A guide to canadian tax filing

A guide to canadian tax filing

A guide to canadian tax filing

Explore essential tips, deadlines, and deductions to navigate the Canadian tax system.

With our comprehensive guide to Canadian tax filing, we'll break down everything you need to know and make this task seem like a breeze. So sit back, relax, and get ready to take your first step towards becoming a pro at handling your taxes in Canada.

Who needs to file taxes in Canada?

As an expat, it's important to know if you are required to file taxes in Canada. If you have been living and working in Canada for more than 183 days in a tax year, then you are considered a resident for tax purposes and must file a tax return. However, even if you do not meet the 183-day requirement, you may still have to file taxes if you earn income from Canadian sources. This includes any employment income, rental income, or capital gains from selling property in Canada.

The difference between federal and provincial taxes

In Canada, there are two types of taxes, federal and provincial. Federal taxes are like a pool of money that everyone pays into, and the Canadian government uses that money for things we all need, such as healthcare and national defense. But, there are also provincial taxes that are different depending on where you live in Canada. These taxes help pay for things in your province, like schools and buses. Now, both these taxes are a part of your income tax, and the Canada Revenue Agency oversees them.

It's important to understand this, especially when you're filing taxes. When you file your tax return, you're basically telling the Canada Revenue Agency how much money you earned in the tax year. This includes all your taxable income and it's from this money that you pay taxes. 

Gathering necessary documents for tax filing

If you are in Canada filing taxes, start by getting hold of all the important papers you'll need to do your tax return. These might include a W-2 form, 1099 forms, and any receipts if you've given money to charity. If you've had any other money coming in or costs going out, you'll need papers for these, too. Try writing a list of everything you need to find, and tick them off as you get them. Make sure all the numbers are right to avoid any problems. 

T4 slip from employers

When it's time to handle your income tax in Canada, one key thing you'll need is a T4 slip from your place of work. This slip is vital for filing taxes, as it gives a snapshot of your earnings, the tax already paid, and any other deductions. It also shows whether you've put money into things like a pension or benefits plan. Make sure to look over each detail in your T4 slip carefully. 

RRSP contributions receipts

Are you looking to make the most out of your retirement savings? RRSP contributions are a great place to start. And with tax season fast approaching, it's the perfect time to think about maximizing your contributions. Don't forget to keep track of your receipts for RRSP contributions, as they could mean big savings on your taxes. But it's not just about the financial benefits. Contributing to your RRSP means investing in your future self and securing a comfortable retirement. 

Other relevant income statements (e.g. investment earnings)

When it comes to income statements, there's more to consider than just wages and salaries. Investment earnings are another important factor that shouldn't be overlooked. These statements are a snapshot of your financial health, giving you a clear picture of your income and expenses. 

Dividend income:

  • Dividends received from Canadian corporations may be eligible for the dividend tax credit, resulting in a lower tax rate on this type of income.

  • The Canadian government aims to provide incentives for individuals to invest in Canadian companies by offering preferential tax treatment for eligible dividends.

Capital gains:

  • Capital gains arise when you sell a capital property, such as stocks, real estate, or other investments, at a higher price than you paid for it.

  • Only 50% of capital gains are included in your taxable income.

  • Capital losses can be used to offset capital gains in the same year or carried forward to future years.

Tax filing options in Canada

As tax season rolls around in Canada, it's important to know the different options available to file your taxes: 

Paper tax return:

  • You can obtain a paper tax return package from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) website or local post offices.

  • Complete the forms manually and mail them to the CRA.


  • NETFILE is an electronic filing service provided by the CRA.

  • To use NETFILE, your tax return must be prepared using certified tax preparation software that supports NETFILE.

  • Once prepared, you can submit your return electronically through the NETFILE service.

Certified tax software:

  • Many individuals use certified tax software to prepare and file their tax returns.

  • Popular tax software options include TurboTax, H&R Block, and UFile.

  • These software programs guide users through the tax preparation process and offer features like error checks and optimizations.

Professional tax preparer:

  • You can hire a professional tax preparer, such as an accountant or tax consultant, to assist with your tax return.

  • This option is suitable for individuals with complex financial situations or those who prefer professional assistance.

Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP):

  • The CVITP is a program in which community volunteers help eligible individuals with modest incomes to complete their tax returns for free.

Hiring an accountant or tax professional

Hiring an accountant or tax professional via Relocately can make a big difference in managing your finances. With the help of an expert, you can navigate the process with ease. A qualified accountant or tax professional can help you identify areas where you could be saving money, ensure that you're in compliance with all tax regulations, and provide you with the peace of mind that your finances are in order. Don't let the stress of taxes get you down – enlist the help of a professional and take control of your financial future.

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