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The 2017 Income Tax Deadline is Right Around the Corner – Will You Owe?

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The 2017 Income Tax Deadline is Right Around the Corner – Will You Owe?

The 2017 income tax deadline is looming — April 30, 2018 to be exact. Are you ready?

There are two scenarios that can happen if you miss the 2017 income tax deadline.

Scenario #1 —  you are owed money on your return. If you wait to file, this means you’ll have to wait longer to receive your refund — and why would you want to wait to get money back?

Scenario #2 — You’ll owe a tax debt.

If you owe a tax debt and miss the 2017 income tax deadline, not only will you still owe, but also that debt will continue to grow bigger the longer you wait. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) late filing penalty means interest builds up at an alarming rate. The CRA can begin charging compound daily interest on May 1 on any unpaid amounts owing for 2017. And then there’s the late-filing penalties.

The CRA late-filing penalty is 5% of your 2017 balance owing, plus 1% of your balance owing for each full month your return is late to a maximum of 12 months. And if you’ve been charged a late-filing penalty in a previous year, you could be charged 10% of your balance owing, plus 2% for each full month your return is late for up to 20 months. That’s a lot of extra money to pay on top of the balance you already owe.

So, what can you do instead?

First, if you’ll owe a tax debt, even if you can’t pay the full balance owing on or before April 30, 2018, file your return on time. As we outlined above, if you miss the 2017 income tax deadline, you’ll only be subject to more fines and penalties, which doesn’t help anyone.

Second, you’ll have to deal with the tax debt itself. Even when you file on time, you’ll still need to pay the tax debt. If you can pay it off in full when you file, do that. This will solve the problem before it starts and is the ideal scenario.

If you file, but don’t pay the debt, the CRA will levy collection action against you, which could include a frozen bank account, wage garnishment, and even a lien on your property or other assets. It is in your best interest to pay your tax debt, even if you need to look into financial options to afford it.

Remember, filing your taxes late and not paying your tax debt are two of the worst things you can do for your financial standing. There are better options available that can help you meet the deadline and make your payments.

If you’ll owe a tax debt, but can’t afford to pay, DebtCare Canada can help you assess your options. Contact us for a free consultation before the 2017 income tax deadline by calling 1-888-890-0888 or visit us online at www.debtcare.ca.

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