You can file your income tax by visiting a free Tax Clinic, using a paid service (i.e. accountants, H&R Block) or with an online application.
There are many online applications available to file your income tax: TurboTax, UFile, SimpleTax, etc. These are user-friendly applications accompanied with instructions to guide you through the process. You might be able to file your income tax for free, please check the applications’ website for student promotions.
Each year, International Services Centre works in partnership with the University of Alberta Accounting Club (UAAC) to help international students file their income tax return for free.
Due to COVID-19, the International Services Centre Tax Clinic is closed until further notice.
When you visit the clinic, make sure to bring your tax slips and documents.
How to file your tax return?
STEP 1: Determine your residency status.
As an international student, the Canadian tax return requirements and type of income you must report depends on your residency status in Canada. Determine your residency status, visit Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) website or contact CRA at 1-800-959-8281.
STEP 2: Obtain your Social Insurance Number (SIN).
If you are an international student and you are currently working in Canada, you should already have a SIN.
If you received your Individual Taxation Number, bring it with you when you file your tax return at the Tax Clinic.
If you do not have Social Insurance Number (SIN) or Individual Taxation Number (ITN), see below to determine which you will need to file a tax return:
• If you have a study permit that indicates “may accept employment” or “may work” in Canada - APPLY for SIN
• If you are unable to obtain a SIN, then you must complete the ITN application form and mail it together with your 2017 Tax Return.
In addition to the ITN application form, you also need to include:
• A certified copy of your passport
• A certified copy of your valid study permit
Next, you need to send your 2017 Federal Returns, completed ITN application form, and certified supporting documents (passport and study permit) to the address below. Ask the front desk at International Services Centre for an envelope addressed to Ottawa Tax Services Office:
International and Ottawa Tax Services Office
Post Office Box 9769 Station T
Ottawa, ON K1G 3Y4
Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions about the Individual Taxation Number (ITN) application process.
• To certify your documents for the ITN Application, visit the Chaplains Centre and Offices at 169 HUB (Lower level of HUB, across the Multi-faith Prayer and Meditation Space). Bring a photocopy of your passport and study permit along with your original documents.
STEP 3: Check that you have all of the appropriate tax slips and documents.
Use the IMPORTANT TAX SLIPS CHECKLIST to determine which tax slips you need to bring with you to your Tax Clinic visit. If you plan to file your tax return for previous years (2015, 2014 2013, so on), please bring the tax slips for all corresponding years.
STEP 4: File your tax return with online software or in-person at a paid service.