This page provides basic information about the tax rules that apply to you if you are a deemed resident of Canada for tax purposes. It will also help you understand your tax obligations to Canada.
Are you a deemed resident?
You are a deemed resident of Canada for tax purposes if you are in one of the following situations:
- You lived outside Canada during the tax year, you are not considered to be a factual resident of Canada because you did not have significant residential ties, and you are a government employee, a member of the Canadian Forces including their overseas school staff, or working under a Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) assistance program. This could also apply to the family members of an individual who is in one of these situations. For more information, see Government employees outside Canada.
- You sojourned in Canada for 183 days or more (the 183-day rule) in the tax year, do not have significant residential ties with Canada, and are not considered a resident of another country under the terms of a tax treaty between Canada and that country.
If you are a deemed resident of Canada, and also establish residential ties in a country with which Canada has a tax treaty and you are considered to be a resident of that country for the purposes of that tax treaty, you may be considered a deemed non-resident of Canada for tax purposes.
You become a deemed non-resident of Canada when your ties with the other country become such that, under the tax treaty with which Canada has with the other country, you would be considered a resident of that other country and not Canada.
As a deemed non-resident of Canada, the same rules apply to you as a non-resident of Canada.
The 183-day rule
When you calculate the number of days you stayed in Canada during the tax year, include each day or part of a day that you stayed in Canada. These include:
- the days you attended a Canadian university or college;
- the days you worked in Canada; and
- the days you spent on vacation in Canada, including on weekend trips.
If you lived in the United States and commuted to work in Canada, do not include commuting days in the calculation.
Your tax obligations
If you are a deemed resident of Canada for the tax year, you:
- must report world income (income from all sources, both inside and outside Canada) for the entire tax year;
- can claim all deductions and non-refundable tax credits that apply to you;
- are subject to federal tax and instead of paying provincial or territorial tax, you'll pay a federal surtax;
- can claim all federal tax credits, but you cannot claim provincial or territorial tax credits; and
- are eligible to apply for the goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) credit.
Sean is a member of the Canadian Forces. During the year, he was posted to the U.S. for three years. Before leaving, Sean sold his house in Canada, cancelled his memberships in various organizations, and severed all residential ties with Canada.
The Canada Revenue Agency considers Sean to be a deemed resident of Canada for tax purposes. When he files his return for the year, he will report his income from all sources both inside and outside Canada and claim all deductions, federal non-refundable tax credits, and federal refundable tax credits that apply to him.
Filing your income tax return
If you are a deemed resident of Canada for the year, you may have to file a Canadian income tax return for that year. For more information, see "Do you have to file a return?".
Which guide and forms book should you use?
For each tax year that you are a deemed resident of Canada for tax purposes, use the Income Tax and Benefit Package (for non-residents and deemed residents of Canada).
Did you live in Quebec just before you left Canada?
In addition to being considered a deemed resident of Canada, under Quebec law you may also be considered a deemed resident of that province. If this is the case, you may have to pay Quebec provincial income tax while you are serving abroad. For example, if you are a deemed resident of Canada and you were at any time in the year an agent-general, officer, or servant of the Province of Quebec and you were a resident of that province just before your appointment or employment with that province, you have to pay Quebec provincial income tax.
To avoid double taxation (surtax for non-residents and deemed residents of Canada plus Quebec provincial income tax), attach a note to your federal return telling us that you are subject to Quebec provincial income tax, you are filing a Quebec provincial return, and that you are asking for relief from the non-resident and deemed resident of Canada surtax. For more information, contact the Canada Revenue Agency.
The Province of Quebec also grants relief to certain taxpayers who were deemed residents of Canada and Quebec - for example, deemed residents of Canada who are members of the Canadian Forces or at any time in the year an ambassador, minister, high commissioner, officer, or servant of Canada, and who were also deemed residents of Quebec. For more information, contact Revenu Québec.
Filing due date
Generally, your income tax return must be filed on or before:
- April 30 of the year after the tax year; or
- if you or your spouse or common-law partner carried on a business in Canada (other than a business whose expenditures are mainly in connection with a tax shelter), the return must be filed on or before June 15 of the year after the tax year.
A balance of tax owing must be paid on or before April 30 of the year after the tax year, regardless of the due date of the tax return.
Entitlements to benefits
Canada child benefit
If you are eligible to receive the Canada child benefit (CCB), you will continue to receive it but you are not eligible for any related provincial or territorial benefits during your absence from Canada.
You will have to file a return each year so the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) can calculate your CCB. If you have a spouse or common-law partner who is a deemed or factual resident, he or she will also have to file a return each year.
If your spouse or common-law partner is a non-resident of Canada, he or she will have to file Form CTB9, Canada Child Benefit - Statement of Income.
If you have a child while outside Canada, you can apply for the CCB by sending the CRA a completed Form RC66, Canada Child Benefits Application. For more information, see Booklet T4114, Canada Child Benefit.
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