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Income taxes for non-residents on Rental Income from Canada

When and how to report a non resident’s rental income to CRA.

Rental income is the income from renting a real or movable property in Canada that you own or have use of. Rental Income can be income from renting an apartment, house, office, or other shared spaces in a building.

Canada taxes its residents on their worldwide income. If you are not a resident of Canada, you will pay taxes on your Canadian-sourced income. Rental income from property in Canada is a Canadian Sourced Income.

Rental Income Taxation for Residents of Canada

If you are a resident of Canada, you report your Rental income on your personal income tax return by completing form T776, Statement of Real Estate Rentals. You are entitled to deduct all the allowed expenses from your rental income. Net rental income is taxed at marginal tax rates as applicable in Canada.

Deductions allowed for rental income include; advertisement, Insurance, Salaries and wages, benefits on salaries and wages, management fees, administration fees, property taxes, repairs and maintenance expenses (differentiate it from Capital expenditures), interest and bank charges, travel expenses, utilities, motor vehicle expenses, and other rental expenses. You can view the details of these deductible expenses by clicking here.

Rental Income Taxation for Non-Residents of Canada

As mentioned before rental income from real property in Canada is a Canadian-sourced income. Any non-resident of Canada must pay taxes on such income.

Non-residents of Canada must inform the payers of rental income about their non-residence status. This is even more important for those who are leaving Canada (Emigrants). Often the leavers from Canada do not inform payers about their new non-residence status. Uniformed payers keep on making rental payments to their bank accounts. While doing so, they often ignore the fact that such an action may keep their residential ties with Canada. Unknowingly they may become factual residents of Canada, which has other tax implications for them.

The payer of rental payments in Canada, an agent or tenant, must withhold 25% tax on these payments. These withheld amounts are remitted to CRA no later than the 15th day of the following month. There are penalties and interest applicable for not remitting such amounts.

Rental Income for non-residents – 25% tax on Gross Rental Income

The receiver of Rental income does not have to file a return and the tax withheld by the payer (25% on gross rental income) is considered to be the final tax liability of the non-resident. There are no deductions allowed in this case.

Section 216Tax Returns for non-residents of Canada

A Non-Resident of Canada can file an election 216 with the Canada Revenue Agency. This way all the deductions are allowed against the gross rental income to arrive at net rental income. 

Using Section 216 allows non resident of Canada to pay taxes on the net rental income. It also allows a nonresident to get a refund for the difference between the withholding tax remitted and tax on the net rental income.

Reduced withholding with Form NR6

In order to lower the withholding tax rate, form NR6 needs to be filed with CRA. This will enable the payer to deduct a 25% withholding tax on net rental income instead of gross rental income. This form must be approved by the Canada Revenue Agency before the payor starts deducting reduced withholding. 

Once NR6 form is approved by the CRA, a section 216 tax return must be filed by June 30th of the next year. If Non-Resident taxpayer does not file Sec 216 tax return after NR6 was approved, CRA assesses the withholding agent for the difference of withholding tax on Gross versus the Net rent. 

Section 216 is an election! 

Section 216 tax return is an election. Like all the elections, it has time limitations. 

  • June 30th – If approved NR6.
  • June 30th – If no NR6, however, the taxpayer can elect within 24 months after the end of the tax year

Late Section 216 tax returns 

Can a Non-Resident file late Section 216 tax returns?

The answer is yes but there are certain caveats attached to it. You cannot make section 216 election:

  1. If there is an approved NR6, there is no extension or option to file beyond June 30th.
  2. Sometimes CRA sends the notification to remind NR taxpayers of their reporting requirements, there is no relief if the taxpayer did not comply. 

Underused Housing Tax (UHT)

(Updated January 2023)

Effective January 01, 2022, ‘affected owners’ need to file and pay Underused Housing tax (UHT) for each calendar year no later than April 30th of the following year. UHT is 1% of the value of the residential properties owned by affected owners.

More information about UHT is available here. 

Quick Reference for Non-Residents of Canada with Rental Properties Compliance 

Non-resident taxation issues are often complicated and complex and advice from a tax professional is always recommended. If you own a property in Canada or planning to buy or sell one, you can contact Maroof HS CPA Professional Corporation. We provide tax services for non-residents and residents of Canada including tax preparation services & tax planning.

Go to: Non-resident tax services Canada

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Maroof Hussain Sabri

Maroof is a CPA, CA in the province of Ontario and Alberta in Canada. He is also a licensed CPA from New York & North Dakota in the United States. He lives in Toronto.

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Picture of Maroof Hussain Sabri

Maroof Hussain Sabri

Maroof is a CPA, CA in the province of Ontario and Alberta in Canada. He is also a licensed CPA from New York & North Dakota in the United States. He lives in Toronto.

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6 thoughts on “Income taxes for non-residents on Rental Income from Canada”

  1. Hi, I am migrating to Toronto in 2 months time from Singapore and I am looking to lease/rent a place for long term and I wanted to check if it is usual for a real estate person to ask me for my banking statement in Singapore to check for my credit score in Toronto even though I have not moved there yet?

    I appreciate your help in this matter and I look forward to your reply. Thank you.

    Kind Regards,
    Sunita Kaur

    1. Maroof Hussain Sabri

      hi Sunita, that’s something you have to check with your agent. We are more into income taxes and cannot comment on your broker/agent’s credit checks.

  2. Hi Maroof, I’m planning on leaving Canada and I have a condo that I rent out. Does it mean that if I file an election 216 with Canada Revenue Agency, the tenant no longer has to withhold 25% and that I will myself pay the withholding tax on net income directly to the CRA?

    1. Maroof Hussain Sabri

      HI, the payor of the rent must withhold taxes from the rental payments to Non-residents at the rates reduced by the treaty. Electing under 216 means you will be able to claim deductions against the rental income. If you want your tennanet to withhold at lower rates you need to send NR6 to CRA. Your Tennant must withhold at Gross rate until NR6 is approved.

  3. Hi Maroof,

    I’m a realtor and I have a client asking a question. If they are not living in Canada and want to buy a rental property, and several years later, they may want to give the property to their son when he’s married. (He’s living in Canada.) What is the tax amount?

    1. Maroof Hussain Sabri

      Hello Aparna
      When your client is going to dispose of the property in Canada, she is going to be subject to the same rules as any non-resident disposing of Canadian real estate. The only difference is proceeds of disposition at that time will be determined based on the Fair market value on that day. Why does your client want to buy property in her/his name when later on it has to be gifted? Why not gift the cash right now and let him buy under his name? Unless, of course, there are some other non-tax goals. Receiving gifts in Canada is not taxed. Receiving property by a Canadian tax resident is not taxed in the hands of that taxpayer at the time of receipt of the same. In case of real property situated in Canada, a non-resident or even resident who gifts it records disposition at fair market value on that day.

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