Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)
Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)
Download the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) sheet here
Download the entire AURA Sponsorship Handbook here

Income Tax:
As permanent residents of Canada, sponsored refugees must file a tax return for part or all of a tax year (January 1 to December 31).
Even if newcomers have not received income in the year, they have to file a tax return so that the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) can determine if they are eligible for:
• The GST/HST credit;
• The Canada Child Benefit; and,
• Payments from certain Ontario programs.

Regardless of the arrival date, newcomers must file a tax return every year. Ensure they understand that even if they have no income to report, they must continue filing their tax returns every year to continue receiving benefits.

How to Declare Income:
• Money received from a church/sponsor group is considered a ‘gift’ and does not have to be reported to CRA when newcomers file their tax return.
• Income from the Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP) must be reported, although it is not taxable.
• Newcomers who arrive through the Blended Visa Office Referred (BVOR) program should receive a T5007- Statement of Benefits from the government in February.
Most Common Error:
When declaring taxes for the first time, leaving the previous income amount blank instead of writing ‘zero’ causes processing delays.

Volunteer Tax Clinics:
The CRA website lists volunteer-run Tax Preparation Clinics, where you can accompany newcomers to file a return, and where they can continue to go for support in subsequent years.
To apply for Canadian citizenship, newcomers must have filed taxes for at least 3 of their previous 5 years of residency.

The Canada Child Benefit (CCB)
The Canada Child Benefit (CCB) is a monthly tax-free payment for families with children under 18. Resettled refugees are entitled to CCB, and sponsors must work with them to complete and submit the application as soon as possible. Please note that the CCB replaces all previous child benefits programs.

CCB payments CANNOT be counted in a projected budget as if they were funds provided by sponsors.

Budgeting Considerations:
• CCB is money from the federal government for the expressed benefit of children.
• Sponsors cannot reduce support to reflect income from CCB.
• The first payment is retroactive to include months since arrival in Canada and as such could be very large.
• Even if families receive a sizeable sum, sponsors cannot reduce their financial support as a result.
• It is important to understand and communicate the amount that will be received, even if it does not directly impact your monetary support.

Benefit Amount:
The monthly payment amount depends on the number of children and family income. Families with less than $30,000 in annual family net income will receive the maximum benefit (as of Oct 2017):
• Each child under 6: $6,400/year ($533/month)
• Each child under 18: $5,400/year ($450/month)
• The first amount received will be backdated to when the family arrived in Canada.
• CRA recalculates the amount every July, based on information from tax returns. How to Apply:
• Apply with the newcomers as soon as possible by completing the required forms (available on CRA’s website) and submitting them to your corresponding tax centre.

CRA Online:
1. CRA has a special webpage for newcomers
2. CRA Orientation videos for Newcomers: *Including: "New to Canada? Learn about Taxes"
3. Complete information on the CCB (Forms, Tax Centres)
4. Benefits Calculator
5. Free "Tax Preparation Clinics" where volunteers assist to file returns

Get In Touch

  • 2723 St. Clair Avenue East
    Toronto, ON M4B 1M8
  • (416) 588-1612
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