Tax Return

Let us begin with a nice introduction to the Canadian Tax System. Canada  Revenue Agency (CRA) has prepared a  pamphlet to introduce the Canadian Income Tax System for newcomers and help newcomers to complete their first Income Tax Returns. So…read the following pamphlet from CRA to understand the basics of  personal tax return;

If you have trouble understanding this, contact Canada Revenue Agency over the phone (Tel: 1-800-959-8281, this is a toll free number. so you won’t be charged for the time you spend for this call). 

If you don’t have a Social Insurance Number (SIN) for tax purpose and if you are an international student who established residential status in Canada, call International Tax Services Office (Tel: 1-800-267-5177, toll free number). They will assign a special number for your tax purpose and help you. 


Important Things to Remember.

  • At the end of each tax year (January 01 to December 31), you have to file a Tax Return, if you owe tax or to receive a refund if you paid too much tax. Even if you have no income to report, or tax to pay, you might be entitled to receive the GST/HST Credit, the Canada Child Tax Benefit, and the related provincial benefits and credits. You have to file a tax return to receive these benefits and credits.
  •  You can obtain the tax return forms (free) from any post office or CRA tax services office or you can download them from CRA website. The deadline to submit your tax return is April 30 of each year (For example, you should submit tax return for 2010 tax year on or before April 30, 2011). 
  • As newcomers to Canada, electronic filing options are not available to you. You must use paper format to submit your first tax return. 
  • If you are 18 years of age or older, you should file a tax return even if you have no income, in order to apply for the GST credit.  You must be 19 to receive the credit, but if you will turn 19 before April 1 of the following year, you should apply now so that you will receive your first GST payment as soon as possible after you turn 19. 
  • Before you begin working on your Tax Return, make sure that you have all the receipts and income records. Here is a check list (not complete) for you:
    • Social Insurance Number
    • Employment Income (pay stubs)
    • All T4 Slips from your employer
    • Other information slips (for example, a slip from your bank for interest you earned for your savings/investments)
    • Social assistance payment
    • Medical expenses
    • Transit passes
    • Child care expenses
    • Expenses for children’s fitness program
    • Tuition/Education amounts for students
    • Professional/Union fees
    • RRSP Contribution
    • Notice of Assessment from CRA (not valid for first time tax return)
    • Universal child care benefit confirmation
    • Interest paid on student loans
  • If you want to do it on your own, I would recommend you to read CRA website first and download Tax Software to prepare your tax return. I recommend GenuTax software for you. You make one time payment (between 25-30 dollars) to download this software and they will send you updates every year. Each year, you can prepare 20 tax returns and submit electronically using GenuTax. This is a CRA certified software.

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