Newcomer Tax Returns

Canada is the land of multiculturalism, immigrants, and one of the most inclusive countries in the world. To greener pastures, as they say, welcome to Canada! Therefore, we decided to prepare this article with the intention of providing the guidance of the newcomer tax returns.

Tax Filing for Immigrants & Newcomers

Canada with its world-class education system, free healthcare, safety, and beauty attracts people from all over the world. New opportunities bring in new challenges and as a newcomer to Canada, the first year is supposedly the hardest as you are trying to adjust to new surroundings, new systems, and a new way of life. Filing your taxes in Canada for the first year is surely a new challenge and we at SDG Accountants can take a part of that worry away with our simple approach to handling your taxes.

Canada’s tax system supports the quality of life that all Canadians and newcomers to Canada enjoy. The contributions we make through our taxes are essential in helping fund many things and thus it is imperative that we pay our taxes and file our tax returns. Acclaimed to be, the best accountant in Toronto, we strive to really provide value to our clients. Our accounting services in Toronto cater to a variety of different industries and professionals.

We will answer some of your queries below and make understating the Canadian tax system and processes simpler for you:

When is the Tax Returns to be Filed?

The Canada Revenue Agency (‘CRA’) is the revenue service of the Government of Canada that is responsible for the collection of taxation and administration of tax laws and tax policy.

  • Canada follows the calendar year as the tax year i.e. January 01 – December 31
  • Individuals have a calendar year-end and typically the deadline to file a personal tax return in Canada is April 30. However, the tax return for 2019 can be filed till June 01’ 2020 due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
  • Your tax obligations are typically determined by your residency status, so you need to know if you’re a resident or non-resident for tax purposes.

Do I Need to File a Tax Return?

Even if you lived in Canada for only part of the year, you may have to file a tax return. For example, you have to file a tax return if:

  • you have to pay tax
  • you want to claim a refund
  • if you want to get benefit and credit payments

Even if you do not have any income in the year, you may want to file a tax return so that the CRA can determine if you are eligible for the goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) credit, or if you or your spouse or common-law partner want to begin or continue receiving the Canada child benefit and other benefits from certain related provincial or territorial related programs.

GST/HST Credit

The goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) credit is a tax-free quarterly payment that helps individuals and families with low and modest incomes offset all or part of the GST or HST that they pay.

Canada Child Benefit

It is a tax-free monthly payment made to eligible families to help with the cost of raising children under 18 years of age.

What Documents Do I Need to File a Tax Return?

  • Social Insurance Number (‘SIN’)
  • T4 slips*
  • Childcare expense receipts
  • Medical expense receipts
  • Details of dependents
  • Details of foreign assets over $100,000 need to be reported on Form T1135 (Exempt in the year you immigrate to Canada).
  • Details of foreign income after moving to Canada.

* T4 slip is a summary of your employment earnings and deductions for the year. If you cannot get a copy in time to complete your return, you may be able to view your tax information online using the My Account for Individuals service.

How to File the Tax Returns?

As a newcomer in Canada, you will have to print and mail your first income tax return to the CRA. In the following years, you will be able to file your income tax return online.

Our team of experts at SDG Accountants can take your worry away from filing the tax return. All you need to do is provide us with answers to a questionnaire and we will handle it from there making sure everything is accurately reported.

How to Find Us?

We are available digitally by finding us online via a Google or Microsoft edge. Simply find us typing ‘accountants in my area’ or ‘best accountant Toronto’. We offer free initial consultations over the phone. We do not provide free tax advice regarding specifics. Please get in touch with our office by visiting our contact page or by calling our office 416-755-3000. We are servicing clients in the Greater Toronto Area, Mississauga, Etobicoke, Markham, Scarborough, Ajax, Pickering, Whitby, Brampton, Burlington, Oakville, Richmond Hill, North York, East York, Downtown Toronto. We are able to also offer our services remotely to clients internationally and Canada wide.

The information is not intended to constitute professional advice and may not be appropriate for a specific individual or fact situation. It is written by the author solely in their personal capacity and cannot be attributed to the accounting firm with which they are affiliated. It is not intended to constitute professional advice, and neither the author nor the firm with which the author is associated shall accept any liability in respect of any reliance on the information contained herein. Readers should always consult with their professional advisors in respect of their particular situations.

— Kanav Behal

SDG Team

Sami Ghaith CPA, CGA, MBA, is the founder of SDG Accountant and specializes in tax and business consulting services for Real Estate, Tech, Retail and Service Industries. Sami is licensed as a Chartered Professional Accountant of Ontario.