Leaving Canada (emigrants)
- Are you an emigrant?
- Do you have to file a tax return?
- Departure tax
You may have to report a capital gain when you leave Canada.
- How to complete your tax return?
- After you leave Canada
Are you an emigrant?
Generally, you are an emigrant for income tax purposes if you meet all the following conditions:
- You leave Canada to live in another country
- You sever your residential ties with Canada
Severing your residential ties with Canada means that you do not keep your main ties with Canada. This could be your case if:
- You dispose of or give up your home in Canada and establish a permanent home in another country
- Your spouse or common-law partner or dependants leave Canada
- You dispose of personal property and break social ties in Canada, and acquire or establish them in another country
If you leave Canada and keep residential ties in Canada, you are usually considered a factual resident of Canada, and not an emigrant. However, if you are also considered to be a resident of another country with which Canada has a tax treaty, you may be considered a deemed non-resident of Canada. Deemed non-residents are subject to the same rules as emigrants.
For more information on residential ties and residency status, go to Determining your residency status.
When do you become a non-resident of Canada?
When you leave Canada to settle in another country, you usually become a non-resident of Canada for income tax purposes on the latest of:
- the date you leave Canada
- the date your spouse or common-law partner and dependants leave Canada
- the date you become a resident of the country you settle in
If you lived in another country before living in Canada and you leave Canada to resettle in that country, you usually become a non-resident of Canada on the date you leave Canada. This applies even if your spouse or common-law partner temporarily stays in Canada to dispose of your home.
What you need to do when you become an emigrant?
If you still have bank accounts in Canada or amounts being paid to you from Canada, you are required to notify any Canadian payers and your financial institutions that you are no longer a resident of Canada.
Complete and send a Canadian tax return to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) if you are in one of the following situations:
- You owe tax
- You want to receive a refund because you paid too much tax in the tax year
For more information, go to Do you have to file a return?
If you determine that you do not have to file a return, you should let the CRA know the date you left Canada as soon as possible.
If you owned properties or goods when you left Canada you may have to report a capital gain.
Which income tax package should you use?
For the year that you leave Canada, use the income tax package for the province or territory where you resided on the date you left Canada.
If you were a resident of Quebec before you left Canada and you want information on filing a Quebec tax return, visit Revenu Québec.
When and where to send your tax return?
To find out when you have to file your return, go to Filing due dates for the 2021 tax return.
To find out where to mail your return, go to Where to mail your documents.
When you leave Canada, you are considered to have sold certain types of property (even if you have not sold them) at their fair market value (FMV) and to have immediately reacquired them for the same amount. This is called a deemed disposition and you may have to report a capital gain (also known as departure tax).
Your property could include the following:
For more information, go to Dispositions of property.
If the total FMV of all the property you owned when you left Canada was more than $25,000, complete Form T1161, List of Properties by an Emigrant of Canada.
How to complete your tax return?
Date of departure from Canada
Enter your date of departure from Canada on page 1 of your return in the Residence Information area.
Your spouse's or common-law partner's information
Enter your spouse's or common-law partner's net world income for 2021 on page 1 of your return under this heading. Net world income is the net income from all sources both inside and outside of Canada for the period you were a resident of Canada. If applicable also enter the universal child care benefit (UCCB) lump-sum payment included on line 11700, and the amount of UCCB repayment included on line 21300 of their return.
What income do you have to report?
Part of the year that you were a resident of Canada
Report your world income (income from all sources, both inside and outside Canada) on your Canadian tax return.
Part of the year that you were not a resident of Canada
After you leave Canada, as a non-resident, you pay Canadian income tax only on your Canadian source income. However, only certain types of Canadian source income should be reported on your return while others are subject to non-resident withholding tax at source.
For more information on your tax obligations as a non-resident, go to Non-residents of Canada.
What deductions can you claim?
You can claim most deductions that apply to you. For more information, go to Claiming deductions, credits, and expenses.
Generally, you cannot deduct moving expenses for a move out of Canada.
However, you may be able to deduct your moving expenses if you meet both of the following conditions:
- You left Canada to take courses at the post‑secondary level as a full‑time student at an educational institution in another country
- You received a taxable Canadian scholarship, bursary, fellowship, or research grant to attend that educational institution
For more information, see Line 21900 – Moving expenses.
What credits can you claim?
Federal non‑refundable tax credits (Step 5 – Part B of your return)
The federal non-refundable tax credits you can claim are limited to the total of the following amounts:
- the federal non‑refundable tax credits that apply to the part of the year that you were a resident of Canada
- the federal non‑refundable tax credits that apply to the part of the year that you were not a resident of Canada
Provincial or territorial non-refundable tax credits (Form 428)
The amount of certain provincial or territorial non‑refundable tax credits you can claim may also be limited.
Generally, the rules to calculate your provincial or territorial non-refundable tax credits are the same as those used for the corresponding federal non-refundable tax credits. However, the amounts used to calculate most provincial or territorial non-refundable tax credits are different from the corresponding federal credits.
Overpayment of Canada Pension Plan (CPP) or Quebec Pension Plan (QPP)
If you were not living in Quebec before you left Canada, go to Line 44800 – CPP overpayment.
If you were living in Quebec, any overpayment of CPP or QPP contribution will be refunded or used to reduce your balance on your federal tax return. To calculate your claim at lines 30800 and 22215 of your return and calculate an overpayment, if any, complete Form RC381, Inter-Provincial Calculation for CPP and QPP Contributions and Overpayments.
As a Quebec emigrant, you claim the amount of your overpayment, if any, on your return by writing code 55520 above line 43700, and entering the amount of the overpayment to the right of this code. Add this amount to your total credits at line 48200.
Federal refundable tax credit (page 8 of your return)
If you were an eligible educator, you can claim the eligible educator school supply tax credit as long as it applies to the part of the year that you were a resident of Canada.
In addition, you can claim this credits in full for eligible supplies expenses paid in 2021 that relate to the part of the year that you were not a resident of Canada if the Canadian source income you are reporting for the part of the year that you were not a resident of Canada represents 90% or more of your net world income for that part of the year.
However, the total amount you can claim cannot be more than the amount you could have claimed if you were a resident of Canada for the whole year.
Provincial or territorial tax credits (Form 479)
Generally, you are not entitled to these credits unless you were a resident of Canada on December 31.
Which forms to use to calculate your tax and credits?
If you were a resident of Quebec before you left Canada, visit Revenu Québec.
After you leave Canada
Electing under section 217 of the Income Tax Act
If you receive certain types of income from Canada after you leave, the Canadian payer has to withhold non‑resident tax on the income and send it to the CRA. The tax withheld is usually your final tax obligation to Canada on the income. However, you could benefit from choosing to elect under section 217 to include this income on your return.
For more information, go to Electing under section 217.
Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA), Home Buyers' Plan (HBP), and Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP)
If you hold a TFSA when you leave Canada, you can keep it and continue to benefit from the exemption from Canadian tax on investment income and withdrawals. However, you cannot contribute to your TFSA while you are a non-resident of Canada, and your contribution room will not increase. For more information, go to Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA).
Receiving benefits and credits
It's important that you tell the CRA the date you leave Canada.
Generally, as a non-resident, you are not eligible to receive:
- the GST/HST credit
- the Canada child benefit (CCB) (including those payments from certain related provincial or territorial programs)
If you receive such credits or payments after you leave Canada, contact the CRA immediately.
Forms and publications
Report a problem or mistake on this page
- Date modified: