Today’s the day: Just before midnight is the deadline for people across the country – including Vancouver Island – to turn in their individual tax returns, and pay any taxes owed to the CRA.

Despite the ongoing pandemic, this year’s tax season wasn’t extended.

Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) spokesperson David Nunes says the filing deadline this year is still the same as every other year: April 30th at 11:59 pm.

He also discourages people from putting off filing just because you don’t owe any taxes, or you’re expecting a refund.  

“And even though that deadline is right around the corner, we highly recommend everybody sends in their tax returns by the deadline, just to make sure that your benefits and your credits for the following year don’t get interrupted,” Nunes tells Vista Radio.

He notes if you don’t file your taxes on time, your future credits and benefits – like the Canada Child Benefit and the Covid Recovery Benefit – might actually get interrupted.

According to Nunes, this means “you might have to wait longer on the payments that you’re already entitled to.”

If you received EI or Covid Benefits throughout the year, Nunes explains that you actually do need to include them in your tax return. At this point, he says you should have received a tax slip from the government.

“The fastest way to get your refund or Notice of Assessment is by doing it all online, and also by signing up for direct deposit with the CRA. The reason for that is because this year due to COVID-19, paper copies are taking a substantially longer time to get processed, so it can take a lot more weeks to be waiting on that if you send it in by paper.”

And if COVID-19 forced you to work from home, Nunes says you can actually claim up to $400 in office expenses without the need for any receipts this time around. 

Nunes is now asking you keep in mind that if your tax return says you owe money to the CRA this year, it’s a little different than previous years: “If you received Covid Benefits, and you received less than $75,000 taxable income throughout the year, you have until April 30th of next year to pay that balance back interest-free,” he adds.

“But if you didn’t receive any Covid Benefits, and you have a balance owing, then your payment date is still today – April 30th.”

More information on tax filing can be found on the Canadian Revenue Agency website.