New to Canada? Learn about taxes

Settlement ISC Community

Have you just settled in Canada? Not sure how to apply for benefits and credits? Wondering if you have to fill out and send to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) a form—called an income tax and benefit return—every year? The CRA has prepared a short video that answers these questions.

Do I need to file taxes?

All Canadian residents are required to file an income tax and benefit return. As a rule, you are a resident of Canada on the date you arrive and set up ties to Canada. These ties include having a house and or family in Canada.

Why should I file taxes?

  • Even if you have no income to report, you should file a return every year. When you send in your return, the CRA will review it and let you know if there are credits and benefits that you may be able to get, such as the Goods and Services Tax or Harmonized Sales Tax credit. You may also be eligible for other family credits and benefits.
  • Taxes pay for the services and benefits that all Canadians enjoy like schools, libraries, parks, hospitals, police, ambulance, fire services, roads, and bridges.

I am a permanent resident of Canada, but I do not live in Canada. Do I still need to file taxes?

If you normally live outside of Canada, or spend more than 183 days a year away from Canada, you may be considered a non-resident for income tax purposes. If you are a non-resident, you pay taxes only on the money you earn in Canada.

Need more information?

For more information on newcomers and taxes, go to If you need a hand with filing your taxes, the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP) could be of help. Information about the CVITP is provided in this video, which is also available in multiple languages.

Source: New to Canada? Learn about taxes – Canada Revenue Agency