Only twelve days remain before taxes need to be filed. Sure, one could print all the myriad forms required, fill them out by hand, and send them off with a big red lipstick kiss to the Canada Revenue Agency. Alternatively, you can use their very accessible NETFILE system to do it all electronically. All you need are documents detailing your various earnings and tax deductions.
You need to have an epass before you can file online, and you won’t be able to use it until they send you a code in the mail. As such, those wanting to file online and on time should request one immediately, if they haven’t already done so.
The data file you submit to NETFILE needs to be prepared using some kind of software. One option is to use the H&R Block online service. It costs $20 a person and produces a .tax file that you can upload to NETFILE yourself. Alternatively, the H&R Block page will let you print off a physical return to mail in.
If you want to save $20, you can prepare a NETFILE return using free software. A friend of mine recommends Taxman: a free piece of Windows-only software. It is not quite as elegant as the H&R Block interface, but $20 might justify a bit of finicky dealing, as well as the need for fellow Macheads to find a Windows machine to use for a while. The Taxman site also includes a game plan for filing taxes.
P.S. Given how mobile people reading this blog seem to be, it is worth mentioning that if you moved in order to be closer to a school or employer, you are eligible for tax benefits. In the future, make sure you hang on to receipts for related expenses. Even meals you eat during the time you are traveling are eligable.