Frequently Asked Questions
Your Questions, Answered
What do I bring to my tax clinic appointment?
You need to bring at least one piece of government issued photo ID. This can be your driver’s license, Ontario photo card, Health Card, or Passport. We require your ID to verify your identity prior to filing a tax return on your behalf.
Government Issued Photo ID
SIN numbers are necessary to file your tax return (note that SIN numbers that begin with a "9" are also accepted). If you do not have a SIN number, but would still like to file your taxes, you may apply for an Individual Tax Number (ITN).
SIN number or ITN number
You must bring digital scans of every tax slip that you have received from all sources (employer, university tuition, government benefits). If you have a CRA MyAccount then you can easily get these slips through the “Tax information slips” section. If you don’t have a CRA MyAccount then you will likely receive your tax slips through the mail. For guidance on where to find your tax slips, you can refer to our Finding My Tax Slips webpage.
Scans of tax slips
Can the tax clinic file returns for first-time filers?
Given that the tax clinic is currently only approved to run virtually, the tax clinic cannot file tax returns for first-time filers. First-time filers are required to mail their tax return to a CRA tax center and are not able to electronically file/NETFILE their tax return.
The approval for an in-person tax clinic is currently being reviewed by Carleton University. If they end up giving approval for an in-person tax clinic then we would be able to file first-time returns for clients who came to our on-campus location (where we would have the necessary stamps, printer, and envelopes to file a paper return).
What are my responsibilities as a client of the tax clinic?
Filling out the client intake form to determine if your tax situation is eligible for the tax clinic.
Showing up to your virtual appointment at the scheduled date and time with a photo ID, SIN number (or ITN number), and scans of all relevant tax slips (for help finding your tax slips you can refer to our webpage on the topic).
Reviewing your completed tax return (when it is emailed to you) and ensuring that the tax return is signed and emailed back to the tax clinic.
Presenting your income and tax situation truthfully.
What are the tax clinic’s responsibilities?
Reviewing your client intake form, determining if your tax situation is eligible for the tax clinic, and emailing you a response by March 15th, 2023.
Booking your appointment with the tax clinic based on the availability you indicated on your client intake form.
Preparing your tax return by 4 PM on the day of your appointment and emailing it to you for your signature.
Electronically filing your tax return with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) upon receiving your signed consent.
Deleting all your personal information from our computers immediately after submitting your tax return.
Are there any risks to using a virtual tax clinic?
Even though filing your tax return via video conferencing is a CRA-approved method for tax clinics, there are some risks that you must acknowledge before filing your tax return virtually. During your initial appointment you will need to:
Provide consent to proceed over an unsecured platform (video conferencing).
Acknowledge that the STSA tax clinic volunteer is not an agent of the CRA.
Confirm your awareness that you can discontinue the call at any time during your session
To mitigate some of the risks involved in filing virtually, the tax clinic has taken the following steps:
We use platforms that are end-to-end encrypted for our video calls (Jitsi Meet) and email (Outlook).
We use tax clinic specific emails, we do NOT use personal emails to handle client documents and information.
We have designed our virtual tax clinic in compliance with the CRA’s tax clinic guidelines for virtual filing via video conferencing.
We require all client personal information to be deleted from our computers immediately upon filing your tax return.
While these mitigation steps are helpful at reducing the risk, they do not fully eliminate it. Ultimately, there will always be some risks involved with filing your tax return virtually (not just with STSA but with anyone) and you must make a decision about whether this risk is meaningful to you.