The CRA Just Shared Tax Tips For Newcomers To Canada & The Advice Is Seriously Helpful

Everything you need to know about filing taxes in Canada as a newcomer.👇

Trending Associate Editor
A calculator and tax forms on a table. Right: The Canada Revenue Agency headquarters in Ottawa.

A calculator and tax forms on a table. Right: The Canada Revenue Agency headquarters in Ottawa.

Filing taxes is an important part of living in Canada, and if you're a resident of the country then you probably already know that tax season has arrived.

To make things slightly easier, the Canada Revenue Agency has shared a list of tax tips for newcomers to Canada, and several of them are super helpful.

So if you're filing taxes in Canada for the first time, here's what you should know.

When's the 2023 tax filing deadline for Canada?

The deadline for Canadians to file their 2022 income tax and benefit return is April 30, 2023.

However, since this year the deadline falls on a Sunday, your return will still be considered filed if the CRA receives it, or it is postmarked, on or before May 1, 2023.

Why should you file taxes as a newcomer?

Even if you have little or no income, you should still file your taxes as it allows you to get benefits and credits you might be eligible for, like the Canada Child Benefit or the Climate Action Incentive Payment.

Another reason you should file an income tax and benefit return is so you can settle any balances you may owe, or be able to receive a tax refund if you're owed anything instead.

How to file your taxes for the first time in Canada

You can file your taxes online or on paper, although the CRA encourages individuals to file online where possible.

If you do file virtually, the CRA recommends using NETFILE-certified tax software or a tax preparer.

For this, you must have a date of entry into Canada during the tax year you are filing for.

You must also have one of the following:

  • a valid social insurance number (SIN)
  • a temporary social insurance number
  • a temporary tax number (TTN)

You must also ensure the CRA has the correct information on file for you, like your current address and personal details. If they don't, you need to update it ASAP.

If you'd rather file a paper return, you can download or order a copy of the T1 income tax package online.

How to apply for benefits and credits

Even if you were not a resident of Canada in 2022, you might still be eligible for certain benefits and credits.

You should fill out Form RC151 for the year you became a resident of Canada. And, you must include the amount of income you earned before you became a resident of Canada on Form RC66SCH and Form RC151, the CRA says.

If you're new to Canada, you might also have to fill out and sign forms to apply for benefits such as the Canada Child Benefit, the GST/HST credit, and other federal, provincial or territorial programs.

The exact forms that must be completed depend on personal factors, like whether or not you have children.

Where can I get help to file a return?

For simple tax situations, you can check out one of Canada's free tax clinics, where volunteers will do your taxes for you. These are available in person, or virtually.

Permanent residents can reach out for support services, depending on eligibility, the CRA adds.

The CRA also adds that for small business owners or self-employed individuals, liaison officers are available year-round to help via videoconference.

"We can help you understand your tax obligations and possible business deductions when you request a free virtual visit with the CRA's Liaison Officer service using our online request form," the agency explains.

What happens after taxes have been filed?

Once your return has been assessed by the CRA, you will be issued a notice of assessment (NOA).

This will include the date they checked your tax return and details about how much you may owe, returns and credits.

If you made a mistake or forgot to include information, you can still change your return after receiving an NOA.

Filing a return and receiving an NOA also enables you to register for My Account.

This is a great way to manage your tax and benefits online, and you can use it for the following things:

  • track the status of your return and refund
  • apply for benefits and credits
  • update your address
  • receive email notifications
  • make a payment
  • view your NOA or reassessment

The CRA also encourages newcomers to register for direct deposits, so that you can receive any payments as soon as possible.

If you have more doubts, there's also a free online course to help you understand the Canadian tax system.

Good luck with it all, folks!

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

Janice Rodrigues
Trending Associate Editor
Janice Rodrigues is an Associate Editor for Narcity Canada’s Trending Desk focused on Canadian immigration and passports, and is based in Scarborough, Ontario.
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