Lived or living outside Canada- Pensions and benefits – What you need before you start

4. What you need before you start

Taxes on Pensions and Benefits for those outside Canada

Your Canadian pension and benefit payments could be subject to two different taxes depending on your country of residence and your net world income:

  • Non-resident tax
  • OAS recovery tax

Non-resident tax

Your monthly Old Age Security (OAS) and Canada Pension Plan (CPP) or Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) pensions and benefits may be subject to a Canadian income tax called the "non-resident tax". The tax rate is 25% unless reduced or exempted by a tax treaty between Canada and your country of residence. The non-resident tax will be deducted from your benefit payments.

Requesting a reduction in the amount of non-resident tax withheld (form NR5)

If you live in a country with a tax treaty with Canada, you don't need to ask for taxes on your payments to be reduced or exempted. It will be done automatically when you file your income tax.

If you live in a country without a tax treaty or if you want less tax to be withheld from your monthly payments, you may ask for your taxes to be reduced or eliminated from your benefit payment by completing the Application by a Non-Resident of Canada for a Reduction in the Amount of Non-Resident Tax Required to be Withheld (NR5) . The NR5 should be received by October 31 if you want less tax to be withheld in the following year starting in January. If late, your application cannot be accepted. Once approved, the NR5 is valid for five years unless your income changes. Note, however, that you must still file an income tax return each taxation year. Also, if you already have an NR5 for one pension and you start to receive a second pension, you must complete a new NR5.

OAS recovery tax

If your annual income is higher than the net world threshold, for example $72,809 for the 2015 tax year, you may be subject to the Old Age Security “recovery tax”, and you may have to repay part or all of your OAS pension.

The Canada Revenue Agency tells Service Canada how much tax to withhold from your OAS benefit based on the Old Age Security Return of Income (OASRI) you filed. The recovery tax plus the non-resident tax withheld cannot be more than the amount of the OAS benefits received in the year. You will receive an advisory letter from Service Canada before July 1, showing you the recovery tax deductions, if any, that are being withheld from your OAS pension payments.

If you reside in a country that has a tax treaty with Canada, you may be exempt from paying the recovery tax.

Filing your taxes

As a non-resident pensioner who receives OAS payments, unless you resided in one of these countries in 2014, you must submit an Old Age Security Return of Income (OASRI) before April 30th so that the Canada Revenue Agency can determine if you have to pay the recovery tax. This will also ensure that your OAS payments are not interrupted. The recovery tax is calculated using the net world income that you report on this return.

If you are a resident of a country with which Canada has a tax treaty, you may not have to file this return. For more information on this exception, see the list of tax treaty countries.

NR4 tax information slips

Early each year, if you are living outside Canada, you will receive a NR4 tax information slip showing the amount of CPP or OAS payments you received during the previous year. You must include this slip when you file your annual income tax return.

You can view your NR4 tax information slips online as early as February 1.

If you have not signed up to view them online, we will send your CPP or OAS tax information slips by mail, in February. If you do not receive your tax slips by February 28, contact International Social Security Agreements.

More tax information

See the Canada Revenue Agency web site for “Non-Resident Seniors” for other useful tax information for non-residents. If you have tax-related questions, you can also contact a Canada Revenue Agency International Tax Services Office.

How are my foreign benefits taxed if I live in Canada?

See the Canada Revenue Agency web page on “Pensions from a Foreign Country” for taxation information.

Non-Resident Tax Rates by Country

If you live outside Canada, a non-resident tax is withheld from your monthly Old Age Security (OAS) and Canada Pension Plan (CPP) or Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) payments.

The standard non-resident tax rate is 25%. However, Canada has tax treaties with some countries that affect the amount of non-resident tax withheld.

This table shows the tax rate that applies to your country of residence as well as any applicable exemption.

Non-Resident Tax Rates by Country
Country of residence OAS benefits CPP or QPP pensions CPP or QPP death benefits Applicable exemptions
Argentina 15% 15% 25%
Australia 15% 15% 15%
Azerbaïjan 15% 15% 25% You are exempt from tax on the first CAN $12,000 (or its equivalent in the country's currency) of the total of your pensions from Canada (except for CPP or QPP death benefits). To get this exemption, you must file the NR5 form.
Bangladesh 15% 15% 25%
Barbados 15% 15% 25%
Brazil 25% or 0% 25% or 0% 25% or 0% If you are both a resident and a national of Brazil, you are entitled to the lower rate. To get this reduction, you must file the NR5 form and provide evidence of your nationality.
Bulgaria 15% 15% 25%
Colombia 15% 15% 25%
Cyprus 15% 15% 25% You are exempt from tax on the first CAN $10,000 (or its equivalent in Euro currency) of the total of your pensions from Canada. To get this exemption, you must file the NR5 form.
Dominican Republic 18% 18% 25%
Ecuador 15% 15% 25% You are exempt from tax on the first CAN $12,000 (or its equivalent in Ecuadorian currency) of the total of your pensions from Canada (except for CPP or QPP death benefits). To get this exemption, you must file the NR5 form.
Finland 20% 20% 25%
Germany 15% 15% 25%
Greece 15% 15% 25% You are exempt from tax on the first CAN $15,000 (or its equivalent in Euro currency) of your total pensions from Canada. To get this exemption, you must file the NR5 form.
Hungary 15% 15% 25%
Ireland 15% 15% 25% You are exempt from tax on the first CAN $12,000 (or its equivalent in Euro currency) of the total of your pensions from Canada (except for CPP or QPP death benefits). To get this exemption, you must file the NR5 form.
Israel 15% 15% 25%
Italy 25% 15% 25% You are exempt from tax on the first CAN $12,000 (or its equivalent in Euro currency) of the total of your pensions from Canada, excluding OAS. To get this exemption, you must file the NR5 form.
Ivory Coast 15% 15% 25%
Kenya 15% 15% 25%
Malaysia 15% 15% 25%
Malta 15% 15% 25%
Mexico 15% 15% 25%
Netherlands 25% 15% 25%
New Zealand 15% 15% 15% You are exempt from tax if the total of your pensions from Canada does not exceed CAN $10,000. To get this exemption, you must file the NR5 form.
Norway 15% 15% 25%
Papua-New Guinea 15% 15% 25%
Peru 15% 15% 25%
Philippines 25% 25% 25% You are exempt from tax if the total of your pensions from Canada (except for CPP or QPP death benefits) does not exceed CAN $5,000 (or its equivalent in Philippine pesos). To get this exemption, you must file the NR5 form.
Poland 15% 15% 25%
Portugal 15% 15% 25% You are exempt from tax on the first CAN $12,000 (or its equivalent in Euro currency) of the total of your pensions from Canada (except for CPP or QPP death benefits). To get this exemption, you must file the NR5 form.
Romania 15% 15% 25% You are exempt from tax on the first CAN $12,000 (or its equivalent in the country's currency) of the total of your pensions from Canada (except for CPP or QPP death benefits). To get this exemption, you must file the NR5 form.
Senegal 15% 15% 25% You are exempt from tax on the first CAN $12,000 (or its equivalent in the country's currency) of the total of your pensions from Canada (except for CPP or QPP death benefits). To get this exemption, you must file the NR5 form.
Serbia 15% 15% 25%
Spain 15% 15% 25%
Sri Lanka 15% 15% 25%
Switzerland 15% 15% 25%
Tanzania 15% 15% 25%
Trinidad & Tobago 15% 15% 25%
Turkey 15% 15% 25% You are exempt from tax on the first CAN $12,000 (or its equivalent in Turkish liras) of the total of your pensions from Canada (except for CPP or QPP death benefits). To get this exemption, you must file the NR5 form.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 0% 0% 25%
United States 0% 0% 0%
Zambia 15% 15% 25%
Zimbabwe 15% 15% 25%
All other countries 25% 25% 25%

For questions about your taxes, contact the Canada Revenue Agency:

By phone:

1-855-284-5942

(from Canada and the U.S.)

1-800-665-0354 (TTY)

(from Canada and the U.S.)

1-613-940-8495

(from all other countries)

By fax:

1-613-941-2505

By mail:

Canada Revenue Agency

International Tax Services Office

Client Services Division

Post Office Box 9769, Station T

Ottawa ON K1G 3Y4

For questions about your OAS or CPP benefits, contact Service Canada:

By phone:

1-800-277-9914

(from Canada and the U.S.)

1-613-957-1954

(from all other countries, collect calls accepted)

Our lines are busiest at the beginning and end of the month. If your question can wait, it's best to call at other times.

By mail

All correspondence should be sent to the nearest Service Canada Processing Centre. If you are writing to us from outside Canada, your letter should be sent to the regional office in the province where you last resided.

Note: Contact us

If you contact us, please remember to provide us with your social insurance or OAS or CPP account number.

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