Do I need to submit my Taxes?

Filing-TaxesEach year you need to submit your taxes to Canada Revenue Agency if you want to apply for a tax refund, or if you have been self-employed or want to carry forward or transfer the unused part of your tuition, education, and textbook amounts. I have received a handsome refund this year, and have been pleasantly surprised with the amounts returned previously.

If you have been employed in BC, most likely you have paid taxes on your income. Deductions on the income include Federal and Provincial tax, Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and Employment Insurance amounts. CPP deductions go to your pension plan, and EI is compounded in a special fund, that is paid out if you lose your job due to circumstances beyond your control (e.g. if you get laid off).

I prefer to have maximum tax deducted from my pay, and get a nice “bonus” at the end of the year. This year, because I’ve been taking public transportation to and from work, and because of Mystery Shopping assignments I have received 100% of my tax deductions back (YAY!). Even if you are not working, it is helpful to submit taxes to CRA to get some tax credits on university textbooks and tuition paid. In a nutshell: as an international student you pay 4x normal tuition amount, and if you decide to apply your freshly gained knowledge on Canadian soil, you get some of that excess amount back.

The most popular place to get your taxes done is H & R block, who charge you $29.95 per year of taxes. I’ve done my University-associated returns via them, and have been fairly happy. Their specialist asked for my login information on our student resource, where my payment information was stored; downloaded all necessary forms, and made this boring task a breeze. They have a shared external database, which can be accessed from any H & R location (I’ve done my returns at 2 different offices).

You can also find a private tax specialist (H & R block wanted to charge me $100 for a self-employed filing, which I got done for $45 by a friend’s mom, who is a professional accountant); or buy and install U-File – electronic tax software, and Net-file your taxes yourself via Internet.

Make sure to keep your textbook receipts, and, if your school does not offer U-Pass, keep the monthly passes too! 

Deadline for submitting personal tax return: April 30.

H & R Block

Do I need to submit my tax return? – Canada Revenue Agency informational page

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