Published on Thu, 03/15/2012 by UFile

First-time tax filer? Here are tips to make filing easy!

Nervous about filing your income tax return this year? Imagine how scary it is if it is your first time filing.

Completing your tax forms by hand can be complicated, particularly with changes to the tax regulations each year. If you are unfamiliar with all the available tax credits and how the forms should be completed, you could possibly miss out on a bigger refund. Thankfully, many tax software programs are available to help ease you into the tax filing process. Before you start, remember these quick and easy steps to ensure an accurate and easy return.

  1. Get your documents in order.

    One simple way to reduce stress is to pull together all of the documents you require BEFORE you begin your return.

    You will need your social insurance number and personal information (address, etc.). If you have income, you will need all T4 forms, including any employment or pension income (withdrawals from RRSP savings, etc.).

    Have receipts for any credits you are applying for such as the Public Transit Credit and Children's Art/Fitness credits so you have the correct numbers to claim.

    Finally, if you plan to NETFILE (file online), make sure you have signed up for a Canadian Revenue Agency account to retrieve your NETFILE access code, which can be done through the CRA website.

  2. Know your credits and benefits!

    There are hundreds of federal and provincial tax credits and benefits you may be eligible for, so it is important to do your research to be prepared. The CRA website is a great resource for tax savings options.

    Did you know that as a full-time student you can claim more than just tuition? You may also be eligible for an education amount of $400 for each month you are enrolled in school and a textbook amount of $65.00 per month. Even the interest on your student loans can be claimed as a tax credit.

    Are you a parent? In addition to the Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB) and the Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB), parents can also claim credits like the Children's Arts Tax Credit and Children's Fitness Tax Credit, of which you can receive a non-refundable tax credit of up to $75 per child for eligible expenses up to a maximum of $500.

  3. File your return on time!

    The deadline for income tax filing is April 30, 2012. Even if you have no income to report, it is important to file a return and to file on time as you may be eligible for certain benefits and credits. For example, you must file a return in order to receive the GST/HST credit, Canada Child Tax Benefit and many provincial tax credits.

    Missing out on these valuable credits is like taking money right out of your pocket, and no one likes that.

Remember, using quality tax software is an inexpensive way to ensure your tax filing process is quick and stress-free.

If you are a first-time filer, UFile, Canadian company, even provides free returns for anyone filing an income tax return for the first time, including new income earners and new immigrants to Canada.
For more information on this great offer and for help finding the product that best fits your needs, visit www.ufile.ca.