Sunday, July 10, 2011

New Immigrants and taxes in Canada.

Geopolitical map of CanadaImage via Wikipedia
The following information applies only for the first tax year that you are a new resident of Canada for tax purposes. After your first tax year in Canada, you are no longer considered a newcomer for tax purposes.
If you immigrate to Canada, we consider you to have acquired (deemed acquisition) almost all your properties at fair market value on the day you immigrated. If you are re-establishing Canadian residency and you had a deemed disposition when you left Canada, see Dispositions of property.

Residency status

You become a resident of Canada for income tax purposes when you establish significant residential ties in Canada, usually on the date you arrive in Canada.
Newcomers to Canada who have established residential ties with Canada may be:
  • persons in need of protection;
  • people who have applied for or received permanent resident status from Citizenship and Immigration Canada; or
  • people who have received approval-in-principle from Citizenship and Immigration Canada, to stay in Canada.
If you were a resident of Canada in an earlier year, and you are now a non-resident, you will be considered a Canadian resident when you move back to Canada and re-establish your residential ties.
Residential ties include:
  • a home in Canada;
  • a spouse or common-law partner (see the definition in the General Income Tax and Benefit Guide) and dependants who move to Canada to live with you;
  • personal property, such as a car or furniture; and
  • social ties in Canada.
Other ties that may be relevant include:
  • a Canadian driver's licence;
  • Canadian bank accounts or credit cards;
  • health insurance with a Canadian province or territory.
If you want an opinion about your residency status, complete and submit Form NR74, Determination of Residency Status (Entering Canada).

Your tax obligations

As a resident of Canada, you:
  • must report "world income" (income from all sources both inside and outside Canada) on your Canadian income tax return;
  • must ensure that you pay the correct amount of taxes according to the law;
  • have the right and responsibility to verify your income tax status each year;
  • can claim all deductions, non-refundable tax credits, and refundable federal, provincial, or territorial credits that apply to you.
As a newcomer to Canada, you should be aware that most individuals who reside in Canada file only one income tax return for the tax year, because the Canadian government collects taxes on behalf of all provinces and territories except the Province of Quebec.
Note
If you live in the province of Quebec, you may need to file a separate provincial income tax return. For information about your provincial tax liability, contact theRevenu Québec.
As a resident of Canada for part or all of a tax year (January 1 to December 31), you must file a tax return if you:
  • owe tax; or
  • want to receive a refund.
Even if you have no income to report or tax to pay, you may be eligible for certain payments or credits. In order to receive the following payments or credits, you must file an income tax return.
For more information, please see "Do you have to file a return?" in the General Income Tax and Benefit Guide.
For the tax year that you are a newcomer to Canada and for each tax year that you continue to be a resident of Canada for tax purposes, use the General Income Tax and Benefit Guide and the forms book for the province or territory where you live on December 31 of the tax year.
  • It is important to use the forms book for your province or territory because tax rates and tax credits are different in each province and territory.
  • If you live in the province of Quebec, you may need to file a separate provincial income tax return. For information about your provincial tax liability, contactRevenu Québec.
Your income tax return has to be filed on or before:
  • April 30 of the year after the tax year; or
  • if you or your spouse or common-law partner carried on a business in Canada (other than a business whose expenditures are mainly in connection with a tax shelter), the return has to be filed on or before June 15 of the year after the tax year.
NoteA balance of tax owing has to be paid on or before April 30 of the year after the tax year, regardless of the due date of the tax return.

Entitlement to benefits and credits

As a newcomer to Canada, you may be eligible for the goods and services/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) credit, the Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB), and/or the Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB) payments in the year you became a resident of Canada.