The first step in preparing your taxes is to know your deadlines.
For a basic tax return you are required to file your 2011 tax return by April 30, whether filing a paper or electronic return. If you are paper filing your return it must be post marked by April 30. Simply dropping it in a mail box on the 30th does not satisfy Revenue Canada. We recommend going into the postal outlet and getting your envelope stamped.
If you have a business (Sole Proprietor or Partnership) to file on your tax return, otherwise referred to as self-employed), you and your spouse have until June 15th to file your taxes. There is a very big trick that comes with the June 15th deadline; you must pay your taxes by April 30th. In other words you must make a tax instalment by April 30th to avoid interest and penalties on any monies owing. If you know you will not owe money, then you simply have to file your taxes by June 15.