Here are answers to some commonly asked questions about income tax returns
1. What income do I need to report on my income tax return?
All income is taxable. You’ll need to report all income on your tax return (also known as Income Tax and Benefit Return) and calculate how much tax you owe.
Income that you must report to the CRA (Canada Revenue Agency) includes:
- Part-time and self-generated income
- Employment income earned both inside and outside of Canada
- Income from rental property or renting out a section of your house
- Investments (e.g. interest, dividends, capital gains)
- Being self-employed (e.g. a home business)
- Your pension
- Income from more than one job
2. Do I qualify for tax credits and benefits?
You may qualify for the following:
- Ontario Children’s Activity Tax Credit
- Ontario Political Contribution Tax Credit
- Healthy Homes Renovation Tax Credit
- Ontario Trillium Benefit
- Ontario Senior Homeowners’ Property Tax Grant
- medical expenses, caregiver amounts, disability amounts, etc.
All you need to do is file a tax return and fill in three forms ON 479, ON-BEN and ON 428.
If you are submitting a paper tax return form, complete and mail the forms below when you mail your tax return.
- ON 479, which allows you to claim the:
- ON–BEN, which allows you to claim the:
- ON 428, which allows you to claim non-refundable tax credits in certain situations, including:
- medical expenses
- caregiver amounts, disability amounts, etc.
Yet, if you are submitting your tax return online, the majority of accounting and tax return software will automatically ask you questions related to tax credits and benefits.
3. What if I have no income from last year, do I still file a tax return?
It’s important to file your taxes even if you have no earnings.
Even if you don’t have an income from the previous year, it’s beneficial to file your taxes because you may be eligible for various government benefits such as, the Ontario Trillium Benefit, the Ontario Child Benefit and Healthy Smiles Ontario.
However, please note two cases which it is mandatory to file an income tax return even though you have no earnings from the previous year: 1. if you owe taxes to the government and 2. if the CRA sent you a request in the mail to file your taxes.
4. Will I receive a refund?
The CRA will process your tax return and mail you a notice of assessment. If you qualify for a refund, you’ll get money back.
How much money you receive is contingent on a number of factors: your location, age, the size of your family, how much money you make and your expenses. Not everyone qualifies for a refund.
If you owe the CRA money, you will receive a letter in the mail stating that you need to pay by April 30. You can pay online, at your bank, or by mail with a cheque or money order.
5. From where do I get a tax return form?
To get a tax return form, you can either:
- Download one from the CRA website
- Visit your local post office or postal outlet
- Visit a Service Canada office
- Call 1-800-959-8281
The tax return forms are available at the above locations between February and early May.
6. Can I get help completing my tax return?
You may be eligible to get help from a free tax preparation clinic if you have a modest income and a simple tax situation. These tax clinics are offered through the Community Volunteer Income Tax.
Remember to bring your tax information slips and receipts such as old age security (OAS), employment insurance (EI) and Canada pension plan (CPP) tax slips. Volunteers will need them to prepare your income tax.
If you do not qualify for free tax services, you can get help from an accountant or a tax preparation company.
Our professional chartered accountants are committed to assisting you with your tax return and are highly qualified at finding the best tax credits and deductions that will maximize your refund from the government. Here is some more information about our professional accounting services. If you have any questions about tax returns or any accounting related inquiries, please contact S & P Accounting Services.
Here is an infographic which provides answers to some commonly asked questions about income tax returns.
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