Before you start

All newcomers, including refugees, are required to file a tax return. This applies even if they have only been in the country for a few months and have not earned income.

Newcomer status applies only for the first tax year that the individual is a new resident of Canada. Afterwards, the individual will have been a resident, for tax purposes, for the whole year and will then file a regular tax return.

For example, someone who arrived in Canada in 2021 would be considered a newcomer for the 2021 taxation year only.

An individual’s residency status for tax purposes is important, as it determines whether or not they are required to file an income tax return in Canada. Note that a person’s residency status for tax purposes is different from their immigration status.

As a CVITP volunteer, you are not responsible for determining a person’s residency status or to advise them of their tax obligations. If an individual is unsure of their residency status, you may contact the CVITP dedicated line on their behalf at 1-866-398-3488. Agents may be able to provide more information to help individuals determine their residency status and tax obligations. The individual can also contact the Canada Revenue Agency individual tax enquiries line directly at 1-800-959-8281.

For more information, refer to Newcomers to Canada (immigrants and returning residents) and review Are you a resident of Canada?

If you’re unable to submit the tax return electronically, a paper return must be prepared. To find where to mail your paper return, consult the section Where to mail your documents from the T4055, Newcomers to Canada, guide.


Remember to always convert all foreign income into Canadian dollars. The Bank of Canada has Annual Exchange Rates available for most countries.

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