Generic placeholder imageCanadian Tax System

The Canada Revenue Agency is responsible for administering the federal tax system and collects taxes from individuals and companies. These taxes, which include income taxes, sales taxes, property taxes, business taxes among others, help pay for government programs and services, such as health care, public safety, roads, schools, various benefits and pensions etc.
Click here to read about Where Your Tax Dollars Go.

Common Taxes We Pay

· If you are a resident of Canada, you are required to complete an income tax return every year, in order to pay the taxes you owe or receive a refund. Click here to determine if you are a Canadian resident for tax purposes. On this return you list your taxable income, deductions and tax credits to calculate how much tax you owe to the government. If your income was relatively low, the government calculates how much tax they should refund to you and how much credits or benefits you should receive. Find out more about
How much income tax do Canadians pay?

· In Ontario, there is a Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) of 13%. When you purchase an item, the HST is usually added to the amount that you see on the price tag. 8% of the HST goes to the provincial government and 5% goes to the federal government. You pay HST on various goods and services, except for things such as basic food products, child care services, and prescription drugs. Individuals and families with low and modest incomes may be eligible for an HST credit. Find out more about What is the HST credit? Am I eligible?

· Property tax is paid when you purchase property. It has two components: a municipal portion and an education portion. Each municipality establishes its own rates. The rates for the education portion of the tax are established by the Minister of Finance and help fund the elementary and secondary schools in Ontario. Education tax rates can be found in the
Education Act, in Ontario Regulation 400/98.


CUIAS Immigrant Services provides a free income tax clinic for low income individuals and families. If you need assistance filing your income taxes, please book an appointment with one of our CVITP (Community Volunteer Income Tax Program) trained volunteers at CUIAS: 416-767-4595.