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The last thing on your mind upon the birth of your newborn child is about applying for their Social Insurance Number (SIN). After all, they don’t need one until they start working, right? Well, unfortunately that’s a common misnomer, and here’s why.

The sooner a Registered Education Savings Account (RESP) account is open, the sooner you can start saving towards a post-secondary education for your child. However, your child’s SIN is required to open an RESP. This is because of the Canada Education Savings Grant and the Canada Learning Bond grant that the Federal government contributes to.

When your child turns 18, they can receive the quarterly GST/HST tax credit. They don’t have to earn any income in order to receive the benefit. However, they must file a tax return, and in order to file a tax return, they need to have a SIN.

Once your child has a part-time job, they will need to provide their SIN to the employer, and with that, start filing income tax returns.

So, it’s always a good idea to apply for your child’s SIN sooner than later. In Ontario, when you register the birth of your child, and apply for the birth certificate, you can also apply for your child’s SIN. I only wish they did this when my kids were born. It’s so much easier and one less thing to worry about down the road.