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No income? Doing your taxes could put money in your pocket

(NC) If you’re between jobs or have gone directly from school to care for kids, you might have decided not to do your taxes. After all, why file if you have no income and nothing to pay, right? But not doing your taxes could mean you’re losing out on some money.

Even if you don’t have income to declare or are tax-exempt, it’s important to do your taxes every year. Here’s why:

  1. You can claim tax credits, such as GST/HST, tuition or disability tax credits, as well as related provincial or territorial payments.

  2. You could be eligible for benefits, such as the Canada child benefit, old age security or the Canadian workers’ benefit. These programs determine your eligibility by looking at the income reported on your tax return. Filing late could delay when you receive these benefits, so it’s also important to file on time.

  3. You could get a refund. A lot of tax refunds go unclaimed each year because people didn’t do their taxes. Last year, 14.9 million refunds were issued, the average amount was $1,845.

  4. If you do your taxes and realize you owe money, it’s better to find out sooner than later to avoid fees, penalties and interest. If you do end up owing this year, you can make payment arrangements and pay in instalments. Feeling overwhelmed and aren’t sure where to start? Free tax help is available in your area if you have a modest income and need help doing your taxes. See if you’re eligible and learn more at

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