INCOME TAX: A guide for international students

Income Tax FAQs for International Students


Did you know that ALL domestic and international students MUST file their tax return annually with the Canadian Government to receive eligible refunds and credits (GST/HST, OTB, tuition and education)?

I arrived in Canada prior to this tax year but I have never filed a tax return before.

Students who are filing a tax return for the first time must mail their tax return to the International Tax Office in Ottawa. A separate return for each year in Canada must be completed, and all forms must be printed and mailed to the International Tax Office.

Subsequent year returns may be submitted through E-file. You must include one world income statement reporting your income from Canadian sources from January 1 of the first year you arrived in Canada to the date you arrived in Canada. This amount for most international students is $0.

For more information about reporting income tax for your first year in Canada, please contact  Ottawa Tax Services powered by AccXpert at or call/text: 613-600-6988.

 Do I need to file a tax return if I arrived in Canada in late December?

Yes you still need to file a tax return. I.e, if you have arrived in Canada before January 1st of current year; then you may file an income tax return.

What documents and information are required for income tax return?

In order to file your tax return, you will need all the applicable documents that are listed below:

  • T4 Slip: You would receive this slip if you have been working in Canada as an employee. Your employer is required to send you the T4 Slip on or before the last day of February following the calender year to which the slips apply.
  • T4A Slip: This is only applicable to those who received a scholarship, fellowship, or grant. In addition, someone may work part-time as a contractor, the owner may issue a T4A slip before the last day of February following the calender year.
  • T5 Slip:  identifies the various types of investment income. If you have earned interest on your bank account, you would receive the slip by mail.
  • Offical tax receipts for donations and charity.
  • T2202A Statement: You will receive or download from your school account for T2202A Statement, if you have paid for tuition and textbooks.
  • Health Insurance Premiums: This includes Foreign Health Insurance fees.
  • Monthly Transit Pass
  • Other Medical/Dental expenses that you paid
  • Donations to registered charities and organizations: Official tax receipts are required.

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