Tax rules for residents and non-residents

Region: Ontario Answer # 172

The Income Tax Act sets out different taxation rules for residents and non-residents. The Income Tax Act determines which individuals and corporations are residents of Canada for income tax purposes. It is important to determine whether you are a resident or non-resident for Canadian tax purposes because it will affect how much tax you have to pay.

Taxation differences between residents and non-residents

Individuals and corporations that are considered residents must pay tax on their income from all sources no matter where it was earned. Non-residents usually only pay tax on income earned in Canada, and they are levied a 25% withholding tax on any income they make from interest or dividends in Canada. Also, non-residents may not be entitled to a capital gain exemption on the sale of their home.

Defining “resident” for tax purposes: individuals and corporations

There are different rules for individuals and corporations in deciding if they are a resident for tax purposes. An individual is considered a resident based on many factors. These include:

  • How much time the person spent in Canada during the year,
  • The reasons why the person was in Canada,
  • Where the person’s regular home is located,
  • If the person owns property in Canada,
  • If the person is a member of a club in Canada, or
  • If the person has a family in Canada.

If an individual visits Canada for at least 183 days in a calendar year, for tax purposes, they are deemed to be a Canadian resident for the year.

Other rules apply to corporations. A corporation is considered a resident in the place where its central mind and management or head office is located. However, if a company incorporated in Canada after April 26, 1965, it is automatically considered to be resident in Canada, and will have to prove otherwise.

For general information, contact Canada Revenue Agency.

For help filing your tax returns, contact H&R Block.

For legal advice and assistance with tax planning, a CRA tax dispute, or other tax issues, contact our preferred Tax lawyers and see who’s right for you: 

Barrett Tax Law

Tax Chambers LLP

Tax Chambers Tax Law Ontario All Topics Sept 2017Tax Chambers Tax Law Ontario All Topics Sept 2017

H&R Block Tax Law Ontario All Topics Sept 2017H&R Block Tax Law Ontario All Topics Sept 2017

Barrett April 2017 Ontario Tax Law Topic 172Barrett April 2017 Ontario Tax Law Topic 172




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