International Student and Canadian Income Taxes

UBC Campus, Vancouver, BC (Canada)
Are you an international student studying in Canada? If you are, there are rights, obligations and entitlements that you need to know. In Canada, you have to report your income, deductions, and calculate federal and provincial or territorial tax based on your taxable income during the year. The balance owing or amount refunded is based according to your deductions, non-refundable and refundable credits that you claimed. If you are a resident of Quebec on December 31, you have to use the tax package for Quebec residents to calculate your federal tax only. In addition, you need to file a Quebec provincial return as well.

In Canada, your residency status and worldwide income are used as basis for income taxes purposes. Your residential status is measured by the determination of residency ties with Canada. Generally, residential ties are determined according to few factors (family members, personal property, and social ties).

If you haven’t established residential status in Canada, and you are not consider deemed resident of Canada, there are filing requirements for non-residents of Canada, please see, T4058 Non-Residents and Income Tax . Additional information that may help you in the determination of Resident or Non-resident status, see information, NR74 Determination of Residency Status (Entering Canada), Non-residents of Canada, & Determination of Residency status (entering Canada).

To find out if you have established residential ties in Canada, please see: T4055, Newcomers to Canada. If you are a resident or deemed resident of Canada, you must complete this tax package, applicable to Federal & Provincial, choose the tax package applicable to your residency during December 31st. You must include your worldwide income (income from all sources) within or outside Canada to your income tax return. Even if you don’t have any income for that year or taxes to be paid, it’s best to file a tax return, you may be eligible for certain benefits payments or credits, even if you don’t have income during that year.

If you are a non-resident, you only have to report your income from Canadian income sources. You have to use this tax guide, Income Tax and Benefit Package (for non-residents and deemed residents of Canada) Guide

In Canada, in order to work and have access to benefits payments and credits, you need a Social Insurance Number (SIN). You can get this through, Service Canada or call at 1-800-206-7218. If you’re not eligible for SIN, you have to complete Form T1261, Application for a Canada Revenue Agency Individual Tax Number (ITN) for Non-Residents and send it to CRA.

The deadline of filing of your income tax return is April 30th following your tax year. As a student, there are certain non-refundable credits that you may claim on you income tax return, and by completing Schedule 1 and Schedule 11 of your tax package. Please see, General Income Tax and Benefit Package & Income Tax and Benefit Package (for non-residents and deemed residents of Canada) Guide & 5005-S11 Schedule 11 - Quebec - Tuition, Education, and Textbook Amounts .

If you have dual citizenship, for example in US (or other country) and Canada, and in order to avoid double taxation, under the “International Tax Conventions”, it eliminates double taxation. While the income needs to be reported both on a US and Canadian tax returns, and worldwide income being the tax base in both tax jurisdictions, the income earned is generally taxable in Canada and in the US, thus a possibility of double taxation. Because of Canada/US Convention, it provides double taxation relief, usually taxing income in the country in which income is earned. Please see, Tax Treaties

In addition, as Canadian resident individuals, and family members, you might be eligible for RC151 GST/HST Credit Application for Individuals Who Become Residents of Canada, please see if you’re eligible, RC151 GST/HST Credit Application for Individuals Who Become Residents of Canada
Once you have completed your income tax return as an international student, each year you have to send this to, for resident individuals, mailing address & Non-resident individuals to: International Tax Services Office, Canada Revenue Agency, 2204 Walkley Road Ottawa ON K1A 1A8

Websites related to students and taxes:
Non-resident individuals
Mail your T1 return to:
International Tax Services102A - 2204 Walkley RoadOttawa ON K1A 1A8 Canada
Telephones: Canada and the U.S.1-800-267-5177
Outside Canada and the U.S.613-952-3741 (collect calls)
Other Forms and publications or call 1-800-959-2221

Please feel free to leave comments/inquiries, or you may contact me at:
Earla RiopelBSCom(USA), DipAcc(UBC)
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