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Personal finance

Getting the most out of your tax return

February 11, 2022

It’s time to think about filing your taxes! You may be eligible for certain deductions, tax credits and government benefits. Here are some tips and reminders to help you get the most out of your return.

Filing deadlines

Deadline: May 2, 2022

The deadline for self-employed workers is June 15, 2022.

What happens if I file my taxes after this date?

If you file late and have an outstanding balance, a 5% penalty will be applied.

An additional 1% penalty is added to your outstanding balance every month, up to 12 months.
Both of these penalties apply federally and in Quebec.

Interest will also be charged on your outstanding balance. This interest is compounded daily on the amount due as of May 2.

Tip: Even if you can’t pay off your entire balance by May 2, you should still file your tax return by the deadline. That way, you won’t be charged the late-filing penalty and you’ll only have to pay interest on the unpaid amount.

Good to know

Students and individuals with simple returns who know which credits and deductions they’re eligible for can file their taxes for free with TurboTax.

2021 tax credits and deductions

Here is a non-exhaustive list of deductions and tax credits you may be eligible for:

Something for everyone

  • Medical expenses—this includes premiums paid to a private health services plan (for example, Box 85 on the T4 and Box 235 on the Relevé 1 in Quebec) and enrolment in the Public Prescription Drug Insurance Plan for 2021 (provincial) and 2020 (federal)
  • Charitable donations
  • Tax credits for persons with disabilities
  • Quebec solidarity tax credit, Ontario sales tax credit and federal GST/HST credit

Tele­workers

Governments have extended measures allowing teleworkers to deduct home office expenses on their 2021 income tax returns.

This includes expenses you incurred while working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic like electricity, heat, internet and rent.

To be eligible, you must:

  • Have worked more than 50% of the time from home for at least 4 conse­cutive weeks in 2021
  • Have not already been reimbursed from your employer for these expenses

2 calcul­ation methods: Choose the one that’s most beneficial for you

  • Simplified method: You can deduct $2 for each day that you worked from home in 2021, up to a maximum of $500 per level of government. You won’t need any documents to support your claim, and your employer won’t need to issue any declaration of employment conditions forms.
  • Detailed method: This option is based on your actual expenses during the period when you worked from home. Your employer will need to provide you with the required forms. You will need to submit supporting documents for these expenses if you get audited.

Links to calculators to compare both methods:

Links to FAQs for individuals:

You may also be eligible for other tax credits and deductions depending on your situation:

 
You are Tax credits and deductions
Parents
  • Childcare expenses
  • Children’s activities (Quebec)
  • Adoption expenses
  • Fertility treatments (Quebec)
  • Tax credits for a child enrolled in post-secondary studies (Quebec)
  • Tuition fees transferred from a child
Seniors1
  • Home care services for seniors (Quebec)
  • Caregiver amount (federal and Quebec) or tax credit for caregivers (Quebec)
  • Fitness, arts, cultural or recreational activities for seniors (Quebec)
  • Age amount
  • Pension income amount
  • Tax credit for career extension for workers 60 and over (Quebec)
  • Home accessibility expenses (federal)
  • Independent living tax credit for seniors (Quebec)
Students or new grads
  • Tuition tax credit (unused portion can be deferred or transferred to parents)
  • Credit for interest paid on student loans (can be carried forward to subsequent years)
  • Moving expenses
  • Tax credit for recent graduates working in remote resource regions (Quebec)
Investors2
  • Deduction for deferred net capital loss
  • Deduction for RRSP contributions
  • Deduction for carrying charges
  • CRCD tax credit (Quebec)
  • Labour-sponsored funds tax credit
  • Exploration and development expenses
Homeowners
  • Tax credit for the upgrading of residential waste water treatment systems (Quebec)
  • Non-refundable tax credit of $5,000 for first time home buyers
  • Capital gain exemption for selling your principal residence. If you have sold a property that you wish to designate as a principal residence in order to claim the exemption, you’ll need to report the information on your tax return. If you don’t provide the information required by the federal government, you’ll be expected to pay taxes or a penalty.
 
You are Tax credits and deductions
Parents
  • Childcare expenses
  • Tuition and education amounts transferred from a child (federal and Ontario)
  • Adoption expenses
Seniors1
  • Caregiver amount
  • Age amount
  • Pension income amount
  • Home accessibility expenses
  • Seniors’ Home Safety Tax Credit
  • Ontario Seniors’ Public Transit Tax Credit
Students or new grads
  • Tuition tax credit (federal); deferred portion of tuition fees before 2017 when the tax credit was eliminated (Ontario)
  • Credit for interest paid on student loans (can be carried forward to subsequent years)
  • Moving expenses
Investors2
  • Deduction for deferred net capital loss
  • Deduction for RRSP contributions
  • Deduction for carrying charges
  • Labour-sponsored funds tax credit (federal)
  • Federal exploration and development expenses and Ontario focused flow-through share tax credit
Homeowners
  • Non-refundable $5,000 tax credit for first-time homebuyers (federal)
  • Capital gain exemption for selling your principal residence. If you have sold a property that you wish to designate as a principal residence in order to claim the exemption, you’ll need to report the information on your tax return. If you don’t provide the information required by the federal government, you’ll be expected to pay taxes or a penalty.
  • Senior Homeowners’ Property Tax Grant (Ontario)

Direct deposits

You can log in to AccèsD online and mobile to sign up for Canada Revenue Agency or Revenu Québec direct deposit for your tax refund and other government payments.

The Quebec solidarity tax credit—if you are eligible for it—is only paid out using direct deposit.

Have you signed up for Desjardins Funds online statements?

Your tax documents are available in AccèsD. Click Statements and documentsTax information slips for income tax return - Tax information slips > Fiscal year 2021.

What do I need to know about tax treatment when receiving my dividend?

Your dividend is taxable in the year it is paid whether or not you receive tax slips. Your volume dividend on non-registered savings is taxable. The dividend on a registered plan is taxable only if the plan is closed at the time of payment, as it will be deposited into your chequing account. Your Desjardins Fund dividend is still taxable, whether you have a non-registered account or a registered plan.

  • Taxable dividends will be included in tax slips (T5 and Relevé 3) if you’ve earned $50 or more for the year at the same caisse.

Note:Tax slips will not be issued for volume dividends on insurance, loans and lines of credit. Depending on your tax situation, dividends could be taxable if, for example, you write off your insurance and interest as operating expenses, because you are running a business. Ask your accountant or tax specialist any questions you may have about member dividends or see our dedicated page.

Beware of phishing scams

The Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec will never communicate with you about your tax return through email or text messages. To learn more about their security practices for communicating with taxpayers, and to protect yourself from this kind of fraud, please visit Revenu Québec’s page on communicating with taxpayers and the Canada Revenue Agency’s fraud prevention page. Never reply to any emails or texts asking you to provide your personal and banking information in connection with a tax refund.


1. To be eligible for some tax credits, the taxpayer must have been certified eligible (e.g., for the tax credit for persons with disabilities or the amount for a severe and prolonged impairment in mental or physical functions).

2. Attention: If you hold any foreign properties—excluding properties for personal use—worth $100,000 or more, you must fill out the T1135 form.