Canada taxes its residents on worldwide income. When an individual becomes a resident of Canada by immigration or leaves Canada as an emigrant, there are specific income tax rules.
It’s possible for an employer to request an individual to come to Canada for employment purposes and as a result that individual becomes a resident of Canada. As a resident of Canada that individual is subject to Canadian income tax on his/her worldwide income.
What happens if an individual leaves Canada and becomes a non-resident? Should he be subject to departure tax as applicable in the case of emigrants?
Individuals who move to Canada for a short-term or temporary basis are called Short-term residents of Canada. The short-term resident is a term that is generally used for income tax purposes despite the fact that it is not defined in the Income Tax Act.
Reliefs Available to Short-term Residents in Canada for Income tax purposes
There are two important areas where short-term residents of Canada are provided relief which are not available to tax residents otherwise.
- Relief from Departure Tax
- Relief from rules related to foreign pension plans
Relief from Departure Tax to short-term residents of Canada
Usually, emigrants, individuals leaving Canada, are subject to departure tax on the deemed disposition of their personal assets (subject to certain exceptions). Short-term residents are provided with some relief here. Short term resident is an individual who is a resident of Canada for not more than 60 months in the 120 months preceding the month of departure.
- Short-term resident of Canada is not subject to departure tax on the property which (s)he owned before becoming a resident of Canada.
- If a short-term acquired property as a result of inheritance or by bequest, such a property is not subject to departure tax on the deemed disposition of this property.
Relief from rules related to the participation in foreign pension plans
There are rules related to foreign pension plans participation for residents of Canada. Short-term residents of Canada are provided some relief from these strict rules. If an individual move to Canada at the request of an employer, (s)he can keep on contributing to the foreign pension plan of the former employer for which (s)he is a member of – for the first five years. This is applicable for only the first five years and such an individual must consider and plan properly to avoid Canadian taxes on employer’s contributions to such a plan.
Whether you are a newcomer, short-term resident, an emigrant or a non-resident; navigating the maze of tax laws and rules is often confusing. You are recommended to hire the services of reputable tax preparation services or a qualified tax adviser in Canada to determine your Canadian income tax filing requirements. You can reach Maroof HS CPA Professional Corporation for both personal taxes and corporate taxes in Canada, both residents and non-residents.
2 thoughts on “Short-term residents of Canada and Income Tax”
Our family has been approved under the Quebec Investor immigration and have received the COPR which expires November 2022.
We plan to land in Montreal in October 2022 and stay there for 2-4 weeks to complete the documents (SIN card, PR etc) and eventually come back to our tax residency country (Thailand) to wind down. We plan to migrate mid 2023 to settle down in Montreal. The address in Canada to send the PR card will be my sister’s address in Toronto so she can sent it across to me once she gets it.
My short question pertains to if we are liable to Canadian tax as a PR for the year 2022/2023? We do NOT plan to purchase/rent a house till the eventual move next year in 2023 and will just live at a hotel. I would like to open a bank account to facilitate finances for the future but it is not necessary if the bank account means we will have a connection to Canada. I’m just not sure about the FMV (fair market value) of our assets – whether that’s based on the first date we enter or the second time we enter next year. We would like to delay being a Canadian tax resident till our eventual move in 2023.
I thank you in advance for any guidance that you could provide to this question.
Tax residency and immigration residency are two different things. From your comment, it does not look like you are going to be a tax resident until you move and establish residential ties. This comment, however, does not replace the need to seek any specific tax advice in this connection.