Your Schedule1 tax form is used to claim your non-refundable tax credits and calculate your tax payable. Non-refundable tax credits are used to reduce your federal or provincial/territorial taxes payable to zero, however, if you do not have any tax payable, you cannot use them to create a refund, meaning you must have an income to benefit.
All taxpayers can claim a basic non-refundable tax credit of $11,327 (for 2015), however, you may also claim credits for a dependant spouse or common-law partner. Other credits include the amount for an eligible dependant, the credit for CPP or QPP contributions, the children’s arts amount, your family’s medical expenses, tuition and education amounts. Your net federal tax payable is transferred to your T1 general tax return. There are separate federal Schedule 1 forms for Québec residents and for non-residents. There are also separate forms (428) for calculating your provincial taxes.