International students: Income tax filing in Canada

International students enrolled at VIU may file an income tax return once they have resided in Canada the previous year. This classifies them as a deemed resident for tax purposes (not for immigration purposes). International students who are deemed residents are required to pay tax on income they earn from Canadian sources e.g. if student worked part time while studying or during scheduled breaks or received taxable scholarships.

Filing taxes is often beneficial for international students who earn an income in Canada as they are able to claim a portion of their tuition payments. In addition, students may also qualify for the goods and services tax refund or a student’s spouse/common law partner may qualify for receiving the Canadian Child Tax benefit. International students filing taxes for the first time need to make sure to enter their first date of arrival to Canada. If they have lived in Canada less than 183 days (in the calendar year) and have not earned an income from a Canadian source then they are not required to file income tax return.

How to file an Income Tax Return?

Even if you have no income to report or tax to pay, you may be eligible for certain payments or credits. In order to receive these payments or credits, you must file an income tax return.

As a resident of Canada for part or all of a tax year (January 1 to December 31), you must file a tax return if you want to receive a refund from the government.

You must file an income tax return to receive credits such as:

  • The GST/HST credit (goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax)
  • Canada Child Tax Benefit payments
  • Provincial or Territorial tax credits.

VIU students are eligible for free tax filing software from the Students’ Union. International students may print out their T2202A Tax Receipts (Tuition) from their Student Record which is available in early February for the previous calendar year. For more details, please visit the frequently asked questions page of the Registration Office.

For more information please watch Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)’s videos titled “Do International Students in Canada Need to File Taxes? 

To complete your file return follow this link

Free Tax Clinics for International Students

Click the date and join the event on Facebook:

We'll run more more clinics later in the summer.

The service is provided free of charge by volunteers from VIU's Accounting Club on a "first come, first served" basis, you must come to room 205 and sign your name in the waiting list.

Make sure to bring all the necessary documentation with you to get your tax refunds ready, the clinic are free and all located in the Centre for International Education Building 255

Please bring the following documents with you:

  1. T2202A - Tuition, Education, and Textbook Amounts Certificate (Available online through your Student Record)
  2. T4 - Statement of Remuneration
  3. T4A - Statement of Other Income
  4. Medical and Donation Receipts
  5. Passport
  6. Bus pass receipt 
  7. USB Flash Drive
  8. SIN or Individual Tax Number
  9. Bank information for direct deposit (a blank cheque will do)

For other examples, please see "Do you have to file a return?" in the General Income Tax and Benefit Guide.

For income tax purposes, international students studying in Canada are considered to be one of the following types of residents*:

  • resident (includes students who reside in Canada only part of the year) Most students are in this category
  • non-resident
  • deemed resident
  • deemed non-resident

* Most international students will be resident or deemed resident

Your residency status is based on the residential ties you have with Canada. For more information, please see IT-221, Determination of an Individual's Residence Status.

What if I don't have a Social Insurance Number (SIN)?

If this is the first time you are filling for a tax return, there are some important points to know. All relevant steps are covered in this website: Newcomers to Canada.

Mailing your Tax Return:

If it is your first time doing your taxes, please send it to the following address:

International Tax Services Office
Post Office Box 9769, Station T
Ottawa ON  K1G 3Y4
CANADA

1-800-267-5177 (from Canada and the U.S.) or
(613) 952-3741 for calls overseas (collect calls accepted)

If you have applied for taxes beforeplease send it to the following address:

and you are an international student, send your taxes to:

International Tax Services Ottawa
2204 Walkley Rd.,
Ottawa, ON
K1G 4G8

Other Free Tax Preparation Clinics in Nanaimo

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