How to do your taxes in Canada?

The end of winter is coming (okay I’m exaggerating there’s still a month and a half at least but please let me believe it) that means the tax season is coming too! The process is completely different from France and at first it may seem a little complicated. In 2015 I paid an organization to do my taxes but finally since I looked at it and I could do it myself, without paying anyone!

Attention this article speaks only of my experience in Ontario. I do not know what is happening in the other provinces of Canada.


How taxes work in Ontario?

Taxes are collected at source in Canada (this is also the case in France since 2019). If you look on your pay slip you will already see that there are many fewer lines than in France and that you have several things to remember:

  • Federal tax: these are the taxes that you pay to the government.
  • EI: Employment Insurance: as in France everyone contributes to unemployment (note that you are entitled to unemployment even if you are not Canadian, you must have a valid work permit).
  • CPP: Canada Pension Plan, it is a tax that all Canadians (except in Quebec, another name and another organization) pay. The purpose of this tax is to provide contributors and their families with partial income replacement in the event of retirement, disability or death. (definition copied on

Between mid-February and the end of April you must complete a tax return to know if you gave too much the previous year or if you have to pay something. In 2019 you must file your return by April 30, 2019.

What do you need for your Canadian tax return?

Proof of your income. If you are employed this is your T4. It’s a document that looks like this and that you issued by every employer that you had the previous year. Employers are accustomed you should have no problem getting it, you can receive it by post, have an organized distribution at the office or have it available online if you receive your payslips online (with ADP per example). In 2017 I had 4 different employers, I received all my T4 in February / March 2048, it’s not something that gave you when leaving the job but at a certain time of the year no matter when you leave the job.

If you have a RRSP, you are the owner, you will need other documents proving your sources of income.


What are my options to declare my taxes?

  • Get help from an accountant.
  • Call a tax firm like H & R Block.
  • Get help from the ephemeral shops that flourish in the malls during the tax period.
  • Yourself online.

How to make his taxes even online?

It’s coming, that’s what I did for the 3rd time. I used TurboTax (this post is not sponsored, I specify!) I find their platform online very intuitive. Here’s how in a few steps you can fulfill your annual duty:

  • Create an account on the TurboTax website.
  • Enter your information.
  • Then on the homepage you will be able to choose what you want to do. If you are employed you can choose “I have T4”.
  • Below you can choose which service you want to use. I take the free version since my statements are simple (I am not a priority or very rich lol) I do not feel I need help, it’s up to you.
  • Again few questions.
  • Enter info from your T4 : it’s quite simple, everything is numbered you just have to enter the information from box 1 in box 1 (there is not really box 1 by the way, it is an example).
  • Continue to enter all the information until you reach the end.
  • If this is your first year it is possible that the online declaration is not possible and you are asked to send it by mail. The request will take longer to process and you will have to wait longer before receiving your tax return.
  • We often talk about tax returns but in some it is possible that you have to pay taxes.
  • If you have not worked a complete year you can receive up to $ 2000 back tax sometime.
  • To have direct deposit on your account you have to link your CRA account (Canadian Revenue Agency), I do not remember what problem I had had the year last but do not hesitate to call them at 800-959-8281, they are super nice!
  • You have 7 years to make your tax returns. The tax man told me that when I forgot to do my 2015 taxes in 2016 when I was in France. So I did them in 2018. However if you have to pay taxes you will be increased.

Good tax season at all,

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