The better prepared you are before leaving Canada, the better your experience abroad will be. Your tax obligations while living abroad depend largely on whether you’re a resident or non-resident of Canada. Your status is determined by a number of factors, including the purpose and permanence of your stay abroad, the duration and frequency of your visits to Canada and whether you’ve severed your residential ties with Canada. Be sure to review your situation with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to avoid surprises.
Once you’ve confirmed your residency status, you can find information specific to your situation as a Canadian living abroad, such as the tax package you should use; your eligibility for the Foreign Tax Credit and Overseas Employment Tax Credit; your entitlement to other credits and benefits as a Canadian living abroad; and details on tax treaties between Canada and certain countries, which will allow you to avoid being taxed in two countries on the same income.
The CRA’s International Tax Services Office processes income tax returns for non-residents and deemed residents of Canada, including Canadians working abroad. It also provides assistance by postal correspondence and looks after all non-resident tax withholding accounts. See the Taxation for Canadians Travelling, Living or Working Outside Canada page for more information.
Did you know…?As a rule, you cannot receive welfare, disability or other forms of social assistance while living abroad. Contact your provincial or territorial authorities for details.
Under Canada’s tax system, your income tax obligations to Canada are based on your residency status. You need to know your residency status before you can know what your tax responsibilities and filing requirements to Canada are. The following steps can help you determine your residency status for income tax purposes and your tax obligations to Canada.
The most important thing to consider when determining your residency status in Canada for income tax purposes is whether or not you maintain, or you establish, residential ties with Canada.
Significant residential ties to Canada include:
Secondary residential ties that may be relevant include:
To determine residence status, all of the relevant facts in each case must be considered, including residential ties with Canada and length of time, object, intent, and continuity while living inside and outside Canada. For more information on your residential ties, see Income Tax Folio S5-F1-C1, Determining an Individual’s Residence Status.
Your residency status if you left Canada:
It’s important to settle any obligations before leaving your host country. Make sure you’ve paid your local bills or made arrangements to do so. If you’ve obtained citizenship, permanent residency or any other form of legal status in the country, you may need departure clearance to leave. Approval usually depends on the satisfactory inspection of travel documents, permits or other official forms. For example, some countries ask for a statement from local tax authorities that you’ve met all obligations. Others will terminate your residency permit if you’re leaving for good or for an extended period.
Have An Emergency Plan: Get Prepared.
What Travel Documents Do You Need? Passport Canada Website
Legal Matters & Consular Services: Consular Services or Embassies & Consulates
A Canadians Guide To Living Abroad
Individuals – Leaving or entering Canada and non-residents
Travel Advice & Advisories Page
Health Canada’s website.
Moving back to Canada
Travelling as A Dual Citizen
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