Is filing a tax return mandatory?

by in Tax Advice Information and Updates
Is filing a tax return mandatory?

Generally, if you have to pay tax, it is mandatory for you to file an income tax and benefit return.  But if you do not have income to report, you can still file a tax return as you may be eligible for certain benefits. 

If the following apply to you, you MUST file an income tax return:
o   You have to pay tax.
o   The CRA sent a request for you to file a return.
o   You or your spouse or common-law partner elected to split income.
o   You received working income tax benefit or WITB advance payments.
o   You disposed of capital property or realized a taxable capital gain.
o   You have to repay any part of your old age security or employment insurance benefits.
o   You have not repaid the amount you have withdrawn from your registered retirement savings plan or RRSP under the Home Buyers’ Plan or Lifelong Learning Plan.
o   You have to contribute to the Canada Pension Plan or CPP.  For 2015, this will apply if the total of your net self-employment income and pensionable employment income is more than $3,500.
o   You are paying employment insurance premiums on self-employment and other eligible earnings.

If none of the above situations apply to you, you can still file a return if:
o   You want to claim a refund.
o   You want to claim the WITB
o   You want GST/HST credit
o   You or your spouse or common-law partner want to begin or continue receiving Canada Child Tax Benefit payments.
o   You or your spouse or common-law partner want to claim the family tax cut.
o   You have incurred a non-capital loss that you want to be able to apply in other years.
o   You want to carry forward or transfer the unused part of your tuition, education and textbook amounts.
o   You want to report income for which you could contribute an RRSP or a pooled registered pension plan to keep your RRSP/PRPP deduction limit for future years current.
o   You want to carry forward unused investment tax credit on expenditures you incurred during the year.
o   You receive the guaranteed income supplement or allowance benefits under the old age security program. Usually, you can renew your benefit by filing your return before the due date. If you do not file a return, you will have to complete a renewal form.

Source:  CRA website 

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