– One Stop for your Canadian Tax Questions

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Professor Benjamin Alarie who is an associate professor of the University of Toronto Faculty of Law (shout out to the T-dot lol) recently launched, with the help of his law students, a new non-commerical website (read- no ads!) called which aims to provide accurate tax information to the Canadian public.  It's a FREE resource that aims to answer tax questions accurately of all kinds, including information about donations and official receipts, to questions about principle residence.

Everyone knows that the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) website is confusing and not updated very well (heck, even the Officer of the Auditor General of Canada admits it!), so this new intiative is unprecedented.  I think it will change the way Canadians see taxes.  Taxes won't be so scary anymore, and hopefully people will feel confident enough to do their own taxeswell.  They will feel empowered with tax information at their fingertips… instead of resorting to Googling “taxes Canada student loans” or something.

Taxes Pictures, Images and Photos

The content is CRA material, except that it is edited and updated by a panel of tax experts, including tax students, tax accountants, tax lawyers, tax academics to reflect the current taxation law.  They consult the Income Tax Act, the Tax Court of Canada, the Federal Court of Appeal, and even the Supreme Court of Canada.  You know that the information you're getting is as good as gold.

Professor Alarie details the launch of the website here on the University of Toronto blog.  He plans to add information on GST/HST on there too in the future.

I've already bookmarked the site and am looking forward to using it (a lot) when I do my taxes again next year. Hope you find it useful as I do!

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Young is a writer and former owner of Young and Thrifty and the main "twitter' behind Young and Thrifty's twitter account. She lives in Vancouver, BC and enjoys long walks on the beach, spending time with her anxious dog, and finding good deals. If you like what you read, consider signing up for email updates.


  1. multiple egg baskets on August 10, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    Tell their hosting company to ramp up their servers come next spring because their site sounds like it will get a ton of hits for next year’s tax season!

  2. young on August 10, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    @multiple egg baskets- I KNOW, eh?? Maybe I should have kept it a secret so that I could get faster load time with my tax questions. =) Thanks for visiting!

  3. southern on August 19, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    I agree stick to a budget and plan for the future, it is so easy to fall into the consumer trap.

  4. Corey on March 4, 2011 at 6:39 am

    Here’s a question nobody seems to ask.

    If you are supporting an international student who is a sister or brother through marriage. How can you claim them on your taxes?

  5. young on March 6, 2011 at 12:32 am

    @Corey- Hm that is a good question! I am not a tax professional so won’t be able to answer that for you, but I would recommend you go to taxwiki and contact them, I’m sure they’ll be able to find an answer for you.

  6. bonnie weiler on March 29, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    my mom was deceased in Oct 2010.. with her RIF payout she made over 90,000.00 of income for the year. is it true that she needs to repay any old age pension she received for the year 2010

  7. young on March 31, 2011 at 12:09 am

    @bonnie- I would try asking the taxwiki website, Bonnie 🙂 I can’t answer that question as I’m not a tax lawyer, but I’m sure tax wiki can!

  8. Baz on November 5, 2011 at 10:14 am

    I have a question about what seems to be a Canadian success story. Looking at the Rich 100 on Canadian Business magazine, I notice that the addresses given for these zillionaires are nearly all Canadian.…#038;sc1=0

    I am presuming that the addresses given represent where taxes are paid.
    A few seem to live where they work (mainly the US) or have gone back to their country of origin. Less than ten live in recognized tax havens. The list of any European country would be very different with many opting for places like Monaco. Unlike the US we don’t tie citizenship and tax obligations together but we do have fairly rigorous rules on residency and don’t have a domicile concept on the books. Do these differences account for our success in keeping our mega rich at home?

  9. Sheher on January 16, 2012 at 11:07 pm

    I entered Canada in June 2010 as a landed immigrant and soon after, I applied for chid tax benefit. However, due to non availaibility of a job and my father’s health I had to force myself to leave Canada in two months time and went back to my home country. Due to my ignorance, I also failed to file my canadian tax return the following year (since I applied for child tax benefit). Resultantly, the child benefit got stopped as well. Afterwards, I did some research and found out that if I am not living in Canada and not filing taxes, I am not entitled to the child tax benefit. As such, I want to return the money received which are lying in my account in Canada at the moment. Also, would like to know if there is any tax implication here, and what could be the resolution.

  10. young on January 18, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    @Sheher- Thanks for writing. I’m sorry but your situation sounds complicated. Have you tried going on the actual site; to ask? This is just a mere old blog 🙂

  11. Joel Pitts on July 15, 2014 at 11:16 am

    Hi there, have a question for you. Due to certain reasons, I’d like to know how to go about filing taxes separately rather than a married/joint return.

    I understand that while the taxes are indeed filed separately in theory, the fact that one states ‘married’ causes adjustments such as ‘the lower income has to claim this’ etc. I’d like to just fill out my taxes and stop there, not really concerned about the benefits of filing jointly as I want to have them filed correctly.

    Thank You,

  12. Kyle on July 15, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    It’s pretty easy Joel, just file separately. You are allowed to do that – no one will force you to take the benefits. Why would you want to give up tax return money though?

  13. Josh on December 29, 2014 at 2:25 pm


    I would love to visit this resource, however it keeps bringing me to Professor Benjamin Alarie’s profile at the U of T. 🙂

  14. Terry on March 30, 2016 at 7:18 pm

    My daughter has rental properties she furnishes. One complete unit was emptied by theft. Can she claim these loses on her taxes?

  15. Kyle on March 30, 2016 at 9:25 pm

    Good question Terry. Unfortunately I’m just not sure. Best to contact the CRA directly. Let us know how it goes.

  16. Gus on April 7, 2016 at 2:59 pm

    I have a small business with business revenue that’s typically below the $30,000 threshold for GST registration. Last year I sold a piece of equipment and that sale increased the small business cash intake by $5,000 — and over the 30K ceiling. Does that mean that I’m now obligated to register?

  17. Kyle on April 10, 2016 at 11:56 am

    I would think it does Gus, but this is definitely a question for the CRA to answer. The problem is that if you weren’t charging GST all year, I’m not sure how you’ll remit.

  18. carolmodra on April 23, 2016 at 3:32 pm

    Did tax’s efile with block.what is electronic filing remittance voucher ? I have a code number. Is my tax paid for?

  19. Kyle on April 24, 2016 at 11:06 am

    Sorry Carol, I have no idea. I would think so, but I would definitely double check to make sure my taxes were properly sent it.

  20. Esme on February 22, 2017 at 2:11 pm

    How can I file online when I moved from Canada in August, 2016 ??

  21. Richard Hay on February 24, 2017 at 4:16 am

    My wife made $15,000.00 dollars last year and paid no income tax and has no further deductions. My question is how much of an RRSP would we have to purchase in order not to pay income tax on her earnings. She has lots of RRSP room.

  22. Kyle on February 25, 2017 at 1:40 pm

    Depends what province you live in Richard, but the idea would be to reduce taxable income so that she would fall into the lowest tax bracket. Have you looked into a spousal RRSP instead?

  23. Kyle on February 25, 2017 at 1:41 pm

    I’m not sure Esme – sorry.

  24. Renee on March 6, 2017 at 1:46 pm

    It’s been determined that I qualify to claim moving expenses for work. Can I claim the cost of transporting my pets via airplane to the new location along with the cost of keeping them in a kennel until my new home was ready?

  25. Lloy Keeling on March 13, 2017 at 10:48 am

    I receive CDN OAP and CPP from my days of working in Canada. (Now I am an American citizen). Does putting in my US Husband’s income on the T1 affect us adversely?

  26. Kelly on March 16, 2017 at 9:38 am

    I started college in 2011 but became very sick in 2012. I am now on ODSP. My student loan was forgiven in 2014 after I submitted application due to long term/permanent disability. I never even began repayment process. My CRA account indicates I still have over $7000 forwarded from tuition & books…. since 2011. Can I actually claim this, even tho my school loan was forgiven?!

  27. Kyle on March 16, 2017 at 11:37 am

    Yes, I can’t think of why that would be a problem Kelly.

  28. Mindy Charles on September 14, 2017 at 11:39 am

    What happened to the tax wiki site…I just tried finding it, doesn’t exist ???

    I have a tax question: My boyfriend recently moved in with me, we have decided to keep our finances separate, I pay all the bills, the mortgage, buy the groceries, etc and we have agreed that he will give me a lump sum amount of 1000.00 every month for his share of living expenses. My question is this: do I personally have to claim this as income?

  29. Shel on November 16, 2017 at 9:58 am

    This year I bought shares in a couple of stocks that made good profits after I sold them. The price dropped and I bought it back, Then wanting to take the tax loss for the year I sold them. After I realized that it takes 30 days before buying it back to count for a tax loss, I bought it back. Now with the year ending, the stocks have gone up a little, but are still below the price I paid. Can I sell them now and will it count for a tax loss? Is it 30 days or 30 business days? Does it make a difference if I buy it back in 2017 or 2018?

    Bought 8000 shares at 0.18. Sold at $1.70 profit of $12,160
    Bought same 8000 shares a month later at $0.80
    Sold 8000 at $0.40
    Bought them back at the same $0.40 the same day after I realized my mistake that it requires 30 days.
    Would now like to sell the 8000 at $0.45

  30. James Richardson on May 1, 2018 at 11:32 am

    I am a born and raised Canadian, age 68, but moved to the United States in 1981. When living and working in Canada I contributed to an RRSP. I stopped contributing when I moved to the states but left the RRSP money in my TD CanadaTrust account. Once eligible I began receiving an annual annuity. Because I am a non resident, a 15% non resident tax is withheld. I receive a pro rated CPP and OAS (because I worked and contributed 13 years beyond my 18th birthday) along with my annual annuity, however, in total, my Canadian source income amounts to under $10,000. I report my CPP, OAS and annuity on my US tax return. I can only claim a foreign tax credit on my US return. My question has to do with how I can recover by refund the non resident tax that is withheld on the annuity. I have tried filing a section 217 election where, using my calculations, I would be entitled to a 100% tax refund because the standard deduction is greater than the worldwide income I report as Taxable Income. After filing the Section 217 election tax return, CRA informed me “no additional tax was due”. They did not address why my refund was denied. Could you explain please. Thank you.

  31. Corey Lahey on September 21, 2018 at 1:25 pm

      Hi, its great to have a forum like this.
    To keep it short.
    I make minimum wage in Canada B.C.: 13.4
    I have a 120 hour work month.

    So I make roughly about 1500$ in Canada, B.C. 
    My boss says he pays taxes off of my income.
    I also get a monthly disability compensation from my home country Iceland: roughly 2500$.
    So this means that I get more income from there, and I do pay taxes there, and I am sure I am paying taxes in Iceland correctly.

    – Would the fact that I get more money from Iceland change anything tax wise? (I am told that the 2 countries share tax information).
    – I am currious as to know if “my boss saying he pays taxes off of my income” is enough? How would I confirm it is enough?
    – Is there something else I need to do to make sure that my Canadian taxes are getting payed?

  32. Lisa Jackson on November 8, 2018 at 8:22 am

    Hi Corey, your tax situation sounds complicated. In Canada, taxes are deducted from your pay cheque, and you should see this on your pay stub. We would advise you to speak with a chartered accountant about your tax situation. See:

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