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Income Tax of Students (Incl. International Students) Print E-mail
Friday, 23 January 2009

Every grown-up Canadian resident needs to file income tax, even the international student or visitor. Somebody misunderstands that it’s unnecessary to file the form if he/she has no income. This is completely wrong. The title of the income tax form is Income Tax and Benefit Return. If you have income, you have to report and pay tax, or get tax refund; if you have no income, the government will give you some benefit. For students, what kind of benefit can they get? The following gives the details.


A. Sales Tax Credit

Generally speaking, when you file your personal income tax, the government will give you GST credit from the following July. The amount depends on your situation, such as your earnings, your marital status, and the income of your spouse. The maximum amount could be $380 per year.

Since the year 2002, the federal government allows new comers to apply for the GST credit from date of entry. No matter the now comers are immigrants or international students, or visitors. The new comers have to apply; otherwise the government will not give you the credit.

International students have the same right of getting the GST credit. A lot of students do not know this information.


B. Ontario Credit for Property and Sales Tax

Any resident of Ontario may get a certain amount of credit for paying rent or property tax. In order to get the credit, you have to apply when filing your income tax. You are required to provide the address of the property, number of months you were living there, total amount paid, and name of landlord. If the property is owned by a company, then provide the company’s name. If you have lived in different places, you are necessary to report each one.

It’s unnecessary to provide rental receipt when filing income tax return. However, the CCRA may require you showing the receipt after tax return, even though you have got the refund. When the government asks you to provide the receipt but you are not able to show them, CCRA will ask you to return the overpaid amount and charge you interest.


C. Tuition Fee

The function of tuition fee is to help you to pay less tax or get more refund. If you have no income in the tax year, you still need to report your tuition fee. The unused tuition fee will be carry forwarded to future years, until you have enough income to use it. If you failed to report your tuition fee, we can help you to claim, no matter how many years past.


C.  Documents or Information Needed for Income Tax

The first information you have to provide is the social insurance number. However, most of international students do not have social insurance number on the first time filing. CCRA allow international students to apply a temporary tax number, it’s called ITN, representing Income Tax Number. The certified photocopies of passport and study permit are required. It is worth to mention that not any tax preparing company has the right to sign on the photocopies. We are happy to assist international students to get the ITN.

Secondly, proof of income. Some students have had a job in the tax year, and then they have T4. Some students may have got grant or scholarship, they have T4A. Someone had interest income in bank, and T5 is the form of interest. No matter what kind of form, as long as it shows “for income tax purposes, it is definitely for income tax.


Thirdly, accommodation expense, including rent or property tax. This part is discussed above.

The document of tuition fee is T2202A. Most of students may be able to download form the website of their college or university.

For more details information, please visit

Or call 416-558-5006 or 416-473-0091

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 09 February 2010 )
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