New to Canada and filing your taxes? Here are tips to help you!
March 7, 2023
Canada Revenue Agency
Are you new to Canada and getting ready to file your first Canadian income tax and benefit return? Don’t worry, we’re here to help! We’ve put together tips and information to guide you through the process and answer your questions.
You can also watch our video for newcomers. It’s available in 13 different languages: Arabic, Cantonese, English, Farsi, French, Hindi, Mandarin, Punjabi, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, Ukrainian, and Urdu.
Why file a tax return?
Every year, you need to file an income tax and benefit return if:
- you’d like to receive a tax refund you may be owed
- you’d like to receive any benefits or credits you may be entitled to
- you owe Canadian taxes
Even if you have little or no income, you should still file. Filing allows you to receive any benefits and credits you may be eligible for, such as:
- goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) credit
- Canada child benefit
- related federal, provincial or territorial payments
- Climate action incentive payment (for residents of eligible provinces)
Our Get ready to do your taxes page has more information to get you started!
Can you get help to file a return?
If you have a modest income and a simple tax situation, volunteers at a free tax clinic may be able to do your taxes for you. Free tax clinics are available in person and virtually. To find out if you’re eligible, and to find a tax clinic, go to our Free tax clinics page. If you are a permanent resident, you can reach out for support services that may be available, depending on your eligibility.
If you are a small business owner or a self-employed individual and have questions about filing your taxes, our Liaison Officers are available year-round to guide you over the phone and/or through videoconference. We can help you understand your tax obligations and possible business deductions when you request a free virtual visit with the CRA’s Liaison Officer service using our online request form.
Filing and payment deadlines
The deadline for most Canadians to file their 2022 income tax and benefit return is April 30, 2023. Since this deadline falls on a Sunday, your return will be considered filed on time if the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) receives it, or it is postmarked, on or before May 1, 2023.
If you or your spouse or common-law partner are self-employed, you have until June 15, 2023, to file on time. Filing your return before the respective deadline will allow you to avoid interruptions to any benefit or credit payments you may be entitled to receive.
If you have a balance owing, your payment is due on April 30, 2023. Since April 30, 2023, falls on a Sunday, your payment will be considered on time if the CRA receives it, or a Canadian financial institution processes it, on or before May 1, 2023.
Learn about your taxes
Learn about your taxes is an online course to help you develop an understanding of how the Canadian tax system works and how to file an income tax and benefit return. This free tool will help you understand what taxes are, why we pay them, and more.
How to receive the benefits and credits you may be eligible for
If you are new to Canada, you need to apply for the benefits and credits you may be eligible for, such as the Canada child benefit, the GST/HST credit, and any related federal, provincial, or territorial programs:
To do so, fill out and send us one of the following forms:
- If you have children: fill out and sign Form RC66, Canada Child Benefits Application includes federal, provincial, and territorial programs to apply for all child and family benefits
- If you do not have children: fill out and sign Form RC151, GST/HST Credit and Climate Action Incentive Payment Application for Individuals Who Become Residents of Canada
Even if you were not a resident of Canada during 2022, you may be eligible to receive benefits and credits. You should fill out Form RC151 the year you became a resident of Canada. However, you must include the amount of income you earned before you became a resident of Canada on Form RC66SCH and Form RC151. If you already applied for the Canada child benefit or the GST/HST Credit and only the 2022 world income is missing, you can call the benefit enquiries service at 1-800-387-1193 to provide your world income. For more information, visit our Newcomers to Canada web page.
Register for direct deposit and file online
To keep the tax-filing process as simple as possible, register for direct deposit and file online.
Once you have filed and received your notice of assessment (NOA), register for My Account at My Account for Individuals. It’s the fastest and easiest way to view and manage your tax and benefit information online. You can also use it to:
- track the status of your return and refund
- apply for benefits and credits
- update your address
- receive email notifications
- make a payment
- view your NOA or reassessment
You can register for My Business Account if you own a business.
Electronic returns are generally processed within two weeks. Individuals who file online and are registered for direct deposit may get their refund in as little as eight business days. However, for paper returns, our service standard is to process them within eight weeks of receipt.
Can you file your return online if you’ve never filed a return before?
If you never filed a return before, you can file online using NETFILE-certified tax software or through a tax preparer. To be eligible, you must have a date of entry into Canada during the tax year you are filing for. Additionally, you must have one of the following:
- a valid social insurance number (SIN);
- a temporary social insurance number; or
- a temporary tax number (TTN).
Make sure the CRA has the correct information on file for you, for example, your correct address. If the CRA does not have your current information, please update it before you file.
We encourage you to file online, rather than on paper. However, if you need to file a paper return, you can download or order a copy of the T1 income tax package online at Get a T1 income tax package.
What happens after you file a return?
Once your return has been assessed by the CRA, we will issue you a NOA. Your NOA will include the date we checked your tax return, and the details about how much you may owe, or get as a refund or credit. You can find out more on our After you file your tax return web page.
If you forgot to include information or made a mistake on your return, wait until you get your NOA from the CRA. Once you receive your NOA, there are several options for you to change your return on our How to change a return web page.
Once you file a return and receive your NOA, you can register for My Account.
Protecting you from scams and fraud
To avoid scams and fraud, be aware of when and how the CRA might contact you. The Scams and fraud page provides information on the ways that the CRA may contact you, including by phone, email, mail, and text message.
We strongly encourage you to monitor your CRA accounts regularly for any suspicious activity. You can find valuable information on how to secure your CRA accounts on our Security of your CRA My Account and My Business Account page.
If you’re looking for more information, we’ve got you covered! The CRA offers free national webinars on topics such as the importance of doing a tax return, understanding benefits and credit payments, and tips on being scam smart. You can see the full list of our webinars on our Upcoming events page and you can register for those that interest you. If you miss a broadcast, don’t worry. All webinars are recorded and posted to our Outreach materials to print and share page shortly after airing.
We also have helpful benefits and credits factsheets and infographics. Check out our Outreach materials to print and share page for products for students, newcomers to Canada, Indigenous peoples, adults 65 years and older, and more. Select products are available in languages besides English and French, including Arabic, Spanish, Ukrainian, and more!
You can also go to Benefits, credits, and taxes for newcomers and Questions and answers about filing your taxes, or use Charlie the chatbot. Charlie will help you find the information you need to file your income tax and benefit return. You can find Charlie on the CRA homepage and many other of our web pages on Canada.ca.
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