If I recently arrived in Canada and have not yet started working, do I need to file a tax return?
Answer: If you entered Canada with the intention of finding a job and have obtained a work permit, you become a Canadian tax resident immediately.
Contrary to what many people think, you become a tax resident immediately. Even if you do not receive a salary, you still have to file an annual income tax return to be eligible for numerous government tax credits and benefits.
Yes, you can be eligible for numerous low-income assistance programs even if you haven’t earned a dime. Examples include the Climate Action Incentive Program, GST/HST credits, and more.
Filing a declaration is quite simple. It can be done by professionals who know Canadian tax law and are authorized to provide such services by the Canada Revenue Agency, as well as through free tax clinics that work on a volunteer basis.
How to obtain tax residency in Canada?
Your close ties to Canada play an important role in determining this.
Under Canadian law, there are a number of important connections, although this list is not exhaustive.
Important connections include:
- If you came to Canada with the intention of living there;
- If you have financial ties to Canada (bank accounts, credit cards, job, business, etc.)
- If you own a car registered in Canada and have a driver’s license
- If you live in a Canadian province or territory and have health insurance
- If you rent a homeIf you belong to any Canadian professional or religious organization
- Other connections
In addition, government officials have consistently emphasized in webinars hosted by the Canada Revenue Agency that if you entered Canada with the intention of living and working (and you have a work permit), this means that you acquired tax resident status on the day you arrived in Canada.
The official explanation of tax residency status is here Determining residency status
And here Income Tax Folio S5-F1-C1, Determining an Individual’s Residence Status
The official website of Canada is here
We wish you success!