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Do You Need To File A Tax Return?

Ever wondering if you should find some time on your busy schedule to file a tax return which might cost you some time or money? Is it worth it? The following points might help you make the decision.

You must file a return for 2015 if any of the following situations apply:

  • You have to pay tax for 2015;
  • Canada Revenue Agency sent you a request to file a return;
  • You and your spouse or common-law partner elected to split pension income for 2015;
  • You received working income tax benefit (WITB) advance payments in 2015;
  • You disposed of capital property in 2015 (for example, if you sold real estate or shares) or you realized a taxable capital gain (for example, if a mutual fund or trust attributed income to you, or you are reporting a capital gains reserve you claimed on your 2014 return);
  • You have to repay any of your old age security or employment insurance benefits;
  • You have not repaid all amounts withdrawn from your registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) under the Home Buyers’ Plan or the Lifelong Learning Plan;
  • You have to contribute to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP). This can apply if for 2015 the total of your net self-employment income and pensionable employment income is more than $3,500.
  • You are paying employment insurance premiums on self-employment and other eligible earnings.

Even if none of these requirements apply, you can file a return if any of the following situations apply:

  • You want to claim a refund;
  • You want to claim the WITB for 2015;
  • You want the GST/HST credit (including any related provincial credits).
  • You or your spouse or common-law partner want to begin or continue receiving Canada child tax benefit payments, including related provincial or territorial benefit payments;
  • You or your spouse or common law partner want to claim the family tax cut;
  • You have incurred a non-capital loss in 2015 that you want to be able to apply in other years;
  • You want to carry forward or transfer the unused part of your tuition, education, and textbook amounts;
  • You want to report income for which you could contribute to an RRSP and/or a pooled registered pension plan (PRPP) to keep your RRSP/PRPP deduction limit for future years current;
  • You want to carry forward the unused investment tax credit on expenditures you incurred during the current year;
  • You receive the guaranteed income supplement or allowance benefits under the old age security program. You can usually renew your benefit by filing your return by April 30. If you choose not to file a return, you will have to complete a renewal form. This form is available from Service Canada.

If you look more closely at the tax forms, you will see that the T1 form is called Income Tax and Benefit Return. Even if you do not owe any taxes or are not expecting any refunds, you might still find it necessary to file if any benefits are expected.

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