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Income tax deadline looming for 2011

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – The deadline to file your 2011 taxes is almost here. If you miss the Monday midnight deadline, you’ll be hit with a penalty if you have a balance owing.

“Right off the bat it’s five per cent of the outstanding balance, plus one per cent per month for each full month that your return is late, to a maximum of 12 months,” explains Canada Revenue’s Dave Campbell.

However, if you are habitually late, you’ll face a stiffer penalty.

“If it’s not your first time, it goes up to 10 per cent, plus two per cent per month.”

If you find you owe more than you can pay, Campbell explains there are ways to deal with the debt.

“You will be subject to interest. Pay as much as you can at the time. Once you get your Notice of Assessment, if you still don’t have the sufficient funds to pay the balance, by all means contact our office and you can set up an arrangement for payment.”

So far the Canada Revenue Agency has taken in about 18 of 27 million expected returns, with the vast majority filed electronically.

Two-thirds of Canadians who have filed got a refund, while about 21 per cent came out even and 12 per cent having to pay.

The average refund for Canadians is about $1,500.