Everything you need to know about filing your taxes in quarantine

May 14 2020, 2:00 pm

Doing your taxes can be confusing enough as it is, but throw in a recession and a pandemic, and you might be stuck asking yourself if you’re covering all the necessary bases.

Amongst the filing date extension and government tax credits and benefits to consider — 2020 isn’t your usual tax season.

First things first, let’s talk about what’s different this year. You now have until June 1 to file your taxes, and if you owe any money, you don’t have to pay until September 1 (thanks, federal government).

Secondly, it’s important to consider whether you’re eligible for any new credits and benefits, including the new Canada training credit, so you can add those into your taxes.

Thirdly, with the CRA currently backlogged, it may be in your interest to file online (even if you’ve already submitted) in order to expedite your return.

We know this is a stressful time for everyone economically, so we teamed up with the tax experts at H&R Block to outline three of the easiest ways you can file taxes this season.

Upload from home


This is the easiest option on the menu and a great no-fuss solution for people who would rather have one of H&R Block’s tax experts take the reins from start to finish.

All you have to do is upload your important tax documents — like T4 slips, receipts for RRSP contributions and withdrawals, charitable donation receipts, and your tuition certificates (review the full checklist here) — to the secure portal and one of H&R Block’s Tax Experts will take care of the rest.

Drop-off your documents

If only most problems in life could be solved by dropping them off at another location. Maybe someday H&R Block will take laundry, too?

In the meantime, you can gather up all your relevant docs, fill out the submission documents, and drop them off at your nearest H&R Block office.

Don’t forget to bring your ID for the drop-off. You can search H&R Block locations online to check office hours. Then, H&R Block’s tax experts will contact you to arrange a brief follow-up interview to review your completed return. You can come back to sign your forms or sign online, now that the Canadian government has approved electronic signatures on taxes as of this year.

Do it yourself for free

The chance to pay zero dollars for filing your taxes is mighty attractive, especially if that software is easy to use, fast, accurate, remote, and there’s a contest bonus of $5,000 (more on that later).

H&R Block’s free software is NETFILE-certified and handles all tax scenarios. It has an automatic return optimization, which is fancy tech-speak for: tax experts have developed a program that actively problem-solves to get you more money. Basically, it walks you through the steps and gives you personalized guidance as you file. And there’s an online help centre if you ever get stuck.

There’s also an option to Auto-Fill My Return, which lets you download your slips and RRSP information right from your CRA account. And to save even more time, this software has a SmartSwitch, so you can download last year’s tax return to fill in the 2019 specs even faster.

These software options are tiered to cater to whatever online file you need. So if you’re looking for a bit more help, you can opt for the Assistance package with more oomph for an additional cost. It has added tax tips, unlimited tech support, and a SmartReview, which shows you a detailed, visual breakdown of exactly how your return was calculated.

And now the contest bonus! To make the tax file cake even sweeter, if you file with H&R Block’s NETFILE software, you are automatically entered to win $5,000 this tax season.

H&R Block has been the industry leader in taxes for over 55 years for individuals and small businesses. So, no matter which option you choose, you can trust that your taxes are being filed correctly — and that you’re going to get the best return possible (because taxes are stressful enough).

To find out more about your tax filing options in this unprecedented economic time, get started with your return, or speak to a representative, visit H&R Block at hrblock.ca.

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