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Spring has officially sprung, and many people living in Canada are gearing up for the income tax deadline at the end of April. If you’re a newcomer to Canada, filing your taxes for the first time can be overwhelming. When my husband and I moved to Canada in 2020, we were surprised to learn that we needed to file our taxes on our own. We were used to the idea that when you’re employed, your employer takes care of it for you – at least, that’s how it worked in the Philippines. When our T4s arrived in our mailbox in January 2021, I had no idea what to do with them.
I’ve since learned that filing taxes in Canada can actually be an exciting time for newcomers, as it can mean getting refunds and other federal or provincial benefits like the GST/HST, Ontario Trillium Benefit, Climate Action Incentive, and the Canada Child Benefit (for those with children). The amount of the Canada Child Benefit depends on your family’s income from the previous year.
My next question was, “How do we file our income taxes?” I was excited but also anxious, as I had no idea where to start. This was our first time, and I wanted to be cautious about it, so I decided to seek professional help. Luckily, I stumbled upon a social media post from an organization offering assistance to newcomers filing their taxes. I booked an online appointment right away, and the tax professional I spoke with was extremely helpful. She guided us through every step of the way and was patient and diligent in dealing with all of our questions. We were able to file our taxes with her help, and it took us a couple of hours to go through all the documents needed. We were thrilled to get some earned refunds from the Canadian government.
After that meeting, I felt a huge sense of relief, especially when we received our tax refund. I was amazed to see how much we had received. Every cent counts, and any amount will go a long way, whether it’s for groceries, tuition fees, or a downpayment on a house in the future.
Looking back, I wish I had done more research on Canada’s tax filing process before moving here. It’s never easy to uproot your life and move to a new country, but it’s reassuring to know that there are organizations out there to help us settle in and build better lives for our families.
So, if you’re a newcomer to Canada and need help filing your taxes for the first time, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. The Tax Experts at H&R Block have over 55 years of experience, and with over 900 locations across Canada, it’s never been easier to file.
Find an office near you today, or book an appointment online to get started.
*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Student Life Network or their partners.