Taxes as an International Camp Staffer

After your experience of working at a camp in Canada, you’ll have received a paycheck and may have noticed some deductions on your earnings. As a foreign worker in Canada, you do pay some taxes (totalling about 5-7% of your salary) that you are not eligible to claim back. But you may have been charged some additional taxes that you might be able to claim back once the current calendar year (January 1st to December 31st) is over. We hope to clarify these scenarios and point you in the right direction for what to do when you’re filing your taxes.


Please note, NYQUEST Camp Canada are NOT tax professionals and cannot provide advice about specific circumstances! If in doubt, we recommend that you contact the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) directly.


Employers should send out T4s in January or February, and you can file your tax return from March 1st to April 31st. Make sure that your employer has an up to date address and if you are keen to submit a tax return, you can also contact your employer to request your T4. As it is not mandatory to file a return, your employer may not do this automatically.


The thought of filing your own taxes can be intimidating, which is why there are many companies out there to help with this. However, not all companies are reputable and many actually will charge a large fee (more than you might get as a return!) for submitting. We definitely recommend that you avoid these! If you are filing taxes for just one employer, you will only have one T4 which should make things more straightforward. However, if you would rather hand over some cash for a simpler process, returns start at $20. The software available from these companies has the advantage of breaking down the elements of the tax forms and only showing you information relevant to your circumstances. Be careful, as most companies can only support resident tax returns – not those for non-residents.


If this is the first time you’re filing your taxes in Canada, you must submit your tax return via mail – you cannot submit this online through NETFILE (but you can in future years!). The Canada Revenue Agency website has all of the information on this, including the specific forms that must be completed. Note, the forms for filing a 2017 tax return are not available yet.


It may look like a lot of information to take into consideration, but you’re basically just inputting information from your T4 into the specific fields. It’s unlikely that you’ll be claiming any additional amounts such as charitable donations, transit or educational expenses.


For tax purposes, you are considered a non-resident as long as your stay in Canada was less than 183 days, and you normally live outside of Canada. Once your forms are completed, they must be sent, along with your original T4, to the International Tax Services Office: International and Ottawa Tax Services Office, Post Office Box 9769, Station T, Ottawa ON  K1G 3Y4, Canada.


Finally, you are not required to file a tax return! If the only deductions you were subject to was Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and Employment Insurance (EI), you would most likely not receive anything back anyway.


Good luck!