Why File Taxes
It is not illegal to owe the government money; it is illegal to avoid taxes by not filing your tax return.
Even if you have no income:
- If you have children, both you and your spouse or common-law partner must file a tax return in order to receive the child tax benefit.
- If you want to receive the GST/HST credit, you have to file a tax return. If you are turning 18, you have to file an income tax return in order to receive the credit for the calendar quarter following your 19th birthday.
- If you have more tuition fees, education or textbook amounts than you need to reduce your tax to zero, you still have to file a tax return so that the CRA can record the amount you can carry forward to future years.
If you had income:
- If you had a job or other type of earned income, you should file a return so that the income is used to increase your RRSP contribution limit for future years. This applies even if you are under 18 and still too young to contribute to an RRSP.
- If you are receiving the guaranteed income supplement, you must file a tax return each year to ensure that you continue to receive benefits.
- If you have received advanced payments of the Working Income Tax Benefit (WITB) in 2009 and if you would like to receive them again in 2010, you must file a 2009 tax return to be eligible.
- If you want to have the CRA determine your contribution room to your Tax-free Savings Account (TFSA), you must file a tax return each year. The CRA will use the information provided by TFSA issuers and advise you of your contribution limit on your Notice of Assessment.
- Your employer will file a T4, the government will therefore be aware of the money you made and the taxes paid or possibly owing.