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It’s income tax time: CRA opens electronic filing service for 2018 returns

Choosing between Tax Free Savings Account and Registered Retired Savings Plan
WATCH ABOVE: Choosing between Tax Free Savings Account and Registered Retired Savings Plan

It’s officially income tax season in Canada.

READ MORE: Here’s how CPP, EI and small business taxes are changing in 2019

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) opened its electronic filing service Monday for 2018 income tax and benefit returns.

Nearly 30,000,000 Canadians filed their taxes for 2017. Of those, more than 25,000,000 Canadians filed electronically, while fewer than 4,000,000 filed via paper.

WATCH: Income tax changes for 2019

Income tax changes for 2019
Income tax changes for 2019

Around 47,000 Canadians — less than 0.1 per cent — took advantage of the File my Return (FMR) automated phone service. The service was introduced last year as an option for Canadians on low or fixed incomes, who can file simple returns by answering short questions and giving some personal information by phone. Those who are eligible are notified by mail.

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The deadline to file your taxes and pay any balance owing is April 30. While that might sound like a lot of time to get your receipts and tax slips in order, there are a few advantages to getting your paperwork in much sooner.

READ MORE: Canada’s 2019 tax season: 4 things you need to know

Canadians still have the opportunity to invest in a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP), which can help offset the amount of money they may owe the government or boost a return, before March 1.

You can find out how much you can claim in contributions on your RRSP deduction limit statement, or by logging into your CRA online account.

WATCH: A $250,000 pre-tax salary makes Canadians feel ‘financially comfortable’

A $250,000 pre-tax salary makes Canadians feel ‘financially comfortable’
A $250,000 pre-tax salary makes Canadians feel ‘financially comfortable’

If you do find yourself in the red after filing, you have a finite amount of time to pay up before your bill grows.

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Anyone with taxes owing will start to accumulate compound daily interest charges after the April 30 deadline, along with a late-filing penalty if don’t file before the deadline.

And while self-employed Canadians have until June 17 to file, if you owe taxes you still need to pay up by April 30.

WATCH: New tax rules could leave some extra cash in your pocket

Money 123: New tax rules could leave some extra cash in your pocket
Money 123: New tax rules could leave some extra cash in your pocket

— With a file from Global News reporter Erica Alini