During the first few months of the year, it’s time to think about your Canadian tax return.
This article will introduce you to some of the basic concepts and will be useful to anyone who is filing a Canadian tax return for the first time, or otherwise finds the process a bit confusing.
The good news is, if you’ve overpaid tax during the year, then you could be due a refund! The tax calculator for Canada accompanying this article can help you figure out how much you could receive.
Organizing your Canadian tax return
The Canadian tax year runs from January 1 to December 31. Employees receive a tax summary document, known as a T4, from their employers, usually in January or February the following year. Make sure your employer has your correct address on file so they can mail your T4 to you.
The deadline for filing your Canadian tax return is April 30, though it’s recommended to file as early as possible so as to avoid last-minute stress. If you’re due a refund, then this should arrive within eight weeks.
You will usually need to pay three different types of taxes:
- Income tax
- CPP (Canadian Pension Plan)
- EI (Employer Insurance)
Your T4 will outline how much you have already paid of each of these amounts.
Taxes are collected by the Canadian Revenue Agency, or CRA. You will need to know what your residency status is before filing, i.e. whether you are a resident or a non-resident. You can determine this by contacting the CRA directly.
If it’s your first time filing, you will need to complete a paper Canadian tax return and mail it to the CRA. You can collect these forms, known as a T1, from any Canada Post office. If it’s not your first time to file a Canadian tax return, you can complete the process online.
Check for any deductions you can include, for example, eligible transit and healthcare expenses, or rent costs in Ontario. You can use these to reduce your assessable income, and therefore your tax liability.
Additionally, you may be eligible for the GST/HST credit if your income is below a certain level. It varies from province to province, and you can calculate what may be owed to you here. In British Columbia, it’s combined with the provincial Low Income Climate Action Tax Credit. Use the tax calculator for Canada on this page to receive an estimate.
To receive personal assistance with your file, you can contact Taxback.com for a free estimate of your liabilities, or the money back that you’re owed. They can file your Canadian tax return on your behalf, and send you your refund if you’re due one. Moving2Canada readers get a 5% discount by clicking here, or by using the tax calculator for Canada above.
- Questions about your Social Insurance Number? Read our SIN Canada guide
- Tax return Canada: 8 tips to make it easy
- Late filing advice
- Paying tax in Canada as a British citizen
- Paying tax in Canada as an Irish citizen
- Paying tax in Canada as an Australian citizen
The authors assume no liability, directly or indirectly, for the accuracy or completeness of any information provided in this article.