Income Tax

Income taxes are a portion of your income that is paid to the government or deducted from your pay to help provide government services such as education and policing. The amount of tax you owe is based on your income and on the deductions, tax credits and expenses you claim.

Learn more about the income tax return process from the Canada Revenue Agency. Information changes annually and you should check for notices and announcements each time you file a return.

Canada Revenue Agency // International Students in Canada


File a tax return

If you work while you go to university, you are required to complete income tax forms and submit them to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). In Canada, we call this process "filing a return." Tax returns are filed either online or by completing and mailing a paper-based return. In your first and last year in Canada, you will not be able to complete a tax return online. You will have to complete a paper-based tax return and send it to the Canada Revenue Agency.

If you have no income to report or were not specifically asked by the Canada Revenue Agency to file a tax return, you are not required to complete tax forms, but you may be eligible for certain benefits or credits. We recommend that all international students file a tax return each year, even if you do not work. Tuition is tax deductible, and if you work in Canada after you graduate, you may be able to carry forward all or part of your tuition, education and textbook amounts to use in a future year. 

Canada Revenue Agency


Social Insurance Number

You will need a social insurance number (SIN) to work in Canada and to file a tax return. If you want to file a tax return and you do not have a SIN, you must apply for a SIN or for an Individual Tax Number (ITN) for non-residents.

Government of Canada // Social Insurance Number


Tax receipts from MacEwan University


MacEwan Accounting Club tax clinics

The MacEwan Accounting Club runs tax clinics in March and April each year. Watch for clinic dates in MacEwan International newsletters and get help completing your tax return. 


Helpful advice

MacEwan International Specialists can answer your questions about a range of financial topics, from filing a tax return and budgeting to applying for bursaries and looking for a job.