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Canada Tax Refund

Income Tax Refund from Canada
Getting a tax refund from Canada has several steps. First thing to do is to determine an individual's residency status.
  • Non-resident of Canada for tax purposes:
    A non-resident of Canada is subject to Canadian income tax only on his income from Canadian sources. You are a non-resident and you did not establish sufficient residential ties in Canada and you stayed in the country less than 183 days during a fiscal year
  • Deemed resident of Canada for tax purposes
    Deemed residents of Canada are subject to Canadian income tax on their worldwide income from all sources. You are a deemed resident and you did not establish sufficient residential ties in Canada and you stayed in the country more than 183 days during a fiscal year

Am I obligated to file a tax return?
You must file a tax return if you
  • Have to pay tax
  • Want to claim a refund

Deemed resident
If you are a deemed resident of Canada during a fiscal year you
  • Must report worldwide income from all sources for the entire year
  • Can claim all deductions and non-refundable tax credits that apply to you
  • Must file a tax return in case you have to pay taxes, want to claim a tax refund or Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) requests you to file one 

In general, a tax return has to be filed at the latest on April 30th of the following year. For example 2017 tax returns must be filed by April 30th 2018. However, it is possible to file a tax return for the previous years.
Which taxes can be deducted from your income?
  • Federal income tax in the rate of 15% to 33%
  • Provincial/Territorial income tax which varies depending on the province/territory. For more information click here
What do I need to apply or a tax refund?
To apply you need a T4 annual earning summary from all employers, SIN (Social Insurance Number), dates of arrival and departure, statement about your income from outside of Canada during the fiscal year.

What should I do if I know I did not pay enough taxes and I have balance owing?
You must file a tax return and you must pay your underpaid taxes or balance owing. In case you are unable to pay the whole amount, you can make payment arrangements. It is your responsibility to contact the Canada Revenue Agency before May 1st to avoid interest and penalties. After May 1st the CRA will charge interest on any amount you owe until your balance is paid.

How many years back can I apply for a tax refund?
You will be happy to know that you can claim a tax refund from Canada up to 4 years back from the date of the application.
How long does it take to get a tax refund?
On average 4 months from the time your documents are sent to the Tax Authorities, however, processing times and individual and vary from case to case.