General Income Tax and Benefit Guide - 2016 - General Information, Identification and Elections Canada

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Retired seniors: look for the ▼ symbol

If you are a retired senior, the ▼ symbol in this guide and in the forms book will help you find information on the most common types of pension income, as well as deductions and credits that you may be entitled to.

If you received income or can claim deductions or credits that are not identified with the ▼ symbol, read the information for that type of income, deduction, or credit in this guide and in the forms book.

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It might be a scam!

 

The Canada Revenue Agency will never:

  • Use aggressive tone or language
  • Threaten arrest or send police
  • Ask for prepaid cards

 

Learn how to recognize and protect yourself against scams at Protect yourself against fraud.

What's new for 2016?

We list the service enhancements and major changes below, including announced income tax changes that were not law when this guide was published. If they become law as proposed, they will be effective for 2016 or as of the dates given. You will find more information about these changes throughout this guide. The service enhancements and major changes will be pointed out with the following: NEW!

Our services

MyBenefits CRA – This is a new mobile application that lets you securely view your benefit information. See MyBenefits CRA – get your information on the go!

Manage online mail – View your benefit notices online instead of waiting for a paper version to come by mail. See Provide an email address.

Individuals and families

Canada child benefit (CCB) – As of July 2016, the CCB has replaced the Canada child tax benefit (CCTB), the national child benefit supplement (NCBS), and the universal child care benefit (UCCB). See Canada child benefit (CCB) and child disability benefit (CDB).

Northern residents deductions (line 255) – The basic and additional residency amounts used to calculate the northern residency deduction have both increased to $11 per day. See Form T2222, Northern Residents Deductions.

Children’s arts amount (line 370) – The maximum eligible fees per child (excluding the supplement for children with disabilities) has been reduced to $250. Both will be eliminated for 2017 and later years.

Home accessibility expenses (line 398) – You can claim a maximum of $10,000 for eligible expenses you incurred for work done or goods acquired for an eligible dwelling.

Family tax cut – The family tax cut has been eliminated for 2016 and later years.

Children’s fitness tax credit (lines 458 and 459) – The maximum eligible fees per child (excluding the supplement for children with disabilities) has been reduced to $500. Both will be eliminated for 2017 and later tax years.

Eligible educator school supply tax credit (lines 468 and 469) – If you were an eligible educator, you can claim up to $1,000 for eligible teaching supplies expenses.

Interest and investments

Tax-free savings account (TFSA) – The amount that you can contribute to your TFSA every year has been reduced to $5,500.

Dividend tax credit (DTC) – The rate that applies to “other than eligible dividends” has changed for 2016 and later tax years. See line 120 and line 425.

Investment tax credit (line 412) – Eligibility for the mineral exploration tax credit has been extended to flow-through share agreements entered into before April 2017.

Labour-sponsored funds tax credit (lines 413, 414, 411, and 419) – The tax credit for the purchase of shares of provincially or territorially registered labour‑sponsored venture capital corporations has been restored to 15% for 2016 and later tax years. The tax credit for the purchase of shares of federally registered labour‑sponsored venture capital corporations has decreased to 5% and will be eliminated for 2017 and later tax years.

Other changes

Tax on taxable income – The tax rates and income levels have changed. See Schedule 1, Federal Tax. As a result of this change the donations and gifts tax credit calculation has changed. See Schedule 9, Donations and Gifts.

Split income of a child under 18 – The tax rate has increased to 33%.

Sale of principal residence – The sale of a principal residence must now be reported, along with any principal residence designation, on Schedule 3, Capital Gains (or Losses) in 2016. Under proposed changes, the CRA will be able to accept a late designation in certain circumstances, but a penalty may apply. Go to Reporting the sale of your principal residence for individuals (other than trusts) and select question 7.

Reassessment period – Under proposed legislation, for tax years that end after October 2, 2016, the CRA may at any time reassess your income tax return if you fail to report a sale or other disposition of real estate. See the Guide T4037, Capital Gains.

Completing your return

This guide gives you information about the income you must report and the deductions and credits you can claim on your 2016 income tax and benefit return.

Note

Unless otherwise noted, all legislative references are to the Income Tax Act and the Income Tax Regulations.

To complete your return:

  • Read Getting started.
  • Determine if you have to file. See Do you have to file a return?.
  • Make sure you have the correct forms book and guide. See Which forms book should you use?.
  • Make sure you file on time. See Filing deadlines, penalties and interest.
  • Read What’s new for 2016?.
  • Follow the instructions in this guide for each line on the return that applies to you.
  • Look on the back of your information slips to find instructions on where to report an amount.
    Note
    If your situation is the same as last year, you may want to use your 2015 income tax and benefit return to help you complete this year’s return.
  • The return has been divided into six steps. Complete each step before going on to the next.
    • Step 1 – Identification and other information – Provide information about yourself and your spouse or common-law partner, as well as other information required to process your return.
    • Step 2 – Total income – To determine your total income at line 150, report your income from all sources.
    • Step 3 – Net income – To determine your net income at line 236, claim any deductions that apply to you.
    • Step 4 – Taxable income – To determine your taxable income at line 260, claim any deductions that apply to you.
    • Step 5 – Federal tax and provincial or territorial tax – To calculate your federal tax, complete Schedule 1, Federal Tax. To calculate your provincial or territorial tax, complete Form 428.
      Note
      If you resided in Quebec on December 31, 2016, you must file a provincial income tax return for Quebec instead of completing Form 428 to calculate your provincial tax.
    • Step 6 – Refund or balance owing – To determine your refund or balance owing, calculate your total payable and claim any refundable credits that apply to you.
  • If you are filing electronically keep all your documents in case we ask to see them later.
  • If you are filing a paper return, attach only the documents (schedules, information slips, forms, or receipts) requested in the guide to support the credits you claim and deductions you make. Keep all other supporting documents in case we ask to see them later.

Getting started

Gather all the documents you need to complete your return This includes:

  • all information slips that you should have received (such as T3, T4, T4A, and T5 slips);
  • all supporting documents for any deductions you make or credits you plan to claim; and
  • your most recent notice of assessment or reassessment for carry-forward amounts or other amounts you may need to complete your return.

As you see lines on the return that apply to you, refer to this guide or see the backs of your information slips for more instructions.

You can file electronically or file a return. No matter how you file, see "What do you do with your slips, receipts and other supporting documents?.

What if you are missing information?

If you have to file a return for 2016, file it on time even if some slips or receipts are missing. You are responsible for reporting your income from all sources to avoid possible interest and/or penalties that may be charged.

If you know you will not be able to get the missing slip by the due date and if you have registered for My Account, you may be able to view your tax information slips online by going to My Account for Individuals. Otherwise, attach a note to your paper return stating the payer’s name and address, the type of income involved, and what you are doing to get the slip.

You can use your pay stubs or statements to estimate your income and any related deductions and credits you can claim. Enter the estimated amounts on the appropriate lines of your return. Attach a copy of the pay stubs or statements to your paper return and keep the original documents. If you are filing electronically, keep all your documents in case we ask to see them later.

Note

You should have received most of your slips and receipts by the end of February. However, T3 and T5013 slips do not have to be sent before the end of March.

Your tax information at your fingertips

You can view your tax information slips online through My Account–including T3, T4 and T5 slips!

 

Register for My Account at My Account for Individuals.

Do you have to file a return?

You must file a return for 2016 if:

  • You have to pay tax for 2016.
  • We sent you a request to file a return.
  • You and your spouse or common-law partner elected to split pension income for 2016. See lines 115, 116, 129, and 210.
  • You received working income tax benefit advance payments in 2016.
  • NEW! You disposed of capital property in 2016 (for example, if you sold real estate, your principal residence, or shares) or you realized a taxable capital gain (for example, if a mutual fund or trust attributed income to you or you are reporting a capital gains reserve you claimed on your 2015 return).
  • You have to repay all or part of your old age security or employment insurance benefits. See line 235.
  • You have not repaid all amounts withdrawn from your registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) under the Home Buyers’ Plan or the Lifelong Learning Plan. For more information, go to What is the Home Buyers' Plan? or see Guide RC4112, Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP).
  • You have to contribute to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP). This can apply if for 2016 the total of your net self‑employment income and pensionable employment income is more than $3,500. See line 222.
  • You are paying employment insurance premiums on self‑employment and other eligible earnings. See lines 317 and 430.

Even if none of these requirements apply, you should file a return if:

  • You want to claim a refund.
  • You want to claim the working income tax benefit for 2016.
  • You want to receive the goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax credit (including any related provincial credits). For example, you may be eligible if you turn 19 before April 2018.
  • You or your spouse or common‑law partner want to begin or continue receiving Canada child benefit payments, including related provincial or territorial benefit payments.
  • You have incurred a non-capital loss (see line 236) in 2016 that you want to be able to apply in other years.
  • You want to carry forward or transfer the unused part of your tuition, education, and textbook amounts. See line 323.
  • You want to report income for which you could contribute to an RRSP and/or a pooled registered pension plan (PRPP) to keep your RRSP/PRPP deduction limit for future years current.
  • You want to carry forward the unused investment tax credit on expenditures you incurred during the current year. See line 412.

Deceased persons

If you are the legal representative (the executor, administrator, or liquidator) of the estate of a person who died in 2016, you may have to file a return for 2016 for that person. For more information about your filing requirements and options and to know what documents are required, see Guide T4011, Preparing Returns for Deceased Persons, and Information Sheet RC4111, Canada Revenue Agency – What to do following a death.

Note

If you received income in 2016 for a person who died in 2015 or earlier, do not file an individual return for 2016 for that income on behalf of that person. Instead, you may have to file a T3 Trust Income Tax and Information Return for the estate.

Which forms book should you use?

Generally, you have to use the forms book for the province or territory where you resided on December 31, 2016. However, there are exceptions, such as residential ties in another place. See the list of exceptions and also Other publications you may need.

If you resided in Quebec on December 31, 2016, use the forms book for residents of Quebec to calculate your federal tax only. You must also file a provincial income tax return for Quebec.

Residential ties – These ties include your home (owned or leased) and personal property, your spouse or common‑law partner, and dependants. Other relevant ties may include social ties, driver’s licence, bank accounts and credit cards, and provincial or territorial hospitalization insurance. For more information, see Income Tax Folio S5-F1-C1, Determining an Individual's Residence Status.

Exceptions

In the following situations, use the forms book or tax guide specified:

  1. If on December 31, 2016, you had residential ties in more than one province or territory, use the forms book for the province or territory where you have your most important residential ties. For example, if you usually reside in Ontario but were going to school in Alberta or Quebec, use the forms book for Ontario.
  2. If you are filing a return for a person who died in 2016, use the forms book for the province or territory where that person resided at the time of death.
  3. If you emigrated from Canada in 2016, use the forms book for the province or territory where you resided on the date you left. Mail your return to the:

    International and Ottawa Tax Services Office
    Post Office Box 9769, Station T
    Ottawa ON K1G 3Y4
    CANADA
     
  4. If you resided outside Canada on December 31, 2016, but kept significant residential ties with Canada, you may be considered a factual resident of Canada. Use the forms book for the province or territory where you kept your residential ties.


    You also have to complete Form T1248, Information About Your Residency Status – Schedule D, and attach it to your return. Mail your return to the:

    International and Ottawa Tax Services Office
    Post Office Box 9769, Station T
    Ottawa ON K1G 3Y4
    CANADA

    If, under a tax treaty, you are considered to be a resident of another country, this may not apply.

  5. Generally, if you are not considered to be a factual resident of Canada (see the previous section), and on December 31, 2016, you resided outside Canada and were a government employee, a member of the Canadian Forces or their overseas school staff, or working under a Canadian International Development Agency program, you may be considered a deemed resident of Canada. Use the tax guide for non-residents and deemed residents of Canada. This may also apply to your spouse or common-law partner, dependent children and other family members.

  6. If you stayed in Canada for 183 days or more in 2016, you did not establish significant residential ties with Canada, and under a tax treaty, you were not considered a resident of another country, you will be considered a deemed resident of Canada. Use the tax guide for non-residents and deemed residents of Canada.

  7. If throughout 2016, you did not have significant residential ties with Canada and neither E nor F applies, you may be considered a non-resident of Canada for tax purposes. Use the tax guide for non-residents and deemed residents of Canada.

    However, if you earned income from employment in a province or territory, or earned income from a business with a permanent establishment in a province or territory, use the forms book for that province or territory. Also complete Form T1248, Information About Your Residency Status – Schedule D, and attach it to your return.

Other publications you may need

Unless you resided in Canada all year, you also need one or more of the following publications:

How to get the tax guide and forms you need

If you are filing electronically, use your tax preparation software or web application to select the province or territory where you resided on December 31, 2016.

You can get a guide, a forms book for your province or territory, and most of our publications at Forms and publications.

Filing deadlines, penalties and interest

What date is your return for 2016 due?

Generally, your return for 2016 has to be filed on or before April 30, 2017.

Note

If you do not file your return on time (see exception to the due date of your return), your goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (including any related provincial credits), Canada child benefit payments (including related provincial or territorial payments), and old age security benefit payments may be delayed or stopped.

Self-employed persons – If you or your spouse or common‑law partner carried on a business in 2016 (other than a business whose expenditures are primarily in connection with a tax shelter), your return for 2016 has to be filed on or before June 15, 2017. However, if you have a balance owing for 2016, you have to pay it on or before April 30, 2017. For more information about how to make your payment, see line 485.

Exception to the due date of your return

When the due date falls on a Saturday, a Sunday, or a public holiday recognized by the CRA, your return is considered on time if we receive it or if it is postmarked on or before the next business day. For more information, go to Important dates for 2017 (Individuals).

Note

Since April 30, 2017, is a Sunday, your return will be considered filed on time if we receive it on or it is postmarked on or before May 1, 2017.

Deceased persons

If you are filing for a deceased person the due date may be different. For more information, see Guide T4011, Preparing Returns for Deceased Persons.

What penalties and interest do we charge?

Late-filing penalty

If you owe tax for 2016 and do not file your return for 2016 within the dates we specify under What date is your return for 2016 due?, we will charge you a late-filing penalty. The penalty is 5% of your 2016 balance owing, plus 1% of your balance owing for each full month your return is late, to a maximum of 12 months.

If we charged a late-filing penalty on your return for 2013, 2014, or 2015, your late-filing penalty for 2016 may be 10% of your 2016 balance owing, plus 2% of your 2016 balance owing for each full month your return is late, to a maximum of 20 months.

Tax Tip

Even if you cannot pay your full balance owing on or before April 30, 2017, you can avoid the late‑filing penalty by filing your return on time.

Repeated failure to report income penalty

If you failed to report an amount on your return for 2016 and you also failed to report an amount on your return for 2013, 2014, or 2015, you may have to pay a federal and provincial or territorial repeated failure to report income penalty. If you did not report an amount of income of $500 or more for a tax year, it will be considered a failure to report income.

The federal and provincial or territorial penalties are each equal to the lesser of:

  • 10% of the amount you failed to report on your return for 2016; and
  • 50% of the difference between the understated tax (and/or overstated credits) related to the amount you failed to report and the amount of tax withheld related to the amount you failed to report.

However, if you voluntarily tell us about an amount you failed to report, we may waive these penalties. For more information, see What is a voluntary disclosure? or go to Voluntary Disclosures Program.

False statements or omissions penalty

You may have to pay a penalty if you knowingly or under circumstances amounting to gross negligence have made a false statement or an omission on your 2016 return.

The penalty is equal to the greater of:

  • $100; and
  • 50% of the understated tax and/or the overstated credits related to the false statement or omission.

However, if you voluntarily tell us about an amount you failed to report and/or credits you overstated, we may waive this penalty. For more information, see What is a voluntary disclosure? or go to Voluntary Disclosures Program.

Interest

If you have a balance owing for 2016, we charge compound daily interest starting May 1, 2017, on any unpaid amounts owing for 2016. This includes any balance owing if we reassess your return. In addition, we will charge you interest on the penalties explained in the previous sections, starting the day after your return is due.

Cancel or waive penalties or interest

The CRA administers legislation, commonly called the taxpayer relief provisions, that gives the CRA discretion to cancel or waive penalties or interest when taxpayers are unable to meet their tax obligations due to circumstances beyond their control.

The CRA’s discretion to grant relief is limited to any period that ended within 10 calendar years before the year in which a request is made.

For penalties, the CRA will consider your request only if it relates to a tax year or fiscal period ending in any of the 10 calendar years before the year in which you make your request. For example, your request made in 2017 must relate to a penalty for a tax year or fiscal period ending in 2007 or later.

For interest on a balance owing for any tax year or fiscal period, the CRA will consider only the amounts that accrued during the 10 calendar years before the year in which you make your request. For example, your request made in 2017 must relate to interest that accrued in 2007 or later.

To make a request, fill out Form RC4288, Request for Taxpayer Relief – Cancel or Waive Penalties or Interest. For more information about relief from penalties or interest and how to submit your request, go to Taxpayer relief provisions.

What is a voluntary disclosure?

Maybe you should have filed a return for a previous year (see Do you have to file a return?) but did not, or you filed a return that was not correct. If so, you can voluntarily file or correct that return under the Voluntary Disclosures Program and pay only the tax owing (plus interest) without penalty.

Note

The Voluntary Disclosure Program does not apply to a return for which we have started a review.

For more information and to see if your disclosure qualifies for this program, see Information Circular IC00‑1, Voluntary Disclosures Program. If you want, you can first discuss your situation on a no‑name basis. Indicate clearly on any disclosure you make that you are giving information under the Voluntary Disclosures Program.

How to file your return

NETFILE

NETFILE is a secure service that allows you to file your income tax and benefit return electronically using a tax preparation software or a web tax application. For a list of available software and applications, including free ones, go to Certified software for the 2016 NETFILE program.

Most individuals are eligible to use NETFILE. For more information or to file your return, go to NETFILE – Overview.

Notes

Before filing online, your information, including your address, must be up to date. If you have registered with the CRA’s My Account or MyCRA service, you can change your address by going to My Account for Individuals or Mobile apps. If not, you must tell the CRA your new address by phone.

Previous-year tax software, starting with the 2013 tax year, can be used to prepare and file a previous-year tax return.

EFILE

EFILE is a secure service that lets authorized service providers, including a discounter, complete and file your return electronically. For more information go to EFILE for individuals.

Auto‑fill my return

Auto‑fill my return is a secure CRA service that lets you or your authorized service provider automatically fill in certain parts of your current year return. The CRA will have most tax information from most tax slips, such as T4, as well as registered retirement savings plan information, and carry forward amounts. To auto‑fill your return, you must be registered with My Account, and be using a certified software product that offers this option. For more information go to Auto‑fill my return.

Let your software do the work

We can automatically fill in much of your tax return with Auto-fill my return, if you file online and are registered for My Account.

For more information, go to About Auto-fill my return.

Filing a paper return

Mail your return to your tax centre at the address given on the back of your forms book. If you prepare your return or other people’s returns, mail or deliver each person’s return in a separate envelope. However, if you file returns for more than one year for the same person, put them all in one envelope.

Note

If you are participating in the AgriStability and AgriInvest programs and you are filing a paper return, use the envelope provided in Guide RC4060 or Guide RC4408.

Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP)

If you need help to prepare your income tax and benefit return and you have a modest income and a simple tax situation, community organization volunteers may be able to prepare your return for you. For more information about the CVITP or to find out how to become a volunteer, go to Community Volunteer Income Tax Program or call us at 1‑800‑959‑8281.

What do you do with your slips, receipts and other supporting documents?

If you are filing your return electronically, keep all related documentation.

If you are filing a paper return, include one copy of each of your information slips. These slips show the amount of income that was paid to you during the year and the deductions that were withheld from that income. Attach your Schedule 1 (federal tax) and if you were not a resident of Quebec on December 31, 2016, also attach your provincial or territorial Form 428 (provincial or territorial tax). Attach only the supporting documents that are requested in the guide to support a credit or deduction.

If you make a claim without the requested supporting document, we may disallow the credit or deduction you claimed. It could also delay the processing of your return.

Keep your supporting documents for six years. Even if you do not have to attach certain supporting documents to your return, or if you are filing your return electronically, keep them in case we select your return for review. We may ask for documents other than official receipts, such as cancelled cheques or bank statements, as proof of any deduction or credit you claimed. Also keep a copy of your return for 2016, the related notice of assessment, and any notice of reassessment. These can help you complete your return for 2017. For more information about your notice of assessment, see Notice of assessment.

When filling online, don't send receipts unless we ask

If we need them we’ll contact you. In the meantime, keep your supporting tax documents for six years.

Tax information videos

We have a number of tax information videos for individuals on topics such as the income tax and benefit return, the Canadian tax system, and tax measures for persons with disabilities. To watch our videos, go to Video gallery.

Can you file a return for a previous year?

We will consider a request for a refund for a previous tax year return that you are filing late, only if the return is for a tax year ending in any of the 10 calendar years before the year in which you make the request. For example, a request made in 2017 must relate to the 2007 or a later tax year to be considered.

If you are filing a return for a year before 2016, attach receipts for all the deductions or credits you are claiming.

Note

You can prepare and file electronically a previous-year return that you have not filed yet by using previous-year tax software starting with the 2013 tax year. Returns for years before that will have to be done on paper.

Benefits for individuals and families

Make sure you file your return on time to continue receiving your benefits and credits – you don’t want them to be delayed or stopped.

Goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) credit

When you file your return, the CRA will determine your eligibility and tell you if you are entitled to receive the GST/HST credit.

In the appropriate section on page 1 of your return, indicate your marital status and, if it applies, enter the information about your spouse or common law partner (including his or her net income, even if it is zero). Either you or your spouse or common‑law partner may receive the credit, but not both of you. The credit will be paid to the person whose return is assessed first.

For more information, go to Child and family benefits, see Guide RC4210, GST/HST Credit, or call us at 1-800-387-1193. To view your GST/HST credit information, go to My Account for Individuals. To view the next GST/HST credit payment date, go to Mobile apps and select MyBenefits CRA.

When do I get my GST/HST credit payments?

If you qualify, you will get your payments in January, April, July and October.  Use the MyBenefits CRA app or My Account to check your exact payment dates and amounts anytime, from anywhere!

For more information go to My Account for Individuals.

Canada child benefit (CCB) and child disability benefit (CDB)

NEW! As of July 2016, the CCB has replaced the Canada child tax benefit (CCTB), the national child benefit supplement (NCBS), and the universal child care benefit (UCCB).

If you are responsible for the care and upbringing of a child who is under 18 years of age, you can apply for the CCB for that child. Apply as soon as possible after the child is born or starts to live with you. We use the information from your CCB application for payments from related provincial or territorial programs.

In addition to the CCB, you can receive the CDB if your child meets the criteria for the disability tax credit and we have approved Form T2201, Disability Tax Credit Certificate, for that child.

To qualify for these benefits, both you and your spouse or common-law partner, if you have one, must file a return every year, even if there is no income to report.

For more information, go to Child and Family Benefits, see Booklet T4114, Canada Child Benefits, or call us at 1-800-387-1193. To view your CCB information, go to My Account for Individuals. To view the next CCB payment date, go to Mobile apps and select MyBenefits CRA.

Canada child tax benefit (CCTB)

If you were responsible for the care and upbringing of a child who was under 18 years of age before July 2016, you may be eligible to receive the CCTB if you have not already received it.

For more information, go to Child and family benefits, see Booklet T4114, Canada Child Benefits, or call us at 1-800-387-1193. To view your CCTB information, go to My Account for Individuals.

Universal child care benefit (UCCB)

If you were responsible for the care and upbringing of a child who lived with you and was under 18 years of age before July 2016, you may be eligible to receive the UCCB if you have not already received it.

For more information, go to Universal child care benefit (UCCB), see Booklet T4114, Canada Child Benefits, or call us at 1-800-387-1193. To view your UCCB information, go to My Account for Individuals.

Working income tax benefit (WITB)

The WITB is a refundable tax credit that provides tax relief for eligible working low-income individuals and families.

You can claim this credit on line 453 of your income tax and benefit return. Eligible individuals and families may be able to apply for 2017 advance payments.

For more information, see line 453, Form RC201, Working Income Tax Benefit Advance Payments Application for 2017, or go to Working income tax benefit (WITB).

Online services

My Account

Using the CRA’s My Account for Individuals service is a fast, easy, and secure way to access and manage your tax and benefit information online, seven days a week.

To register for My Account, go to My Account for Individuals. Registration is a process. You will be asked to enter some personal information and create a user ID and password or use a Sign in Partner. Be sure to have your current and previous year’s personal tax returns on hand. To register, a return for one of these two years must have been assessed.  After you complete step one, you will have instant access to some of your tax and benefit information. Step two includes the mailing of the CRA security code. We will mail it to the address we have on file for you. The separate mailing of the security code is a measure used to protect you from identity theft and to ensure the security of your personal information. You will have access to the full suite of services available in My Account once you enter your code.

An authorized representative can access most of these online services through Represent a Client.

MyCRA – Mobile app

Getting ready to file? Use MyCRA to:

  • check your RRSP deduction limit;
  • look up a local tax preparer; and
  • see what tax filing software the CRA has certified.

Done filing? Use MyCRA to:

  • check the status of your tax return; and
  • view your notice of assessment.

Use MyCRA throughout the year to:

  • view your personalized benefit and credit payment amounts;
  • check your TFSA contribution room;
  • update your contact details;
  • manage your direct deposit and online mail information; and
  • request your proof of income (option C).

To get more details on what you can do with MyCRA and to access the CRA’s web-based mobile app, go to Mobile apps.

MyBenefits CRA – get your information on the go!

You can use MyBenefits CRA mobile app to securely access your benefit information. You can see your personalized benefit amounts and dates, including related provincial and territorial programs, or the status of your application for child benefits.

To get more details on the MyBenefits CRA mobile app, go to Mobile apps.

Handling business taxes online

By registering for either My Business Account or Represent a Client, you can get access to current account balance information and make changes to tax information online.

To register, go to:

For more information, go ta E-services for Businesses.

Electronic mailing lists

We can notify you by email when new information on a subject of interest to you is available on our website. To subscribe to our electronic mailing lists, go to Canada Revenue Agency electronic mailing lists

Electronic payments

Make your payment using:

For more information on all payment options, go to Make a payment to the Canada Revenue Agency.

Direct deposit

Direct deposit is a fast, convenient, reliable, and secure way to get your CRA payments directly into your account at a financial institution in Canada. To enrol for direct deposit or to update your banking information, go to Direct deposit.

View your benefit and credit information whenever you want!

MyBenefits CRA app lets you instantly view all your benefit information from your mobile device.

Access MyBenefits CRA app at Mobile apps.

Tired of standing in line at the bank?

Sign up for direct deposit so you can skip the lines and get your refund and benefit payments faster.

For more information, go to Direct deposit.

Step 1 – Identification and other information

Information about you and your spouse or common-law partner, if you have one (page 1 of your return)

Provide information about yourself and your spouse or common-law partner, if you have one, as well as other information needed to process your return.

Incomplete or incorrect information may delay the processing of your return and any refund, credit, or benefit, such as any goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) credit and Canada child benefit (CCB) payments you may be entitled to receive.

Identify yourself

Print your name and current mailing address.

Provide an email address

If you would like to get your CRA mail online, read and agree to the terms and conditions below, and enter your email address. You can also register for online mail at My Account for Individuals and selecting the “Manage online mail” service.

Terms and conditions – By providing an email address, you are registering for online mail and authorizing the CRA to send you email notifications when there is mail for you to view in My Account. To access your online mail, you must be registered for My Account. Any notices and correspondence delivered online in My Account will be presumed to have been sent on the date of those email notifications. You understand and agree that your notice of assessment and notice of reassessment, and any other correspondence eligible for online delivery, will no longer be mailed.

For more information, go to My Account for Individuals and select “Receive online mail” before you access your account.

Note

We will send you an email to confirm your registration for online mail.

Provide information about your residence

On the first line, enter the province or territory where you lived or of which you were considered to be a factual resident on December 31, 2016. We need this information to calculate your taxes and credits correctly. For more information, see Which forms book should you use?.

On the second line, enter the province or territory where you live now if it is different from your mailing address. We need this information to calculate provincial or territorial credits and benefits you may be entitled to receive.

On the third line, if you were self-employed in 2016, enter the province or territory where you had a permanent business establishment.

On the last line, if you became or ceased to be a resident of Canada for income tax purposes during 2016, enter your date of entry or departure.

Provide information about yourself

Social insurance number (SIN)

Your SIN is the number that identifies you for income tax purposes under section 237 of the Income Tax Act and is used for certain federal programs. You must give it to anyone who prepares information slips (such as T3, T4, or T5 slips) for you. Each time you do not give it when you are supposed to, you may have to pay a $100 penalty. Check your slips. If your SIN is missing or the number on your slips is wrong, tell the slip preparer. You must also give it to us when you ask us for personal tax information.

For more information or to get an application for a SIN, contact or visit Service Canada. You can find the addresses and telephone numbers of their offices on their website.

Date of birth

Enter your date of birth.

Language of correspondence

Tick the box for your preferred language of correspondence.

Is this return for a deceased person?

If this return is for a deceased person, enter the date of death.

Indicate your marital status

Tick the box that applied to your marital status on December 31, 2016. Tick "Married" if you had a spouse, "Living common-law" if you had a common-law partner, or one of the other boxes only if neither of the first two applied.

Notes

You are still considered to have a spouse or common-law partner if you were separated involuntarily (not because of a breakdown in your relationship). An involuntary separation could happen when one spouse or common-law partner is away for work, school, health reasons, or incarcerated.

Updating your marital status – For the purposes of the CCB, the GST/HST credit, or working income tax benefit (WITB) only, if your marital status changes during the year you must tell us by the end of the month following the month in which your status changes. However, if you are separated, do not notify us until you have been separated for more than 90 consecutive days. Let us know by going to My Account for Individuals or going to Mobile apps and selecting MyBenefits CRA by calling 1-800-387-1193, or by sending us a completed Form RC65, Marital Status Change.

Spouse

This applies only to a person to whom you are legally married.

Common-law partner

This applies to a person who is not your spouse, with whom you are living in a conjugal relationship, and to whom at least one of the following situations applies. He or she:

  1. has been living with you in a conjugal relationship and this current relationship has lasted at least 12 continuous months;

Note

In this definition, 12 continuous months includes any period you were separated for less than 90 days because of a breakdown in the relationship.

  1. is the parent of your child by birth or adoption; or
  2. has custody and control of your child (or had custody and control immediately before the child turned 19 years of age) and your child is wholly dependent on that person for support.

Change in your marital status?

Did you know that your marital status can directly impact your benefit and credit payments? Let us know of any changes to make sure you receibe the right amount.

It's easy – just use the MyBenefits CRA app or My Account to update your marital status.

For more information, go to Updating your marital status.

Provide information about your spouse or common-law partner

You must provide us with the following information, if applicable:

  • your spouse's or common-law partner's social insurance number;
  • your spouse's or common-law partner's first name;
  • your spouse's or common-law partner's net income - enter the amount from line 236 of your spouse's or common-law partner's return, or the amount it would be if he or she filed a return. Enter this amount even if it is zero. We use this information to calculate the GST/HST credit and other credits and benefits;

Note

Even though you show this amount on your return, your spouse or common-law partner may still have to file a return for 2016. For more information, see Do you have to file a return?

  • your spouse's or common-law partner's universal child care benefit (UCCB) – enter the amount from line 117 of your spouse's or common-law partner's return, or the amount it would be if he or she filed a return. Although this amount is included in your spouse's or common-law partner's net income, we will subtract this amount to calculate credits and benefits;
  • your spouse's or common-law partner's UCCB repayment – enter the amount from line 213 of your spouse's or common-law partner's return, or the amount it would be if he or she filed a return. Although this amount is deducted in the calculation of your spouse's or common law partner's net income, we will add this amount to calculate credits and benefits; and
  • your spouse or common-law partner was self-employed in 2016 – tick the box if your spouse or common-law partner was self-employed. If your spouse or common law partner carried on a business in 2016 (other than a business whose expenditures are primarily in connection with a tax shelter), your return for 2016 has to be filed on or before June 15, 2017.

Residency information for tax administration agreements (page 1 of your return)

The Government of Canada has concluded personal income tax administration agreements to share the field of personal income tax with the following aboriginal governments:

  • Nisga’a Lisims Government (in British Columbia);
  • Nunatsiavut Government (in Newfoundland and Labrador);
  • Tłįchǫ Government (in the Northwest Territories); and
  • eleven self-governing Yukon First Nations.

Note

At the time of printing this guide, a potential tax administration agreement was also under discussion with the Délı̨nę Got’ı̨nę Government of the Northwest Territories. This agreement may be implemented between the Government of Canada and the Délı̨nę Got’ı̨nę Government on or before December 31, 2016.

Tax administration agreements provide for the co‑ordination of aboriginal government personal income tax laws with the federal Income Tax Act. The Government of Yukon, has also concluded personal income tax administration agreements to co-ordinate the Yukon Income Tax Act with the personal income tax laws of the eleven self-governing Yukon First Nations.

If you were a resident of British Columbia, Newfoundland and Labrador, the Northwest Territories, or Yukon, on December 31, 2016, complete the section “Residency information for tax administration agreements” on page 1 of your return as follows:

For residents of British Columbia – All individuals, including non-Nisga’a citizens, who reside on Nisga’a Lands, have to identify themselves by ticking “Yes.” All individuals, including Nisga’a citizens, who do not reside on Nisga’a Lands, should tick “No.”

For residents of Newfoundland and Labrador – All individuals, including individuals other than Inuit, who reside within the Inuit communities of Rigolet, Nain, Hopedale, Makkovik, Postville or on Labrador Inuit Lands have to identify themselves by ticking “Yes.” All individuals, including Inuit, who do not reside within Labrador Inuit Lands or within an Inuit community should tick “No.”

For residents of the Northwest Territories – All individuals, including non-Tłįchǫ Citizens, who reside within the Tłįchǫ communities of Behchokö (Rae-Edzo), Whatì (Lac La Martre), Gamètì (Rae Lakes), or Wekweètì (Snare Lake) or on Tłįchǫ lands have to identify themselves by ticking “Yes.” All individuals, including Tłįchǫ Citizens, who do not reside within a Tłįchǫ community or on Tłįchǫ lands should tick “No.” All individuals, including non‑Délı̨nę First Nation (DFN) citizens, who reside on Délı̨nę Settlement Lands or in the Community of Délı̨nę have to identify themselves by ticking “Yes.” All individuals, including Délı̨nę First Nation (DFN) citizens, who do not reside on Délı̨nę Settlement Lands or in the community of Délı̨nę should tick “No.”

For residents of Yukon – All individuals who reside on the Settlement Land of a self-governing Yukon First Nation, including those who are not Citizens of a self–governing Yukon First Nation, have to identify themselves as residents of the Settlement Land of the particular self‑governing Yukon First Nation. In Yukon, the Canada Revenue Agency also uses the “Residency information for tax administration agreements” information to administer tax administration and co-ordination agreements entered into between the eleven self‑governing Yukon First Nations and the Government of Yukon. For more information on how to complete this section on page 1 of your return see Form YT432, Yukon First Nations Tax.

The Canada Revenue Agency will use the information from this section of page 1 of your return to administer each tax administration agreement.

Elections Canada (page 1 of your return)

Ticking the “Yes” boxes in the Elections Canada section is an easy way to keep your voter registration up to date, if you are qualified to vote.

Elections Canada will use the information you provide to update the National Register of Electors (the Register), the data‑base of Canadian citizens qualified to vote in federal elections and referendums. Elections Canada uses the information in the Register to prepare voters lists for federal elections and referendums, and to communicate with voters. Other uses of the information, permitted under the Canada Elections Act, include providing voter information to provincial and territorial election agencies for uses permitted under their respective legislations, and providing voter information (not including birth dates) to members of Parliament, registered political parties and candidates at election time.

Only persons who have Canadian citizenship and are 18 years of age or older are eligible to vote. Generally, you are a Canadian citizen either by birth or if you have obtained Canadian citizenship through the formal process of becoming a Canadian citizen (naturalization). If you are unsure about your Canadian citizenship status, refer to the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada website and See if you may be a citizen.

How to complete this section

These questions are optional. Whether you answer them or leave them blank will not affect your right to vote. The CRA does not use this information for the purpose of processing your return.

If you have Canadian citizenship, and authorize the CRA to share your name, address, date of birth, and Canadian citizenship status with Elections Canada, tick “Yes” to both questions. If you do not authorize the CRA to share your information with Elections Canada, tick “No” to question B.

If you do not have Canadian citizenship, tick “No” to question A and leave question B blank.

If you tick "Yes" to both questions
  • The CRA will share only your name, address, date of birth, and Canadian citizenship status with Elections Canada.
  • If you are already in the Register, Elections Canada will update your information as required.
  • If you are not yet in the Register, Elections Canada will accept this as your request to be added. They may contact you if they need more information before adding you.

Your authorization stays in effect until you file your next tax return. Until then:

  • If you move and provide the CRA with your new address, the CRA will share it with Elections Canada (CRA updates Elections Canada monthly).
  • If during the year you change your mind about the CRA sharing your information with Elections Canada, call the CRA at 1-800-959-8281 to remove your authorization. This will not remove you from the Register. To be removed from the Register, see Removal from the Register.
If you tick "No" to one or both questions or do not make a choice
  • The CRA will not give any of your information to Elections Canada.
  • You will not lose your right to vote.
  • Elections Canada will not remove your information from the Register if it is already there.
  • If there is an election or referendum and you are not already registered with Elections Canada, you will have to register before you vote.

Removal from the Register

You can contact Elections Canada to have your information removed from the Register, or to ask that your information not be shared with provincial/territorial electoral agencies that use it to produce their voters’ lists.

Deceased persons

Do not complete this section for a deceased person. If you are completing a return for a deceased person who consented to provide information to Elections Canada on his or her last return, the CRA will notify Elections Canada to remove the deceased person’s name from the Register.

Contact Elections Canada

For more information visit Elections Canada or call 1-800-463-6868. Teletypewriter users can call 1-800-361-8935.

Specified foreign property (page 2 of your return)

Answer the question on page 2 of your return if you own or hold specified foreign property.

For information on the property you are required to report, see Form T1135, Foreign Income Verification Statement.

Note

Specified foreign property does not include:

  • property in your registered retirement savings plan (RRSP), pooled registered pension plan (PRPP), registered retirement income fund (RRIF), registered pension plan (RPP), or tax-free savings account (TFSA);
  • foreign investments held in Canadian mutual funds;
  • property you used or held exclusively in the course of carrying on your active business; or
  • your personal-use property.

Tick “Yes” if the total cost of all the specified foreign property you own or hold was more than CAN$100,000 in 2016 and complete and file Form T1135.

The completed Form T1135 must be filed either electronically or attached to your paper return. Even if you do not have to file a return, you must file Form T1135 on or before your filing due date. See What date is your return for 2016 due? or Form T1135 for more information about filing.

Note

The reassessment period for your return is three years after the day your notice of assessment is sent to you. This reassessment period is extended from three years to six years if:

  • you did not report income from a specified foreign property on your return; and
  • you did not file Form T1135 on time, or you did not identify specified foreign property, or you identified it incorrectly, on Form T1135.

Other foreign property

Shares of a non-resident corporation

If you (either alone or with related persons) held 10% or more of the shares of a non‑resident corporation, you may have to complete and file Form T1134, Information Return Relating to Controlled and Not-Controlled Foreign Affiliates. For more information, see Form T1134.

Loans and transfers to non-resident trusts

If in 2016 or a previous year you loaned or transferred funds or property to a non-resident trust, you may have to complete and file Form T1141, Information Return in Respect of Contributions to Non-Resident Trust, Arrangements or Entities. For more information, see Form T1141.

Beneficiaries of non-resident trusts

If in 2016 you received funds or property from, or were indebted to, a non-resident trust under which you were a beneficiary, you may have to complete and file Form T1142, Information Return in Respect of Distributions from and Indebtedness to a Non-Resident Trust. For more information, see Form T1142.

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