Electing under section 216.1

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What is a section 216.1 election?

If you are a non-resident actor, a non-resident withholding tax of 23% applies to amounts paid, credited, or provided as a benefit to you for film and video acting services rendered in Canada. Generally, the non-resident withholding tax is considered your final tax obligation to Canada on that income.

However, you can choose to report this income on a Canadian income tax return for 2020. Choosing to file this is called "electing under section 216.1 of the Income Tax Act." By doing this, you may receive a refund of some or all of the non-resident tax withheld on this income.

When is your section 216.1 return due?

Generally, if you choose to file a return under section 216.1, your return for 2020 has to be filed on or before April 30, 2021.

If you are a self-employed individual, your return for 2020 has to be filed on or before June 15, 2021. However, if you have a balance owing for 2020, you still have to pay it on or before April 30, 2021. For more information, see Exceptions

Write "ACTOR'S ELECTION" (in capital letters) at the top of page 1 of your return.

Send your income tax return to the Non-resident services section at your tax services office. For more information, see Film and media tax credits.

If you send the CRA your return after the due date, your election is not valid. The 23% non-resident withholding tax will be considered the final tax obligation to Canada on that income.

Note

This election does not apply to other persons employed or providing services within the movie industry, such as directors, producers, and other personnel working behind the scenes. It also does not apply to persons in other sectors of the entertainment industry, such as musical performers, ice or air show performers, stage actors or stage performers, or international speakers.

Reducing tax withheld at source

If you intend to elect under section 216.1, you can apply for a reduction in the required amount of non-resident tax withheld on amounts paid, credited, or provided as a benefit to you for film and video acting services rendered in Canada. You have to apply before you provide the acting services in Canada.

To apply, complete and send to the CRA Form T1287, Application by a Non-Resident of Canada (Individual) for a Reduction in the Amount of Non-Resident Tax Required to be Withheld on Income Earned From Acting in a Film or Video Production, or Form T1288, Application by a Non-Resident of Canada (Corporation) for a Reduction in the Amount of Non-Resident Tax Required to be Withheld on Income Earned From Acting in a Film or Video Production. For more information, see Film and media tax credits.

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