Do you have to file a return?
You must file a return for 2016 if:
- You have to pay tax for 2016.
- We sent you a request to file a return.
- You and your spouse or common-law partner elected to split pension income for 2016. See lines 115, 116, 129, and 210.
- You received working income tax benefit advance payments in 2016.
- You disposed of capital property in 2016 (for example, if you sold real estate, your principal residence, or shares) or you realized a taxable capital gain (for example, if a mutual fund or trust attributed income to you, or you are reporting a capital gains reserve you claimed on your 2015 return).
- You have to repay any of your old age security or employment insurance benefits. See line 235.
- You have not repaid all amounts withdrawn from your registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) under the Home Buyers’ Plan or the Lifelong Learning Plan. For more information, go to Home Buyers' Plan (HBP) or see Guide RC4112, Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP).
- You have to contribute to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP). This can apply if for 2016 the total of your net self-employment income and pensionable employment income is more than $3,500. See line 222.
- You are paying employment insurance premiums on self-employment and other eligible earnings. See lines 317 and 430.
Even if none of these requirements apply, you should file a return if:
- You want to claim a refund.
- You want to claim the working income tax benefit for 2016.
- You want the goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) credit (including any related provincial credits). For example, you may be eligible if you turn 19 before April 2018.
You have incurred a non-capital loss (see line 236) in 2016 that you want to be able to apply in other years.
- You want to carry forward or transfer the unused part of your tuition, education, and textbook amounts. See line 323.
- You want to report income for which you could contribute to an RRSP and/or a pooled registered pension plan (PRPP) to keep your RRSP/PRPP deduction limit for future years current.
- You want to carry forward the unused investment tax credit on expenditures you incurred during the current year See line 412.
- You receive the guaranteed income supplement or allowance benefits under the old age security program. You can usually renew your benefit by filing your return by April 30. If you choose not to file a return, you will have to complete a renewal form. This form is available from Service Canada.
If you are the legal representative (the executor, administrator, or liquidator) of the estate of a person who died in 2016, you may have to file a return for 2016 for that person. For more information see T4011, Preparing Returns for Deceased Persons and Information Sheet RC4111, Canada Revenue Agency - What to Do Following a Death.
If you received income in 2016 for a person who died in 2015 or earlier, do not file an individual return for 2016 for that income on behalf of that person. Instead, you may have to file a T3 Trust Income Tax and Information Return for the estate.
Forms and publications
- General income tax and benefit package - Guide, return and schedules
- Guide RC4111, What to Do Following a Death
- Guide RC4112, Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP)
- Information Sheet T4011, Preparing Returns for Deceased Persons
- Completing a tax return
- Individuals - Leaving or entering Canada and non-residents
- Line 222 - Deduction for CPP or QPP contributions on self-employment and other earnings
- Line 235 - Social benefits repayment
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