Tax 101 for immigrants to Canada

Your hard-earned tax dollars at work on taking professional quality photos of grey buildings

Your hard-earned tax dollars at work on paying for professional quality photos of boring grey buildings

Now that mum and my aunt Sheila has started to tell all their friends at the Social Club about Brits in Toronto, our traffic has exploded and we can’t keep up with new content.

Coincidentally, we were musing the idea of inviting USEFUL and RELEVANT guest articles. No money has changed hands. We haven’t started on an advertising strategy yet.

That was a nice segue into the subject of money. Here we present an article on some basic tax tips — useful for the 26 readers in Great Britain asking about life in Toronto, or those who have just arrived.

Tax 101 for immigrants to Canada

Tax season has arrived and so it’s time to file your Canadian Tax return. A lot of people don’t want to think about tax when they are abroad — but it can be very worthwhile especially if you’re due a tax refund.

If you were working in Canada throughout 2013 you would’ve paid between 15% and 29% income tax on your wages. The good news is that you’re probably due to claim some of this back. You can apply for your tax refund by filing a Canadian tax return.

Useful Canadian Tax Tips

• The Canadian tax year runs from January 1 until December 31 … but you cannot apply for a tax refund until March 1 of the following year
• The deadline for filing your tax return is April 30, 2014 [yesterday!]
• Your employer will issue you with a T4 at the end of the tax year (usually in February). This form outlines your earnings for the previous year
• You should gather all of your expenses for 2013 including any monthly transit passes, medical expenses, motor vehicle expenses, child care expenses and moving expenses. Register here for more information on what expenses you can claim

During the year will be able to see how much tax you are paying on your wage slips, but keep in mind that when you apply for a tax refund, you will not get 100% of what you paid back. The amount of your tax refund will depend on a number of factors such as:

• Your residency status in Canada
• How long you were working in 2013
• How many employers you had
• Any income that you received from overseas and the existing tax treaties your country may have with Canada

On your payslip you will also notice that you pay something called CPP and EI in Canada. CPP is the Canadian Pension Plan and EI is Employer Insurance. If you have overpaid either, you can claim a refund. This claim is not separate and is made on a regular tax return.

Thinking about tax can either give people a headache — or send them to sleep — so we recommend getting an expert to look after it for you.

Register here and will set you up with a free personal Tax Tracker account and remind you to apply for your Canadian tax refund at the end of the tax year.


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