2021 tax season is upon us


The Tax filing deadline is Monday May 2nd, 2022

The filing deadline for self-employed individuals and their spouses is June 15th. 


To avoid any interest from accruing, all taxes must be paid by May 2nd.  Interest is compounded daily at a prescribed rate of 5%/annum. 


Taxable COVID-19 support

Many COVID-19 benefits offered by the federal government are taxable. This includes the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB), Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB), Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB), and the new Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit (CWLB). If you’ve received these benefits, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will issue a T4A slip to report amounts paid to you under these programs, which you will need to include in income on your 2021 tax return.

The T4A slip will also report the 10% income tax withheld on the CRB, CRCB, CRSB, and CWLB. You should know that depending on your total income, deduction and credits for the year, you may end up owing income tax when your return is due. There is also a clawback of the CRB if your adjusted net income is more than $38,000. It would be prudent to set aside sufficient funds to cover this tax liability and ensure you pay any taxes owing by May 2, 2022 (as April 30 falls on a Saturday) to avoid interest and penalties.

Some COVID-19 benefits offered by the provincial governments are also taxable. You should check to make sure that you have the relevant slips from your provincial government and include the taxable amounts in income on your 2021 tax return


Repayment of federal COVID-19 benefits

If you repaid an amount in 2021 related to the federal COVID-19 benefits that you received in 2020, such as the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB), CRB, CRCB or CRSB, the CRA has indicated that the amount repaid will be included in your T4A slip.

You can choose to claim a deduction for the repaid amount in the year that the benefit was received or in the year that the benefit was repaid. You also have the option of splitting the deduction between these two years, provided you don’t deduct more than your repayment.

This choice in the timing of your deduction can affect your taxes depending on your income, deductions, and credits available in each of the two years. Where it is beneficial for you to deduct the repayment in your 2020 return, but it has already been assessed, you can request a T1 adjustment for 2020. 

Home office expense deduction

Similar to 2020, if you worked more than 50% of the time from home for a period of at least four consecutive weeks in 2021 due to COVID-19, you may be eligible to claim a home office expense deduction on your tax return. Eligible employees have the option of choosing between two methods for claiming a home office expense deduction for 2021. The two methods are as follows:

  • Temporary flat rate method ─ provides a deduction of $2 per day for each day the eligible employee worked from home, up to a maximum of $500 (increased from $400), with no need to track expenses or obtain forms from your employer.
  • Detailed method ─ allows an eligible employee to claim the employment portion of actual home office expenses paid, which would require itemizing expenses and obtaining a signed form T2200S or T2200 from your employer.


Canada Workers Benefit

The Canada Workers Benefit (CWB) is a non-taxable refundable tax credit that supplements the earnings of low and modest-income earners. Previously, the CWB increased by 26 cents for every dollar of “working income” in excess of $3,000, up to a maximum of $1,395 for single individuals without dependants or $2,403 for families. The benefit is then reduced by 12% of adjusted net income in excess of $13,194 for single individuals without dependants or $17,522 for families.

Beginning for 2021, the CWB has been enhanced by:

  • Increasing the phase-in rate from 26% to 27% for single individuals without dependants and families
  • Increasing the phase-out threshold from $13,194 to $22,944 for single individuals without dependants and from $17,522 to $26,177 for families
  • Increasing the phase-out rate from 12% to 15%
  • Making corresponding changes to the disability supplement's phase-in and reduction rates as well as the reduction threshold

In addition, there is a new “secondary earner exemption” to the CWB. This exemption allows up to $14,000 of working income (of an eligible spouse with the lower working income) to be excluded in calculating adjusted net income for the family for purposes of the phase-out of the benefit.

Climate Action Incentive

The Climate Action Incentive (CAI) was a refundable tax credit paid to residents of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario to offset the cost of federal carbon pricing. Beginning with the 2021 tax year, the CAI will no longer be claimed annually on the personal income tax return. Instead, the CAI will be paid as a quarterly benefit starting in July 2022. However, individuals would still need to file a tax return to receive CAI payments and indicate on the return if they are eligible to receive the 10% rural supplement for the upcoming year.

Canada Pension Plan

As you are likely aware, your Canada Pension Plan (CPP) contributions have been increasing annually since 2019 and will continue to increase every year until 2023 (or 2024 if your income exceeds a new earnings ceiling). Similar enhancements were made to the Quebec Pension Plan (QPP).

When you file your personal income tax return for the 2021 tax year, remember that your CPP/QPP contributions consist of a base amount and an enhanced amount, which is consistent with 2020. While a non-refundable tax credit on the CPP/QPP base amount continues to be available, a tax deduction can also be claimed on the enhanced portion of the CPP/QPP. The maximum amount of the tax deduction for 2021 has increased to $290.50.

Tax-free savings account contribution limit

For 2022, the tax-free savings account (TFSA) annual contribution limit remains at $6,000 and any unused contribution room will carry forward. Contributions to a TFSA aren’t tax deductible and when money is withdrawn, the accumulated contributions and income received are not taxable.

If you have any questions about these tax changes, or how they may apply to your situation, please contact us at 416-438-3077.

Engagement letters

Each year we require our clients to sign an engagement letter which outlines the terms under which we prepare your personal tax return.  You will receive a personalized engagement letter to sign when your tax return is complete. 

Client tax organizers

In order to proceed with preparing your tax return(s), please bring a completed client tax checklist/organizer along with all relevant documentation into our office as early as possible.  The organizer is available in a fillable-format which we will be happy to email you.
Please note that your full name and social insurance number must exactly match the information on file with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).  If you are not sure what information CRA has, please check your 2020 Notice of Assessment.

Scheduling appointments

New clients will need to contact our office to setup an initial in-person consultation appointment. We will have extended hours during the tax season  (February 17th 2022 to April 25th 2022).  Our tax consultation appointments are available as follows:
  • Monday, Wednesday and Friday - 9:00 am to 7:00 pm. 
  • Saturday-by appointment only
During the initial consultation, new clients will be required to sign the CRA Authroization which is a form which authorizes us to act as your representative with CRA.
Returning clients, with no significant changes to their tax situations, do not require an appointment.  Simply complete our client tax organizer and drop it off at our office, email or request a Dropbox link with your complete tax document/slips package.  If your situation has changed significantly, and you would like to schedule an appointment, we are happy to conduct tax interviews in-person, over the phone or by email.
While the tax appointment does not allow time for tax planning, we offer personal or small business tax consultations after the tax season.  Our regular professional rates will apply to these types of consultations.

Important dates

February 28, 2022 Deadline to issue T4s, T4As, and T5s.
March 1, 2022 Deadline to contribute to your own RRSP for the 2019 tax year
March 15
June 15
September 15 
December 15
Personal income tax instalment due dates.
March 31, 2022 Deadline to file T3 Trust Returns and NR4s.
April 15, 2022 Deadline to send your complete tax package to our office to meet the April 30th filing due  date.  Please note that we will do our best to file all client tax returns by the CRA due date  but returns received after April 15th will be processed in the order received.
May 2, 2022 Personal income tax filing due date for individuals who are not self-employed.
June 15, 2022 Personal income tax filing due date for self-employed individuals.  Please note that any payment of taxes owing is still due on April 30th, 2020.
June 15, 2022 Deadline to file GST/HST returns for self-employed annual filers with a December 31st 2021 year-end.
For assistance with GST/HST and payroll remittance due dates, please contact us.


Electronically filing your return

We will electronically file all tax returns (except in limited circumstances) but cannot do so without signed consent indicating that you have reviewed and agreed to all the information in your return.  We will also require payment of our fees before your return can be e-filed on your behalf.

CRA review requests - after your taxes are filed

Each tax year, CRA continues to increase the number of requests for backup documentation to support claims reported on personal income taxes.  Should you be contacted by CRA to provide additional information after your taxes have been filed, and would like us to assist you in responding, our standard professional rate will apply.

Other services - available all year

Our services don't end at tax time!  We are available all year for any of your professional advisory needs including:

  • Bookkeeping
  • Personal and business tax planning
  • Business consultation
  • Corporate tax returns and Notice to Reader financial statements
  • Part-time controller or virtual CFO services
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