Do I have to file a return?


Do you have to file a return

If you’ve only lived in Canada for part of the year, you may still have to do your taxes.

There are certain situations when doing your taxes is mandatory. For example, if you have to pay tax, or if the CRA sent you a request to do so. By completing a tax return and reporting income from all sources, both inside and outside of Canada, you can calculate whether tax is owed or a refund will be issued.

But even if you don’t have to do your taxes, it can be a good idea.

For instance, you’ll need to do your taxes to claim a tax refund or get benefit and credit payments. You could be eligible for payments even if you didn’t earn an income.

For a complete list of when you need to do your taxes, you can refer to the section “Do you have to file a tax return?” on the web address on your screen or in the General Income Tax and Benefit Guide.


Social insurance number (SIN))

To work in Canada and receive benefits and services from the government, you need a social insurance number (also called a SIN, for short).

To get a SIN, you can apply online or by mail. If you are unable to do so, you can request an appointment to apply in person at some locations. Go to the web address on your screen to find out if your local Service Canada Centre is open.

For more information on how to get a SIN, go to the web address shown on your screen or call Service Canada at 1-866-274-6627.

If you don’t meet Service Canada’s eligibility criteria for a SIN, you can still apply for benefits and credits with the CRA. To do so, send us your benefit and credit applications with a note explaining why you cannot get a SIN. Along with the note, you will need to include a photocopy of any document that proves your or your spouse’s or common-law partner’s identity. This could be a:

  • passport;
  • driver’s licence;
  • visitor record
  • study permit, or
  • temporary resident permit;

Or, any document issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

The CRA will then give you a temporary tax number you can use on your application forms and on your income tax and benefit return, until you get your SIN.

What If I Need Some Help While Doing My Taxes?

Contact: LCCMedia Foundation Low-Income Free Tax Clinic

Call: 780-860-3229


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