With Monday’s deadline for Canadians to file their income taxes for 2022, experts say a new pilot program for the government to automate the process for low-income Canadians is a long overdue step on the road toward doing them automatically for everyone.

In the recent federal budget, the government announced the creation and expansion of a couple of pilot programs aimed at getting millions of low-income Canadians to file their taxes, and giving them access to benefit programs they are entitled to.

The government says as many as 12 per cent of Canadians don’t file their taxes every year, most of whom are low-income Canadians. It’s estimated that non-filers missed out on more than $1.7 billion worth of government rebates and programs they were entitled to in the 2015 tax year alone.

To fix that, Ottawa is beefing up an existing program called File My Return that allows Canadians to file their tax returns by answering a series of simple questions over the telephone. The goal is to triple the uptake on that program to 2 million people annually.

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