7 reasons to file a tax return

There are many good reasons to keep up to date on your taxTax A fee the government charges on income, property, and sales. The money goes to finance government programs and other costs.+ read full definition filing each year. You may file a tax return even if you don’t have any income. It could help you access certain refundable tax credits and other benefits.

1. You owe tax or want to receive a refund

If you are a resident of Canada for part or all of a tax year, you must file a tax return if you owe tax or want to receive a refund. If you owe tax, you should file on time to avoid late fees.

2. Recover any tax you overpaid from your pay cheque

You may have had too much tax deducted from your pay cheque and not benefited from all the deductions and tax credits you were entitled to.

3. Take advantage of refundable tax credits

Examples of refundable tax credits are: GST/HST Credit, or the Canada Workers BenefitBenefit Money, goods, or services that you get from your workplace or from a government program such as the Canada Pension Plan.+ read full definition. If you don’t file a return, you won’t be able to confirm your eligibility for credits like these.

4. Create contribution room in an RRSP

If you have earned income, you can make RRSPRRSP See Registered Retirement Savings Plan.+ read full definition contributions, which reduce your net income. If you don’t use your contribution roomContribution room The amount you can put into a savings plan like a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP). If you do not put the full amount into the plan each year, you will have extra, unused contribution room that you can use in later years. Example: Let’s say you can contribute $12,000 to your RRSP this year,…+ read full definition in any year, you can carry the unused amounts to future years. Learn more about RRSPs.

5. You might be eligible for the Canada Learning Bond for your child’s education savings

If your income is low or moderate, you may be eligible for additional Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG) support as well as the Canada Learning Bond (CLB), which is a government grant added to your RESPRESP See Registered Education Savings Plan.+ read full definition. Filing your tax return will declare your income level and help determine your eligibility.

6. Confirm your eligibility for some benefits

The CRA relies on information from your tax return to confirm eligibility for some benefits, such as the Canada Child Benefit (CCB). If you receive the Old Age Security (OAS) pensionPension A steady income you get after you retire. Some pensions pay you a fixed amount for life. Others save up money for you while you are working. You use that money to create income after you retire.+ read full definition, your tax return confirms whether your income level will reduce the amount of the payments you receive.

7. Peace of mind

Staying up to date on filing your taxes is an important step in keeping your finances in order. If a crisis hits, this will be one less thing you or your family will need to worry about.


Learn more from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) about when you must — and when you may want to — file a return.

Last updated