Everything You Need to Know About the T1

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The T1 taxpayer's form is also known as the Income Tax and Benefit Return. Here is an overview of everything Canadians need to know about the T1 form, including who should fill it out, where to get it, and its various sections.

What is a T1 form?

The T1 form is a summary of all income taxes you pay to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). All Canadians are required to fill out and submit this form, which also declares all income you have generated for the specified calendar year. Think of the T1 as a kind of summary of all the other forms you complete for your income taxes, as well as all the information required to file. 

You need the T1 form to apply for various services like the Canada Child benefit, GST/HST refundable tax credits, and other benefits. You may also be required to provide the T1 general income form when applying for major credits, such as a mortgage.

Who should fill out a T1?

Every Canadian has to file a T1 every year. Business owners, such as sole proprietors and partnerships, are also required to complete the T1 business form. However, if you are a corporation, you should complete the T2, which is provided for corporate income.

How do I get a T1 online?

There are various places to get a copy of the CRA T1 form. The easiest way to get your T1 is online. 

If you have a CRA "My Account," you can find your T1 for the current year, as well as the past 11 years that you filed, by looking under the “Tax Returns View” section. If you look for anything older, you will need to contact the CRA directly at 1-800-959-8281 to request a copy.

You can also conveniently complete your T1 tax returns through tax preparers. These tax forms are named after the calendar years they are required for, so you should use the 2023 T1 form to report personal income for the 2023 tax year.

T1 breakdown

The T1 general income tax isn't as elaborate as others. It also uses entries from other taxpayer forms and has five main parts to fill out. These include:

IdentificationIn this section, you provide details such as your name, address, social insurance number, and marital status. You will also be required to answer questions such as your Elections Canada authorization, whether you have exempt income, and your foreign property declaration, as well as some questions that may or may not appear, depending on which province or territory you live in, such as whether you want to claim the Climate Action Incentive Payment, lived on specific First Nations lands, etc.
Total IncomeHere you declare all your income sources, including income from employment, self-employment, foreign income, disability benefits, and more. This is also known as your gross income.
Net IncomeThis is the amount you're left with after deductions are subtracted from the total income. Deductions such as Registered Retirement Savings Plan and Registered Pension Plan contributions, child care expenses, and union dues will reduce your income, giving you a lower net income. Check with the CRA what deductions can be claimed in your particular tax situation. Net income is used to determine if you are eligible to claim certain tax credits or if you are entitled to certain benefits or credits.
Calculate Deductions and CreditsThe CRA allows you to subtract other amounts including deductions, refundable credits, and nonrefundable credits from your income.
Calculate Your Taxable IncomeThe taxable income refers to the final amount you get after all allowed deductions and credits have been factored in. It is the income the CRA will tax using existing rates for the calendar year.
Refund or Balance OwingThis section is where you determine if you are eligible to get some money back or required to pay more. A positive number in this section implies you owe the CRA money, while a negative number means you will receive a refund.

Where do I send my T1?

The easiest way is to complete the T1 form submission online through services, such as WealthsimpleTax. Online form submission is facilitated using NETFILE, the CRA-recommended service for submitting CRA-issued taxpayer forms. You can also download the PDF form, fill it out, and mail it to the CRA office designated for your province or territory.

When do I submit and pay for my T1?

Canadian taxpayers are required to file the T1 by April 30. If you or your spouse or common-law partner are self-employed, you have until June 15 to file your tax return. If you have an amount owing, the payment deadline is also April 30, no matter whether your filing deadline is April 30 or June 15.

T1 submissions follow the general calendar year. Filing the 2023 tax return has to be done by April 30, 2024. If April 30 falls on the weekend or holiday, the deadline is pushed to the next business day.

Last Updated December 3, 2023

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