May 2, 2023

Basics of a Canadian Tax Return for Immigrants

As a newcomer to Canada, navigating the tax system may seem daunting. Filing a tax return is a crucial aspect of living in Canada, as it determines your eligibility for benefits, credits, and refunds, as well as your tax liability. In this article, we will provide an overview of what a tax return is, why you may need to file one, and how to go about doing it.


Why File a Tax Return in Canada?

If you have lived in Canada for any part of the year and have earned income, you may need to file a tax return. Even if you do not owe any taxes, filing a tax return is essential as it allows you to claim benefits and credits for which you may be eligible, such as the Canada Child Benefit or the GST/HST credit.


What is the Deadline for Tax Returns?

The deadline for filing your tax return is April 30th of each year. However, if April 30th falls on a weekend, the deadline is extended to the next business day. If you or your spouse/common-law partner is self-employed, the deadline is June 15th. Keep in mind that if you have a tax liability, your payment is due on April 30th.


How Do I File a Tax Return in Canada?

There are several ways to file your tax return in Canada, including paper filing or e-filing using certified tax software. E-filing is the fastest and most convenient way to file your tax return. You can do so using the CRA's website and the "My Account" feature. If you prefer paper filing, you can order the package online from the CRA website or by calling the CRA at 1-855-330-3305.


Personal, Work, and Financial Information Required

To file your tax return, you will need to provide personal information such as your name, address, and social insurance number. If you are married or in a common-law relationship, you must also provide your partner's information. In addition, you will need to provide information about your income, deductions, and credits.


Additional Information You Will Need for Your Tax Return

To file your tax return, you will need information about your income, which can be found on tax slips such as your T4 (Statement of Remuneration Paid), T3 (Statement of Trust Income Allocations and Designations), and T5 (Statement of Investment Income). You will also need to provide information about any deductions or credits you are claiming. For a comprehensive list of personal, work, and financial information you may need to file your tax return, visit the CRA website.


Receipts for Income Tax Deductions

Keep all official receipts relating to medical expenses, charitable donations, and business expenses for six years after you file a return in case the CRA requests them later. You may be eligible to claim various deductions or credits including family, childcare, and caregiver deductions, home buyer tax credits, disability tax credits, moving expense deductions, and employee expenses such as working from home or car expenses in certain circumstances. For clarification about which deductions you qualify for, it is best to consult a Canadian tax professional.


Maximizing Your Tax Refund

Once you have determined that you will be eligible for a refund, consider speaking to a TD Personal Banking Associate to discuss your options. These options may include setting up an automatic deposit with the CRA so your tax refund can go directly to your account at TD. You may also consider setting up TD savings or investment accounts to start earning money on your tax refund as soon as possible.


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