Click on the icon to join Kay and sprint through income tax. It should take you about 8 minutes.

​​​There are 5 reasons to do your taxes every year. The GST/HST refund is just one of them.

when should you file? What's in it for you?

Own your income tax, step-by-step.

The Canadian government taxes businesses and individuals to raise money for public goods and services.  The CRA (Canada Revenue Agency) administers taxes on behalf of the government.

  • Taxes fund roads, bridges, schools, our health care and legal systems, army, police, and certain cultural / charitable activities.

  • They're used to pay the salaries of government employees and fund social services / benefits for certain groups, such as low income earners, students, retirees, children, and people with disabilities. 

What does the government tax?

  • ​Income earned by individuals, from employment and investments.
  • Profits earned by businesses.
  • Property - land and any buildings on it.
  • Consumption - GST/HST and excise taxes on certain items, including alcohol, tobacco, and gasoline.
  • Payrolls - this tax is paid by your employer on the money they pay employees.

Kay has just arrived from Mars for a summer internship on Earth. Upon inspecting her first paycheque, she notices…

Check with your parents / guardian if they've ever filed a tax return on your behalf. If they did, ask if you can take over, or at least participate.

If they haven't, start filing your own taxes.

At the latest, file your first tax return the next tax season after you turn 18. Taxes are due by the end of April, every year. 

This will allow you to qualify for the HST/GST tax credit, as soon as possible.  It's a cash refund that pays up to $300 per year, in quarterly installments (every 3 months).

You're considered eligible for the HST/GST tax credit if:

  • ​You're at least 19 years of age.
  • Your income is considered low.
  • You submitted a tax return the previous year. The CRA automatically determines eligibility based on the income you reported in last year's tax return. They reassess your eligibility yearly, every time you file a new tax return.​ This is why you have to file after you turn 18, even though you won't get a refund until you're 19.

When can you expect your first HST/GST installment, if you filed by the end of April, after your 18th birthday?

 Play 'Talk Like a Banker' - FinStart's glossary game!

What are taxes and where does the money go?

​income tax

Everyone's income is taxable.

File your income tax return yearly to avoid paying more than you owe.

how it works

what's next?

Submit your tax return before the end of April.

Get a head-start. Collect the necessary documents by the end of February. 

Make sure you can access Your CRA Account.  It's a secure income tax portal created by the CRA that makes doing taxes easier.

Click on the diagram to find out how income tax works.

​This will open our video player.

They're multiple choice - always choose the most appropriate answer. 

Each phrase can have up to five words - always choose the most appropriate answer. 

Test your knowledge - take a FinStart quiz!