Income Tax

Should I File My Taxes if I Have No Income?

If you are not working and have no other income in Canada you may still be required to complete tax forms, it can allow you to:

  • Claim a refund
  • Apply for the goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax credit
  • Claim tuition fees, education and textbook amounts, and transfer or carry forward in a future year any unused amounts
  • Claim interest paid on student loans
  • Apply for direct deposit

You may also wish to claim your “education amount” (a deduction based on the tuition you pay in Canada), which can be a benefit to you if you are employed in Canada in the future.

In you are a Canadian Citizen or Canadian Permanent Resident please review the pamphlet “Students and Income Tax” from Canada Revenue Agency.

I am an International Student in Canada; Do I Have to File My Taxes?

If you are in Canada as an international student, it is important that you understand what your rights, entitlements, and obligations are under Canada’s tax system. It is your responsibility to verify your income tax status, and to make sure you pay the correct amount of taxes.

The Canadian tax system is based on residency and not citizenship. As an international student, Canada Immigration does not consider you to be a resident of Canada. However, your residency status for tax purposes may be quite different. There are different statuses:

  • Resident (includes students who reside in Canada only part of the year)
  • Non-resident
  • Deemed resident
  • Deemed non-resident

Residency status is based on the residential ties you have with Canada. Residential ties include:

  • A home in Canada
  • A spouse or common-law partner (see the definition in the General Income Tax and Benefit Guide) and dependents in Canada
  • Personal property in Canada, such as a car or furniture
  • Social ties in Canada

Other ties that may be relevant include:

  • A Canadian driver’s license
  • Canadian bank accounts or credit cards
  • Health insurance with a Canadian province or territory

For more information, see IT-221, Determination of an Individual’s Residence Status.

If you would like an opinion about your residency status, complete and submit Form NR74, Determination of Residency Status (Entering Canada).

For more information on income tax for International Students please check resources available on Canada Revenue Agency website.

When is the Deadline to File a Tax Return and What Will I Need?

Income tax is calculated for a calendar year (January 1 through December 31) and the deadline to file your income tax return is on April 30 of each year. Make sure you include your current mailing address and banking information on file. If either changes, please call Canada Revenue Agency immediately at 1-800-959-8281.

FDU will issue the following forms :

  • T2202: Tuition fees paid (deductible from income) and months of full-time study (used to calculate a deduction called the “education and textbook amount”)
  • T4: Employment income and deductions (if applicable)
  • T4A: Scholarships and bursaries

You may also receive a T5 (statement of investment income) from your Canadian bank if you earned interest.

Please keep all the forms to file your taxes. All Canadian Post Office outlets have Tax Guide, please be sure to pick up a copy. If it is your first year filing taxes in Canada, you will need to submit a paper copy to the International Tax Office in Ottawa. If you have previously filed income tax, you can submit forms to the tax office in Surrey, or file online or by telephone.