Canadian residents going down south
This page offers information for Canadians who spent part of the year in the United States (U.S.), for example, for health reasons or on vacation, and still maintained residential ties in Canada. It will give you information about certain income tax requirements that may affect you.
It does not apply if you:
- are a U.S. citizen
- have been granted permanent resident status by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), (granted a "green card")
- have residential ties to a country other than the U.S. and Canada
- How Canadian income tax laws apply
What happens with your taxes and benefits while you are away
- Completing your Canadian return
Foreign property, reporting income, tax credits, and provincial/territorial tax
- Provincial/territorial health-care coverage and how U.S. tax laws apply
How Canadian income tax laws apply
If you spend part of the year in the U.S., for example, for health reasons or on vacation, and you maintain residential ties in Canada, the CRA usually considers you to be a factual resident of Canada.
As a factual resident, the CRA taxes your income as if you never left Canada. As such, you should continue to:
- report all income you receive from sources inside and outside Canada for the year, and claim all deductions that apply to you
- claim federal and provincial or territorial non-refundable tax credits that apply to you
- pay federal tax and provincial or territorial tax where you keep residential ties in Canada
- claim federal and provincial or territorial refundable tax credits that apply to you
- be eligible to apply for the goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) credit and any related provincial credits
Completing your Canadian return
As a factual resident, you will find most of the information you need to complete your return in the Income Tax Package for your province or territory.
However, this section includes more information that will help you complete your return.
If you are a factual resident of Canada, complete Form T1248, Information About Your Residency Status (Schedule D), and attach it to your return.
When you complete the "Identification" area on your return, do not enter a date of entry or departure. Only immigrants and emigrants use these spaces. If you enter a date of entry or departure, the CRA may reduce your claim for federal and provincial or territorial non-refundable tax credits.
On the line called "Enter your province or territory of residence on December 31, 2020", enter the name of the province or territory where you maintained residential ties.
Do you hold foreign property?
You may have been in one of the following situations:
- at any time in 2020, you owned or held specified foreign property with a total cost of more than CAN$100,000
- in 2020 or a previous year, you loaned or transferred funds or property to a non-resident trust
- in 2020, you received funds or property from, or you were indebted to, a non-resident trust under which you were a beneficiary
If you are in any of these situations, special rules may need to be applied. For more information, see Form T1135, Foreign Income Verification Statement, Form T1141, Information Return in Respect of Contributions to Non-Resident Trusts, Arrangements or Entities or Form T1142, Information Return in Respect of Distributions from and Indebtedness to a Non-Resident Trust.
As a factual resident, you will continue to pay tax on your world income (income from all sources both inside and outside Canada) as though you had lived in Canada for the whole year. Report all amounts in Canadian dollars.
Did you receive an NR4 or NR4(OAS) information slip?
An NR4 or NR4(OAS) information slip shows income from Canada (such as old age security pension, Canada Pension Plan benefits, and Quebec Pension Plan benefits).
As a factual resident, you should not receive slips that begin with NR, because they apply only to non-residents. If you received this type of slip, report the income on your Canadian return. If the slip also shows that tax was withheld from the income, include it on line 43700.
If you received an NR4 or NR4(OAS), contact the issuer of the slip to correct your residency information.
Did you receive U.S. lottery or gambling winnings?
This income is not taxable in Canada, so you do not have to report it on your Canadian return. Additionally, you cannot claim a credit for any taxes withheld on such winnings.
Did you have rental income from property in the U.S.?
If so, keep records to support your income and expense claims. For more information, see Guide T4036, Rental Income.
Federal tax and credits
To calculate your federal tax and the credits that apply to you, use the federal tax return.
Federal non-refundable tax credits
Can you claim medical expenses paid in the U.S.?
You can claim eligible expenses that were paid for yourself, your spouse or common-law partner, and certain other individuals who were dependent on you for support. You can claim eligible medical expenses paid in any 12-month period ending in the year, if they were never claimed before in any other year.
For more information, see lines 33099 and 33199, or see Income Tax Folio S1-F1-C1, Medical Expense Tax Credit.
Did you pay premiums to private health-services plans?
Generally, you can claim the premiums paid to a private health-services plan as a medical expense on your return.
For more information, see line 33099, or see Income Tax Folio S1-F1-C1, Medical Expense Tax Credit.
Did you donate to U.S. charities?
If you are including U.S. income on your Canadian return, you can claim a credit for donations to U.S. charities that would be allowed on a U.S. return. The total donations to U.S. charities you can claim cannot be more than 75% of the net U.S. income you report on your Canadian return.
Can you claim a federal foreign tax credit?
If you paid U.S. tax on U.S. income that you are reporting on your Canadian return, you may be able to claim a federal foreign tax credit to reduce your Canadian federal tax payable.
For information on how to claim the foreign tax credit, see line 40500.
The province or territory where you maintained your residential ties may offer a similar tax credit. For more information, see the income tax package for that province or territory.
Provincial or territorial tax
You have to pay tax to the province or territory where you maintained residential ties.
Provincial or territorial non-refundable tax credits
The province or territory where you maintained residential ties also offers non-refundable tax credits. For more information, see the Income Tax Package for that province or territory.
Refund or balance owing
Provincial or territorial tax credits
For information about the credits available in the province or territory where you maintained residential ties and how to claim them, see the Income Tax Package for that province or territory.
Your provincial or territorial health-care coverage
Before you go to the U.S., you should verify if your provincial or territorial health-care coverage will continue while you are outside of Canada.
In any case, you may want to get supplementary health-care coverage.
For more information, contact the ministry responsible for health care in your province or territory. See the provincial or territorial government listings in your Canadian telephone book for the address and telephone number of your provincial or territorial Ministry of Health office.
How U.S. tax laws apply
As a Canadian resident who spends part of the year in the U.S., it is important for you to determine how the U.S. tax laws apply to you. You are considered either a resident alien or a non-resident alien of the U.S. for U.S. tax purposes.
Generally, resident aliens are taxed in the U.S. on income from all sources inside and outside the U.S., and non-resident aliens are taxed in the U.S. only on income from U.S. sources. Therefore, it is important for you to determine if you are a resident alien or a non-resident alien.
For more information on resident and non-resident aliens and whether or not you have to file a U.S. tax return, visit the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). You will also find information on the tax implications of receiving U.S. gambling or lottery winnings, owning U.S. real property, and the transferring of a deceased person's taxable estate on their website.
For more information about U.S. tax laws, visit How to contact the IRS.
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