Transcript - International Students and Income Tax, Segment 6: Identification for employment and income tax and benefit purposes

Host: Welcome to the segment called Identification for employment and income tax and benefit purposes, part of the International Students and Income Tax video.

This segment mentions links where you can get more information. You can find all these links in the Related links for this segment.

With me is Nicole Bélanger. Welcome Nicole. 

Subject matter expert: Thank you Sarah.

Host: What kind of identification does an international student need for income tax and benefit purposes?

Subject matter expert: As an international student, you need either a social insurance number, also called a SIN, or an individual tax number to be able to file an income tax and benefit return.

Both the SIN and the individual tax number are nine-digit identification numbers that are unique, personal, and confidential.

The SIN is issued to you by Service Canada and you need it to work in Canada. A SIN also gives you access to government programs, such as social assistance, and government benefits such as employment insurance.

The individual tax number is issued by the CRA.

Host: Why does my employer need my SIN?

Subject matter expert: Your employer uses your SIN for many reasons, such as to update your record of earnings and to show your contributions to the Canada Pension Plan or Quebec Pension Plan.

Host: Can I use the SIN for other purposes? 

Subject matter expert: No, your SIN is confidential and is not like an identity card. You should keep this number in a safe place.

Host: Who can ask for my SIN?

Subject matter expert: Employers are the main people who need your SIN. You'll also need to give it to financial institutions when they prepare records of your investment income or other amounts, and to government programs such as the Canada child tax benefit and employment insurance.

Host: As an international student how can I apply for a SIN? 

Subject matter expert: You can apply in person at the nearest Service Canada Centre. Special measures exist for people who can't apply in person to a Service Canada Centre. For more information, visit www.servicecanada.gc.ca.

Generally, Service Canada will only give SINs to international students who are planning to work in Canada.

If you're planning to work on campus, you will have to give Service Canada a copy of your study permit, issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, and a contract of employment from the educational institution or employer on the campus where Citizenship and Immigration Canada has authorized you to study.

Host: What if I'm an international student studying in Canada and I am planning to work off-campus? 

Subject matter expert: If you are working in a program such as an off-campus work permit program, a co-op work program, an internship program, or a post-graduation work employment program, you have to give Service Canada a copy of your study permit and a copy of your student work permit so that you can get a SIN.

For more information on the student work permit issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, visit www.cic.gc.ca.

Host: Where can I get more information on how to apply for a SIN? 

Subject matter expert: For more information on how to apply for a SIN, or to find a Service Canada office near you, visit www.servicecanada.gc.ca.

Host: I understand that some SINs are temporary. What can you tell me about that? 

Subject matter expert: Temporary workers who are neither Canadian citizens nor permanent residents are issued temporary SINs that begin with a 9 and have an expiry date.

If your SIN starts with 9, it is important that you renew it to make sure that the expiry date always corresponds with the expiry date on your document from Citizenship and Immigration Canada, authorizing you to work in Canada.

Host: Some international students need an individual tax number. Can you tell me about that? 

Subject matter expert: Many international students ask for an individual tax number so they can file a Canadian income tax and benefit return.

In certain circumstances, you can request an individual tax number if you cannot get a SIN. For more information, see Form T1261, Application for a Canada Revenue Agency Individual Tax Number for Non-Residents.

Host: Let's say that last year as an international student, I applied for and received an individual tax number. If I already have one, do I have to apply for a new one every year?

Subject matter expert: No, if you already have an individual tax number, don't apply for a new one. Use the number you already have.

Host: How do I apply for an individual tax number? 

Subject matter expert: To apply for an individual tax number, fill out Form T1261, Application for a Canada Revenue Agency Individual Tax Number for Non-Residents.

Host: Where do I send the application?

Subject matter expert: Send your application to the International Tax Services Office.

The address and telephone numbers for the International Tax Services Office are available on the CRA website.

Host: Thank you, Nicole.

This concludes the segment called Identification for employment and income tax and benefits purposes, part of the CRA's International Students and Income Tax video.

Thank you for watching.

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