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.
If you are a non-resident of Canada, Canadian payers must withhold non-resident tax on certain types of Canadian-source income that they pay or credit to you. The tax withheld is usually your final tax obligation to Canada on this income. 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 by “electing under section 217 of the Income Tax Act.” By making a section 217 election, 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 2023, the section 217 election applies to Canadian-source income (listed below) that is received after leaving Canada.
If you immigrated to Canada in 2023, 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 need 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) income
- most pooled registered pension plan (PRPP) income
- most registered retirement income fund (RRIF) income
- death benefits
- employment insurance (EI) benefits
- certain retiring allowances
- registered supplementary unemployment benefit plan income
- most deferred profit-sharing plan (DPSP) income
- 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
Do not include the following amounts when calculating your eligible section 217 income:
- any supplement received under the Old Age Security Act
- an amount transferred to acquire an annuity contract, registered pension plan, RRSP, PRPP or RRIF following an authorization from the CRA
- an amount exempt under the Income War Tax Act
- any amount that can reasonably be considered to be attributable to services rendered while you were not resident in Canada and while you were not employed, or were only occasionally employed, in Canada
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 a section 217 election, add the following amounts:
- the non-resident tax required to be withheld from line 44300 of Schedule C, Electing under Section 217 of the Income Tax Act (included in the Income Tax Package for Non-Residents and Deemed Residents of Canada)
- the tax payable on any of the following amounts, if applicable:
- Canadian-source employment and business income
- net Canadian partnership income, if you are a limited or non-active partner
- taxable capital gains from disposing of taxable Canadian property that you need to include on your 2023 return
To calculate the total tax payable on your section 217 return, see Guide T4145, Electing Under Section 217 of the Income Tax Act.
To file a return under section 217, use the Income Tax and Benefit Guide for Non-residents and Deemed Residents of Canada.
Your 2023 section 217 return must be filed on or before June 30, 2024. However, if you have a balance owing for 2023, you need to pay it on or before April 30, 2024, to avoid interest charges.
When a due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday or public holiday recognized by the CRA, your return is considered on time if the CRA receives it or if it is postmarked on or before the next business day. Your payment is considered on time if it is received on the first business day after the due date. For more information about due dates, go to Due dates and payment dates.
If you file your 2023 return after June 30, 2024, 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 five 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 use 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 payers to reduce the amount of non‑resident tax withheld from your benefits during the approval period.
Forms and Publications
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