5 things you should know about taxes that you didn't learn in school.

December 19, 2023

With all of your classes, homework, exams and more, what could possibly be left to learn? Filing your taxes in Canada might not have made it into the curriculum, but we’re here to show you the ropes. Taxes are a lifelong journey and a great habit to establish early so tax season becomes a breeze as you get older.

What age do you start paying taxes in Canada?

In Canada, there’s no specific age you need to be to start paying income tax. It all depends on when you start earning a certain amount of money each year. Your employer might automatically withhold tax from your paycheque and send that money to the CRA. This can happen even if your total annual income is less than the basic personal amount that every Canadian can earn, tax-free. In this case, it’s important to file your taxes so you can get this money back in the form of a refund.

Refunds also happen when the amount of tax you paid is reduced by credits and deductions. For example, you can claim some of your tuition, as well as eligible medical expenses. In the case of tuition, you can even carry the credit forward to future years when you’re earning a bigger income.

What happens if I miss the filing deadline?

For most 2023 tax returns, the deadline is April 30th, 2024. We’ll start with the good news: if you don’t owe additional taxes, there are no penalties for missing the deadline. In this scenario, filing early or on time is the best option because it means you’ll get your refund sooner and that’s money in your pocket to pay off debt, invest, or spend on something fun.

If you do owe additional taxes and blew past the filing deadline, you’ll likely be subject to late-filing penalties generated off the amount you owe. Even if you can’t pay your taxes owing immediately, it always makes the most sense to meet the deadline to avoid any initial extra penalties.

Know what credits and deductions you’re eligible for.

Being a student is expensive! More time in school often means less time to work and make money. An H&R Block Tax Expert is ready in the wings to help you find every tax credit, exemption, and deduction you might be entitled to. Young Canadians are eligible for the same tax credits as everyone else, but there are some that are more likely to apply if you’re under 25.

These include: tuition tax credit, RRSP contributions, moving expenses, and self-employment expenses. If you’re not rolling in cash, get rolling in credits and deductions instead!

What if I make a mistake on my tax return?

Mistakes happen! Even on tax returns. Fortunately, the CRA makes it possible to request a change to a return for the previous 10 years. You’ll have to wait until you receive your NOA for that return and file an adjustment request. If the adjustments are approved, you’ll receive a Notice of Reassessment.

A great way to avoid any mistakes on your return is by filing with the help of an H&R Block Tax Expert.

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