenue Agency – What to Do Following a Death.


Tax Deadline – Where to get information?

Taxpayers may retrieve the guides, schedules, and forms required to file their tax returns here. Non-residents and deemed residents of Canada may retrieve the same here. This documentation is also available in formats accessible to those with visual impairments. For information about these formats and accessibility, see About multiple formats. Taxpayers may also complete an online order form to receive printed copies of the Income Tax Package and any other forms and publications. Taxpayers filing tax returns on paper should receive their Income Tax Packages in the mail. A limited quantity of Tax Packages will be available in both official languages at Canada Post, Service Canada, and most Caisse populaire Desjardins outlets starting in February. Immigrants, emigrants, and non-resident Canadians may consult Individuals – Leaving or entering Canada and non-residents for assistance in completing their tax returns.

Tax return preparation may require reference to still other guides, schedules, and forms. See Other guides, schedules and forms you may need to complete your income tax and benefit return for assistance.


Tax Return Deadline – Payments and Interest

Interest on balances owing for previous tax years compounds daily from the day following the April 30 deadline. Balances owing include those resulting from CRA reassessments. Amounts owing from previous years will continue to compound daily interest. Any payments towards balances owing will first apply to any amounts owing from previous years. Taxpayers are charged interest on any penalties assigned for late filing.

The rate of interest changes every three months. The late-filing penalty for 2018 is 5% of the balance owing plus 1% of the balance owing for each full month after which the balance remains unpaid. Interest may compound for a maximum of 12 months. Taxpayers charged a late-filing penalty for 2015, 2016, or 2017, may be liable to pay a late-filing penalty of 10% of any balance owing for 2018 plus 2% of this balance owing for each full month the tax return is late. Interest may compound for a maximum of 20 months.

The CRA retains legislative discretion to cancel or waive penalties or interest when taxpayers are unable to meet their tax obligations due to circumstances beyond their control. Taxpayers are only eligible for penalty or interest cancellation or waiver if they apply for taxpayer relief. The CRA considers applications only for tax years or fiscal periods ending in any of the 10 calendar years before the year in which the request is made. For example, a request made in 2019 must relate to a penalty for a tax year or fiscal period ending in 2009 or later.


If you have any questions about how to fill out Form RC4288, Request for Taxpayer Relief – Cancel or Waive Penalties or Interest, how to apply for taxpayer relief, or how to file your tax returns up to date, call us today! We can help!



This article provides information of a general nature only. It does not provide legal advice nor can it or should it be relied upon. All tax situations are specific to their facts and will differ from the situations in this article. If you have specific legal questions you should consult a lawyer.