Seasonal agricultural workers from other countries

This page provides residency information for:

  • seasonal agricultural workers from other countries;
  • Canadian employers of seasonal agricultural workers; and
  • liaison officers who help seasonal agricultural workers meet their tax obligations in Canada (government officials, usually working at an embassy or consulate, who are responsible for administering the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program).

Are seasonal agricultural workers taxed in Canada?

Taxation in Canada is based on residency. Therefore, a seasonal agricultural worker's residency status in Canada affects how that worker is taxed.

Unless seasonal agricultural workers have established significant residential ties in Canada, they are considered to be one of the following types of residents for tax purposes:

What are residential ties?

Residential ties include:

Other ties that may be relevant include:

  • a Canadian driver's licence;
  • Canadian bank accounts or credit cards; and
  • health insurance with a Canadian province or territory.

For more information on residential ties in Canada, see Determining your residency or Income Tax Folio S5-F1-C1: Determining an Individual’s Residence Status.

Non-residents

Seasonal workers are non-residents for tax purposes if they:

  • do not establish sufficient residential ties in Canada; and
  • stay in Canada for less than 183 days in the tax year.

A non-resident of Canada is subject to Canadian income tax only on income from Canadian sources. For a seasonal agricultural worker, employment income is usually the only source of Canadian income.

For more information, see Non-residents of Canada.

Deemed residents

Seasonal agricultural workers are deemed residents for tax purposes if they:

  • have not established sufficient residential ties in Canada;
  • stay in Canada for 183 days or more in the tax year; and
  • are not considered a resident of another country under the terms of a tax treaty Canada has with that country.

Deemed residents of Canada are subject to Canadian income tax on their world income (income from all sources, both inside and outside Canada).

For more information, see Deemed residents.

Deemed non-residents

Seasonal agricultural workers who would otherwise be deemed residents are in fact deemed non-residents for tax purposes if they are considered to be a resident of another country under the terms of a tax treaty between Canada and that other country. Deemed non-residents are taxed the same as non-residents.

Tax treaties

Canada currently has income tax treaties with the following countries that have workers participating in the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program:

  • Mexico;
  • Barbados;
  • Jamaica; and
  • Trinidad and Tobago.

For information about a tax treaty between Canada and a specific country, contact the International and Ottawa Tax Services Office.

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