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Canadians who submit paper tax returns should expect delays
TORONTO -- About 26 million Canadians will file a tax return this year and about 1.7 million of them will still do it on paper.
The federal government extended the tax deadline to June 1 to give Canadians more time to file their taxes due to COVID-19.
One tax preparation software company says if you e-file your return there doesn’t appear to be a delay, but if you use a paper tax return there will be.
“The typical processing of a paper return was four to six weeks,” Ufile tax expert Gerry Vittoratos told CTV News Toronto. “Imagine now with the pandemic, social distancing rules and half the staff not there how much longer that it will be."
Many tax preparation offices are now open for business, but over the past few months some had reduced hours or were closed to the public.
Tax software companies like Ufile say they've seen an increase in sales of software that allows you to do your taxes yourself.
“We are definitely getting a lot more demand on our end and we’re noticing there is a lot more interest in producing your own tax return due to COVID-19” Vittoratos said.
“People should not be intimidated, it's not so scary to do your own tax return.”
There is also an option called auto-fill my return, if you've signed up with the my account portal on the Canada Revenue Agency’s website.
“What it does is help you download the slips into the consumer software and import your slips into your entries" Vittoratos said.
He added that a good advice when completing your tax return is to have a copy of last year's return by your side.
“That way you know what the return is supposed to look like because let’s face it most tax returns are the same from year to year," he said.
The deadline to pay off a balance if you owe the CRA money has been extended to September 1.