The important thing here is to ensure that you are filing correctly. Depending on the amount of time you have spent in Canada and certain other circumstances, the CRA will consider you as “non-resident” or “resident” for tax purposes. If it is your first time filing a tax return in Canada, you cannot e-file your tax return. First time filers must paper file their tax return. Filing incorrectly as a resident or using the e-filing system can lead to significant problems down the line. You may end up having to repay an incorrectly issued tax refund to the CRA. And you will most likely have already spent the refund money by the time you get the letter from the tax office.
- If you are still on the edge of your seat…keep reading!
You have two main options when it comes to applying for a tax refund in Canada. You can do it yourself with the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) or use a company or accountant like Taxback.com.
1. Use Taxback.com
The benefits of using a company like Taxback.com is that they have years of experience filing Canadian tax refunds for people just like you. Other tax service providers and accountants may be more familiar with filing taxes for Canadian citizens only so be sure you do your research. Taxback.com specialises in refunds for people working overseas so they are up to date on changes to international tax laws and treaties. Thus, you can rest assured that you will be fully compliant and receive the maximum legal refund.
Some additional benefits of Taxback.com are that they speak 22 languages and have offices in 21 countries so you will have no problem communicating with them even after you return home. Taxback.com operate a “no refund – no fee” policy and charge nothing upfront. In fact, they only deduct their fee when they receive the refund cheque from the tax office and transfer the rest to your account. So in essence, you never have to put your hand in your pocket!
Not interested in reading all of this now? Register here and Taxback.com will set you up with a free personal Tax Tracker ® account and remind you about your taxes at the end of the tax year. Register with Taxback.com.
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2. DIY with CRA
The benefits of doing it yourself are that you will learn a thing or two about Canadian tax legislation and you wont be paying a fee to an accountant or tax service provider.
First off, be sure to contact the CRA to determine your residency status before you file your return and look into any tax treaties that are in place between your country of origin and Canada. The CRA do have an International Tax Services Offices who are generally very helpful so use them where you can.
Next step is to get the forms you will need in any Canada Post office and once you complete these you will need to snail mail them to the International Tax Services Office with your T4.