Questions and answers about Line 11500 - Pensions from a foreign country

Note: Line 11500 was line 115 before tax year 2019.

I received a pension from a foreign country and they withheld the taxes. Can I get the tax they withheld back?

Report on line 11500 of your return, in Canadian dollars, the total amount of your foreign pension income received in the tax year. Attach a note to your paper return identifying the type of pension you received and the country it came from. You may be able to claim up to $2,000 on line 31400.

The CRA cannot refund taxes paid to a foreign country. However, you may be able to claim a foreign tax credit when you calculate your federal and provincial or territorial taxes.

Depending on the country and the tax treaty agreement, you may be able to stop the tax being withheld in the other country by providing them with certification of residency.

You may be able to claim a deduction on line 25600 of your tax return if part or all of your foreign pension income is tax-free in Canada because of a tax treaty. If you do not know whether any part of your foreign pension is tax-free, contact the CRA.

I started receiving a social security pension from Germany last year. How do I calculate the tax-free portion?

Under the Canada-Germany tax treaty, the calculation of the tax-free portion of social security benefits received from Germany is based on the year the pension is first received. For more information, see Change to the taxation of social security pensions received from Germany by a resident of Canada.

My aunt received a pension from Italy for my late uncle who worked in the Italian armed forces. How does she report the income? My aunt's income includes the pension of $30,000 and interest income of $15,000.

For 2010 and prior years, the full amount of the Italian pension is reported in Canadian funds on line 11500 of the tax return. A portion of the Italian pension may be deductible on line 25600 depending on the amount of your aunt's income, the amount of any supplement paid, and military service.

The CRA would need to know the information in the letter she received from Italy. This letter contains details of the pension paid to her including the total paid, the supplement paid if any, the number of contributions, and the period of time in military service. When you have the information, contact the CRA, and we will be able to calculate for you any deductible portion to report on line 25600.

There is a different reporting method for Italian pensions for 2011 and subsequent years based on the Canada-Italy Income Tax Convention signed on June 3, 2002 and which entered into force on November 25, 2011.

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