Income Tax in Canada| Canadian Tax System | How does income tax work in Canada? | Newcomers Canada

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Residents of Canada, including temporary foreign workers, must pay income tax on income received throughout the year. If you receive a salary, taxes are deducted automatically throughout the year. If you are self-employed, you may be required to pay your taxes in a single payment or in several payments. Each year, you must submit an Income Tax and Benefit Return to inform the government of how much money you earned and how much tax you paid. If you paid too much tax, you will get a refund. If you paid too little, you will have to pay more. 

By filing an Income Tax and Benefit Return, you may qualify for various government benefits, such as the Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB), the Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB) and the Goods and Services Tax/ Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) credit. You may also qualify for benefits from provincial or territorial government programs. Unfortunately most benefits are not available to temporary foreign workers (only permanent residents and citizens) but for more information, see the Canadian Revenue Agency.

You can obtain income tax forms from any post office or CRA tax services office (for addresses, go to the Canadian Revenue Agency or see the Blue Pages). Federal and provincial income tax forms come in the same package, except in the province of Quebec. Your address on December 31 of each year determines in which province you have to file your tax forms. So, if you lived in Quebec at the end of the year, you will have to file a separate provincial tax return. For more information, visit Revenu Québec’s website.

If you are leaving Canada for an extended period of time, make sure to notify the CRA as you may need to file an income tax return for that year. 

The CRA has many publications that may be helpful to newcomers (consult They also have volunteers who can help you fill out your tax forms, under the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program. This is a free service. 

Source: Welcome to Canada: What you should know, Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Reproduced with the permission of the Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada, 2013.