Money Banking and Shopping

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Setting up a bank account is one of the first things you will want to do. A number of Canadian banks operate within the NWT:

  • Bank of Montreal (Yellowknife & Fort Smith)

  • CIBC (Inuvik, Norman Wells, Fort Simpson, Yellowknife & Hay River)
  • RBC Royal Bank (Yellowknife & Hay River)
  • Scotiabank (Yellowknife)
  • TD Bank (Yellowknife)
  • First Nations Bank Canada (Yellowknife)
  • BDC- Business Development Bank of Canada (Yellowknife)

The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada can also help answer questions and provide guidance related to banking and finances. To learn more, click here.

If you lose your job or experience financial hardship, it may be possible to receive temporary financial support. The Government of Canada’s Benefits Finder, can help you determine which programs may apply to your situation.

Taxes & Incentives

Sales tax

There is no territorial sales tax but federal GST (5%) is still collected on most goods and services.

Income tax

All workers in Canada must pay income tax to the Canada Revenue Agency through their employer. Common paycheque deductions include income tax, Canada pension plan, employment insurance, and health care.

Personal Income tax returns are to be submitted annually to the Canada Revenue Agency no later than April 30th of each year. NWT residents enjoy some of the lowest personal income tax rates in Canada.

For more information on when and how to file your income tax visit the Canada Revenue Agency online or call 1-800-959-8281.

Canada Child Tax Benefit

If you have a child who is under 18 years of age you may be eligible for the Canada Child Tax Benefit. Parents who are eligible for this benefit will receive tax free monthly payments to help with the cost of raising a child. The benefit amount is dependent upon your family’s income.

For more information visit the Canada Revenue Agency online or call 1-800-959-1193.

Tax incentives

There are tax incentives offered to those living in the NWT to help offset the higher cost of living, such as the Northern Residents Tax Deduction. For more information on NWT tax incentives, click here.


Every community has a store where you can buy essential items. In mid-to-larger sized communities there are usually two stores, often operating as department stores that supply everything from fresh vegetables and meat to snowmobile parts, clothing, furniture and hardware. In addition to these department-like stores, some communities also have coffee shops, clothing stores, electronic stores, and craft shops.

If you’d like more information about available local shopping, ask at the community office or the band office. Another good resource would be to look in the Yellow Pages of the telephone book or through a quick internet search.