Taxpayers — circle these dates for 2011!

The new tax year is in full swing. Of course, it brings with it a new calendar of important “pay” dates.

By Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario –

The new tax year is in full swing. Of course, it brings with it a new calendar of important “pay” dates from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), says Chartered Accountant Scott Conner, a tax specialist with BDO Canada LLP in Huntsville.

Government payments go both ways: from us, and to us. So, knowing the dates by which we need to make payments — and those when we’ll get payments —can both save and make us money. Here are a few that Conner suggests average, individual taxpaying Canadians should be aware of in 2011, and what, if anything, we need to do on each of them.

March 15, June 15, September 15, December 15 –
Where required, instalment payments are due quarterly, on the 15th day of March, June, September and December. The CRA sends out the instalment reminders twice a year – in February for the March and June payments, and in August for the September and December payments. The instalments must either be received by the CRA, or sent by first class mail by these dates, for them to be considered paid on time. Alternatively, you can make your instalment payment at any financial institution by the due date.

20th each month –    The Universal Child Care Benefit, which is $100 a month for each eligible child under six years of age, and Canada Child Tax Benefit payments are generally made to eligible recipients on this date over a 12 month period. If your annual entitlement for the latter is less than $120, it’s usually sent in one payment on July 20.

April 5 –    If eligible, you can probably expect to receive your GST/HST credit on or around the 5th of each quarter (April, July, October and January).

April 30 –    Generally, your 2010 return is due on or before
April 30, 2011. If you or your spouse earns self-employment income, your tax return can be filed by June 15, but any taxes owing must be paid by April 30.  Even if you’re expecting a refund, the CRA warns that being late with the forms could delay some of the payments you might be expecting, like the GST/HST credit or Old Age Security benefits.

June 15 –         Last day for filing tax returns if you or your spouse/partner carried on a business in 2010 – with certain exceptions, such as one whose expenses relate to a tax shelter of some kind. But if you have a balance owing, you still have to pay it on or before April 30, 2011 or interest charges will apply.

December 31 –     If you were born in 1940, December 31, 2011 is the
last day you can contribute to your own RRSP. Your RRSP will mature and the funds in your plan must be removed. However, if you still have unused RRSP contribution room or will continue to generate earned income you can make RRSP contributions to a spousal RRSP after the year in which you turn 71.

Remember that your spouse must be under 72 for this to be possible. At the end of the year in which your spouse turns 71, his or her RRSP will mature as well.

There are many other important dates that might relate to your financial and tax situation. For specific advice concerning your own personal and unique circumstances, contact a Chartered Accountant in your home community.