Is it your first time filing taxes in Canada? These tips can help you

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If you are a newcomer to Canada and you are filing your income taxes for the first time, these tips can help you to understand the Canadian filing process.

According to a Canada Revenue Agency guide released this week, everyone in Canada should file their taxes, even if they haven’t made any income, so they can get benefits and credits they might be eligible to receive. 

Tax credits and benefits for individuals include:

• goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) credit;

• Canada child benefit;

• provincial or territorial payments; and

• the climate action incentive payment (for residents of eligible provinces

If you have trouble filing your taxes for the first time, there are free tax clinic in several locations that offer help, according to the CRA. Volunteers at tax clinics are available to do Canadians’ taxes both in-person and virtually.

These clinics are available to those with modest income and simple tax situations.

There is also a free online course available to help you understand the Canadian tax system and how to file an income tax and benefit return. 

If you have a small business or a self-employed and have trouble filing your taxes you can reach out to CRA liaison officers, who can guide you over the phone and/or by videoconference. 

This year’s deadline for filing taxes in Canada is April 30, but since this deadline falls on a Sunday, you will have an extra day to submit your application. Taxes must be filed and any balance owing must be paid on or before May 1.

The deadline for those who are themselves, or whose spouse or common-law partner is, self-employed is June 15. The CRA urges Canadians to submit their documents on or before the deadline in order to receive benefit or credit payments they might be eligible to receive.

If you are new to Canada, you might be eligible for certain benefits and credits such as the federal child benefit, the GST/HST credit and related federal, provincial or territorial programs, but you’ll need to fill out tax forms to ensure you get that money.

Those who weren’t residents of Canada in 2022, may still be eligible to receive benefits and credits if they fill out the RC151 form the year they became a resident of the country. 

The CRA says filing your return is fairly simple, and can be done online even if you’ve never filed a return before. You can do this through a NEFFILE-certified tax software or through a tax preparer, according to the CRA.

Before you get started, you will need a valid social insurance number (SIN), temporary social insurance number or temporary tax number, and you must have a date of entry into Canada during the tax year you are filing for.

You need to make sure the CRA has the correct contact information on file, including your correct address.

After you filed your return, the CRA will verify the information and issue you a notice of assessment. Based on that, the CRA will decide how much you may owe or get as a refund or credit.

In order to protect your information from scams and fraud, the CRA encourages you to read about how and when it might contact you.

The CRA also strongly encourages taxpayers to monitor their CRA accounts regularly for any suspicious activity.

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