Canadian Individuals FAQ

Before you file

Where can you get a tax return and guide?

On the Internet

You can get the General Income Tax and Benefit Package for 2017 or the 2017 Income Tax and Benefit Package (for non-residents and deemed residents of Canada) online. These forms and schedules are also available in multiple formats that can be accessed by persons who have a visual impairment. For information about these formats and accessibility, see About multiple formats.

You can also use our online order form to have a printed copy of the 2017 General guide and forms book, and any other forms and publications, mailed to you.

By mail

If you filed your 2016 tax return on paper, you should have received a 2017 General Income Tax and Benefits Guide and forms book in the mail by now. If you want to file on paper and didn’t receive a guide and forms book, you can print or order a copy from the CRA.

In person

A limited quantity of tax packages were available in both official languages at Canada Post, Service Canada, and most Caisse populaire Desjardins outlets until May 4, 2018.

Is the 2017 General income tax and benefit package available on the CRA website?

When preparing your tax return, you may need to refer to other guides, or complete some schedules and other forms that have more detailed information. To help you determine which you will need, see Other guides, schedules and forms you may need to complete your income tax and benefit return.

Select the province or territory in which you resided on December 31, 2017. If you were a deemed resident or non-resident of Canada in 2017, see 2017 Income Tax and Benefit Package (for non-residents and deemed residents of Canada).

What is the deadline for making deductible registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) contributions for the 2016 tax year?

RRSP

Marh 1, 2019 is the deadline for contributing to an RRSP for the 2018 tax year.

December 31 of the year you turn 71 years of age is the last day you can contribute to your own RRSP. For more information, see RRSP options when you turn 71.

RDSP

The deadline for opening an RDSP, making contributions and applying for the matching Grant and the income-tested Bond for the 2018 contribution year is December 31, 2018.

Home Buyers’ Plan

You have to buy or build the qualifying home before October 1 of the year after the year of withdrawal. For more information, see Conditions for participating in the HBP.

Lifelong Learning Plan

The student must have received a written offer to enroll before March of the year after you withdraw funds from your RRSPs.

Forms and publications

When is your T1 return due?

Self-employed persons

If you or your spouse or common-law partner carried on a business in the year (other than a business whose expenditures are primarily in connection with a tax shelter), your return has to be filed on or before June 15.. However, if you have a balance owing for the year, you have to pay it on or before April 30. For more information on how to make your payment, see Make a payment.

Exception to the due date of your return

When the due date falls on a Saturday, a Sunday, or a public holiday recognized by the CRA, your return is considered on time if we receive it or it is postmarked on the next business day. For more information, see Important dates for Individuals.

Deceased persons

If you are filing for a deceased person the due date may be different. For more information, see Guide T4011, Preparing Returns for Deceased Persons.

What if you don't have all your information slips?

Services and Information

Forms and publications

How do you get a social insurance number? (Service Canada website)

Overview

The Social Insurance Number (SIN) is a nine-digit number that you need to work in Canada or to have access to government programs and benefits.

A SIN is issued to one person only and it cannot legally be used by anyone else. You are responsible for protecting your SIN. Store any document containing your SIN and personal information in a safe place—do not keep your SIN with you.

Service Canada is now issuing SINs in paper format (confirmation of SIN letter). Production of the plastic SIN card has stopped, however, SIN cards that are not expired and are currently in circulation can still be used.

If you are a parent of a newborn, you can apply for your child’s SIN through the Newborn Registration Service.

If you are an employer, learn about your responsibilities related to your employees’ SINs.

Document navigation

How do you file a T1 return via the Internet using NETFILE?

NETFILE is an electronic tax-filing service that allows you to send your individual income tax and benefit return directly to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) using the Internet and a NETFILE-certified software product. It streamlines the tax-filing process and offers the following benefits:

  • It is secure and confidential.
  • File your returns directly from one of the NETFILE-certified products available using the NETFILE webservice.
  • No more need to upload your “.tax” file.
  • Refunds are issued faster (in most cases, with direct deposit, you can receive your refund in as little as eight business days).
  • It is more accurate (because the CRA doesn’t re-key the information, there is less chance of errors).
  • You don’t have to mail a paper return.
  • You don’t have to send in receipts, unless the CRA asks for them at a later date.
  • You get immediate confirmation that the CRA has received your tax return.

Security of personal information

The CRA accepts responsibility for the security of information once the CRA has received it, and the CRA takes precautions to ensure the confidentiality of data sent using the NETFILE web service. Throughout the session, the CRA takes extensive measures to make sure that security is maintained.

The CRA is also responsible for making sure personal and financial information is sent in an encrypted format between the taxpayers’ computer and its web servers. This ensures that computer hackers and other Internet users can’t alter or view the data being sent between the taxpayer and the CRA. The CRA uses sophisticated security techniques to protect this website. State-of-the-art encryption technology and security procedures protect your personal information at all times.

While every possible effort has been made to ensure the safety and integrity of transactions on the CRA website, the Internet is a public network and is therefore outside of the CRA’s control. In the event of a system failure, taxpayer data is not accessible to outside persons or systems. Internally, NETFILE has safeguards in place to make sure that there is no unauthorized access to data.

How do you file a T1 return electronically using EFILE?

EFILE is a service that lets authorized service providers and discounters send individual income tax return information to the CRA directly from the software used to prepare the tax return.

Clients take their documents to a registered tax preparer and, who, for a fee, will prepare their return and send it to us electronically using EFILE.

If you are a business that provides EFILE services to individual clients, go to EFILE for Electronic Filers. If your business also provides tax discounting services, go to Information for discounters.

Who can use EFILE?

Almost all Canadians (95%) are eligible to use EFILE. Please ask your service provider if you are able to use EFILE or see the list of exclusions if you have any questions.

Where can you find an EFILE service provider?

To locate an electronic provider, try our “postal code search“. Type in the postal code of the area where you would like to find an EFILE service provider, and a list will be provided on-line immediately.

What are the benefits of EFILE?

  • Faster refunds – Since EFILE cuts out several manual steps, we can process most electronic returns in about two weeks.
  • Improved accuracy – Before we accept a return for processing, we perform a series of computer checks and balances. This results in greater accuracy.
  • Paperless – There are no paper returns to file and, unless we ask for receipts, none are needed. With few exceptions, EFILE is an environmentally friendly, paperless system.
  • Ease of mind – You have a professional prepare your taxes for you and you can authorize your electronic provider to represent you. See Represent a Client or ask your service provider for details.
  • Ease of payment – Individuals can file early and do not have to pay an amount owing until April 30.

Frequently asked questions about EFILE

  1. What about your documents?
  2. What if we need more information before we assess your return?
  3. When can you expect your refund?
  4. How can you get faster payments and income tax refunds?
  5. What if you have a balance owing?
  6. What if you need to change your return?
  7. What if we review your return after we assess it?

1. What about your documents?

You have to show all your documents to your EFILE service provider. Neither you nor your EFILE service provider should send us a paper copy of your return or any documents, unless we ask you to do so. Your service provider can give you more details.

You will be required to sign a completed Form T183, Information Return for Electronic Filing of an Individual’s Income Tax and Benefit Return, authorizing the transmission of your return.

Keep all information slips, receipts, and other documents used to prepare your return, as well as a copy of your completed Form T183, for six years. We may ask to see them.

2. What if we need more information before we assess your return?

We may need more information from you before we can assess your return. We will let your EFILE service provider know if your return has been selected for review. We use the same criteria to select both paper and EFILE returns for a more detailed review.

If we do such a review, we will ask for supporting documents to verify the amounts you claimed. For example, we may ask to see your RRSP receipts. We will contact your EFILE service provider directly for supporting documents, if your EFILE service provider has been designated as your representative on Form T183 AND if your EFILE service provider has indicated that he/she should receive our pre-assessment or post-assessment letters. Otherwise, we will contact you.

3. When can you expect your refund?

In most cases, we can process an electronic return in about two weeks since EFILE cuts out several manual steps. With direct deposit, you could receive your refund in as little as eight business days.

If you don’t get your refund within two weeks, check with your EFILE service provider first to see if we have asked for any supporting documents.

You can also track the status of your return through the following services:

  • My Account
  • Telerefund service at 1-800-959-1956
  • Individual income tax and Trust enquiries line at 1-800-959-8281

4. How can you get faster payments and income tax refunds?

To get faster payments and refunds, ask your EFILE service provider about our direct deposit service. You can use this service for your income tax refund, your goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax credit payment and your Canada child benefit (CCB). Refunds and payments can be deposited directly into an account at your financial institution.

5. What if you have a balance owing?

There are a number of ways to make payments to the CRA, including paying online. For more information, go to Make a payment to the Canada Revenue Agency.

6. What if you need to change your return?

After we have acknowledged receiving your return, you cannot send us another version. You must wait until you receive your notice of assessment. Once you have received it, you may make changes to your return by the following options.

  • You can request the change electronically by logging on to My Account and selecting the Change my return option.
  • Your EFILE service provider can change it online with ReFILE.
  • Your tax preparer can electronically file an adjustment using Represent a Client.
  • You or your tax preparer can send the CRA a completed form T1-ADJ, T1 Adjustment Request.
  • You can send a signed letter explaining the changes (including the years of the returns you want us to change), your social insurance number, an address, and a telephone number where we can reach you during the day. With the letter, include supporting documents for your original return and documents for the changes you want to make.

7. What if we review your return after we assess it?

We routinely review returns after we assess them, whether they are filed electronically or on paper. This does not mean that you or your EFILE service provider made any errors or omissions. If we select your return for review after we assess it, we will send you a letter (or to your EFILE service provider, if you completed Part E of Form T183, Information Return for Electronic Filing of an Individual’s Income Tax and Benefit Return) asking for receipts and documents to support your claims. If you receive such a letter, please read it carefully and send the information we request.

Note
We cannot respond to requests a confidential nature received over the Internet or through electronic means. If you need more information, please contact your tax services office.

What are the average exchange rates?

Income and deductions

If you need to convert your income or deductions to Canadian dollars, go to Exchange Rates or Annual Average Exchange Rates (1997 to 2016).

Making payments

For information on making a payment in foreign funds, go to make a payment.

Related topics

Why are some CRA forms unavailable on the website?

A remittance voucher is a slip that provides payment allocation information, and should accompany your payments. A payment form is a form that provides a format or guidance on how to calculate an amount.

The vouchers and forms listed below can only be ordered. They are not available for download and print because they are produced using magnetic ink. Financial institutions will not accept photocopies.

List of remittance vouchers and payment forms you can order 

If you need to keep a copy of your GST/HST return calculations for record purposes, you can use the printer-friendly version of the Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) Return Working Copy.

How long it will take to receive an order

Once an order is placed it takes approximately 5 to 10 business days for you to receive it by mail.

How to order

You cannot order the followling types of remittance vouchers online:

  • Payroll (RP)
  • Charities (RR)
  • Information returns (RZ)
  • Remittance vouchers for a non-resident account

See “Other ways to order” below.

Other ways to order

By phone 

Help with remittance vouchers

See Get help with your remittance voucher.

Other payment forms you can order

Workers’ Compensation Board of Nova Scotia forms:

  • W1, Payroll and Contract Labour Report, statement of account -personalized
  • W1-B, Statement of Account – non-personalized
  • W1-RB, Nova Scotia Workers’ Compensation Board Remittance Booklet

Order by contacting the Workers’ Compensation Board of Nova Scotia.

Financial institution tags:

  • RC78-31, Financial Institution Shipping Label – GST/HST/TAX/CUSTOMS/EXCISE (Winnipeg)

Order by calling 1-800-959-5525.

Do you end up having to pay income tax when you file your tax return every year?

You may be able to reduce your net tax owing or reduce the amount of your instalment payments by increasing the amount of income tax withheld from certain types of income such as employer sponsored pension income or employment income.

To have income tax withheld from Old Age Security (OAS) or Canada Pension Plan (CPP) benefits, send a completed Form ISP3520, Request for Income Tax Deductions, to your Service Canada Office. You can also make this request by calling 1-800-277-9914.

To have tax withheld from employment income or from pension benefits from an employer-sponsored pension plan, give a completed Form TD1, Personal Tax Credits Return, to your employer or pension plan administrator. Individuals in Québec should use the federal TD1 and provincial Form TP1015.3-V, Source Deductions Return.

Income tax cannot be withheld from certain types of income, such as self-employment, investment, and rental income, and capital gains.

After you file

Where do you mail a paper T1 (for individuals) return?

The following addresses should be used to mail only income tax and benefit returns. For general mailing addresses, see Tax centres.

Resident individuals:

Mail your return to: For individuals who live in the following provinces, territories, or areas of Ontario or Quebec as shown below:
Winnipeg Tax Centre
Post Office Box 14001,
Station Main
Winnipeg MB  R3C 3M3
Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Northwest Territories, or Yukon

Ontario:
Hamilton, Kitchener, Waterloo, London, Thunder Bay, or Windsor

Sudbury Tax Centre
1050 Notre Dame Avenue
Sudbury ON  P3A 5C2
New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, or Prince Edward Island

Ontario:
Barrie, Belleville, Kingston, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, Sudbury, or Toronto

Quebec
Montréal, Outaouais, or Sherbrooke

Jonquière Tax Centre
2251 René-Lévesque Boulevard
Jonquière QC  G7S 5J2
Quebec:
All areas other than Montréal, Outaouais or Sherbrooke

Non-resident individuals:

Mail your return to: For individuals who live in the following countries, provinces, territories, or areas of Ontario as shown below:
Winnipeg Tax Centre
Post Office Box 14001,
Station Main
Winnipeg MB  R3C 3M3
Canada
USA, United Kingdom, France, Netherlands, or Denmark

Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, or Yukon

Ontario:
Belleville, Hamilton, Kingston, Kitchener, Waterloo, London, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, Thunder Bay, or Windsor

Sudbury Tax Centre
1050 Notre Dame Avenue
Sudbury ON  P3A 5C2
Canada
Countries other than the USA, United Kingdom, France, Netherlands, or Denmark

New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, or Quebec

Ontario:
Barrie, Sudbury, or Toronto

How can you find out the status of your tax refund?

On this page

When can you expect your refund for 2017?

It is CRA’s goal to issue a notice of assessment, including any applicable refund, within:

  • 2 weeks of receiving your electronically filed return
  • 8 weeks of receiving your paper filed return
  • 16 weeks of receiving your non-resident paper filed return

These timelines are only valid for returns received on or before their filing due dates.

Due to the complexities surrounding non-resident individual income tax returns, many of these returns can take up to 16 weeks to process.

We may take longer to process your return if we select it for a more detailed review. For more information, go to Review of your tax return by the CRA.

If you choose to use direct deposit, you could get your refund faster.

To find out about the status of your 2017 refund, go to How you can check the status of your refund.

Why haven’t you received your refund for 2017?

We may keep some or all of your refund if you:

  • owe or are about to owe a balance
  • have a garnishment order under the Family Orders and Agreements Enforcement Assistance Act
  • have certain other outstanding federal, provincial, or territorial government debts, such as student loans, employment insurance and social assistance benefit overpayments, immigration loans, and training allowance overpayments
  • have any outstanding GST/HST returns from a sole proprietorship or partnership
  • have a refund of $2 or less

How you can check the status of your refund

Go online

Call

  • Telerefund at 1-800-959-1956

To use Telerefund be ready to give:

  • your social insurance number;
  • your month and year of birth; and
  • the total income you entered on line 150 of your 2016 return (if you are calling before May 1);
  • the total income you entered on line 150 of your 2017 return (if you are calling on or after May 1).

After you filed your return, wait 8 weeks to call us for an update on the receipt of your return or status of your refund if you reside in Canada. If you reside outside of Canada please wait 16 weeks before you call us.

Can you transfer your refund?

To your instalment account

You can ask us to transfer your refund to your instalment account for 2018 by:

  • selecting this option when filing electronically
  • attaching a note to your paper return

We will transfer your full refund to your instalment account and consider this payment to be received on the date we assess your return.

To another person

You cannot ask us to transfer your refund to pay another person’s amount owing.

Do you get interest on your refund?

The Canada Revenue Agency will pay you compound daily interest on your tax refund for 2017. The calculation will start on the latest of the following three dates:

  • May 31st, 2018
  • the 31st day after you file your return
  • the day after you overpaid your taxes

Forms and publications

How do you change your T1 return?

You can request a change to your tax return by amending specific line(s) of your return. Do not file another return for that year, unless the return you want to amend was arbitrarily assessed under subsection 152(7).

Wait until you receive your notice of assessment before asking for changes to your return.

Generally you can only request a change to a return for a tax year ending in any of the 10 previous calendar years. For example, a request made in 2018 must relate to the 2008 or a later tax year to be considered.

Online

My Account

Use My Account to make certain changes to your Income Tax and Benefit Return, such as:

  • marital status
  • address
  • direct deposit
  • email address

Change my return

Change my return (CMR) is a secure My Account service that allows you to make an online adjustment for the 10 previous calendar years.

You cannot use Change my return to change:

  • a tax return that has not been assessed
  • a tax return where nine reassessments exist for a particular tax year
  • a bankruptcy return
  • a return prior to the year of bankruptcy
  • carryback amounts such as capital or non-capital losses
  • a return of an international or non-resident client (including deemed residents of Canada, newcomers to Canada, and individuals who left Canada during the year)
  • the elected split-pension amount
  • a return where you have income from a business with a permanent establishment outside your province or territory of residence (you have to complete Form T2203, Provincial and Territorial Taxes for 2017 – Multiple Jurisdictions)
  • a return that was arbitrarily filed by CRA under subsection 152(7)

In any of these cases, go to By mail below.

ReFILE

To use ReFILE, you must have filed electronically the tax return for the year(s) in question.

Individuals can change their T1 return online for the 2017 and 2016 tax years with certified NETFILE software.

An EFILE service provider can change your T1 return online for the 2017, 2016, and 2015 tax years with EFILE certified software.

There are situations where you cannot use ReFILE. To find out about the exceptions, go to What does ReFILE exclude?

For more information about this service, go to ReFILE.

After you have made online changes to your tax return, keep all your receipts and supporting documents in case we ask to see them. Provide supporting documents only if asked to do so and using the method of submission as indicated in our contact letter.

By mail

Send both of the following to your tax centre:

  • a completed Form T1-ADJ, T1 Adjustment Request
  • all supporting documents for the change, including those for the original assessment, unless you have already sent them to us

Send your current year return separately from any request to change a return for another year.

Processing times

  • online, usually within 2 weeks
  • by mail, usually within 8 weeks

For more information see CRA service standards.

Processing timeframes applies to routine adjustment requests. Some change requests are considered complex and will take longer to process due to the additional verification required. They include situations where:

  • We have to contact you or your authorized representative for more information or documentation
  • Your request is to adjust multiple tax returns, or tax years beyond the normal three years reassessment period
  • Your request is for a bankruptcy return
  • Your request is related to a deceased taxpayer
  • You request a carryback amount such as capital or non-capital losses
  • Your request is related to an international or non-resident client
  • Your request is for the elected split-pension amount

We want to assure you that processing your request is our highest priority. The time required to complete a complex adjustment request varies with the type of adjustment and the circumstances involved. We recognize that the time the CRA needs to process complex requests may not be ideal for some taxpayers and/or representatives. We continually strive to find the right balance between processing timeliness and the need to protect the integrity of our self-assessment tax system.

When our review is done we will send you:

  • a notice of reassessment showing any changes to your return and/or
  • a letter explaining why we did not make the changes you asked for or if no changes were needed

To change your address, go to How to change your address.

Forms and publications

How should you tell the CRA about your change of address?

Go online

Use My Account and click on “Change my address.”

Use the MyCRA mobile application and select “Manage contact info.”

Call

Call 1-800-959-8281.

Before you call, go to Getting or changing personal tax information to find out what information you should have on hand.

Mail or fax

Send one of these to your tax centre:

You can change someone else’s address at the same time as yours, such as your spouse’s or common-law partner’s. Your letter must include the name, social insurance number, and signature of that individual.

Why is it important?

When your information is up to date, you will receive, without delays, any benefit payments to which you may be entitled and important correspondence from the CRA. Otherwise, your payments may stop or you may not receive important correspondence, such as your notice of assessment.

How should you tell the CRA about your change of name?

Please tell us as soon as possible if your name changes.

If you change only your first name or last name, call 1-800-959-8281 to advise us of your name change.

If you change your first name and last name, send the following by mail or fax to your tax centre:

  • the original or certified true copy of one of the following documents:
    • a name change certificate from a provincial/territorial vital statistics department; or
    • a court order issued under an act on change of name;
  • your old and new names;
  • your social insurance number; and
  • your signature.

Notes:

  1. We do not accept changes of name by email or Internet.
  2. Please note that we generally will not forward your new information to other government departments, except Elections Canada, but only if you gave us your authorization by answering “Yes” to both Elections Canada questions on page one of your return. If you want other departments or organizations informed, you must contact them directly.
What should you do if you owe taxes that you cannot pay right now?

Services and information

What's the penalty for missing the deadline to file your personal income tax return?

Interest

If you have a balance owing for 2017, we charge compound daily interest starting May 1, 2018, on any unpaid amounts owing for 2017. This includes any balance owing if we reassess your return. In addition, we will charge you interest on the penalties starting the day after your filing due date. The rate of interest we charge can change every three months. See Prescribed interest rates.

If you have amounts owing from previous years, we will continue to charge compound daily interest on those amounts. Payments you make are first applied to amounts owing from previous years.

Late-filing penalty

If you owe tax for 2017 and you file your return for 2017 after the due date, we will charge you a late-filing penalty. The penalty is 5% of your 2017 balance owing, plus 1% of your balance owing for each full month your return is late, to a maximum of 12 months.

If we charged a late-filing penalty on your return for 2014, 2015, or 2016 your late-filing penalty for 2017 may be 10% of your 2017 balance owing, plus 2% of your 2017 balance owing for each full month your return is late, to a maximum of 20 months.

Tax Tip

Even if you cannot pay your full balance owing on or before April 30, 2018, you can avoid the late-filing penalty by filing your return on time.

Repeated failure to report income penalty

If you failed to report an amount on your return for 2017 and you also failed to report an amount on your return for 2014, 2015, or 2016, you may have to pay a federal and provincial or territorial repeated failure to report income penalty. If you did not report an amount of income of $500 or more for a tax year, it will be considered a failure to report income.

The federal and provincial or territorial penalties are each equal to the lesser of:

  • 10% of the amount you failed to report on your return for 2017; and
  • 50% of the difference between the understated tax (and/or overstated credits) related to the amount you failed to report and the amount of tax withheld related to the amount you failed to report.

However, if you voluntarily tell us about an amount you failed to report, we may waive these penalties. For more information, see Voluntary Disclosures Program.

Notes

For residents of Quebec, only the federal penalty will be applied as the provincial tax is assessed by Revenu Québec.

For non-residents and deemed residents of Canada, the provincial or territorial penalty will be applied only if provincial or territorial tax is payable.

False statements or omissions penalty

You may have to pay a penalty if you, knowingly or under circumstances amounting to gross negligence, have made a false statement or omission on your 2017 return.

The penalty is equal to the greater of:

  • $100; and
  • 50% of the understated tax and/or the overstated credits related to the false statement or omission.

However, if you voluntarily tell us about an amount you failed to report and/or credits you overstated, we may waive this penalty. For more information, see Voluntary Disclosures Program.

Cancel or waive penalties or interest

The CRA administers legislation, commonly called the taxpayer relief provisions, that gives the CRA discretion to cancel or waive penalties or interest when taxpayers are unable to meet their tax obligations due to circumstances beyond their control.

The CRA’s discretion to grant relief is limited to any period that ended within 10 calendar years before the year in which a request is made.

For penalties, the CRA will consider your request only if it relates to a tax year or fiscal period ending in any of the 10 calendar years before the year in which you make your request. For example, your request made in 2018 must relate to a penalty for a tax year or fiscal period ending in 2008 or later.

For interest on a balance owing for any tax year or fiscal period, the CRA will consider only the amounts that accrued during the 10 calendar years before the year in which you make your request. For example, your request made in 2018 must relate to interest that accrued in 2008 or later.

To make a request fill out Form RC4288, Request for Taxpayer Relief – Cancel or Waive Penalties or Interest.

For more information about relief from penalties or interest and how to submit your request, go to Taxpayer relief provisions.

Forms and publications

Why do we review income tax returns?

Topics

Canada’s tax system is based on the self-assessment principle. This means that individuals complete an income tax and benefit return each year to report their annual income, claim all deductions or credits that apply to their situation and calculate whether they owe tax or will receive a refund.

Each year, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) conducts a number of review activities that promote awareness of and compliance with the laws it administers. These reviews are an important part of the CRA’s compliance activities to maintain the integrity of, and the Canadian public’s confidence in the Canadian tax system.

Review programs also promote taxpayer education by identifying common areas of misunderstanding. Analysis of results and feedback from taxpayers are used to review and improve the guides and forms that CRA provides to the public. For a list of errors most frequently made by taxpayers on their income tax return, go to Common adjustments.

Our various review programs take place at different times during the year, so if you move, it is very important to change your address with us as soon as possible. If you plan to be away for some time, you can authorize a representative to act on your behalf by going to My Account for Individuals or by completing Form T1013, Authorizing or Cancelling a Representative.

It is important to emphasize that when we select your return for review, that it does not represent a tax audit. For more information about tax audits and related policies and practices, see Information Circular IC71-14, The Tax Audit.

Forms and publications

Benefits

Where can you get information on child and family benefits?

Includes Canada child benefit, goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) credit, their related provincial and territorial programs, as well as working income tax benefit and other federal programs.

These payments are meant to help individuals and families. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) administers these payments.

Are you eligible and do you want to apply for benefits?

Select a link below for more information on the benefit, credit, or program.

Find out if you are eligible for benefits and credits

  Two parents
Married or common-law with children
Single parent
Single with
children
Couple
Married or
common-law with no children
Single person
Single and 19 or older with no children
Canada child benefit Yes Yes No No
Goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) credit Yes Yes Yes Yes
Provincial and territorial
benefits and credits
Yes Yes Yes Yes

You might also be eligible for other benefits

Child disability benefit
This is a tax-free benefit for families who care for a child under the age of 18 who is eligible for the disability tax credit.

Working income tax benefit
This is a refundable tax credit intended to provide tax relief for eligible working low-income individuals and families who are already in the workforce. It is also intended to encourage Canadians to enter the workforce.

Children’s special allowances
This program provides payments to federal and provincial agencies and institutions that care for children (for example, children’s aid societies).

Are you expecting a baby?

If you are the birth mother of a newborn, you can use the Automated Benefits Application on the birth registration form when you register your newborn with your province. This allows you to apply for the Canada child benefit, the GST/HST credit, and related provincial or territorial programs for your child.

What do you need to do after you apply?

You don’t have to apply for the benefits and credits every year, but you must:

  • do your taxes on time every year 
    • to continue receiving the benefit and credit payments that you are entitled to, even if you have no income in the year. If you have a spouse or common-law partner, they also have to do their taxes every year. Need a hand to complete your tax return?
  • keep your personal information up to date
  • keep your supporting documents in case we ask for them
    • in the future, you might receive a letter from the CRA as part of the validation process, asking you to confirm your personal information.

Sign up for:

Want to know how much you might get?

Go to the CRA child and family benefits calculator to see how much you might get.

Did you get a benefits overpayment? You may have a balance owing.

When will you get your payment?

For all payment dates and contact information, see benefit payment dates.

To view your personalized benefit information, including your next benefit payment date and amount, use the MyBenefits CRA mobile application.