3 minutes - Article
If you are over 18 and worked at a job, then you need to do your taxes each year.
Whenever you receive income, the government takes a portion for taxes. These taxes pay for things like schools, roads and hospitals. Each year taxes are due on April 30 and usually employers and the government will start mailing documents each year around February.
“We start asking all of our youth who are over 18, whether they have done their taxes. It's a skill you're going to need to know how to do for the rest of time!”, says Ashlee Homewood, a caseworker from Calgary.
Taxes are good?
Ashlee says that doing taxes is actually a really good thing for youth leaving care.
“When do your taxes, all of a sudden, benefits can come back to you. Like GST money or even any of the Covid money that might be out right now. Most of our kids, are not making that much money, so odds are you’re getting money back!”
Automatically qualify for money
Getting your taxes done gets you on important government list’s for money you may automatically qualify for, like GST, or if you are a young parent and have kids, Child Tax Benefits.
“If you want to get child tax benefits from the government, you have to have your taxes done. If you want to qualify for other types of subsidy programs like daycare, you have to have your taxes done!”
T 4 the win
One of most important documents you need for your taxes is your T4. A T4 comes from your employer and outlines how much money you made last year and what they already took off for taxes. As soon as you see your T4 in the mail, put it in a binder or file it in a place where you can easily find it.
If you have moved and haven’t received tax documents for a while, contact your Caseworker and ask them to help you to get your address updated with the Canada Revenue Agency. Once they have your new address, they can send you any documents you are missing. Ashlee says she’s always willing to help youth get their tax document organized.
“We are more than happy to hold on to things so that you know where to find them when tax season comes. We can also help because documents are easily lost or you if move and don't update the Canada Revenue Agency with your new address.”
After you get your T4, ask your Caseworker or an adult support person if they know of any Free Tax Clinics in or near your community. Tax Clinics will often do taxes for youth and others who don’t make much money. This is one benefit to not having much money, so take advantage of it!