New to Canada? Learn about the benefit of doing your taxes
If you are new to Canada, here’s what you should know about doing your taxes. You have to complete and file a federal income tax and benefit return to receive certain benefits and credits, to get a tax refund, and to pay Canadian tax you owe.
Who should file a return?
If you and your spouse or common-law partner are residents of Canada, you must file an income tax and benefit return. Even if you have little or no income, you should still file to receive any benefits and credits for which you may be eligible, such as:
- goods and services tax / harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) credit
- Canada workers benefit
- Canada child benefit
- related provincial or territorial payments
You should file your return on time every year to make sure your benefit and credit payments are not interrupted. The due date is April 30, 2020, unless you are self-employed, or are the spouse or common-law partner of a self-employed individual, in which case it is due June 15, 2020.
If you or your spouse or common-law partner carried on a business in 2019 (other than a business whose expenditures are primarily in connection with a tax shelter), your return for 2019 has to be filed on or before June 15, 2020. However, if you have a balance owing for 2019, you have to pay it on or before April 30, 2020.
Do you have income to report?
You have to report your income earned from all sources (inside and outside Canada), which you received after becoming a resident of Canada, as required under the Canadian Income Tax Act. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) uses that information to calculate your benefit and credit payments, as applicable.
If you are a newcomer to Canada and want to get the GST/HST credit, send Form RC151, GST/HST credit application for individuals who become residents of Canada, for the year that you became a resident of Canada.
If you are a self-employed individual and want help understanding your tax obligations, you can get in-person help by booking a visit online with CRA’s Liaison Officer service.
Can you get help to file a return?
If you have a modest income and a simple tax situation, volunteers may be able to complete your tax return for you, for free. Tax clinics are usually open from February until the end of April. Some are open year-round. To see if you are eligible and to find a clinic, go to canada.ca/taxes-help.
What happens after you file a return?
After you file a return and receive a notice of assessment from the CRA, you will be able to register for My Account, which lets you quickly access your tax, benefit, and credit information online. You can use My Account to:
- track the status of your return and refund
- apply for benefits and credits
- update your address
- register for email notifications
- make a payment
How can you get more information?
To learn everything you need to know about filing your return as a newcomer, go to canada.ca/taxes-newcomers. You may be able to file electronically. That page will give you information on:
- residency status
- completing an income tax and benefit return
- filing your tax return electronically
- when and how to apply for benefits and credits
- claiming credits and deductions
- contacting the CRA for help
For general inquiries:
Canada Revenue Agency
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