Filing a tax return

Even if you don’t owe any income tax, as a student you should still file a tax return. Why? Because taking the time to file a return now can boost your retirement savings later. And it could earn you some valuable tax credits right away.

Still not sure you want to bother? Then consider the following:

Five good reasons to file your tax return

  • Create RRSP contribution room

    As soon as you start filing tax returns, if you have earned income, you'll start creating RRSP “contribution room,” which you can carry forward, so when you can afford to start putting money into an RRSP, your allowable tax deduction will be that much larger.

  • Tax-free opportunities

    If you’re lucky enough to receive a scholarship, bursary or fellowship, it’s tax-free to you if the program entitles you to claim the education tax credit. A scholarship or bursary to attend elementary or secondary school is also tax free to you (but might be taxable to your parents, depending on the circumstances of how it was awarded).

  • Earn tax rebates

    By filing a tax return you may be eligible for some rebates including:

    - A GST rebate of up to $409 for single adults, or $436 for a couple; and $141 for each qualifying child under age 19. Find more GST/HST credit info at the Canada Revenue Agency site

    - Regarding Provincial Sales Tax (PST) rebates: for a single adult earning less than $15,000 ($18,000 for couples), you can get the full credit amount of $75 (or $150 for couples).

  • Transfer your education credits

    As a student, you can also share tax credits with your family. Unused tax credits for tuition, education and textbook amounts (up to $5,000) can be transferred to your spouse, common-law spouse, parent or grandparent to reduce their taxes. It makes sense to do that if you can’t use all the credits. Find out more information at the CRA website.

  • Claim other expenses

    If you are earning enough money to pay taxes, you’ll be able to claim some of your expenses to reduce your tax bill. Some of these “tax credits” include moving expenses to attend college or take up a summer job; transit passes and child care expenses.

Did you know?

The Canada Revenue Agency provides electronic services to help people file their tax returns online. See the Canada Revenue Agency website for more information.

Remember, the deadline for filing your tax return is April 30.