Income Tax Refunds from Canada
- If you work in Canada any pay tax, you can claim some or all of this back. While working you will also pay into a Canadian Pension Plan (CPP) just like superannuation. Overpaid CPP can be reclaimed on your tax return too. You should paper file as a non-resident – you cannot file online as this is for residents only. Incorrect filing can lead to debts with the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) and can cause problems with future visa applications or getting back into the country. Taxback.com specialize in doing tax returns for Aussies in Canada, or even once they’ve left Canada. They charge either $62.50 + handling fee or 12.5% + handling fee, whichever is greater. The average Canadian tax refund for international workers done last year by taxback.com was CAD$904
How? What? Who? Where? Why? Tax?
Just as in most countries around the globe, when you work in Canada you will pay income tax on your earnings (15%-29%). The good news is that you can claim some or all of that back at the end of the tax year.
Of course, while you’re working in Vancouver, Toronto, Whistler, Banff or elsewhere, trying to fit in some skiing or mountain biking, making new friends and drinking the odd beer, thinking about tax is going to be the last thing on your mind…sexy a topic as it might be.
Hence, this article to try make the whole process that bit easier for you.
Basically, instead of the Group Certificate you get from each job in Australia, you get a T4. This T4 is the Group Certificate equivalent and has all the important information on it you need.
So, you can file your tax return yourself with the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA – equivalent of the ATO in Australia), however, this can be complicated as there is no real CRA sponsored equivalent of the ATO e-Tax software, and you’ll have to fill out forms and do it all yourself, making sure you’ve ticked all the boxes and got everything right. I did that last year and it was a bloody headache.
While you can choose to use local tax specialists like H&R Block and Money Mart, most of them don’t seem to “get” workers on the Working Holiday Permit or visas or whatever, causing problems with the CRA down the line. As mentioned in the short notes above, you should be filing as a non-resident, not as resident. Doing the latter can lead to problems with future visa applications or worse, you can end up owing money to the CRA
Alternatively, you can use a tax specialist who is used to doing
refunds for overseas workers. They will ensure your tax return is compliant and that you get the maximum refund amount taking all international tax treaties into account.
I recently came across an Irish company, taxback.com, who specialise in tax refunds from over 16 countries. They have local offices in Vancouver, Whistler and Toronto is coming soon. They even have offices back in Oz so you can always drop in to do your Canadian taxes when you get home.
They’ve been doing Canadian Tax returns for folks on working holidays for the last couple of years, and last year the average tax return for internationals working in Canada done by taxback.com was CA$904. That’s better than a kick in the chops
The service is pretty easy to use as you only need to:
- Register online Download and complete application forms Send forms back to taxback.com or drop into a local office Sit back and wait for your refund to appear in your account in Oz, Canada or anywhere else you choose.
You can register with taxback.com for their Smart Trip pre-travel services and your online Tax Tracker ® account before you leave Oz or while in Canada. If you have already been working in Canada, you can get a free refund estimation from them today. They operate a no refund – no fee policy and charge nothing upfront. In fact, you never have to take money out of your pocket for this service. They deduct their fee once they receive the refund cheque and then transfer the rest to an account of your choice.
They did my tax refund this year and it was quick & painless, plus they offered to either stick the cash into my account here in Canada or in my account back in Australia – how’s that for service? I’d highly recommend using them – it’s just easier!
They charge either $62.50 + handling fee or 12.5% + handling fee, whichever is greater. So that basically means that their fee starts to increase once your refund amount gets over $500. Not too bad compared to the $140 or so H&R Block in Vancouver charged someone I know last year.
If you’re going to be working in Canada, or if you’ve worked here already and are keen to get a refund (remember you can apply for one up to four years after you worked here!) follow this link and enter in some details. They’ll get back to you on what happens next!
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