On January 4, 2021 the Student Accounts Office sent an email to all students requesting that they record their Social Insurance Number (SIN) or Individual Tax Number (ITN) on ACORN prior to January 31, 2021.
This page is to provide you with further information about this request. Please read through carefully to the end. You can learn more about applying for a SIN online and income taxes in Canada at upcoming information sessions offered by Service Canada and the Canada Revenue Agency through the Centre for International Experience. These include a webinar on Social Insurance Numbers and Income tax information sessions.
What is a SIN (Social Insurance Number)?
A SIN is a 9-digit number issued by the Canadian government. You need a SIN in order to work in Canada or to have access to Canadian government programs and benefits. If you want or need to submit an income tax return in Canada, you need a SIN.
If you are working in Canada, you will already have a SIN and will likely be required to submit an income tax return. In this case, report your SIN to the University as requested so the tax slips created by the University include your SIN. By submitting your SIN, you are able to access certain benefits as part of your tax return.
If you are not working in Canada but want to be able to access certain benefits, you will need to file a tax return. Your eligibility to access benefits via filing an income tax return is based on residency status. Please review Taxes for International Students Studying in Canada – Residency Status from the Canadian government to determine if you have residency status in Canada for income tax purposes. If you do have residency status and do not yet have a SIN, follow the instructions below:
- If you are an international student residing in Canada but are not eligible for a SIN, you can apply for an ITN if you are required to file an income tax return for 2020. As soon as you receive your ITN, please update your profile on ACORN. Wait until the University has updated your ITN on your T2202/T4A tax slips before filing a 2020 income tax return.
- If you are an international student who is not currently residing in Canada, but have residency status and have a valid study permit, you can apply for a SIN online and request that it be mailed to your current home address. As soon as you receive your SIN, please update your profile on ACORN. If you plan on filing a 2020 income tax return, wait until the University has updated your SIN on your T2202/T4A tax slips.
- If you are a new international student who is not residing in Canada and have not yet received your study permit, you will not be eligible to get your SIN. If you are a new international student who is not residing in Canada, you do not likely have residency status in Canada (e.g. you have ties to Canadian residency such as a Canadian bank account or a Canadian term address). Please verify by reviewing the criteria for residency status for income tax purposes. Once you arrive in Canada and receive your study permit, you can apply for a SIN. As soon as you receive your SIN, please update your profile on ACORN.
Deadline to report to U of T
Please note: You can still record your SIN or ITN on ACORN after January 31, 2021. Wait until the University has updated your SIN or ITN on your T2202/T4A tax slips before filing a 2020 income tax return.
Potential Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) penalty
The $100 penalty for failure to provide a SIN applies to individuals who reside or are employed in Canada and have received a request to provide the information.
For more information, please visit the following websites:
- University of Toronto: Student Accounts – New for Tax Year
- Canada Revenue Agency: Canadian income tax system overview for international students
- Canada Revenue Agency: Determine your residency status for income tax purposes
If you have further questions, you can call the CRA’s Individual Tax Queries Line from inside Canada at 1-800-959-8281 or from outside Canada at 613-940-8495.