Newcomers to Canada: Do you need to file a tax return?

As a newcomer to Canada, there’s a lot to learn as you settle into your new home, including figuring out if you owe any tax, and if you do, how much. It’s natural to have questions; here’s some information to help you get started:

Why file a tax return?

All Canadian residents, including citizens and permanent residents, must file an income tax and benefit return to the Canada Revenue Agency if they received income (including income from outside of Canada), and need to pay income tax or want to claim a refund. Sending in your tax return lets you report your income for the year, claim deductions or tax credits, apply for certain benefit payments, and calculate the correct amount of income tax you should pay, if any (you could get money back if you paid too much). Most people choose to file online, since it’s fast, easy and secure.


Little or no income to report?

Even if you worked part-time, or have no income to report, you should still file an income tax return because you may get back some of the taxes you paid, and the CRA uses the information from your return to determine if you are eligible to receive benefit payments. Benefits and credits you may be eligible for include the GST/HST credit, family benefits, and payments from certain provincial and territorial programs. Credits and deductions can help reduce the amount of tax you pay.

Need help?

Learn more about your tax responsibilities as a new resident and get the information you need to file your tax return at