Electing under section 217
This page provides information for individuals who are interested in choosing to elect under section 217 of the Income Tax Act.
What is a section 217 election?
If you are a non-resident of Canada, Canadian payers have to withhold non resident tax on certain types of Canadian-source income they pay or credit to you. The tax withheld is usually your final tax obligation to Canada on this income and you do not have to file a Canadian income tax and benefit return to report it. However, you can choose to file a Canadian return to report certain types of Canadian-source income listed in the next section by “electing under section 217 of the Income Tax Act.” In doing so, you may pay tax on this income using a different method and may receive a refund of all or part of the non-resident tax withheld.
If you emigrated from Canada in 2022, the section 217 election applies to Canadian-source income (listed below) that is received after leaving Canada.
If you immigrated to Canada in 2022, contact the CRA for any special section 217 rules that may apply to you.
Eligible section 217 income
The section 217 election applies to the following types of Canadian-source income:
- old age security (OAS) pension
If you received OAS benefits, you may have to file Form T1136, Old Age Security Return of Income (OASRI), even if you choose not to file a return under section 217. For more information, see Guide T4155, Old Age Security Return of Income (OASRI) Guide for Non-Residents.
- Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) benefits
- most superannuation and pension benefits
- most registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) payments
- most pooled registered pension plan (PRPP) payments
- most registered retirement income fund (RRIF) payments
- death benefits
- employment insurance (EI) benefits
- certain retiring allowances
- registered supplementary unemployment benefit plan payments
- most deferred profit-sharing plan (DPSP) payments
- amounts received from a retirement compensation arrangement (RCA) or the purchase price of an interest in an RCA
- prescribed benefits under a government assistance program
- Auto Pact benefits
Why elect under section 217?
You will benefit from electing to file a return under section 217 if the total tax payable on line 43500 of your return is less than the tax you would otherwise pay if you did not make this election. When processing your return, the CRA will only take your election under section 217 into account if it is beneficial.
To determine the tax you would otherwise pay if you did not make an election, and for more information on whether electing under section 217 is beneficial for you, go to Why elect under section 217?
Which tax guide should you use?
To file a return under section 217, use the Income tax and Benefit Guide for Non-residents and Deemed Residents of Canada.
Section 217 return due date
Your 2022 section 217 return must be filed on or before June 30, 2023. However, if you have a balance owing for 2022, you need to pay it on or before April 30, 2023, to avoid interest charges.
If you file your 2022 return after June 30, 2023, the CRA cannot accept your section 217 election according to the Income Tax Act.
If you file late and the required amount of non-resident tax was withheld on your eligible section 217 income, the CRA will consider the amount withheld to be your final tax obligation to Canada on that income. However, if the payer withheld less than the required amount of tax, the CRA will send you a notice of assessment for the difference.
The due date for filing your section 217 return may be different if you are also reporting other types of Canadian-source income on your return, such as employment or business income, net Canadian partnership income if you are a limited or non active partner, or taxable capital gains from disposing of taxable Canadian property. For more information, see Due dates.
Reducing tax withheld (Form NR5)
If you want to make a section 217 election on eligible income that you have not yet received, you can apply for a reduction to the non-resident tax the payer would otherwise need to withhold. To do this, complete Form NR5, Application by a Non‑Resident of Canada for a Reduction in the Amount of Non‑Resident Tax Required to be Withheld, and send it to the CRA for approval on or before October 1 or before the first payment is due. If the CRA approves your application, you must file a section 217 return for each year in the approval period.
An approved Form NR5 is valid for 5 tax years. However, if your situation changes during this period, you may need to file a new Form NR5. For more information, see Form NR5 – 5-year Administrative Policy.
The CRA will your completed Form NR5 to determine if a section 217 election will benefit you.
If the election is beneficial for you, the CRA will authorize your Canadian payer(s) to reduce the amount of non‑resident tax withheld from your benefits during the approval period.
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