General Information

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What's new for 2018?

We outlined major tax changes and improvements to services below. We also noted changes to income tax rules that were announced but that were not yet law when this guide was published. If they become law as proposed, they will be effective for 2018 or as of the dates given. You will find more information about these changes throughout this guide. They are flagged with word: New

The CRA's services

Paypal - You can make your payments using PayPal through a third-party service provider. For more information, go to Payments to the Canada Revenue Agency.

Individuals and families

Employee home relocation loan deduction (line 248 of the return) – As of January 1, 2018, this deduction has been
eliminated.

Medical expenses (lines 330 and 331 of Schedule 1) – Eligible medical expenses have been expanded to include a variety of expenses relating to service animals specially trained to perform specific tasks for a patient with a severe mental impairment. 

Donations and gifts (line 349 of Schedule 1) – As of January 1, 2018, the first-time donor’s super credit has been eliminated.

As of February 27, 2018, registered universities outside Canada will no longer need to be prescribed in Schedule VIII of the Income Tax Regulations. For more information on qualified donees, see Pamphlet P113, Gifts and Income Tax.

Tax on split income (TOSI) (line 424 of Schedule 1) – As of January 1, 2018, in addition to applying to certain types of
income of a child born in 2001 or later, TOSI may now also apply to amounts received by adult individuals from a related business. Where TOSI applies, the disability tax credit can now be used to reduce the individual’s tax payable for the year. However, income that is subject to TOSI must now be added to the individual’s net income for the purpose of calculating various deductions, credits and benefits. For more information, see Form T1206, Tax on Split Income.

Interest and investments

Investment tax credit (line 412 of Schedule 1) – Eligibility for the mineral exploration tax credit has been extended to flow-through share agreements entered into before April 2019. See Form T2038(IND), Investment Tax Credit (Individuals)

Accelerated Investment Incentive

The Fall Economic Statement 2018 introduced an accelerated deduction for Canadian development expenses (CDE) that a flow through share (FTS) investor receives from a principal business corporation (PBC). This tax measure applies to FTS agreements entered into after November 20, 2018 in regards to CDE incurred after the agreement date.

If you have invested in a FTS after November 20, 2018 and have received a statement of resource expenses from a PBC, you may claim CDE at the rate of 45% in the tax year in which such CDE is renounced to you and, thereafter, at a rate of 30%. See Form T1229, Statement of Resource Expenses and Depletion Allowance.

For more information, go to Accelerated Investment Incentive.

Completing your return

This guide gives you information about the income you must report and the deductions and credits you can claim on your 2018 income tax and benefit return.

To complete your return:

Note

If your situation is the same as last year, you may want to use your 2017 income tax and benefit return to help you complete this year’s return.

  • The return has been divided into seven 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.
    • 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 - To calculate your federal tax, complete Schedule 1, Federal Tax.
    • Step 6 - Provincial or territorial tax - To calculate your provincial or territorial tax, complete Form T2203, Provincial and Territorial Taxes for 2018 - Multiple Jurisdictions, if it applies.
    • Note
      To calculate your tax for Quebec, you will have to file a provincial income tax return for Quebec.

    • Step 7 – Refund or balance owing – To determine your refund or balance owing, calculate your total payable and claim any refundable credits that apply to you.
  • Attach to your return 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 the CRA asks to see them later.

Symbols

= deemed residents of Canada

= non-residents of Canada

= non-residents of Canada electing under sections 217 or 216.1 of the Income Tax Act

Getting started

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

  • all information slips that you have received (such as NR4, T3, T4, T4A, T4A-NR, and T5 slips)
  • all supporting documents for any deductions you make or credits you plan to claim
  • 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 back of your information slips for more instructions.

What if you are missing information?

If you have to file a return for 2018, file it on time, see What date is your return for 2018 due? even if some slips or receipts are missing. You are responsible for reporting your income, see Determining your residency status to avoid possible interest and/or penalties that may be charged.

If you know you will not be able to get a 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 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 return and keep the original documents.

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.

Determining your residency status

Were you a non-resident of Canada in 2018?

You are a non-resident of Canada for tax purposes throughout any period in which you do not have significant residential ties in Canada and you are not a deemed resident of Canada.

What income should you report? – Report your income from Canadian sources such as the taxable part of your scholarships, fellowships, bursaries, net research grants, income from a business that does not have a permanent establishment in Canada, net partnership income (limited or non-active partners only), and taxable capital gains from disposing of taxable Canadian property, as shown under the income lines applicable to non-residents of Canada in the guide.

Other types of income are not reported but must be entered on Schedule A, Statement of World Income. For more information, see Schedule A, or contact the CRA.

What are residential ties?

Significant residential ties almost always include a home in Canada and a spouse or common-law partner and dependants who stayed in Canada while you were living outside Canada. Other relevant residential ties may include a Canadian driver's licence, Canadian bank accounts or credit cards, health insurance with a Canadian province or territory, personal property, and social ties in Canada.

To determine an individual's residence status, all of the relevant facts in each case must be considered, including residential ties with Canada and length of time, object, intent and continuity while living inside and outside Canada.

For more information about residential ties, see Income Tax Folio S5‑F1‑C1, Determining an Individual's Residence Status.

Were you a non-resident of Canada in 2018 who wants to elect under section 217?

Under section 217 of the Income Tax Act, you can choose to file a Canadian return and report certain types of Canadian – source income. You are then "electing under section 217 of the Income Tax Act." By doing this, you may pay tax on this income using an alternative method and may receive a refund of some or all of the non-resident tax withheld.

Were you a non-resident of Canada in 2018 who wants to elect under section 216.1?

Under section 216.1 of the Income Tax Act, if you are a non-resident actor, you can choose to report amounts paid, credited, or provided as a benefit to you for film and video acting services rendered in Canada on a Canadian return and pay tax on that income using an alternative taxing method. Choosing to do this is called "electing under section 216.1."

Were you a deemed non-resident of Canada in 2018?

You were a deemed non-resident of Canada in 2018 if you would have been considered a resident of Canada (or a deemed resident) but, under a tax treaty, you were considered a resident of another country. You become a deemed non-resident of Canada when your ties with the other country are such that, under the tax treaty, you would be considered a resident of that other country and not Canada. In this case, the same rules that apply to a non-resident of Canada will apply to you as a deemed non-resident (including the way you complete your return).

Were you a deemed resident of Canada in 2018?

You were a deemed resident of Canada for tax purposes if you did not have significant residential ties in Canada, but you stayed here for 183 days or more in 2018 and, under a tax treaty, you were not considered a resident of another country.

You were also a deemed resident of Canada if you lived outside Canada during 2018, you were not considered a factual resident of Canada because you did not have significant residential ties in Canada, and you were one of the following:

  • a member of the Canadian Forces overseas school staff and you choose to file a return as a deemed resident of Canada (if you left Canada during 2018, see Were you a member of the overseas Canadian Forces school staff who left Canada in 2018?)
  • a federal or provincial government employee and you were either a resident of Canada just before being posted abroad or you received a representation allowance for 2018
  • a person working under a Global Affairs Canada assistance program if you were a resident of Canada at any time during the three month period just before you began your duties abroad
  • a member of the Canadian Forces at any time in 2018
  • a person who, under a tax treaty, agreement, or convention between Canada and another country, is exempt from tax in that other country on 90% or more of your income from all sources because of your relationship to a resident (including a deemed resident) of Canada
  • a dependent child of one of the first four persons described earlier in this section and your net world income in 2018 was not more than the basic personal amount (see line 300) in Canadian dollars

What income should you report? – Report your 2018 world income. World income is income from all sources both inside and outside Canada.

Were you a member of the overseas Canadian Forces school staff who left Canada in 2018?

If you were a member of the overseas Canadian Forces school staff who left Canada in 2018 and severed residential ties, you became a non-resident of Canada. Use the 2018 income tax package for the province or territory where you lived just before you left Canada. Go to Leaving Canada (emigrants), for the special rules that apply to you.

However, you can file as a deemed resident of Canada while you are serving abroad. If you make this choice, use the 2018 income tax package for the province or territory where you lived just before you left Canada. In future years, you will use the guide for non-residents and deemed residents of Canada.

Did you live in Quebec just before you left Canada?

In addition to being considered a deemed resident of Canada, under Quebec law you may also be considered a deemed resident of that province. If this is the case, you may have to pay Quebec income tax while you are serving abroad.

For example, if you are a deemed resident of Canada and you were at any time in the year an agent-general, an officer, or a servant of the province of Quebec and you were a resident of that province just before your appointment or employment with that province, you must pay Quebec income tax. To avoid double taxation (surtax for non-residents and deemed residents of Canada plus Quebec income tax), attach a note to your federal return telling the CRA all of the following:

  • You are subject to Quebec provincial income tax
  • You are filing a Quebec provincial return
  • You are asking for relief from the non-resident and deemed resident surtax

For more information, contact the CRA.

The province of Quebec also grants relief to certain taxpayers who were deemed residents of Canada and Quebec. This includes deemed residents of Canada who are members of the Canadian Forces or at any time in the year, an ambassador, minister, high commissioner, officer, or servant of Canada, and who were also deemed residents of Quebec. For more information, contact Revenu Quebec.

Do you have to file a return?

You must file a return for 2018 if any of the following situations apply to you:

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 2018.
  • You want to receive the goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax credit. For example, you may be eligible if you turn 19 before April 2020, and you are a deemed resident of Canada.
  • You or your spouse or common-law partner wants to begin or continue receiving Canada child benefit payments.
  • You have incurred a non-capital loss (see line 236) in 2018 that you want to be able to apply in other years.
  • You want to transfer or carry forward to a future year the unused part of your tuition fees. See line 323.
  • You want to report income for which you could contribute to an RRSP or a pooled registered pension plan (PRPP) to keep your RRSP/PRPP deduction limit for future years current.
  • You want to carry forward to a future year 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 2018, you may have to file a return for 2018 for that person. When there are no legal documents, you may request to be the deceased’s representative by completing an Affidavit form for intestate situations. 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 2018 for a person who died in 2017 or earlier, do not file an individual return for 2018 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 income tax package should you use if this income tax package is not for you?

How to get the tax package you need

You can get an income tax package 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 2018 due?

Generally, your return for 2018 has to be filed on or before April 30, 2019.

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, and old age security and guaranteed income supplement (GIS) benefit payments may be delayed or stopped.

Self-employed persons – If you or your spouse or common-law partner carried on a business in 2018 (other than a business whose expenditures are primarily in connection with a tax shelter), your return for 2018 has to be filed on or before June 17, 2019. However, if you have a balance owing for 2018, you have to pay it on or before April 30, 2019. For more information about how to make your payment, see line 485.

Note

Since June 15, 2019, is a Saturday, your return is due the next business day (June 17, 2019).

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 to be filed on time if the CRA receives it or if it is postmarked on or before the next business day. For more information, go to Important dates for 2018 (Individuals).

Non-residents electing under section 217 – For information on when your section 217 return is due, see When is your section 217 return due?

Non-residents electing under section 216.1 – For information on when your section 216.1 return is due, see When is your section 216.1 return due?

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 does the CRA charge?

Late-filing penalty

If you owe tax for 2018 and do not file your return for 2018 within the dates specified under What date is your return for 2018 due?, the CRA will charge you a late-filing penalty. The penalty is 5% of your 2018 balance owing, plus 1% of your balance owing for each full month your return is late, to a maximum of 12 months.

If the CRA charged a late-filing penalty on your return for 2015, 2016, or 2017, your late-filing penalty for 2018 may be 10% of your 2018 balance owing, plus 2% of your 2018 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, 2019, you can avoid the late ­filing penalty by filing your return on time.

Non-residents electing under section 217 – If you file your 2018 section 217 return after June 30, 2019, your election is not valid. For more information, see When is your section 217 return due?.

Non-residents electing under section 216.1 – If you file your section 216.1 return after the due date, your election is not valid. For more information, see When is your section 216.1 return due?

Repeated failure to report income penalty

If you failed to report an amount on your return for 2018 and you also failed to report an amount on your return for 2015, 2016, or 2017, you may have to pay a federal 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 penalty is equal to the lesser of the following two amounts:

  • 10% of the amount you failed to report on your return for 2018
  • 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 the CRA about an amount you failed to report, these penalties may be waived. 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 2018 return.

The penalty is equal to the greater of the following two amounts:

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

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

Interest

If you have a balance owing for 2018, the CRA charges compound daily interest starting May 1, 2019, on any unpaid amounts owing for 2018. This includes any balance owing if the CRA reassessed your return. In addition, the CRA charges 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 2019 must relate to a penalty for a tax year or fiscal period ending in 2009 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 2019 must relate to interest that accrued in 2009 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 Disclosures Program does not apply to a return for which the CRA has started a review.

For more information and to see if your disclosure qualifies for this program, see Information Circular IC00‑1, Voluntary Disclosures Program, or contact the CRA. If you want, you can first discuss your situation on a no‑name basis.

How to file your return

Regardless of which income tax package you use, mail or deliver your return to one of the following tax centres:

If your country of residence is the USA, United Kingdom, France, Netherlands, or Denmark:

Winnipeg Tax Centre
Post Office Box 14001,
Station Main
Winnipeg MB R3C 3M3
Canada 

For all other countries of residence:

Sudbury Tax Centre
1050 Notre Dame Avenue
Sudbury ON P3A 5C2
Canada

If you prepare your return or other people's returns, mail 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.

If you provide services in the film and television industry, send your income tax return to the Film Services Unit that serves the province or territory where the services were provided. You can find the addresses of the offices on our website at Film and Media Tax Credits.

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

Include one copy of each of your information slips with your return. 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. Attach only the other supporting documents that are requested in the guide to support a credit or deduction.

If you make a claim without the requested supporting document, the CRA 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, keep them in case the CRA selects your return for review. The CRA 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 2018, the related notice of assessment, and any notice of reassessment. These can help you complete your return for 2019. For more information see Notice of assessment.

Non-residents and non-residents electing under section 217 – You must attach a completed Schedule A, Statement of World Income, and Schedule B, Allowable Amount of Non-Refundable Tax Credits. If you are filing under section 217, you must also attach a completed Schedule C, Electing under Section 217 of the Income Tax Act.

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 (other than to make an election under sections 217 and 216.1) 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 2019 must relate to the 2009 or a later tax year to be considered.

If you are filing a return for a year before 2018, attach receipts for all the deductions and credits you are claiming.

Benefits for individuals and families

Make sure you file your tax return on time every year to continue receiving your benefit and credit payments. If you have a spouse or common-law partner, they also have to file their tax return on time. You don’t want your payments to be delayed or stopped.

It’s important to keep your personal information up to date throughout the year with the CRA. This includes your address, marital status, number of children in your care and your direct deposit information. The CRA uses this information to get the right benefit and credit payments to you.

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

The GST/HST credit is a tax-free quarterly payment that helps individuals and families with low and modest incomes offset all or part of the GST or HST that they pay.

Deemed residents of Canada only – When you file your tax return, the CRA will determine your eligibility and tell you if you are entitled to receive the GST/HST credit and any related provincial credits. You do not need to apply.

On page 1 of your tax return, indicate your marital status and, if it applies, enter the information about your spouse or common-law partner (including their net world 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 tax return is assessed first.

For more information, go to Child and family benefits, or see Guide RC4210, GST/HST Credit.

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

If you are a deemed resident of Canada or if you are the spouse or common-law partner of a deemed resident of Canada, and you are responsible for the care and upbringing of a child who is under 18 years of age, you can apply for the CCB, a tax-free monthly payment. Apply as soon as possible after your child is born or starts to live with you. Applying for the CCB will also register your child for the GST/HST tax credit and any related provincial or territorial programs.

In addition to the CCB, you can receive the CDB if your child is eligible for the disability tax credit.

For more information, go to Canada child benefit or Child disability benefit, or see Booklet T4114, Canada Child Benefits.

For more information on benefits

  • For general information about benefits for individuals and families, go to Child and family benefits.
  • To view your personal benefits information, including details on upcoming payments, go to My Account for Individuals, or go to Mobile apps and select MyBenefits CRA.
  • For information about benefits, you can also call the CRA at 1-800-387-1193. If you are outside Canada and the United States, call the CRA at 613-940-8495.

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 tax return. If you are eligible, you may be able to apply for 2019 advance payments, (WITB is renamed as Canada Workers Benefit for 2019 and later years), which are issued each quarter.

For more information, go to Working income tax benefit (WITB) or see line 453 and Form RC201, Canada Workers Benefit Advance Payments Application for 2019.

Guaranteed income supplement (GIS) for seniors

Deemed residents of Canada only – Seniors living on a low income who receive the old age security pension may also be eligible for the GIS, a monthly, non-taxable benefit. If Service Canada (SC) approves you for the GIS, your spouse or common-law partner may also be entitled to the Allowance for people aged 60 to 64. File your tax return(s) each year by April 30 to help SC assess your entitlement to benefits.

For information about old age security, please go to Public pensions.

Online services

My Account

The CRA’s My Account service is fast, easy, and secure. Find out how to register at My Account for Individuals.

Use My Account to:

  • view your benefit and credit information
  • view your notice of assessment
  • change your address, direct deposit information, and marital status
  • register to receive email notifications when you have mail to view in My Account and when important changes are made on your account
  • check your TFSA contribution room and RRSP deduction limit
  • check the status of your tax return
  • view and print your proof of income statement (option “C” print)
  • send documents to the CRA
  • send an enquiry about your audit
  • link between your CRA My Account and My Service Canada Account

Receiving your CRA mail online

Sign up for email notifications to get most of your CRA mail, like your notice of assessment, online.

 For more information, go to email notifications from the CRA

MyCRA mobile app

Getting ready to file your income tax and benefit return? Use MyCRA to:

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

Done filing? Use MyCRA to:

  • check the status of your tax return
  • view your notice of assessment

Use MyCRA throughout the year to:

  • view the amounts and dates of your personal benefit and credit payments
  • check your TFSA contribution room
  • change your address, direct deposit information, and marital status
  • let the CRA know if a child is no longer in your care
  • register to receive email notifications when you have mail to view in My Account and when important
    changes are made on your account
  • request your proof of income statement (option "C" print)

For more information, go to Mobile apps.

MyBenefits CRA mobile app

Get your benefit information on the go! Use MyBenefits CRA mobile app throughout the year to:

  • view the amounts and dates of your benefit and credit payments, including any provincial or territorial payments
  • view the status of your application for child benefits
  • change your address, phone number, and marital status
  • register to receive email notifications when you have mail to view in My Account and when important changes are made on your account
  • let the CRA know if a child is no longer in your care

For more information, go to Mobile apps.

Handling business taxes online

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

To register, go to:

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

Electronic mailing lists

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

Electronic payments

Make your payment using:

  • your financial institution's online or telephone banking services
  • the CRA's My Payment service at My Payment
  • your credit card through one of the CRA’s third-party service providers
  • pre-authorized debit at My Account for Individuals.

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

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