3 ways to file your taxes for free

(NC) Let’s admit it, very few of us get excited about doing our taxes. In fact, for most of us it can be a stressful time. Not just because anything to do with money can be worrying, but the idea of doing the paperwork can feel downright overwhelming. 

But did you know that in order to be eligible to collect benefit payments and certain tax credits, you need to file your taxes? Fortunately, there are plenty of free resources available to help you.

  1. Online software. Not all online tax-filing software is expensive, or even associated with any cost. The Canada Revenue Agency’s website has a list of free and pay-what-you-want software that’s designed for Canadian tax-filing, including popular brands like TurboTax, SimpleTax and CloudTax.

  2. Community tax clinics. Community organizations across the country host free tax clinics where people with a modest income and simple tax situation (for example, if you have no sources of income or if your income comes from employment, scholarships, a pension or benefit program).

    Through the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP), you can get your taxes done for free at a tax clinic in your community by scheduling an appointment or dropping in during advertised hours.  Last year, the clinics helped people receive a total of over $1.9 billion in refunds and benefits.

  3. Use CRA tools. The CRA offers free tools and options for doing your taxes. One is through NETFILE-certified software, which automatically fills in certain parts of your income tax and benefit return, saving you time and reducing typos. Another is by phone, available via a personalized invitation to those who have a low or fixed income and whose situation doesn’t change from year to year.

Remember, even if you don’t have an income or if you’re tax exempt, you need to do your taxes, because the information from your tax forms is used to determine your eligibility for benefits and tax credits. And depending on your situation, you could be entitled to receive hundreds, or even thousands of dollars.

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