Luckily, most teenagers don’t earn enough income to be required to file a tax return. Generally, any Canadian who earns less than the basic personal credit (around $12,000) doesn’t have to file a return. Some exceptions do apply of course. Check out the full details on the Canada Revenue Agency’s Do you have to file a return? webpage. 

Should your teenager file an income tax return? Definitely!

  • They could get a tax refund. If your teen has deductions for income tax, EI, or CPP and didn’t make a lot of money, they may be entitled to a refund. 
  • They can build some RRSP roomRRSP contribution room starts building as soon as income is reported, regardless of age.  
  • They can register for benefits. Filing a tax return registers your teen in CRA’s system. Once they turn 19, they’ll be automatically considered for the GST/HST credit if they’ve filed a return the previous year. 

Make it a teachable moment. Involve your teen in the process of filing their return.  

If your teen is a university student, be sure to prepare their return before yours if you plan to transfer tuition credits. You’ll need to enter certain numbers from their return into your return to complete the process. If they plan on carrying forward those tuition credits to a future year when they need to use them, they’ll need to file a return and report the amounts from their T2202 or official tax receipts

Which TurboTax is Best for You?

You have a simple return so why not try filing for free with TurboTax Online Free, a no-charge edition of our software. Or you can start your return using Free, and if you feel the need for additional assistance, you can upgrade to any of our paid editions or even get Live help from an expert. But don’t worry, while using the online version of the software when you choose to upgrade, your information is instantly carried over so you can pick up right where you left off.