What is a Canadian Individual Tax Number (ITN)?

Do you have a source of Canadian income other than employment income without having a Canadian SIN? If the answer is yes, you will need a Canadian Individual Tax Number (ITN).

Navigating your way around a new tax system can be a difficult and daunting challenge but not to worry this blog will answer all the questions you have about the ITN.

What is a Canadian ITN?

Your Individual Tax Number is a unique number issued by the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) to all non-residents who require an identification number but aren’t eligible to receive a Social Insurance Number (SIN) (E.g. if you don’t have a permit allowing you to work in Canada).

calculating tax

Do I need an ITN?

If you are not eligible for a SIN because you do not have a permit allowing you to work you will need to get an ITN if:

  • You are filing a Canadian tax return
  • You are filing an application to reduce Canadian withholding tax on payments you receive
  • You need to dispose of taxable Canadian property

How can I apply for an ITN number in Canada?

It is important that you apply for your ITN as soon as you arrive in Canada as the process can take anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks. This will allow you to receive your 9-digit identification number before you have to use it.

You can apply for the ITN number yourself by heading to the Canadian Revenue Agency’s website and completing Form T1261.

Once you have filled out the form you can send it to the address that is on the back of the application form.

When you are filling out the form make sure to:

  • Complete all sections on the application form
  • Include certified copies of your supporting documents
  • Provide your signature and date in the certification section

It is important to note that any documents that you provide that were scanned and are not certified are not acceptable.


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You should avoid mailing original documents over the post. However, if you are required to do so you should note that any original documents that have been submitted will be returned but copies of these documents will not.

All photocopied documents must be certified by local officials such as a doctor or lawyer. This certified copy can be obtained by having the official sign the photocopied documents with a notation to clarify that it is a genuine copy of the original.

The documents must be current and prove your identity. They must include your name, date of birth and a photograph like your passport or driver’s license.

student looking at a tax document

Who can help me with Canadian tax?

Navigating your way around a new tax system can be a difficult task. If you are having trouble with it then why not let someone else do it for you?!

Sprintax TDS Canada will ensure you get taxed accurately from the minute you start to work.

Instead of spending endless hours gathering the necessary paperwork and documents, the Sprintax tax determination software will do it all for you, ensuring you stay fully compliant with the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA).

Create your Sprintax TDS Canada account today.

Canadian Individual Tax Number FAQs

Q: Can I work with an ITN?

A: The short answer is no. If you wish to work in Canada and earn employment income you will need a Social Insurance Number in place of your ITN.

Q: Does an ITN expire?

A: No, your Individual Tax Number will not expire. Once you are issued your number you can use it for all future tax filing purposes.

Q: Do I need an ITN to file a tax return?

A: You will not need an ITN if you are filing a Canadian tax return just once, however you will be required to get an ITN if you have to file more than one tax return so the CRA can trace your records.

Q: What do I do if I have forgotten or lost my ITN?

A: You should contact the Canadian Revenue Agency to get your last number re-issued.

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