Tax season is now over, but you still have some options when it comes to fulfilling your civic duties as a taxpayer. These special circumstances include filing late, requesting filing extensions, and filing paperwork stating why you are not filing at all. (Yes, you still have to file something that tells the government why you are not filing!) To file all of these late tax options, there are fees and penalties. They differ from province to province for provincial taxes, but the federal fees are the same.
Fees for Filing Late
You can file late, but you may not want to do that. It is costly, with the fees equaling one percent added to the total amount owed every month you file late and do not pay. If you owe, the Canada Revenue Agency will add five percent of the total amount you owe to the balance when you file late. This compounds over time with the one percent monthly fee until you pay what you owe. If you do not owe anything and are due a refund, the CRA can take the penalties just for filing late from your refund. You can prepay the estimated amount in late filing fees as well, but if the CRA determines a prorated amount for filing late, you will have to pay that amount or accept that it will be taken from your refund.
Fees for Filing Extensions
In most cases, you can request an extension to file your taxes if you file the extension request before the annual tax deadline. If you do that, the extension request filing is free, but you will pay late fees as they will accumulate on the late filing of your taxes. If you file for an extension to file your taxes after the annual tax deadline set by CRA, the fees are often based on the accountant's company policy and/or provincial tax laws.
Fees for Not Filing at All
If you do not file paperwork with provincial and federal government bodies attesting to why you do not have to file taxes this year, the governmental powers-that-be can audit you. If you do not owe or you are tax exempt for some reason this year, you still have to file a document explaining why so that you will not be audited or flagged for auditing in the coming tax years. As long as you file this document, you do not have to pay anything at all (except for the postage to mail the documents). You can do this with or without the help of an accountant. If you fail to file this document, you may have to pay accountant fees and auditing fees if and when you are audited for not filing taxes or the document giving the reason for not filing this tax year.
Contact an accounting service for more information.
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