April 30th is the personal tax filing deadline for most Canadians and the question some may ask is why they have to file their taxes.
All taxpayers (residents of Canada for tax purposes) have a responsibility to file their taxes. What that means is you fill out a form that help you figure out if you owe taxes (no tax or not enough taxes deducted from your income at source) or if you get a refund (when more taxes were deducted from your income at source than should have).
For some taxpayers, CRA mandates them to file their taxes. This include people who owe tax, received working income tax benefit advance payments, want to split pension income, disposed of capital property in the year, those who owe under the Home Buyers Plan (HBP) or the Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP) among others.
Even if you lucky enough not to fall under the category of those mandated by CRA to file their taxes, it might be to your advantage to file your taxes as you may be entitled to some benefits and credits and yes, even if you have no income that year. The catch is, you must file your taxes to get these benefits and credits:
GST / HST Tax credit
This is a payment from CRA (quarterly) to help offset the GST/HST that you pay on goods and services if your income is under a certain threshold. This is tax free and you must be 19 years of age or older to qualify. However, the age limit does not apply if you are a parent, married or living common-law.
Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCB)
For parents, the CCB is tax-free monthly payments to help with the cost of raising your children who are less than 18 years of age. CRA uses information from your tax return (family income, number of children etc.) to calculate how much CCB payments you get. This means to get it, you must file your tax return every year, even if you did not earn income in the year. Here is a link to Government of Canada website if you want to see how much CCB you are eligible for.
Working Income Tax Benefit (WITB)
The benefit is intended to provide incentive for working low-income individuals and families to keep working and to encourage others to join the workforce. You claim this credit on your tax return but can apply for an advance payment as well.
To be eligible, you must be Canada resident 19 years or older unless you are a parent, married or living common-law. Unfortunately, you are not eligible if do not have an eligible dependant and are enrolled in full-time studies at a designated educational institution for more than 13 weeks in the year.
To find out if you are eligible for the WITB and how much, please visit the Government of Canada website.
Do you have questions about your personal taxes or do you need help filing your personal taxes? Please don’t hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or (778) 713-1391.
Too busy to meet an accountant or out of town? No problem, send me your information electronically through Email, Dropbox or WhatsApp. I will complete and file your tax return without you leaving the comfort of your home.