Completing your return

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What's new for 2019?

We have outlined major tax changes and improvements to services below. We have 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 2019 or as of the dates given. You will find more information about these changes throughout this guide. They are flagged with the word: New

The CRA's services

Your income tax package has a new look. The 2019 Income Tax Package includes the Income Tax and Benefit Guide for Non-Residents and Deemed Residents of Canada, the return, schedules, and worksheet. For 2019 and future tax years, some of the line numbers that were previously 3 and 4 digits are now 5 digits. We have made several changes to this package to enhance services.
These changes include:

  • using plain language where possible
  • reducing the number of forms by eliminating Schedule 1 and the Worksheet for Schedule 1. You can now find any charts that were on these forms on the Income Tax and Benefit Return and the Worksheet for the Return
  • updating worksheets to simplify certain calculations
  • increased font size and white space

Individuals and families

Enhanced Canada Pension Plan/Quebec Pension Plan – Starting in 2019, the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and the Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) are being gradually enhanced. This means that if you contribute to either the CPP or the QPP, you will receive improved benefits in exchange for making higher contributions. You can claim a deduction for your enhanced contributions to the CPP or QPP. For more information on how to claim your CPP or QPP contributions on your return, see Schedule 8 or Form RC381, whichever applies.

Canada Training Credit Limit – As of January 1, 2019, if you meet certain conditions, you will be able to accumulate $250 per year, to a maximum over your lifetime of $5,000, to be used in calculating your Canada Training Credit, a new refundable tax credit that will be available for 2020 and future years. Based on information from your return, the CRA will determine your Canada Training Credit Limit for the 2020 tax year and provide it to you on your Notice of Assessment for 2019. For 2020 and future years, you may be able to claim a Canada Training Credit equal to your Canada Training Credit Limit for the year or 50% of your eligible tuition and fees paid to an educational institution in Canada, whichever is less.

Canada Workers Benefit – For 2019, the Canada workers benefit (CWB) replaces and strengthens the working income tax benefit (WITB). The CWB is an enhanced, more accessible, refundable tax credit. For more information, see Schedule 6, Canada Workers Benefit.

Communal organizations – For 2014 and later tax years, income from a business earned by the trust that is then allocated to a member of the congregation is deemed to be income from a business carried on by that member. This may allow members of a communal organization to claim the CWB for 2019 and later years, and the WITB for the 2014 to 2018 tax years. For more information on how to request an adjustment to a return from a previous year, see How to change a return.

Kinship Care Providers – For 2009 and later years, for the CWB and the former WITB, a care provider may be considered to be the parent of a child in their care, regardless of whether they receive financial assistance from a government under a kinship care program. As a result, the care provider may be entitled to claim the child as an eligible dependent for purposes of claiming the benefit. Also, for these years, financial assistance payments received by care providers under a kinship care program are not included in income and not included when determining entitlement to benefits and credits based on income.

Home Buyers’ Plan – The maximum amount you can withdraw from your registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) under the Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP) increased from $25,000 to $35,000 for withdrawals made after March 19, 2019. If you are not considered a first-time home buyer for the purposes of the HBP and you experience a breakdown in your marriage or common-law partnership, you may be able to participate in the HBP after 2019 under certain conditions. For more information, go to What is the Home Buyers' Plan (HBP)?.

Medical Expenses Tax Credit – For expenses incurred after October 16, 2018, certain cannabis products purchased for a patient for medical purposes will be considered eligible medical expenses for the medical expense tax credit, once they become permitted for legal sale under the Cannabis Act. For more information, see Guide RC4065, Medical Expenses.

Donations and gifts (line 34900 of the return) – For donations made after March 18, 2019, in order to qualify for the enhanced tax incentives for donations of cultural property, the property no longer needs to be of national importance.

Allowances for members of legislative assemblies and certain municipal officers – For 2019 and later tax years, non accountable allowances paid to elected members of legislative assemblies, certain municipal officers, and members of public or separate school boards are required to be fully included in income.

Zero-emission vehicles – If you are self-employed or claiming employment expenses, you may be able to claim capital cost allowance on zero-emission vehicles. Starting in 2019, there is a temporary enhanced first-year capital cost allowance of 100% for eligible zero-emission vehicles. Eligible vehicles must be acquired after March 18, 2019, and become available for use before 2024. The enhanced allowance decreases if the vehicle becomes available for use after 2023 and before 2028. For more information and for the conditions the vehicle has to meet if you are self-employed, see Guide T4002, Self employed Business, Professional, Commission, Farming, and Fishing Income. If you are claiming employment expenses, see Guide T4044, Employment Expenses.

Interest and investments

Investment tax credit (line 41200) – Eligibility for the mineral exploration tax credit for an individual (other than a trust) has been extended to flow-through share agreements entered into before April 2024. For more information, see Form T2038(IND), Investment Tax Credit (Individuals)

Completing your return

This guide gives you information about the income you must report and the deductions and credits you can claim on your 2019 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 2018 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 15000.
    • Step 3 – Net income – To determine your net income at line 23600, claim any deductions that apply to you.
    • Step 4 – Taxable income – To determine your taxable income at line 26000, claim any deductions that apply to you.
    • Step 5 – Federal tax - To calculate your federal tax and credits.
    • Step 6– Provincial or territorial tax - To calculate your provincial or territorial tax, complete Form T2203, Provincial and Territorial Taxes for 2019 - 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 - 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

Gather all your documents

Gather all the information slips, receipts, and supporting documents you need to report your income and claim any deductions or credits.

What if you are missing information?

File your return on time even if you do not have all of your slips or receipts. You are responsible for reporting your income from all sources to avoid any penalties and interest that may be charged. If you have not received your slip by early April or if you have any questions about an amount on a slip, contact the payer.

Did you know...

If you know you won’t be able to get a missing information slip by the due date, 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.

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 2019?

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 2019 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 2019 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 2019?

You were a deemed non-resident of Canada in 2019 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 2019?

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 2019 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 2019, 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 2019, see Were you a member of the overseas Canadian Forces school staff who left Canada in 2019?)
  • 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 2019
  • 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 2019
  • 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 2019 was not more than the basic personal amount (see line 30000) in Canadian dollars

What income should you report? – Report your 2019 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 2019?

If you were a member of the overseas Canadian Forces school staff who left Canada in 2019 and severed residential ties, you became a non-resident of Canada. Use the 2019 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 2019 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?

File a return for 2019 if:

If you have a spouse or common-law partner, they also have to file a return.

Deceased persons

If you are the legal representative (the executor, administrator, or liquidator) of the estate of a person who died in 2019, you may have to file a return for 2019 for that person. When there are no legal documents designating a legal representative, you may request to be the deceased person’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.

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 2019 due?

What date is your return for 2019 due?
Person Return due date Payment due date
Most people April 30, 2020 April 30, 2020
Self-employed persons (and their spouse or common law partner) with business expenditures that relate mostly to a tax shelter investment April 30, 2020 April 30, 2020
Self-employed persons and their spouse or common law partner (other than those stated above) June 15, 2020 April 30, 2020
Deceased persons and their surviving spouse or common law partner See Guide T4011, Preparing Returns for Deceased Persons

Notes

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.

Form T1135, Foreign Income Verification Statement, must be filed on or before April 30, 2020, or 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). For more information, see Form T1135.

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 2019 (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?

Penalties

The CRA may charge you a penalty if any of the following applies:

  • you filed your return late and you owe tax for 2019
  • you failed to report an amount on your return for 2019 and you also failed to report an amount on your return for 2016, 2017, or 2018
  • you knowingly or under circumstances amounting to gross negligence have made a false statement or an omission on your 2019 return
Non residents electing under section 217 – If you file your 2019 section 217 return after June 30, 2020, 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?

For more information, go to Taxes.

Interest

If you have a balance owing for 2019, the CRA charges compound daily interest starting May 1, 2020, on any unpaid amounts owing for 2019. This includes any balance owing if the CRA reassesses your return.

Note

The CRA may cancel or waive interest if you cannot meet your tax obligations because of circumstances beyond your control. To make a request, get and complete Form RC4288, Request for Taxpayer Relief – Cancel or Waive Penalties or Interest. For more information, go to Taxpayer relief provisions.

Interest paid to you by the CRA

The CRA will pay you compound daily interest on your tax refund for 2019. The calculation will start on the latest of the following three dates:

  • May 31, 2020
  • the 31st day after you file your return
  • the day after you overpaid your taxes

Cancel or waive penalties or interest

The CRA administers legislation, commonly called taxpayer relief provisions, that allows the CRA discretion to cancel or waive penalties or interest when taxpayers cannot 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 2018 must relate to a penalty for a tax year or fiscal period ending in 2008 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 2018 must relate to interest that accrued in 2008 or later.

To make a request, get and complete Form RC4288, Request for Taxpayer Relief – Cancel or Waive Penalties or Interest. For more information, go to Taxpayer relief provisions.

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 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.

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. 

If you are filing a return for a year before 2019, 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. Non-residents of Canada are not eligible for this credit.

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.

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.

Canada workers benefit (CWB)

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

You can claim this credit on line 45300 of your tax return. If you are eligible, you may be able to apply for 2020 advance payments (CWB replaces and strengthens the former working income tax benefit  (WITB) for 2019 and later years), which are issued each quarter.

For more information, go to Canada workers benefit (CWB) or see Schedule 6 and Form RC201, Canada Workers Benefit Advance Payments Application for 2020.

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.

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