Not everyone has to file a tax return every year. However, you should file if you are getting a refund, wish to claim any benefits or credits for yourself or your family (such as the GST/HST Credit, Canada Child Benefits or other Provincial & Territorial programs), and to maintain any carry-forward amounts, (such as education credits or Capital losses), for use in future tax years.
You must file a tax return if you owe taxes, if the CRA asks you to file, and in a number of specific circumstances (of which, according to the CRA website, there are fewer than 10). For example, if you’re splitting your pension income with your spouse, filing is mandatory. Disposition of capital property, advance benefit payments, contribution to the Canada Pension Plan or payment of Employment Insurance premiums on self-employment earnings may also necessitate filing.
The complete list of who is required to file a tax return can be found in the following links:
- TurboTax: Who Is Required to File an Income Tax Return?
- Canada Revenue Agency: Do You Have to File a Return?
If you have a simple return and are only filing to get your benefits and credits, why not try using 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.