What are taxes?
- “Tax is a mandatory payment by individuals and corporations to government.” Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)
- It can be placed on things such as income, property and sales.
- For example, you pay tax every time you buy goods or services.
- These are called Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Provincial Sales Tax (PST).
Why do we need to pay taxes?
- Taxes pay for government programs like:
- health care
- public education
- newcomer supports:
- language training
- employment assistance
- skills training
- other immigrant services
- Taxes are used for public services and benefits like:
- roads and bridges
- Canada Child Benefit
- Employment Insurance
- Old age security
- Not paying taxes is against the law.
- Every resident needs to file their returns.
- The deadline is April 30 each year.
- Missing the deadline may mean fines or imprisonment.
Go to the CRA site to know more about changes to taxes and benefits during COVID-19.
Do you need to file a tax return if you haven’t earned income yet?
- You don’t need to file a return if you have been here only for the last few months of the year.
- But you should apply for permanent resident benefits. These are benefits like the Canada Child Benefit and the GST/HST Credit (Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax).
- Fill-out Form RC66 (and RC66SCH) and RC151 to apply.
- Mail them to the CRA.
- Give an estimate of your earnings from your home country (or other countries) in the year/s covered.
- You should file a return when the next tax cycle comes. Do so even if you did not work.
- A tax return is filed not only to declare income. You do it also to apply for government benefits.
How to file:
If you have been living in Canada for a while and need to file:
- Get a Social Insurance Number (SIN).
- Fill-out the T1 return or T1 General –Income Tax and Benefit Return.
- Get the form:
Use certified software to compute your taxes.Print and mail it to the CRA.
- supporting information
- information slips
For more information:
Article updated April 6, 2021.
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