Canadians Must File Their Income Taxes On April 30 Or Face Stiff Penalties

Today (April 30) is the deadline for Canadians to file their 2018 taxes with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). Miss the deadline and it could cost you big bucks in interest and penalties.

If you owe money to CRA, they begin charging 5% interest compounded daily on the amount owed as of May 1. They also charge 1% for each full month that any return is late, to a maximum of 12 months. After a year, if the CRA is still not paid, it applies 10% interest on the balance owing plus 2% for each full month, up to 20 months. The rate is subject to change every three months.

Equally bad, if you are found to have made false statements or important omissions on your taxes, you could be fined $100 or 50% of the falsified amount, whichever is higher.

However, should you have made false statements or important omissions and confess through the "Voluntary Disclosures Program" that the federal government runs, the CRA may choose to be lenient. Taxpayer relief provisions are provided for individuals who are victims of circumstances beyond their control.

But given the high potential interest rates and penalties, it is best not to delay. File your taxes before midnight to be safe.