How to file your personal tax return
It is strongly recommend using tax software rather than pre-printed forms to prepare your return, because this can help to avoid errors and missed tax credits. Many credits, such as the Canada Employment amount, are calculated automatically. However, if your return is complicated, it may be best to have your return professionally prepared, or at least reviewed.
Use a software package to print and mail your return
You can print your return from your home computer using income tax preparation software, and sending the printed return to CRA. See the CRA list of tax software packages approved for Netfile.
Although our tax calculators are intended as planning tools, and do not include every available tax credit, they can be used to check most tax returns.
Professional tax preparation
You can have an accounting or tax preparation firm prepare and file your tax return. These firms usually file your return electronically, using EFile, so your refund would probably arrive quite quickly, as it does with NetFile. See our Business directory to find a firm in your area. EFile will probably be available February 9, 2015 to January 15, 2016 (same as NetFile) for filing 2014 and 2013 income tax returns – as at January 24, 2015, their dates of operation have not yet been updated. 2014 is the first year in which prior year tax returns can be submitted via EFile.
If you wish to confirm that a business is registered for EFiling, or to find an EFiler in your area, you can use the CRA EFiler search, which allows you to search for an EFiler by postal code or by business name.
EFile is available to any individual, firm, or organization wishing to electronically file personal or corporate tax returns for members of the public, clients, or employees. Those wishing to use E-file must register with CRA, and must use EFiled certified software. Before applicants are permitted to EFile returns on behalf of their clients, they are screened for suitability.
Manual tax return preparation
Although we recommend using tax software to file your return, you can file a return manually. Pre-printed T1 personal income tax forms are available at the post office, or using forms from Canada revenue Agency (CRA). If you live in Quebec, see Quebec personal income tax return forms.
If you are mailing your return, you must include copies of all information slips, and most receipts, such as medical and donations. The explanations in the CRA General Income Tax Guide and the return, schedules, or forms will tell you when to attach other supporting documents, such as certificates, forms, schedules, or official receipts.
Forms for prior years are also available on the CRA website.