Newcomer to Canada? What you need to know to do your taxes
If you are a newcomer to Canada for all or part of a tax year (January 1 to December 31), you need to do your taxes (file an income tax and benefit return) if you receive or want to receive certain benefits and credits, want to claim a refund, or have to pay tax. Everything you need to know is available at cra.gc.ca/newcomers. Find information on getting your social insurance number, filing a tax return, applying for benefits and credits, contacting the Canada Revenue Agency if you need assistance, and tax treaties.
- You become a resident of Canada for income tax purposes when you establish significant residential and social ties in Canada. Examples include having a home, or a spouse or common-law partner in Canada. You usually establish these ties the date you arrive in Canada. For more information, go to Do you have to file a return?
- You should still do your taxes even if you have little or no income to report. By filing an income tax and benefit return, you might be able to get benefits and credits such as the goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) credit and the Canada child benefit. Your spouse or common-law partner also has to do their taxes each year for you to receive benefit and credit payments that you may be eligible to receive.
- If you need help preparing your tax return, have a modest income and a simple tax situation, you may be able to get help from the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP). The CVITP is collaboration between the Canada Revenue Agency and community organizations across Canada. These organizations hold tax preparation clinics, and their volunteers can prepare and submit your tax return for you free of charge. For more information, go to www.cra.gc.ca/volunteer.
- Remember you need to file on time to make sure there are no interruptions to your Canada child benefit, GST/HST credit, and child disability benefit payment!
Once you do your taxes for the first time and receive a notice of assessment from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), you’ll be able register for My Account and access all of the CRA’s online, self-service options. Online services make doing your taxes faster and easier. You’ll be able to use them to help file your tax return, make a payment, track the status of your return, register for online mail, apply for benefits, and more. Register for My Account at cra.gc.ca/myaccount.
As a newcomer, it's important to understand your tax obligations and the benefits and credits available to you. We have some videos to help you: Newcomers to Canada and the Canadian Tax System and New to Canada? Learn about Taxes (also available in French, Arabic, Cantonese, Punjabi and Spanish).
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