If you work in Canada, you will likely have to pay Canadian income tax. Starting at 15% of your gross pay, this constitutes the largest deduction from your income. Those earning higher annual incomes (i.e. over $30,000) will be taxed at a higher rate. For more information, visit the Canada Revenue Agency website.
Canada’s taxation year is from January to December. You must file a Canadian income tax return by April 30th the year proceeding the year you worked in Canada.
Step 1: Determine Your Canadian Residency Status
Most participants of International Experience Canada are considered “non-residents” for Canadian income tax purposes. However, if you lived in Canada for more than six months during the taxation year, you may file your income tax return as a resident. While in Canada, call the International Tax Services Office at 1-800-267-5177 to find out if your home country has a tax treaty or agreement with Canada - this can affect your income tax status.
Step 2: Obtain Your Canadian T4 Form
Canadian employers are required by law to provide you with a T4 form summarizing your total Canadian earnings and deductions for the taxation year. T4s are mailed out any time between January and the end of March the following year. If you worked for more than 1 employer during the tax year, make sure you receive T4s from each. Be sure to provide each employer with your permanent mailing address so that you receive your T4 in time to submit your income tax return by April 30th.
Step 3: Obtain The Income Tax Forms
The forms you need are available from any Canada Post outlet, along with a step-by-step help guide. You can also download the T1 General form and guide from the Canada Revenue Agency website for the province where you worked.
The tax package for Canadian non-residents includes the following:
If you qualify as a Canadian resident for taxation purposes, you only need: Schedule 1 and Form 428
Step 4: Completing Your Tax Forms
If you don’t feel comfortable filling out the forms yourself, you can hire an accountant or tax service to help you. Their services cost between $40 and $60. You can find them in the Yellow Pages business directory, or online at Canada411.com. If you have access to a computer, you can also use tax preparation software like QuickTax.
If you are filing from overseas, help is available online at TaxBack.com. You will be charged a processing fee.
Step 5: Mail In Your Completed Tax Package
Send completed forms, along with the original copies of your T4 slips, to:
International Tax Services Office
102A 2204 Walkley Road
If you file as a non-resident, you don’t need to declare income you earned outside of Canada. If you are filing as a resident, you must claim your total world income.
If you file as a resident, you are entitled to the basic personal exemption, which is the amount of income you can earn tax-free, as detailed in Schedule 1. Non-residents are also entitled to this amount if they earned 90% of their total annual income in Canada. In this case, however, the basic personal amount must be adjusted to reflect the amount of time you spent in Canada (for example, if you worked in Canada for 6 months, your basic personal exemption would be adjusted by half).
If you earned less than the threshold amount (set by the Canada Revenue Agency), you may qualify the following year for a refund of a portion of the tax paid. Alternatively, you may owe more tax if an insufficient amount was deducted from your pay.
If you are entitled to a refund, you must include a letter with your forms indicating where you would like your refund sent, and in what currency. The Canada Revenue Agency can issue refunds in:
Call the International Tax Services Office:
In Canada: 1-800-267-5177
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