Taxes in Canada

Why is it important to file your taxes?

Canada’s tax system helps pay for things like schools, arenas, and health care. And by doing your taxes you may get benefits and credits. Completing an income tax form and sending it to the government is referred to as ‘filing a tax return’. You must file a tax return if you:
  • Earned income from employment.
  • Received a scholarship, bursary, or fellowship while in Canada.
By filing your tax return, you are often eligible for a refund if you have had any of the following income or expenses during the tax year:
  • Income from an assistantship, such as a Teaching Assistant (TA) or Research Assistant (RA).
  • Rent expenses for off-campus housing.
  • Salary or hourly pay.
  • Scholarships.
  • Tuition (2023 T2202A and T4A tax forms from York are available to download at: ).
  • Public transit pass (TTC, GO Transit or VIVA, for example).
In Canada, the tax year goes from January 1 to December 31. Income tax forms must be completed and submitted by April 30 of the following year. For example, you must mail your completed tax forms for the 2023 tax year (January 1 to December 31, 2023) by April 30, 2024. Information about filing a tax return as an international student in Canada can be found on the Canada Revenue Agency's website.

How to file a tax return:

What documents do I need to file a tax return?
  Depending on whether you choose to complete your tax return on your own, or if you seek help from a tax clinic/accountant, you will need to prepare the following documents (not all the information listed below will be applicable to you):  
  • A Social Insurance Number (SIN). To have a SIN you must have active employment on campus or a work permit. If you do not have a SIN, because you did not earn income in Canada, you must have an Individual Tax Number (ITN) file your tax return.
  • Tax information slips such as T4 (if you worked in 2023), T2202A (Tuition fees paid), any other tax slips. If you worked at York University, you can access your T4 for 2023 Tax year from HR Self Serve.
  • Medical/dental receipts for payments made by you.
  • Rent receipts or letter from landlord stating amount of rent paid in 2023.
  • 2022 CRA notice of assessment (you would have received this from the CRA if you filed returns in 2022)
  • Donation receipts if you made any donations in 2023.
Completing your tax return using a tax preparation software:

You also have the option to file your tax return online using a tax preparation software. Choose from a list of tax preparation software provided on the Canadian Revenue Agency website.

Tax filing support available in Toronto: