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Guidance on tax rules for International Student? (Canada -> Japan)

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  • Feb 16th, 2020 11:13 pm
[OP]
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Aug 9, 2010
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Guidance on tax rules for International Student? (Canada -> Japan)

Hey everyone, I’m hoping someone can point me in the right direction on this, though I may just end up consulting with a local accountant.

I’m a Canadian citizen born and raised, and I’ll be leaving the country for an extended period starting in April to start my MBA studies in Tokyo. Does anyone have any guidance on how taxes and income are handled from April onwards after I leave?

I don’t own any property but I live with my parents (and my family and friends are all here in my city). I’ll be keeping my Drivers License, Health Card, bank accounts and credit cards and I have an RRSP that won’t be touched while I’m away.

Would I be considered a non-resident or a factual resident? Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.
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Sr. Member
May 24, 2018
660 posts
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Ontario
Don't have any definitive answers. May be a different angle of approaching.

Intuitively, factual residents is to be understood as those temporarily live outside of Canada.

On the eve of your going out, it seemed there isn't any significant residential ties. But on your return at the end of your study, it will be a much stronger case in hind sight, if you maintain the secondary residential ties.

Another question worth asking, is it mandatory that you have to keep up with filing income tax while your were away ? Or can you catch up with filing upon your return.
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Aug 30, 2011
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Ottawa
Do you intend to return? Simplest - and allowable - option is to consider yourself a factual resident, if you will only be out of the country a couple of years and plan to return. You'd file Canadian taxes as if you never left. Will you have any sources of income? If so, you'll be taxed here (on worldwide income) and Japan may also tax you. Tax treaties prevent double taxation, that's another issue.

If you expect to be away from Canada and don't expect to return, and have no residential ties here, you file as an emigrant on the day you leave, and become a non-resident. However, you must have residency somewhere, so consider that aspect.

Edit: I see you plan to keep your health card. Obviously, you cannot do that as a non-resident and you need to find out the rules for keeping it. I don't believe that you can, unless you are physically residing here for 6+ months/year.
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Jan 19, 2017
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PressureBoom wrote: Hey everyone, I’m hoping someone can point me in the right direction on this, though I may just end up consulting with a local accountant.

I’m a Canadian citizen born and raised, and I’ll be leaving the country for an extended period starting in April to start my MBA studies in Tokyo. Does anyone have any guidance on how taxes and income are handled from April onwards after I leave?

I don’t own any property but I live with my parents (and my family and friends are all here in my city). I’ll be keeping my Drivers License, Health Card, bank accounts and credit cards and I have an RRSP that won’t be touched while I’m away.

Would I be considered a non-resident or a factual resident? Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.
Since you are keeping your Drivers License, health Card and bank acct, then you are Considered to be a CDN resident. If your income is low, then you have no tax to pay and will get the GST crèdit if you file tax return.
[OP]
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Aug 9, 2010
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OttawaGardener wrote: Do you intend to return? Simplest - and allowable - option is to consider yourself a factual resident, if you will only be out of the country a couple of years and plan to return. You'd file Canadian taxes as if you never left. Will you have any sources of income? If so, you'll be taxed here (on worldwide income) and Japan may also tax you. Tax treaties prevent double taxation, that's another issue.

If you expect to be away from Canada and don't expect to return, and have no residential ties here, you file as an emigrant on the day you leave, and become a non-resident. However, you must have residency somewhere, so consider that aspect.

Edit: I see you plan to keep your health card. Obviously, you cannot do that as a non-resident and you need to find out the rules for keeping it. I don't believe that you can, unless you are physically residing here for 6+ months/year.
Thanks for your help! I do intend to return which is why I’m trying to get a sense of what happens while I’m away. I also plan to come back every so often for events and to visit family.

Of course I also want to make sure I’m following all the right rules, so if it makes more sense for me to become a non-resident and cancel my health card while I’m away then I’ll do that. It seems like factual resident would suit me better but not sure if I qualify if I don’t have any property or dependents.

I don’t have a job lined up but will end up taking on part time work to cover day to day expenses.
[OP]
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Aug 9, 2010
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hwyc2007 wrote: Another question worth asking, is it mandatory that you have to keep up with filing income tax while your were away ? Or can you catch up with filing upon your return.
Thanks! It's not mandatory but I'd like to stay on top of it if i can. Would you recommend just figuring it out after 2 years instead? I've never not filed taxes since I turned 18 so I'm not sure what happens in this situation if I just leave it til 2022 or later...
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Jan 19, 2017
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PressureBoom wrote: Thanks! It's not mandatory but I'd like to stay on top of it if i can. Would you recommend just figuring it out after 2 years instead? I've never not filed taxes since I turned 18 so I'm not sure what happens in this situation if I just leave it til 2022 or later...
When you said ' I've never not filed taxes since I turned 18', did you mean that you have not filed tax before or you always filed tax.
If your income is low, then you have no tax to pay and will get the GST crèdit if you file tax return.
[OP]
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ml88888888 wrote: When you said ' I've never not filed taxes since I turned 18', did you mean that you have not filed tax before or you always filed tax.
If your income is low, then you have no tax to pay and will get the GST crèdit if you file tax return.
Meaning, "I've always filed taxes".

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