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If you’re filing taxes at the last minute, you’re not alone. TurboTax Canada found that 32 per cent of Canadians leave their tax filing to two weeks before the deadline, and 6 per cent wait until just two or three days beforehand. Here are a few things to think about if you haven’t filed taxes yet.

If it’s possible to meet the deadline, try your best

Cindy David, president of the Cindy David Financial Group, notes that the government charges a 5-per-cent penalty on any balance owing for late filings. If you’re receiving money back, you wouldn’t want to wait for it. And if you owe the government money, there’s no point in paying more than you have to.

Automated software and tax experts can make the experience less painful

Automated online tax programs such as TurboTax and Wealthsimple Tax can be an effective option to quickly file taxes. They automatically search for credits that you’re eligible for, often charge small sums of money and offer expert support if you need it.

Create a My Service Canada Account

This is especially important if you’re going to use an online tax program. Service Canada’s online portal is an easy place to access much of the information you’ll need, such as employment slips (T4s) and previous tax filing information.

It’s never too late

Maybe you haven’t filed your taxes for years. That doesn’t mean you should forget about it indefinitely. Ms. David said most people with employers that manage tax payments for them during the year can expect a refund after a tax filing.

Are you a young Canadian with money on your mind? To set yourself up for success and steer clear of costly mistakes, listen to our award-winning Stress Test podcast.

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