How to declare Canadian Non-Resident

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  1. #1
    plo
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    Question How to declare Canadian Non-Resident

    Hi All,

    I have moved back to Hong Kong 6 years ago. I have not yet declare Canadian Non-Resident. The more Canadians I have met here, they all told me I should declare to avoid double taxation.

    I went back to Canada 4 years ago to close all my bank accounts. My Ontario health card has expired. I only keep the driver license.The only part I'm paying Canada is the OSAP which I asked my sister to bank in to the OSAP account every month.

    How to declare? Can I ask my sister declare thru Accountant? If they ask when I leave Canada, I need to say six years ago? Will Canadian Government ask me to pay back the income tax I earned in Hong Kong?

    Thanks ALL <3


  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by plo
    Hi All,

    I have moved back to Hong Kong 6 years ago. I have not yet declare Canadian Non-Resident. The more Canadians I have met here, they all told me I should declare to avoid double taxation.

    I went back to Canada 4 years ago to close all my bank accounts. My Ontario health card has expired. I only keep the driver license.The only part I'm paying Canada is the OSAP which I asked my sister to bank in to the OSAP account every month.

    How to declare? Can I ask my sister declare thru Accountant? If they ask when I leave Canada, I need to say six years ago? Will Canadian Government ask me to pay back the income tax I earned in Hong Kong?

    Thanks ALL <3
    You should've completed the tax return for the last tax year you were there. On it you should declare yourself as a non-resident.

    If you didn't do that, do it now. I hope you can still find your T4s from that year.

  3. #3

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    There's a form you can fill but that often makes you a target for audit. Most people either fill in a tax return every year if they have canadian income and tick the non resident box or simply do nothing if you have no canadian income. If and when you return, you start filling income tax returns again and there are no problems unless you did things like keeping a home not rented at arms length, a job(away on leave), a wife living in a home or kept health insurance cards. The other stuff like driver's licenses, credit cards and bank accounts are minor things. Again, these things would only come up if you happen to get audited which is unlikely.


  4. #4
    plo
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    Can I just simply ask my sister fill a tax return this year with no income and tick the non resident box?


  5. #5

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    In some countries bank account is not a minor but a big thing , don't know about Canada though


  6. #6

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    If that helps you sleep at night but it's not necessary and make sure your sister does not to use a canadian address on that form.

    The residency thing is only an issue if you have to pay taxes on income or you keep residential ties.

    This is straight from the government of Canada site:

    You are a non-resident for tax purposes if you:

    • normally, customarily, or routinely live in another country and are not considered a resident of Canada; or
    • do not have significant residential ties in Canada; and

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Morrison
    In some countries bank account is not a minor but a big thing , don't know about Canada though
    It's not in itself... If you have a property that you rent at arms length, it's logical to have a local bank account to pay mortgage and bills and receive rent. It could only be used against you in conjunction with other elements to argue that you have residential ties in Canada.

  8. #8
    plo
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    If I don't do anything, will I get questions when enter Canada later? Or if I want to settle down again in Canada, will it affect bank loan for house etc?

    But I guess there's no harm to declare non-resident this year thru tax return?


  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by plo

    But I guess there's no harm to declare non-resident this year thru tax return?
    No, you don't file a tax return for this year. You need to file a tax return for the year you became a non-resident. Let's say you left in May 2012, then you need to file a tax return for the year 2012 in which you declare that you were a non-resident, because it's less than 183 days and if you worked up until May 2012, then you need to declare that income on that same tax return. If you left in October 2012, then you submit a tax return for 2012 as resident and a 2013 tax return with zero income declared as non-resident. Both are available for download on the CRA website. Once you've declared that you're a non-resident, you're automatically declared non-resident for all subsequent years and don't have to file any returns until one day you decide to move back to Canada.

    I did something similar for when I left in February 2002. I didn't file a tax return until 2006 for that year. Since I still worked in January of 2002, I had to declare that income, but marked myself as non-resident. I even got a tax refund in the mail.

    Please note, if you still have income to declare, I suggest you do it sooner rather than later in case you can no longer find your T4s. Most likely your employer at that time may still have access to those.
    Last edited by civil_servant; 30-01-2018 at 06:05 PM.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by plo
    If I don't do anything, will I get questions when enter Canada later? Or if I want to settle down again in Canada, will it affect bank loan for house etc?

    But I guess there's no harm to declare non-resident this year thru tax return?
    Banks have nothing to do with your tax returns though the CRA can seize your assets whenever they want without asking if they feel they are owed money. As to questions, that will only happen if you are audited which is rare and usually related to inconsistencies. Many, many, many people contravene the laws and keep properties and jobs waiting for them and nothing happens though it is a risk to take. The ideal situation would have been to file a tax return for the part of the fiscal year you worked when you left and then tick the non resident box. I'm assuming you already filed that tax return but if you haven't then you could be in a spot of trouble if you owed taxes and should do it ASAP.

    The easiest thing is to do nothing and you won't have any trouble when you get back unless you have done something not kosher and get audited. There's no harm I guess in filing this year and ticking the box, if CRA has an issue they will then contact you.

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