Eligibility and Necessary Items

Eligibility for SFU Tax Services

Are you eligible for SFU Tax Program services?

The SFU Tax Program prepares income tax returns according to the Canada Revenue Agency’s Community Volunteer Income Tax Program’s eligibility policy. The CVITP assists eligible taxpayers who have low income, simple, and non-complex tax situations.

Eligibility Criteria

These suggested maximum income levels should serve as a guideline only.

Taxpayer Status Your Income (Line 150)
Individual Up to $35,000
Couple Up to $45,000 (add $2,500 for each dependent)

Eligible taxpayers normally served by the CVITP include:

  • Aboriginal peoples
  • Low-income individuals and social assistance recipients
  • Newcomers to Canada
  • Seniors
  • Students

Volunteers do not prepare tax returns for individuals who:

  • Own foreign property worth over $100,000
  • Have self-employment income
  • Have business or rental income and expenses
  • Have capital gains or losses
  • Have employment expenses
  • File for bankruptcy
  • Are completing a tax return for a deceased person
  • Are Exchange Students staying in Canada for less than 1 year
  • Are visiting Canada
  • Have more than $1,000 in investment income 

For further information, refer to the CRA’s website by clicking here.

Necessary Items

Do you have all the necessary items?

You are responsible for bringing the applicable documents from the list below to your appointment:

Be considerate of the environment and if possible bring an electronic copy of these documents. It is recommended you bring the documents on a laptop or USB drive.

1. Electronic Documents

A laptop is highly recommended as we are using UFile to complete clients’ tax returns. By doing so, you would be able to file electronically on site during your appointment (if applicable).

Our volunteers will save your tax return in a PDF for printing and for your own record. By request, our volunteers may also save a .tax file for electronically filing your tax return and for your own record.

2. Notice of Assessment from the previous tax year

A Notice of Assessment is a 2-page statement received by mail after the taxpayer files their tax return and the tax return is reviewed by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). The notice shows the date the CRA assessed your return and whether you have are entitled a tax refund, have an amount owing, or a zero balance. If there is a refund owing, a cheque will be included with the Notice of Assessment unless the taxpayer arranged Direct Deposit. If there is an amount owing, payment information will be enclosed.

Notice of Assessment Sample
Notice of Assessment Sample

For more information, visit the CRA’s website by clicking here.

Is this your first time filing a tax return?

If this is your first time filing a tax return, you do not need to bring a Notice of Assessment.

What if you can’t find it? Where can I find my Notice of Assessment?

If you have lost your Notice of Assessment, you may be able to obtain a duplicate copy of your notice of assessment or notice of reassessment on the Canada Revenue Agency website. If not, please contact the Canada Revenue Agency.

3. Tuition Amounts to Carry Forward

You must claim your tuition, education, and textbook amounts first on your own return. Complete Schedule 11 to calculate how much of this credit you will need to reduce your tax payable. You may need to use all of the credit or just some of the credit depending on how much tax you owe.

If you did not use all of the credit, you can transfer the amount or carry it forward. For a detailed explication of these two options visit: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/ndvdls/tpcs/ncm-tx/rtrn/cmpltng/ddctns/lns300-350/323/crry-frwrd-eng.html

Is it your 1st Year at SFU for the current tax year?

If it is, you do not need to report your tuition amounts to carry forward. (Note: Tuition amounts to carry forward appear on your Notice Assessment of the previous year).

4. Social Insurance Number (SIN) or Individual Tax Number (ITN)

Filing a tax return requires a SIN or an ITN.

Difference between a SIN and an ITN

Social Insurance Number

The Social Insurance Number (SIN) is a nine-digit number that you need to work in Canada or to have access to government programs and benefits. It is a requirement in order to file a tax return.

I don’t have a SIN

If you are a Canadian citizen, a newcomer to Canada, or a temporary resident, you need a Social Insurance Number (SIN) to work in Canada or to receive benefits and services from government programs. To apply for a SIN, please visit Service Canada.

International Students: Individual Tax Number (ITN)

If you are an International Student without a SIN, you will need to apply for an Individual Tax Number (ITN) by filling out the T1261 online (http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pbg/tf/t1261/README.html) or it can be picked up and filled out at your appointment. The ITN application can be mailed along with your Paper Tax Return to the Canada Revenue Agency. The process of getting this number may take 4-6 weeks, so please start early. Do not submit this form if you have, or are eligible to obtain, a Social Insurance Number (SIN).

Complete the T1261 Individual Tax Number Form

5. Form T4 (Statement of Remuneration)

A T4 tax slip, or Statement of Remuneration Paid, is prepared and issued by an employer to indicate how much employment income was paid during a tax year and the amount of income tax that was deducted. Employment income includes salary, bonuses, commissions, honorariums, tips, vacation pay, taxable allowances, tips, the value of taxable benefits and payment in lieu of notice.
Employees receive 2 copies of a T4 tax slip from an employer – one to attach to your Canadian federal tax return (paper) and one to keep for records. An employee also may receive more than one T4 tax slip if employed in more than one position during the tax year.

6. Form T4A (Taxable Scholarship)

A T4A tax slip is a Statement of Pension, Retirement, Annuity, and Other Income. It is prepared and issued by an employer, a trustee, an estate executor or liquidator, a pension administrator, or a corporate director, to indicate how much of certain types of income they paid you during a tax year and the amount of income tax that was deducted. If you have received a scholarship, you may be receiving a T4A in the mail or through Student Services. If you have not received a T4A by the last day of February, please contact the registrar’s office.

For further information visit the school website by clicking here.

7. Form T5 (Statement of Investment Income)

A T5 is a Statement of Investment Income. A T5 is a tax information slip prepared and issued by financial institutions, like banks and credit unions, which pay interest, dividends or royalties to indicate how much investment income you earned for a given tax year.

If you have not received a T5 slip from an investment, please contact your bank or credit union.

8. T2202A (Tuition and Education Amounts Certificate)

T2202A (Tuition, Education, and Textbook Amounts Certificate) is a statement issued to all students who paid tuition and fees for qualifying courses that are eligible for claim on income tax returns. The form shows the amount of tuition that can be deducted for income tax purposes as well as the number of months eligible for the education and textbook deduction. You can access your T2202A certificates on go.sfu.ca.

For further information on this topic, click here.

9. U-Pass/Transit Tax Credit

Transit riders may be eligible for a non-refundable tax credit to help cover the cost of public transit. Riders who purchase public transit passes may be able to claim a deduction on their federal taxes for the current tax year. Transit pass holders must keep their passes in order to claim the credit. If you need proof that you were charged and paid the U-Pass BC fee, you can print an Account Summary from your Student Information System account

These passes must permit unlimited travel within Canada on:

  • Local buses
  • Streetcars
  • Subways
  • Commuter trains or buses, and
  • Local ferries

You can also claim the cost of shorter duration passes if:

  • Each pass entitles you to unlimited travel for an uninterrupted period of at least 5 days; and
  • You purchase enough of these passes so that you are entitled to unlimited travel for at least 20 days in any 28-day period.

10. Tax Receipts for Charitable Donations

Donations to charities are tax-deductible expenses. These donations can reduce your taxable income. Not all charitable contributions are deductible.

For official and accurate information regarding Charitable Donations, please refer to the Canada Revenue Agency website by clicking here.

11. Other tax slips (if applicable)

  • Child Care Expense Receipts
  • Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB)- RC62 Tax Slip
  • Medical Receipts
  • T3- Statement of Trust Income
  • RRSP contribution amounts
  • Interest paid on student loans