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I have moved to Canada, Nova Scotia about a year ago, so I filed my first tax return (2017) already. Long story short, I lived the entire year out of my own savings - there was no income and no taxable expenses. I have been unemployed too.

I have received a handful of cheques from the government since then. The cheques read "GST/NSALT credit" and are not much. I just googled about it, and from Turbotax:

As part of Canada’s progressive tax system, the government introduced the GST/HST tax credit to reimburse some or all of the federal portion of sales taxes to low-income households. The credit is paid quarterly for each tax year, in July, October, January and April, on or around the fifth day of those months. The amount of the credit is based on each family’s net income, plus the number of dependent children. The CRA does not consider the credit taxable income. Application for the GST/HST credit is done automatically through federal tax returns, though it can be claimed only by one spouse or other member of a household.

Which sounds almost definitely what is going on with me (my most recent cheque was on January 5th). Apparently I automatically applied via my tax return and I am eligible for being at least 19. And since I technically have no income, I make for a good candidate.

But that's the thing that bugs me: I have substantial savings abroad (from many years ago - way before 2017), so even if I have no new income over the year it makes me wonder if I really should be getting a cheque at all. Did I make a mistake in my tax return? If it turns out I shouldn't be getting these cheques, what I am supposed to do?

  • Do your assets abroad generate no returns whatsoever? – Chris W. Rea Jan 11 '18 at 1:36
  • @ChrisW.Rea no, they don't. – JVon Jan 11 '18 at 5:12
  • Presumably, if simply having assets abroad mattered to the CRA in deciding eligibility for GST/HST, there would have been a question on the tax return to that effect (unless you missed it!). If there wasn't, they presumably don't care. – TripeHound Jan 11 '18 at 8:01

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