Tax information for International Students
As we approach the Canadian tax filing season, I want to share some available resources to help you. As stated by the government of Canada, if you are an international student studying in Canada with residential ties, you must file income taxes. Residential ties include but are not limited to:
- a home in Canada (i.e. own a home or have a rent agreement)
- a spouse or common-law partner or dependants who move to Canada to live with you
- a Canadian driver's licence
- Canadian bank accounts or credit cards
- Health insurance with a Canadian province or territory
Taxes are due April 30, 2022, and you will need to file for the 2021 year. Therefore, if you started your studies this winter semester (January 2022), you do not need to file taxes. However, I encourage you to attend some of the webinars so you can start familiarising yourself with the process. If you are not sure of whether you should be filing taxes or have more questions, you can check out the government of Canada website: Taxes for International students studying in Canada - Canada.ca, or you can schedule a one-on-one meeting with me to clarify any questions.
Online webinars: Many organisations will be offering free tax webinars accessible to everyone. Here are a couple of options:
- Sprintax Tax Preparation will be hosting several free tax webinars for international students. You will need to register before attending any of the webinars:
- February 23rd @ 2pm EST - Link to register
- March 16th @ 3pm EST – Link to register
- April 7th @ 4pm EST – Link to register
- April 21st @ 4pm EST – Link to register
- Calgary Public Library will be hosting their “Personal Tax Returns: Simple Returns 101” webinar. You will need to register before attending any of the webinars:
- March 1st @ 4pm MST - Link to register
- March 22nd @ 6pm MST - Link to register
- April 12th @ 6pm MST - Link to register
- Settlement Calgary in partnership with Immigrant Services Calgary will be hosting an “Income Tax Overview”. You need to register before attending:
- February 24th @ 5pm MDT – Link to register
Free Tax Clinic: A space for volunteers to help individuals prepare their income tax returns for free. They are usually accessible to low-income tax payers during March and April. You can find the closest tax clinic by filling in the following form: Find a tax clinic in your area (cra-arc.gc.ca). You will also be able to select the type of clinic that you would like to attend (i.e., in-person, virtual, or walk-in).
- Pay-what-you-want tax software offers the option to pay for the services and tools that you will need based on the complexity of your personal income tax file. You can learn about the different software available and approved by the government of Canada at the following link: File your taxes online: Certified tax software - Canada.ca.
- There are many tax preparation companies in the city that will prepare and file your personal income tax for a fee. Many of these companies do offer a special fee for students, so please make sure you contact them directly and request a quote for a student before making an appointment. Here are some tax preparation companies in the city:
What do I need to file taxes?
You will be required to provide different type of slips and receipts in order to prepare your income tax. The general slips and documents required as an international student include but are not limited to:
- Employment slip – (T4)
- Employment Insurance slip – (T4E)
- Scholarships slips – (T4A)
- COVID-19 Benefits slip – (T4E or T4A)
- Charitable donations - “Official Tax Receipt”
- Childcare receipts
- Children’s fitness programs receipts
- Tuition – (T2202)