Things for Newcomers to Remember When Filing Taxes

If you’re new to Canada and considered a resident, you may be required to declare your worldwide income. Find out what you need to know about filing your income taxes as a new immigrant to Canada.

Are You Required to File a Tax Return?

If you are considered to be a resident of Canada, you must file a tax return for all or a part of the tax year if you have a balance owing of at least $2 to receive a tax refund.

Even if you do not have any income for the year, you should still consider filing a tax return. You may be entitled to other benefits, such as the goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax credit, the Canada Child Benefit and tax credits specific to the province or territory where you live. For example, you should complete Form ON428 to claim the Ontario Trillium Benefit for the rent and property taxes you have paid in the tax year.

File Only One Tax Return

Even though you are required to complete Form 428 for the province or territory where you live, most taxpayers only file one tax return for the year. You file Form 428 along with your federal tax return. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) collects any taxes you owe for the provinces, disbursing it on your behalf.

The only exception is Québec, where you need to file a separate tax return. However, if you prepare your tax returns using TurboTax software, it will allow you do both the Federal & Québec returns at the same time, and submit the returns to the CRA and Revenu Québec, respectively.

Complete and file the general income tax and benefit package for the province or territory where you live at the end of the tax year starting in the first year when you are a newcomer to Canada. File a tax return every year after that.

Filing Your Tax Return

As a newcomer to Canada, you will likely have to mail in your first tax return. But in future years, you can use electronic filing, if you are eligible. A certified tax preparer can use EFILE to submit your tax return online on your behalf. Likewise, you can NETFILE your tax return if you prepare it yourself with approved tax software.

Tax Filing Deadline

File your taxes on time to avoid costly interest and penalties for late filing.

The CRA does not show leniency just because you are a newcomer to Canada. It expects you to follow the Income Tax Act rules and requirements, just like any other resident.

  • Most tax filers in Canada must file their income tax returns by the April 30 deadline.
  • If you or your spouse or common-law partner run a business in Canada, you have a bit longer – you have until June 15 to file your tax return, although any balance owing is still required to be paid before the April 30 deadline.

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