Residents of Canada pay taxes to all three levels of government:
- provincial or territorial; and
The government uses these taxes to pay for programs and services, including health care and education.
Residents of Canada must pay income tax on their income. If you have a salary, taxes are taken off automatically throughout the year. If you are self-employed, you may have to pay your taxes in a single payment or in several payments. Each year, you must submit an Income Tax and Benefit Return to tell the government how much money you made and how much tax you paid. If you paid too much tax, you will get a refund. If you paid too little, you will have to pay more.
You will need to file a tax return to qualify for government benefits. Visit the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) for more information on:
- Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB) and the Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB)
- Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) credit
- Benefits from provincial or territorial government programs
If you leave Canada for a long period of time, tell the CRA as you may need to file an income tax return for that year.
The CRA has many guides that you may find helpful. They also have volunteers who can help you fill out your tax forms for free.
The deadline for completing your tax return is April 30 of each year.
In Canada, there are many ways to help you save money to reach your goals. You can:
- save money in a Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA)
- save for your retirement by investing in a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP)
- save money for your children’s education with a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP)
Whenever you buy something, a GST will be added to the price. You may also have to pay a Provincial Sales Tax (PST), which varies from province to province. Remember, in Canada, prices may not include these taxes—they are added when you pay. Visit the CRA website to learn more about taxes.
If you own your home, you will also pay property and school taxes. For more information on these taxes, contact your municipal government.
The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) gives information and advice to help Canadians:
- spend responsibly;
- budget for the future and family; and
- be better informed before making important decisions about money.
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