Filing Your Taxes - Updates

The CRA administrates the tax laws for the government of Canada as well as administering the programs delivered through the tax system.

An Important Reminder: Protecting yourself from fraud

All students are reminded that it is important to be vigilant when it comes to protecting your personal and financial information.

The Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) will never contact you asking for personal information such as social insurance number, credit card number, bank account number, or passport number through telephone email or mail.

Be aware of giving out your personal/financial information, and clicking on links you are unsure of. *

Visit the Canadian government website to learn more about:

  • What to expect when the CRA contacts you
  • How to protect yourself from identify theft
  • Types of fraud
  • How to recognize a scam
  • How to report a scam

Requirements to File your Taxes

  • Based on Canadian Residency, NOT immigration status
  • You MUST either have a SIN (Social Insurance Number) OR an ITN (Individual Tax Number)
    • You can find the ITN application on the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) website (by searching for “T1261” in the grey Search search bar. The process to receive an ITN can take up to a few months. Do NOT apply for an ITN if you already have a SIN.)
  • The Tax Year runs from January 1st to December 31st
  • You CAN still file after April 30, but there will be penalties ONLY if you owe tax
  • Do you HAVE to file a tax return? YES – if you work in Canada or you want to claim a refund

Documents and Receipts for Filing

  • T4 (Employment income – issued from your employer)
  • T4A (Scholarships & Bursaries – issued by schools [find on MyMohawk -> Student Finances -> My Statements] or the organization who gave the scholarship)
  • T5 (Investment Income – issued by: the bank or investment broker)
  • T2202A (Tuition; issued by school [MyMohawk -> Student Finances -> My Statements])
  • Rent Receipts (Issued by your landlord. Landlords are REQUIRED BY LAW to provide you with receipts)
  • Medical Expenses (UHIP premium / Out of pocket expenses above what UHIP covers – MyMohawk -> Student Finances -> Account Summary, find EACH term you were studying; save receipts for out-of-pocket expenses)
  • Transit (Presto Pass receipts only DURING your semesters, not in the summer)
  • Moving Expenses (Air flight receipt / accommodation)
  • Last Year’s NOA (Notice of Assessment) (Issued by the government)
  • Other CRA Correspondence or Notices
  • Get your T4, T4A, & T2202 from MyMohawk
    • Log into your MyMohawk account and select Student Finances, then find under “My Statements,” select T2202A Tuition Tax Receipts, T4, and T4A

Money Back – GST (Government Sales Tax) Refund

The GST credit is a tax-free payment that helps individuals and families with low incomes offset part or all of the GST that they pay.

  • Most students are low-income
  • Based on your 2019 income
  • Must be 19 years old or older

Money Back – OTB (Ontario Trillium Benefit)

The OTB is the combined payment of 3 credits: the Ontario Energy & Property Tax credit, the Northern Ontario Energy credit, and the Ontario Sales Tax credit. You must qualify for 1 of the 3 credits to get the OTB. You can find eligibility requirements for all three credits by visiting the Canada Revenue Agency website and searching “Ontario Trillium Benefit” in the grey search bar at the top, then scrolling down and clicking on “Ontario Trillium Benefit Questions and Answers.”

  • You will qualify based on your 2019 income
  • You must be 19 years of age
  • If you lived in residence you can only claim $25 for occupancy

You could qualify for up to $750

If you have further questions about the Ontario Trillium Benefit, you can call 1-866-668-8297 for more information.

Simple Tax & Turbo Tax: Free & Simple Online Tax Filing Software

These programs are free, very easy to use, and will lead you step-by-step through the tax filing process.

Tax Tips & Tricks

Sign up for a CRA Account Online

  • You can view all past tax filings, credits used, etc.
  • You can view your RRSP (Registered Retirement Savings Plan) & TFSA (Tax-Free Savings Account) contributions
  • You can see the amounts and the dates of your refund cheques and benefits that will be coming
  • Visit the Canada Revenue Agency website and search “CRA Account”, and click on “My Account for Individuals

Sign up for Direct Deposit:

  • Receive all tax refunds and benefits straight into your bank account
  • Faster AND more secure than having the refunds and benefits sent by mail
  • You can sign up online through My CRA Account, through your financial institution, by phone at 1-800-959-8281

Keep track of unused tax credits

  • Scan receipts and keep them in a secured file (make a folder for each year)
  • File the hardcopy away your yearly file folder

Keep all documents claimed in your tax filing for 6 years.

Even if you do not have to attach certain supporting documents to your return, or if you are filing your return electronically, keep them in case the CRA selects your tax return for a review (commonly called an ‘audit’). They may ask for documents other than official receipts, such as cancelled cheques or bank statements as proof of any deduction or credit you claimed.

Additional Information for International Students

CRA: Canada Revenue Agency

The CRA administrates the tax laws for the government of Canada as well as administering the programs delivered through the tax system.

  • Call 1-800-959-8281 for more assistance from the CRA.
  • Visit the Canada Revenue Agency website for a wealth of information about filing taxes as an international student search for “international student” in the gray search bar at the top of the site, then click on “Are you an international student studying in Canada?” link in the search  results)

Government of Canada Website - Are you an international student studying in Canada?

Visit the government webpage for are you an international student studying in Canada.

  • Canada’s Income Tax System
  • Social Insurance Number of Individual Tax Number
  • Residency Status
  • Do you have to file a tax return?
  • What are tuition, education, and textbook amounts?
  • Where do you send your tax return?

Want to learn more? Check out the official Taxes for International students studying in Canada page!