Personal Finance

Filing taxes as a non-resident

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  • Dec 16th, 2022 6:03 pm
Deal Addict
Jun 19, 2007
1032 posts

Filing taxes as a non-resident

Has anyone ever gone through this before?

I worked abroad from 2010 until 2014, but got a letter the other day the CRA wanted me to file 2012/2013 returns.

I got ahold of the guy, and he said they had a T4 for me from 2013, so he wanted me to do my taxes, and sent me all the tax forms they had for me.

Anyways, best I can figured what happened was work transferred me from my other country to Canada's payroll around Dec 29th (Despite starting work Jan 2), so I had a T4 I didn't know about for the 2013 tax year for about $600. Then there were also a few hundred dollars in dividends from both my Canada and US Direct investing accounts. I had told them I was going to be going non-resident in 2010, and they said they'd take tax out like the US does, but that never happened. ... l#txblgtns

Anyways, my questions are, I need to pay tax on Canadian Source income. I'm assuming US Companies, held in USD, but at a Canadian institution would not be that? The T5 for my USD account has the dividends listed as "foreign income". and "actual amount of eligible dividends" on the CAD side.

Additionally, in terms of cap gains (I had a preferred stock mature, and a company got bought out - didn't sell anything) I assume that also does not apply, as it seems cap gains for non residents are limited (more or less) to real property, private businesses, etc. Additionally since I was deemed to have "sold" everything when I initially moved, the accountants said that as far as Canada was concerned, capital changes between when you were a non-resident to re-establishing it where not their concern. ... perty.html

Just sort of funny that they're scraping the bottom of the barrel after a decade for a couple of tax returns that might break 4 figures if they're lucky.

Not looking for official tax advice yadi yadi yadda, just want to know if there's anyone who's done this before and if I'm reading it right.
5 replies
Deal Addict
User avatar
Dec 13, 2016
4330 posts
You told them you are going going to be a non resident how exactly?

I have been a non resident for 10 years and you don't get to tell CRA anything. They decide if you are a non resident or not.... and you do that by hiring an accountant that files the taxes for you. I moved to Thailand in 2013 and wasn't even able to ask for a non resident status until 2016.

In any case you should have filed the taxes. I do it every year, Going back 10 years means they may do a full audit on you.

This is just my unprofessional opinion.
Deal Addict
Mar 3, 2009
1729 posts
Ottawa, ON
Not sure about the above poster but when I moved to Australia I filed an emigrant return listing my leaving date from Canada. That was my last return I filed in Canada until I moved back.
Sep 18, 2008
21 posts
Governments have a form for everything. It's called the NR73. If they accept your declaration, they will confirm your non-resident status in the mail.
Sr. Member
User avatar
Apr 26, 2005
564 posts
NotDave wrote: Governments have a form for everything. It's called the NR73. If they accept your declaration, they will confirm your non-resident status in the mail.
technically, N73 is just to get their opinions. You can declair as a non-resident without fill N73. But if CRA don't agree, it will be up to the court to decide.
Deal Addict
Jun 19, 2007
1032 posts
The accountant was paid probably thousands of dollars, and never did my own taxes until 2015(Tax year), the year after the one in which I re-established residency. You tell them by ticking a box on your return, then writing in a date when you elect to break residency. Accountant gave me a list of things to do like cancel lease, sell car, close unused bank accounts etc. Apparently it was accepted because when I called to ask about this told the story, the agent seemed to agree I was a non-resident, and they had the exact same dates on file as I did, for breaking and resuming tax residency, just that these few hundred dollars I didn't know about should have been taxed.

If you file Canadian taxes every year, what exactly do you do? Just file a return for $0? Do you file a return for every single other country you've lived in as well? How exactly did you move to Thailand in 2013, presumably spend the lions share of your time there, earn money there, but not be a Thai resident? If I were Thailand I'd want my pound of flesh if most of your earnings and living happened there. And if I were Canada you saying you're a Canadian resident, I'd want that as well.

I have investments in the US, yet they withhold tax each year from the dividends. Hence I did not file a US tax return either.

Accountant said to tell my bank I'd be a non-resident, and they said that my stock dividends would essentially be treated the same by the Canadians as it is the US - taxed at the source, and no need to file returns.

I guess that did not happen, and where I worked in Asia jumped the gun on moving me to Canada payroll, so there are 3 days employment as well. So seems like I'm on the hook for maybe a couple hundred dollars in tax. Just seems a little odd that it took 10 years for them to notice....

Anyways, getting beyond the scope of my question, which was what gets included. As far as I can tell, dividends from TD in CAD, yes, dividends from Chevron in USD no. Cap gains from a buyout, no. Cap gains from a Canada based corp I owned 100% of and sold (did not, but for example) yes. Then of course 3 days employment income yes.


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