Who is required to file a tax return?

Region: Ontario Answer # 175

You must file a personal income tax return if any of the following applies:

  • You have to pay tax on income earned during the previous calendar year
  • The tax authorities requested that you file a return
  • You sold or otherwise disposed of property, such as real estate or corporate shares
  • You have a taxable capital gain or are reporting a capital gains reserve which you claimed on your previous year’s return
  • You have to pay back a portion of your Old Age Security or Employment Insurance benefits
  • You have not repaid money you withdrew from your RRSP under a qualified plan, such as the Home Buyers’ Plan
  • You are contributing to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP)
  • You and your spouse or common-law partner choose to split pension income in previous year
  • You paid Employment Insurance premiums on self-employment and other eligible earnings
  • You want to claim the Canada Workers Benefit (CWB) or you received CWB advance payments in the year
  • You or your spouse or common-law partner want to begin or continue receiving the following payments (including any related provincial or territorial payments): Canada child benefit (CCB), GST⁄HST credit, Guaranteed income supplement (GIS)

This is only a partial list of the requirements. Personal and business tax issues including the rules regarding gifts and inheritances are vast and complicated. To get help, ask a lawyer now.

If you earn income from employment, your employer is obligated to deduct tax installments from every pay cheque and remit them to Canada Revenue Agency. If your employer has not deducted enough during the year, you will have to pay more tax when you file your tax return. If your employer deducted too much because you have deductions or credits to claim, you will usually get money back after you file your return for the year.

If you earn income from a source other than an employer, you will usually pay the tax you owe when you file your tax return or when you are asked to make quarterly installment payments. With certain types of investments, you are required to pay tax on the income you earn during the year regardless of when you actually receive it.

You also need to file a return to be eligible for an income tax refund, and to claim credits or deductions such as for Goods and Services Tax, Harmonized Sales Tax, Child Tax Benefit payments, tuition or education payments, RRSP contributions, or if you have incurred a non-capital loss that you want to be able to apply in other years.

When to file your return

Under the law, you are required to file your tax return and pay any taxes owing by April 30th of the following year. If you, your spouse, or a common-law partner is self-employed and carried on a business in the year of the return, the forms may be filed on or before June 15th. In such cases, even though the personal tax forms may be filed up-to June 15th, any outstanding taxes must still be paid on or before April 30th.

Get help

For advice and assistance with tax planning, a CRA tax dispute, or other tax issues, contact Tax Chambers LLP

Personal and business tax issues including the rules regarding gifts and inheritances are vast and complicated. To get help, ask a lawyer now.

Tax Chambers Tax Law Ontario All Topics Sept 2017Tax Chambers Tax Law Ontario All Topics Sept 2017



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