Learn about your taxes

Video – The one about your documents

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Narrator: Welcome to your favourite yearly event! No, not your birthday or the start of hockey season – but doing your own taxes!

Wait! Don’t leave! It may seem a little scary, but we promise it’s easier than you think. In this video, we’ll show you what information you need on hand to get started.

Let’s start with some things to know:

  • April 30th is the deadline for most Canadians to do their taxes and pay any amount they owe.
  • When you see balance owing, that means that you owe the Canada Revenue Agency money.
  • And a refund means that you will receive money back!

Next up – what you need before you start:

First, the easy stuff:

  • your full name
  • your address
  • your marital status

Also, you need to have your social insurance number, so you may want to find that now. We use this information to help identify you and accurately calculate your benefits and credits.

The next thing you should have is your tax slips. You should receive these slips in February.

If you worked over the year, you’ll get a T4 slip from each of your employers. 

If you pay tuition to a university or college, you’ll get a T2202 slip.

If you received employment insurance or parental leave payments, you’ll get a T4E slip.

And if you’ve accessed certain other taxable benefits, you will get a T4A slip. You may also get this slip for other types of income like scholarships, bursaries or grants.

You might get slips in the mail, your employer or your school might also provide them online. They may also be available through My Account.

If you work and live in the province of Quebec, you will also receive Relevé slips.

If you received income in cash that isn’t reported on a slip, like tips or gratuities, you also have to report these on your taxes, so make sure to grab any info you have.

You may be able to claim deductions and credits to reduce the amount of tax you owe. You’ll need to have documents for this. These could be receipts, statements, or other records that support what you’ll be claiming on your taxes.

For some of these, you might receive an official receipt. If you made contributions to a plan like your Registered Retirement Savings Plan or RRSP, your financial institution will send you a receipt as proof to claim on your taxes.

If you donated money to that dog rescue organization you like, you probably got a receipt from them and any other registered charities you donated to. You’ll be able to claim those receipts on your taxes.

Other common deductions and credits would include child care expenses, moving expenses, paid tuition fees, or medical expenses, to name a few.

If you worked from home during the year, you may also be able to claim some home office expenses.

Each province or territory will have their own deductions and credits as well.

But don't take out your wallet just yet! Some credits will not only lower your balance owing but may also increase your refund amount!

Make sure you keep the receipts or records in case the CRA asks for them later.

And there you go, the basic things you’ll need before doing your taxes! If you’re ready to start – check out part 2 on how to actually fill out your tax return.

We’re always here to help.

For more information, follow us on social media or visit Canada.ca

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