While filing a Canadian tax return for the first time, do I need to report foreign income earned before landing to Canada since doing so reduces the refund drastically although this income was not earned after landing in Canada?
Income earned and received prior to becoming a tax resident in Canada is not counted. However, one must remember that many non-refundable tax credits are prorated based on the date one became a tax resident in Canada.
One should either use high-quality tax software and/or consult with a tax professional. The CRA is a government agency that is not to be trifled with. Canada’s tax system is one of voluntary compliance, but that has serious penalties for those who the CRA thinks have cheated the system, willfully or not.