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When Can I File My 2023 Tax Return in Canada?


Fact Checked

Wondering when you can file your 2023 taxes in Canada?

The 2023 tax season starts on February 19, 2024, when the CRA’s NETFILE and ReFILE services re-open.

Depending on the type of taxes you are filing, there is also a tax filing deadline to keep in mind, after which you may be charged late tax filing penalties.

This guide covers when and how to file your taxes in 2024, how to file your 2023 tax return for free online, and more.

When Can I File My 2023 Taxes in Canada?

You can begin transmitting your income tax and benefit return for the 2023 tax year to the CRA starting on February 19, 2024.

Several tax software products make it easy to do this electronically.

Alternatively, you can order a paper income tax package and have the CRA mail it to you.

If you filed a paper return in 2022, a T1 return for the 2023 tax year will be automatically mailed to you, and you don’t need to place an order.

The electronic NETFILE service is available 21 hours a day, except when it undergoes maintenance between 3 am and 6 am ET.

Filing your taxes using approved tax software (such as TurboTax) and NETFILE means you get access to your tax refund faster.

How about the tax filing deadlines in 2024? This depends on the type of return you are filing as follows:

2023 Tax Return Deadline For Individuals

The general deadline for filing your 2023 taxes is April 30, 2024.

If you or your spouse or common-law partner are self-employed, the deadline to file your 2023 income tax return is on June 15, 2024.

Regardless of your employment situation (i.e. employed or self-employed), you must pay taxes owing from 2023 by April 30, 2024, or face potential penalties on the amounts you owe.

2023 Tax Return Deadline For Businesses

If you are a sole proprietor, your tax return is due by June 15, 2024.

For a corporation, the T2 tax return filing is 6 months after the end of the corporation’s tax year.

For example, if your year-end is on December 31, 2023, your filing due date is June 30, 2024.

Corporations are generally required to pay taxes in installments. This may be monthly (the last day of every complete month) or quarterly (March, June, September, and December).

If a balance is owing at the end of the year, it should be paid within 2-3 months after the end of the tax year (timing is dependent on these factors).

When Can I File My 2021 Tax Return in Canada?

Where Can I File 2023 Taxes For Free?

There are many options for filing your taxes free of charge in Canada.

If you have a simple return, you can use a free tax clinic.

This service is offered by volunteers, and you can walk in or drop off tax documents. Some also offer appointments virtually or in person.

Find a tax clinic here.

Paper tax returns are also free; however, you will need to know how to use them, so you don’t make mistakes or lose out on deductions and credits.

Note that paper returns have a longer processing time, and your refund may take up to 12 weeks.

Eligible Canadians will receive an invite from the CRA if they qualify to use its File my Return service.

This automated phoneline tax return service is designed for individuals with a “low or fixed income and a simple tax situation.”

Lastly, the most popular way to file your taxes is by using CRA-certified tax software (more on this below).

File 2023 Taxes Online For Free

You can file your 2023 tax return using free or paid software certified for NETFILE.

They directly transmit your details to the CRA, and you get immediate confirmation that your return was received. You can view your Express Notice of Assessment immediately.

This tax software also helps you fill in parts of your return automatically using information already available to the CRA.

Even better, your refund is processed quickly and takes about 2 weeks.

The top free tax software in 2024 includes:

1. TurboTax

TurboTax is one of the most popular tax filing software in Canada, with millions of users.

It offers a variety of paid tax filing solutions for individuals and businesses, as well as a free option if you have a simple return.

TurboTax Free does not cover the following credits, income, or deductions:

  • Employment expenses (e.g. meals and lodging)
  • Donations
  • Medical expenses
  • Investment income and expenses
  • Rental income and expenses
  • Self-employed income and expenses

If you have any of these to report on your 2023 tax return, you can opt for the Deluxe ($20.99 per return) or Premier ($34.99 per return) plans.

TurboTax also has paid packages for self-employed individuals and a full-service package if you want a tax expert to do all the work for you.

Learn more in this TurboTax review or visit their website.

2. Wealthsimple Tax

Wealthsimple Tax (formerly SimpleTax) is a free online tax software that accepts donations.

It is certified by the CRA and Revenue Quebec and offers all the main features you’d want, including:

  • Accuracy guarantee
  • Refund optimization and maximization
  • Auto-fill my return

If you purchased cryptocurrency in 2023, you could also use Wealthsimple Tax to import transactions from over 300 crypto exchanges and wallets and calculate your gains or losses. It does the same for stock purchases as well.

While this service is free, you will be asked for a donation after completing your return.

There are also options to upgrade to a paid option if you want access to audit and priority email support.

Learn more in this review.

3. CloudTax

CloudTax offers a free option if you are filing a simple tax return. Users get access to step-by-step guidance, including video tutorials covering various scenarios.

There is also unlimited chat support, and the platform has dedicated smartphone apps for Android and iOS devices.

As per CloudTax, your maximum refund is guaranteed.

CloudTax Free does not support self-employed income, rental income, and employment expense reporting. If you have to report these or have a more complicated tax situation, you can opt for CloudTax Plus ($24.99) or CloudTax Pro (which starts at $29.99).

These options give you access to several benefits, including unlimited live help from a tax expert.

Here are other free tax software options.

What Do I Need To File My Taxes in Canada?

When filing your taxes, you will need to input data from various slips and receipts.

The more common ones include:

  • Income tax slips like the T4, T4A, T3, T5, T4A (OAS), T4A (P), T5007, T5008, and more
  • Notice of Assessment from the previous year
  • Receipts for childcare, medical expenses, charitable donations, political contributions, etc.
  • RRSP contributions slip and repayment amounts for the Home Buyers Plan or Lifelong Learning Plan
  • Tuition slips
  • Employment expenses and union dues not included on your T4
  • Other income, such as rental income
  • Capital gains from selling a principal residence
  • Digital news subscription

The tax deductions and credits you qualify for vary depending on your family situation, income, province, etc., and a good tax preparation tool will guide you on applying them to get the maximum refund.

Late Tax Filing Penalty

If you do not pay taxes owed for the 2023 tax year by April 30, 2024, a penalty is applied to start on May 1, 2024.

The current interest rate on overdue taxes is 10%, compounding daily.

If you file a late return, you pay a late filing penalty of 10% of the taxes owing plus an extra 1% for every month your return is late, up to a maximum of 12 months.

If you have been charged a late-filing penalty in any of the three previous tax years, your penalty increases, i.e. 10% of the balance plus an additional 2% for every month your return is late, up to a maximum of 20 months.


How early can I file my 2023 taxes?

Electronic tax filing starts in February 2024. If you are using a paper package, you should receive it by this date if you requested it on time.

Where can I file my taxes?

You use CRA-certified tax software, paper application, volunteer tax clinic, File my Return (if eligible), or tax preparer.

Is the tax deadline extended for 2024?

The CRA has not indicated whether it will extend the 2024 tax filing deadline date.

Is Wealthsimple Tax-free?

Yes, Wealthsimple Tax is free. You have a choice to donate after submitting your return, but it is not mandatory.


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Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)

Enoch Omololu, personal finance expert, author, and founder of Savvy New Canadians, has written about money matters for over 10 years. Enoch has an MSc (Econ) degree in Finance and Investment Management from the University of Aberdeen Business School and has completed the Canadian Securities Course. His expertise has been highlighted in major publications like Forbes, Globe and Mail, Business Insider, CBC News, Toronto Star, Financial Post, CTV News, TD Direct Investing, Canadian Securities Exchange, and many others. Enoch is passionate about helping others win with their finances and recently created a practical investing course for beginners. You can read his full author bio.

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