Tax Returns in Canada
Studying in Canada is great, filing your tax returns can be a bit confusing. To make this process as smooth as possible for you, we’ve outlined the key forms and dates you may need to fill out and should be familiar with before you begin the process. To get started, here are some common forms to familiarize yourself with when filing a tax return in Canada as an international student as you may need to fill out some or all.
Important Canadian Tax Return Forms
Social Insurance Number (SIN)
A social insurance number, also known as a SIN, is not technically a form, it’s a nine digit number issued to you by government agencies for identification purposes. Without a SIN you’re not allowed to work during your time in Canada. As such, it’s important to obtain a SIN from your nearest Service Canada Office, or online, as soon as you arrive in Canada.
When you start a job in Canada you will need to complete this form as it’s used to determine how much taxable income you have. Filling out this form incorrectly could result in you owing tax to the Canadian Authorities instead of receiving a refund, it’s important to take your time and find assistance when needed. You can learn more and download this form from the CRA.
A T4 is necessary to file your tax return in Canada; it’s a summary of the income you’ve earned as well as the tax you paid during the specific tax year. Each job you have worked will issue you a separate T4 - which means you could have multiple during a given tax year. A T4 is required to file your tax return in Canada, you can learn more about this form from the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA).
A T1 is used by Canadian taxpayers to file personal income tax returns. Income source examples in which you would use this form include:
- Employment income
- Self-employment income
- Foreign income
You can download form T1 from the CRA.
The T2202, Tuition and Enrolment Certificate is a tax form that is used to certify the eligibility of a student for the education and textbook amounts. This form has replaced forms T2202A and TL11B. Learn more on the T2202 directly from the CRA. Generally speaking, the school issues this to every student who has paid over $100 in fees. Usually this form is received through your student portal. When you receive your T2202 you will need to report this information through a completed ‘schedule 11’ form and that will tell you exactly how much you can claim.
If you live in Quebec, please note that you may have varying or additional forms to complete.
If you need additional help completing your tax return forms, or establishing which forms you should submit, consult a tax professional like Taxback.com.
Important Canadian Tax Return Dates
The deadline to file your tax return is April 30th, however, you’re able to file your tax return as early as February. Ensure you file on time as filing late may result in a fee. When you go to file your returns first gather your social insurance number and a T4 or final payslip to file. Here are important dates to know during tax season if you have a tax filing obligation.
- January 1st: The start of the new tax year.
- February 24th: E-filing is open! This means that residents and immigrants can file previous year tax returns.
- February 28th: This is the last day for employers to issue T4, T4As and T5s to employees.
- March 2nd: Deadline for contributing to a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP). If you’re in Canada on a study permit you can invest in a RRSP in most cases. However, you typically can’t deduct these contributions in the first year you will be filing a tax return in Canada.
- April 30th (most years): This date is one of the most important as it’s the filing deadline for the previous year tax return, and the deadline to pay any owed balance to the CRA.
- June 15th: Filing due date for individuals who are self-employed in Canada.
- December 31st: The last day of the tax year.
Have more questions about your taxes?
- Visit our frequently asked questions (link to new page) to learn more
- Contact the CRA directly at 1-800-959-8281
- Contact Taxback.com for professional tax advice and guidance