How to Fill Out TD1 and TD1BC Forms: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Fill Out TD1 and TD1BC Forms: A Step-by-Step Guide

Sebastien Prost, CPA
Filling out the TD1 and TD1BC forms is an important annual task for employees in Canada. These forms determine the amount of tax to be deducted from an individual’s income, ensuring that the correct tax amount is withheld by employers throughout the year. The TD1, also known as the Personal Tax Credits Return, is a federal form, while the TD1BC is its provincial counterpart for residents of British Columbia. Both forms take into account various credits and deductions that individuals can claim based on their personal situation.

To complete these forms accurately, it’s essential to understand the different sections and the types of information they require. The forms provide clear instructions on how to claim tax credits, such as the basic personal amount, education, and disability credits. Employees must consider their eligibility for each credit and fill out the forms with precise and current information to reflect their entitlements.

New employees or those who experience a change in their personal circumstances, like marriage, or having a child, should pay particular attention to the TD1 and TD1BC forms. By correctly filling out these documents, they ensure their employer withholds an appropriate amount of tax from their pay. Incorrect or outdated information can lead to under- or over-withholding of taxes, resulting in a balance owing or a refund when filing an annual income tax return.

Understanding TD1 and TD1BC Forms

The TD1, Personal Tax Credits Return, and the TD1BC, British Columbia Personal Tax Credits Return, are crucial for accurate tax deduction calculations by employers in Canada.

Purpose of TD1 and TD1BC

The purpose of the TD1 and TD1BC forms is to determine the amount of tax to be deducted from an individual’s employment income or pension during a tax year. They take into account various tax credits that an individual is eligible for, such as the basic personal amount and education-related credits.

Employers use the information from these forms to ascertain the correct amount of tax to withhold from the employee’s paychecks. Employees should fill out new forms if their personal tax credit amounts change or if they start a new job.

Who Needs to Fill Out the Forms

  • New employees must complete the TD1 and TD1BC forms as part of their hiring process.
  • Existing employees should fill out new forms if their situation changes, leading to a change in tax credits, such as a marital status change or the birth of a child.
  • Pension recipients may also need to fill out these forms to adjust their tax withholdings on their pension income.

Employees or pensioners who don’t fill out the forms will have taxes deducted using only the basic personal amount, potentially resulting in higher tax withheld than necessary.

Preparing to Fill Out TD1 and TD1BC

Before beginning the TD1 and TD1BC forms, it is crucial to compile the necessary information and understand the tax credits available to the individual.

Gathering Required Information

One must gather their personal information, including their Social Insurance Number (SIN) and details of their current employment. If changes have occurred in one’s personal life, such as a marriage, those details are relevant as well.

Documents to collect:

  • Social Insurance Number (SIN)
  • Last year’s income tax return
  • Information regarding other income sources
  • Details of taxable benefits and educational status, if applicable

Understanding Tax Credits

Understanding the available tax credits is essential for accurate completion of the TD1 and TD1BC forms.

Common tax credits include:

  • Basic personal amount
  • Age amount for individuals 65 years of age or older
  • Pension income amounts for those who receive eligible pension income

Each credit should be carefully evaluated by the taxpayer to ensure they are claiming the correct amounts based on their eligibility.

Step-by-Step Guide to Completing TD1 Form

The TD1 form, known as the Personal Tax Credits Return, is a document needed for every employee or pensioner in Canada. It determines the amount of tax to be deducted from one’s income.

Personal Tax Credits Return

An individual must complete the TD1 form when they start a new job or when their personal or financial situation changes. This form has sections for entering personal information such as name, social insurance number, and date of birth. The form requires taxpayers to fill out the basic personal amount, which is the amount an individual can earn without paying federal income tax.

Claiming Personal Amounts

Basic Personal Amount
Every taxpayer is entitled to claim this non-refundable tax credit.
Age Amount
Taxpayers 65 or over by the end of the year are eligible to claim this amount.
Disability Amount
Those with a prolonged impairment in physical or mental functions may claim this amount.
Tuition Amount
Post-secondary education students may claim tuition fees.


Taxpayers should consult the TD1 instructions for a complete list of available credits and conditions under which they can claim each.

Declaration of Conditions

Upon completion of claiming personal amounts, there’s a section of the TD1 form where an individual declares that the information provided is true and complete. They are required to sign and date the form. Employers are not required to send this form to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), but they must keep it on file for at least six years in case the CRA asks to see it.

Step-by-Step Guide to Completing TD1BC Form

The TD1BC form is used to determine the amount of tax to be deducted from an individual’s income in the province of British Columbia. Each section must be completed accurately to ensure proper tax deductions.

British Columbia Tax Credits

To accurately claim British Columbia tax credits, the individual must:

  1. Personal Tax Credits Return: Begin by entering personal information in the designated areas at the top of the form.
  2. Basic Personal Amount: Every resident of British Columbia can claim a basic personal amount.
  3. Age Amount: If the individual is 65 years or older by the end of the year, they can claim an additional credit, provided his or her net income is below a certain threshold.
  4. Spouse or Common-Law Partner Amount: This credit is available if the individual supports a spouse or common-law partner with a net income less than a specified amount.
  5. Child Amount: Claimants can obtain a credit for each dependent child younger than 18.
  6. Other Credits: Include any other applicable amounts such as the disability amount, caregiver amount, or tuition and education amounts if eligible.

Each credit has a calculated value that the individual should input into the corresponding field.

Calculating Additional Credits

For additional credits, the individual must:

  1. Review Detailed Information: Review the form’s instructions for specific criteria for other claimable credits.
  2. Worksheet: Use the provided worksheet to calculate the total of the additional credits.
  3. Enter the Total: Transfer the total from the worksheet to the designated line on the TD1BC form.

Careful calculation is crucial in this section to ensure all eligible credits are claimed and accurately reflected in the total.

Special Circumstances and Exemptions

When filling out the TD1 and TD1BC forms, individuals may be eligible for certain exemptions or may find themselves in situations warranting reduced tax deductions at the source. It is important to understand how to navigate these circumstances to ensure one pays the correct amount of tax.

Reduced Deduction at Source

Individuals who anticipate a lower income tax liability for the year, due to various credits or deductions, can request a reduction in tax withheld at the source. To do so, they must complete Form T1213, Request to Reduce Tax Deductions at Source, and receive approval from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) prior to adjusting the amount on their TD1 form. This might apply to individuals who contribute significantly to RRSPs, have large tuition expenses, or incur substantial child care costs.

Claiming Deductions for Dependents

Taxpayers with dependents can claim additional allowances on their TD1 and TD1BC forms. These deductions apply if they support a spouse, common-law partner, or eligible dependent who has little or no income.

One must provide the dependent’s net income information accurately; if the dependent’s income changes during the year, the taxpayer should update their forms accordingly.

Finalizing and Submitting the Forms

Careful review and proper submission of the TD1 and TD1BC forms are crucial to ensure accurate tax withholdings.

Double-Checking Form Entries

Before submission, one must verify all information on their TD1 and TD1BC forms. It’s important to ensure that:

  • Personal information is accurate, including full name, date of birth, and Social Insurance Number.
  • The total income claimed is correct and matches the documents you have.
  • All applicable tax credits are accurately calculated and claimed.

One should particularly review the sections for tuition, disability, and dependant information if they apply.

Submitting Forms to Employer

Once the forms are complete and double-checked:

  • Print the forms if they were filled out electronically.
  • Sign and date each form on the designated line.

The forms must then be submitted directly to one’s employer. It’s advisable to:

  • Hand them personally to the HR department or the person responsible for payroll.
  • Obtain a confirmation of receipt to ensure the documents have been received and will be processed.

Post-Submission Steps

After submitting the TD1 and TD1BC forms, it is crucial for individuals to manage these documents properly for future reference and to accommodate any changes in their personal or financial situation.

Keeping Copies of Forms

Employees should maintain a copy of their completed TD1 and TD1BC forms for their records. Keeping digital or physical copies ensures they have access to the information if queries arise from their employer or the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). It is recommended to:

  • Store copies securely: Either save scanned copies in a password-protected digital format or keep paper copies in a safe, accessible place.
  • Record the submission date: Note the date forms were given to the employer, which can be helpful during tax season or in case of discrepancies.

Updating Forms for New Circumstances

Individuals are responsible for updating their TD1 and TD1BC forms if there are changes to their personal tax situation. Instances that may necessitate an update include:

  • Life changes: Marriage, divorce, the birth of a child, or the death of a spouse require form adjustments.
  • Financial adjustments: Changes such as significant tuition payments or a variation in income sources should be reflected.

To update the forms:

  1. Fill out new TD1 and TD1BC forms with the current information.
  2. Submit the updated forms to the employer promptly.

Regular updating guarantees that the tax withheld from an employee’s income aligns with their current obligations, avoiding unexpected tax bills or penalties.

Frequently Asked Questions

This section addresses common queries related to filling out the TD1 and TD1BC forms, with step-by-step answers for precise and error-free submissions.

What steps are involved in completing the TD1 Personal Tax Credits Return form?

Completing the TD1 form involves identifying personal tax credit amounts, such as the basic personal amount and other credits pertinent to an individual’s situation. One must calculate these credits accurately and enter the total on the form.

Can the TD1 form be submitted electronically, and if so, how is this done?

Yes, the TD1 form can be submitted electronically if an employer offers this option. Employees usually fill out the form online via a secure portal and submit it directly to their employer’s payroll system.

What specific instructions should be followed when filling out the TD1 form for a second job?

When filling out the TD1 form for a second job, one should not claim the basic personal amount if it has already been claimed with the first employer. Additional tax may need to be deducted to ensure the correct total tax is withheld for the year.

Are there any differences when completing the TD1 form as a new employee?

As a new employee, one must complete the TD1 form with the current year’s tax credit amounts. It’s important to review all the available personal tax credits and claim them accurately, ensuring the employer deducts the correct amount of tax.

How does the TD1BC form differ from the regular TD1, and when should each be used?

The TD1BC form is the British Columbia Personal Tax Credits Return, specific to residents of British Columbia for provincial tax credits. It should be used alongside the federal TD1 form, ensuring one claims all provincial and federal tax credits applicable.

What are the implications of incorrectly filling out the TD1 or TD1BC forms and how can one avoid them?

Incorrectly filling out these forms may result in the incorrect calculation of tax withholdings, possibly leading to a tax balance owing or a larger refund during tax season. Carefully reviewing one’s entitlements and seeking clarification on unclear aspects can help avoid such discrepancies.

Sebastien Prost, CPA

Written by Sebastien Prost, CPA

Seb Prost, a CPA with over 10 years of experience in taxation and accounting, offers a unique blend of insights from his time at the CRA and his experience in public practice. Originally from QC and now based in Nelson, BC, he specializes in guiding Canadian startups, SaaS companies and other online businesses for all of their accounting and taxation needs.

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