There's only one occasion in the spring that people dread more than cleaning day: the tax deadline.

UPDATE: April 23 — The deadline for filing individual tax returns has been extended to May 5 after the Heartbleed bug led to a shutdown on the Canada Revenue Agency's website, CBC News reported.

Let's be honest, lots of us leave it to the last minute, so here are a few tips to ensure you don't run into trouble with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

First, you'll need the forms, which you can download right here.

Then, you need to ensure you file on time.

The deadline for most people to file their 2013 tax returns is April 30. If you hand in your forms later than that, you may face a penalty or there may be a delay on your GST/HST credit, Canada child tax benefit payments and Old Age Security benefits, the CRA says on its website.

You have a bit of leeway if you're self-employed; your tax return is due June 15. But if you owe any money for the 2013 tax year, it still has to be paid by the April 30 deadline.

If you're the executor for the estate of a person who died in 2013, you may have to file a return for that individual, the CRA says.

The due date for that return depends on the date of death, and whether the person or their spouse or common-law partner carried on a business in 2013.

If you owe money for the 2013 tax year, you will be charged compound daily interest on any unpaid amount starting on May 1.

If you file late, you'll face a penalty of five per cent of your balance owing, plus one per cent of your balance for each full month that your return comes in after the deadline, up to a maximum of 12 months.

If you received a penalty on your return for the 2010, 2011 or 2012 tax years, you could be charged an extra 10 per cent of your 2013 balance owing, as well as two per cent of the money you owe for each month that the return is late, up to 20 months.

However, there are exceptions. The minister of national revenue permits relief from penalties or interest if a taxpayer is facing "extraordinary obligations"; if a person hasn't met their tax obligations due to an action by the CRA; or if they're unable to pay due to financial hardship.

If you run into this situation, you can submit a written request for relief by mail to a number of tax centres.

Happy filing!

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