Taxes are boring! They are complicated, can take a lot of time to do and can be a pain in the-you-know-what. But did you know that if certain conditions apply, you don’t have to file a tax return? Sadly these conditions do not apply to everyone and even if you don’t have to file, it can still be a good idea to file.
When Do You Have To File A Tax Return?
- If you had income and owe taxes, then you have to file! After-all, if you don’t file, the CRA won’t know how much to charge you.
- If you had net self-employment income that was more than $3,500, then you will have to pay CPP.
- Do you and your spouse want to split your pension income ? If so, you both have to file a tax return.
- Did you sell investments or other capital property ? If so, you must file a tax return to declare the capital gain or loss.
- If you have to repay Employment Insurance (EI) or Old Age Security Benefits (OAS) , then you have to file a tax return.
- If you took amounts from your RRSP for the Home Buyers Plan (HBP)  or Life Long Learning Plan (LLP)  and must make repayments, then you are required to file a tax return.
- The CRA told you that you have to file! Don’t ignore the request as there can be penalties for failing to file.
Good Reasons To File A Tax Return
Perhaps you don’t have to file an income tax return this year. In many cases it still makes good sense to file anyway. Here are a few good reasons to file:
- The government owes you money and you want a refund! If they owe you a refund and you don’t file, then you won’t earn any interest on that money.
- You want to receive the GST or HST credit.
- If you receive the Child Tax Benefit (CTB) and want to continue to receive those payments, then you’ll have to file.
- If you were a student and want to carry forward your unused tuition and education amount to future years, you’ll have to file a tax return. If you want to transfer these amounts, you will also have to file.
- Did you have earned income  and you can build more RRSP contribution room  by filing your income tax return.
- Did you have a non-capital loss in the year? If so, you’ll have to file to be able to carry this amount forward.
- Did you receive the Working Income Tax Benefit (WITB) advanced payment? Do you still want to receive it? Then you should file.
- If you receive the Guarantee income Supplement (GIS), you will have to file in order to continue receiving those benefits.