New to Canada? Doing your taxes could help put money into your pocket

by | Feb 15, 2023 | Featured Finance, Finance and Business

As a newcomer to Canada, there’s a lot to figure out and get used to. Doing your taxes is an important step. It gets you access to benefit and credit payments to help make rent, pay for childcare or have a little extra for activities.

For instance, if you are single, you could be eligible for up to $467 a year through a quarterly payment called the Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax Credit. If you have a family, you could be eligible for more.

Depending on your immigration status, and if you have children, you may be eligible for the monthly Canada child benefit. This may entitle you to receive up to $6,997 a year for each child under six and up to $5,903 a year for each child aged six to 17.

You could also get support if you have a disability or support a family member with a disability.

Here’s what you need to know to get the money:

  • As a newcomer to Canada, you will need to apply for a social insurance number (SIN) with Service Canada.
  • Apply for benefits and credits as soon as you get your social insurance number.
  • You can apply to get the Canada child benefit, the GST/HST credit, and any related federal, provincial and territorial programs.
  • You may also be eligible to apply for the one-time top-up to the Canada housing benefit, or the new Canada dental benefit if you have children under the age of 12.

To continue to receive benefits and credits, you and your spouse or common-law partner need to do your taxes every year, even if you have little or no income. The deadline is April 30th. Because April 30th is a Sunday this year, you’ll have until May 1, 2023.

Doing your taxes will also allow you to claim a refund or let you know if you have to pay tax.

If you need help doing your taxes and have a simple tax situation and a modest income, volunteers may be able to do them for you for free through the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program, or the Income Tax Assistance – Volunteer Program in Quebec.

You can also use the Canada Revenue Agency’s free online, “Learn about your taxes” tool to help you understand how to do your taxes on your own either online using NETFILE certified software (some of which are free) or on paper using an income tax package.

Or you can hire a tax preparer, for a fee.

Have questions? Find more information at canada.ca/new-to-canada.

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