Do I have to file an income tax return this year?
If you live in Québec, whether as a temporary resident (person with a study or work permit) or a permanent resident, you may have to file income tax returns with the governments of Québec and Canada. Normally, all residents* must file these returns regardless of their immigration status. You have until April 30 to send your documents for the income taxes of the previous year.
If you arrived in Canada after starting your distance education session from outside of Canada, you will only be able to claim the education tax credits for that session in proportion to the time you resided in Canada.
If you do not reside in Canada for an entire semester or year of study, you will not be able to claim education tax credits for that period or carry them forward to a future year.
If you have not resided in Canada for a full year, you are not subject to the requirement to file Canadian income tax returns. You will still need to enter the SIN: 000 000 000 (or your SIN) in your Capsule.
*For income tax purposes, the concept of “resident” is different than the “permanent resident” used by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. Please consult:
- NR74 — Determination of Residency Status (entering Canada)
- Income Tax Folio S5-F1-C1, Determining an Individual’s Residence Status
Keep in mind that you must file income tax returns if you worked and earned income.
If you are planning to stay in Canada for several years to study or work after your studies, it is simpler and more advantageous for you to start completing your tax returns each year.
All residents who file income tax returns must start with the year of their arrival in Canada. Accordingly, if you lived in Canada for several years but have not yet completed any income tax returns, you must prepare those for the previous years (2020, 2019, 2018, etc.) before completing those the actual year.
In Canada, employers deduct income taxes directly from employee salaries. At the end of each fiscal year, the amount of tax payable is adjusted according to each person’s financial situation. Accordingly, after filing their tax returns, many people receive a partial or full refund of the tax overpaid. Moreover, it is possible to receive certain credits even if you did not pay tax in the past year. These payments are called refundable and nonrefundable tax credits.
To claim the following tax credits, you must file income tax returns:
- Goods and services tax credit (GST)
- Solidarity tax credit
- Childcare credits and benefits
- Carry forward to a future year some or all of the tax credits related to your tuition costs
- These credits will give you significant income tax reductions if you work in Canada after
- Your studies (T2202 and RL-8 slip)
- Carry forward RRSP (registered retirement savings plan) deductions to a future year
- Tax-deductible moving expenses
For more information, please visit the following websites:
- What is a Social Insurance Number and how to get it?
- New residents and income tax
- Newcomers in Canada
- Ministère du Revenu du Québec (or 1 800 267-6299)
- Canada Revenue Agency (or 1 800 959-7383)
- Series: International Students and Income Tax (video)
- Students and Income Tax Guide
- Learning about your taxes
How to produce your revenus declarations
To file an income tax return, a social insurance number (SIN) is usually required. If you do not have a SIN, you can still prepare an income tax return. In this case, before filing your return, you must obtain a tax identification number (TIN), which replaces the SIN. The Tax Identification Number (NII) replaces the SIN for those who do not have one. If your SIN has expired, but was valid for the past year, you can use it for your tax return.
For the federal return (Canada), the procedure for obtaining a TIN is detailed on the Canada Revenue Agency site (Form T1261 E). For the provincial return (Québec), you do not need to apply for a TIN because a temporary number is automatically issued to individuals who do not have a SIN.
It is important to keep all tax slips you receive from employers (RL-1 and T4 slips), Université Laval financial services (RL-8 and T2202 slips), and any other organization, even if you are not filing income tax returns this year. You will need them to complete the returns in the future. All residents are required to keep their income tax documents for six years.
Documents to accumulate throughout the year to completing your tax returns and to keep during 6 years:
- Medical bills
- Health insurance bills
- Bills for daycare centres
Documents to keep during 6 years as proof of your resident status for tax purposes:
- Bills from Hydro-Québec or other official authority (RAMQ, etc.)
- Notice of assessment from the Canada Revenue Agency/Revenue Quebec
- Evidence of employment (pay statements)
- Evidence of university attendance (note report/confirmation of registration)
- Originals or photocopies of your valid or expired study and work permits and passports
Université Laval Tax and Pay Statements
To view your T4 and Relevé 1 (slip 1) employment statements and statements for other sources of income (scholarship) T4A and Relevé 2, click on: Main Menu, Self-Service, Pay and Compensation, T4/T4A (Canada Revenue Agency) And RL-1/RL-2 (Revenue Quebec) Slip.
You must have previously authorized Université Laval to download tax statements into your account. If you do not, you will receive them in the mail and they will not be archived on this site.
Université Laval Education Fees
monPortail, Bills and Tax section
Agence du revenu du Canada: T2202A (2018 and before) or T2202 (2019)
Revenu Québec: RL-8
Request for a tax identification number (NII)
The Tax Identification Number (NII) replaces the SIN for those who do not have one.
Form T1261 — Request for Tax Identification Number
If, in a tax year, you have earned income in more than one country, Canada has signed preventive double taxation agreements with many countries called tax treaties.
Four ways to submit your income tax return
You can complete your income tax return by using a tax software. Please note that when you first apply, for the provincial government, you can use software to complete the return, but you can’t submit it online: you have to print it out and submit it by mail. However, you will be able to do all of your federal government income tax return online.
See the complete list of certified tax software online.
You can also ask an accountant or a company specialised in income taxes to prepare and file your income tax return. These organizations, while professional and fast, will charge you higher fees.
*Please note that the softwares and companies named above are for information purposes only. Université Laval does not recommend any specific organisation.
Tax preparation clinics by volunteers
Through the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program, community organizations host free tax preparation clinics and arrange for volunteers to prepare income tax and benefit returns for individuals who have a modest income and a simple tax situation.
Usually, individuals whose income is of less than 30 000$ for one person or 40 000$ for a family are eligible.
Before showing up, contact the organization to verify your eligibility.
See the complete list of clinics in Quebec City online.
You can file your income tax return using paper-based guides and forms available free of charge online at www.cra-arc.gc.ca or www.revenuquebec.ca. You can print them out or order paper copies that will be delivered to you by mail. Once completed, mail them to the appropriate income agency, Canada Revenue Agency or Quebec Revenue Agency.