You must file an income tax return in the following circumstances:

  • You have tax payable for the year
  • You or your spouse or common-law partner either receive or are entitled to receive the Canada Child Benefit
  • You have disposed of capital property
  • You have a taxable capital gains
  • You have to repay all or a part of the Old Age Security (OAS)
  • You have received a demand from CRA to file a tax return
  • You have to repay all or a part of the Employment Insurance (EI) benefits
  • You have withdrawn money from Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) for home buyers plan or lifelong learning plan and have not fully repaid that money
  • You ceased to be a Canadian resident for tax purposes
  • You or your spouse or common-law partner elected to split pension income




You can always file a tax return, even if you are not required to file an income tax return under the rules above. Filing a tax return will provide you several benefits listed below:

  • You can get the refund for any taxes withheld if your actual tax payable is lower than the taxes withheld
  • You may be entitled to claim federal and provincial credit such as GST/HST credit, Child Tax Benefit, Working Tax Benefit credits, etc.
  • You have non-capital losses in the current year which can be carried back and carried forward to reduce the income of other years
  • You are receiving a Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) under the Old Age Security (OAS) Program
  • If you have earned income, filing a tax return will increase your RRSP contribution room