Newcomers! Here are five tips to help you navigate your first tax filing:
  1. Newcomers need to file taxes from year 0: Yes, this is true. Even though you might have spent a few months in your first year in Canada, you will need to file taxes for your first year. As a thumb-rule, If you are considered to be a resident of Canada, you must file a tax return for all or a part of the tax year if you have a balance owing of at least $2 to receive a tax refund.
  2. File only one tax return: In all provinces, except Quebec, you can file your provincial taxes along with your federal taxes.
  3. Tax filing deadlines are different for salaried individuals and self-employed persons: Most tax filers in Canada must file their income tax returns by the April 30 deadline. If you or your spouse or common-law partner run a business in Canada, you have a bit longer – you have until June 15 to file your tax return, although any balance owing is still required to be paid before the April 30 deadline.
  4. File taxes even if you don't have any income: Even if you do not have any income for the year, you should still consider filing a tax return. You may be entitled to other benefits, such as the goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax credit, the Canada Child Benefit and tax credits specific to the province or territory where you live. For example, you should complete Form ON428 to claim the Ontario Trillium Benefit for the rent and property taxes you have paid in the tax year.
  5. Filing your Tax Return: As a newcomer, you can EFILE your tax return. This has to be done by a certified tax preparer or you can NETFILE it using certified software. If you would like to mail in your application, you can choose to do so as well.