If you are new to Canada or if you are just entering the workforce, you may be wondering if filing a Canadian Income Tax return is a necessity, and if so, when do you have to file your first tax return?
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) does require annual filing for most citizens but there are exceptions, so let’s have a look at who is required to file a Canadian T1 General tax return and when.
You Must File an Income Tax Return, if:
- You owe tax to the CRA.
- You are self-employed and have to pay your Canada Pension Plan (CPP) premiums.
- Same for paying Employment Insurance (EI) premiums on your self-employment earnings.
- You and your spouse/common-law partner want to split your pension income.
- You’ve participated in the Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP) or Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP) and have repayments owing.
- You disposed of capital property. If you sold your home, you must file a tax return even if you don’t have to pay capital gains tax on the sale (referred to as the principal residence exemption).
- You have to repay any of your Old Age Security or Employment Insurance Benefits
- You have received a Canada Workers Benefit (CWB) advance payments in the tax year.
- The CRA has sent you a Request to File.
- If the CRA has sent you a Demand to File, then that means they are serious about your lack of filing and you had better get to it.