Income tax filing, filing of income tax.#Filing #of #income #tax

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Income tax filing

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada staff. It is posted on the Department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

These procedures apply only to applications received on or after June 11, 2015.

To be eligible for citizenship, applicants are required to meet their tax filing obligations under the Income Tax Act for the appropriate relevant period:

For applications received on or after June 11, 2015 until October 10, 2017

  • Four of the taxation years that fall fully or partially within the six years immediately before the date of application.

For applications received on or after October 11, 2017

  • Three of the taxation years that fall fully or partially within the five years immediately before the date of application.

For a citizenship grant under subsection 5(1), the relevant provisions of the Citizenship Act are 5(1)(c)(iii). Similar provisions exist in paragraph 5(1.2)(b) for grant for Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) [permanent resident stream], subparagraph 11(1)(d)(ii) for resumption, and paragraph 11(1.1)(b) for resumption for CAF [permanent resident stream].

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These requirements relate to personal income tax returns, not taxes for businesses that the applicant may own.

The filing of taxes is an important obligation of permanent residents and citizens. This requirement encourages permanent residents to become aware of, and comply with their tax obligations. Also, the income tax filing requirement for grants of citizenship for CAF aligns with the related service requirements. Similarly, the income tax filing requirement for resumptions applications, including resumption for CAF applications, aligns with the related physical presence and service requirements.

Section 26.6 of the Citizenship Regulations provides IRCC with the authority to:

  • collect the social insurance numbers (SIN) of citizenship applicants as part of their application for citizenship;
  • with the consent of the applicant, directly verify the tax filing history and residency information of citizenship applicants through the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) secure Income Verification Program (IVP); and
  • in the case of a discrepancy in the information provided by the applicant and the CRA, share with the CRA relevant case information, including the SIN, where IRCC has reasonable grounds to believe that the discrepancy is a result of false representation, fraud, or concealment of material circumstances. The disclosure of information is also limited to the information that the CRA is authorized to collect.

Roles of IRCC and the CRA

IRCC is responsible only for assessing whether the applicant met the income tax filing requirement of the Citizenship Act. Citizenship officers are not responsible for interpreting the Income Tax Act to determine tax compliance. At present, IRCC does not yet have the necessary agreements in place to return information to the CRA to assist the CRA with their investigations/enforcement. Work is ongoing to develop procedures to allow IRCC to advise the CRA of potential issues with tax filing history. Until procedures are in place, please contact CIT Operations (IRCC) for guidance in these circumstances.

Taxation years

For the purposes of the requirements, taxation years are the same as calendar years. For the physical presence calculation, no time before the relevant period can be counted. However, for the income tax requirement, the year that the relevant period starts can be used as one of the taxation years. The year the applicant submitted their application will generally not be counted, as taxes are not filed until the following year. Also, applicants who submit their application early in the calendar year would not have been required to file taxes yet for the previous calendar year.

Example for applications received on or after October 11, 2017

An applicant applies on June 1, 2020. The taxation years that fall fully or partially within the five years immediately before the date of application are 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, and 2015. 2020 cannot be used, as the applicant has not yet filed taxes for 2020.

The applicant may have filed income taxes in any three of these years: 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, or 2015.

Example for applications received between June 11, 2015 and October 10, 2017

An applicant applies on June 1, 2017. The taxation years that fall fully or partially within the six years immediately before the date of application are 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, and 2012. 2017 cannot be used, as the applicant has not yet filed taxes for 2017.

The applicant may have filed income taxes in any four of these years: 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, or 2012.

However – if the applicant became a PR in 2013, the 2012 taxation year is not part of the relevant period for assessment.

Declaring tax filing history

Applicants who apply on or after June 11, 2015, are required to complete a section on the application form to establish that they have filed taxes, when required to do so by the Income Tax Act, within the relevant period of their application. Applicants will choose one of the options below.

Option 1

  • provides their SIN, Temporary Tax Number (TTN) or Individual Tax Number (ITN) Footnote 1 ;
  • indicates whether they have met their tax filing obligations for taxation years that are fully or partially within the relevant period of the application by checking yes on the application form; and
  • consents to IRCC and the CRA sharing information relating to their tax filing history by checking yes on the application form.

Option 2

The applicant declares that they do not have a SIN, TTN, or ITN and were not required to file taxes in any of the taxation years that are fully or partially within the relevant period of the application.

Note: Ordinarily, meeting tax filing obligations (option 1) means that the applicant has filed tax returns, though there may be instances where they did not file in a given year because they were not required to do so under the Income Tax Act (e.g., they did not meet the minimum income threshold). If they have a SIN or alternate identifier and did not file taxes because they were not required to do so, they still meet the income tax filing requirement for citizenship.

Option 3

  • provides their SIN, Temporary Tax Number (TTN) or Individual Tax Number (ITN) Footnote 1 ;
  • declares that they were not required to file taxes in any of the taxation years that are fully or partially within the relevant period of the application.
  • consents to IRCC and the CRA sharing information relating to their tax filing history by checking yes on the application form.

Protecting the SIN

Since the SIN facilitates data matching of an individual, which in turn can raise privacy concerns, the Treasury Board has created a directive concerning the use and protection of this personal identifier. The directive requires departments to have explicit authority to collect and use the SIN. To comply with these requirements, IRCC created regulations on the collection and use of the SIN of applicants for citizenship. IRCC is permitted to collect and use the SIN only for administrative or non-administrative purposes authorized under these regulations.


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