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Is My Foreign Income Taxable in Canada?

Is My Foreign Income Taxable in Canada?
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You probably run some businesses or own properties outside Canada, and you wonder if your foreign income is taxable. The truth is that all Canadian residents must report their earnings, including foreign income, to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). 

That means your foreign income is taxable in Canada. For that reason, it’s essential to declare all your foreign earnings when filing your tax returns every year. However, the CRA may exempt part of your foreign income from taxation if you live outside Canada.

So, what are the rules that govern foreign income taxation in Canada? 

Well, when it comes to foreign income taxation, the rules and regulations tend to vary slightly, depending on whether you are a Canadian resident or non-resident. So, the first step to establish your tax obligation is to define your residency status.

Besides defining your residential status, it’s also essential to familiarize yourself with the taxation instructions by KnightsbridgeFX. That way, you can rest assured that you will never find yourself on the wrong side of the law as far as taxation is concerned.

This guide looks at the vital aspects of foreign income taxation for Canadian residents and non-residents. We discuss some of the factors that can affect your taxable foreign income, including tax treaties. Finally, you’ll gain insights into foreign income tax credits.

Let’s dive right into the facts!

Foreign Income Taxation for Canada Non-Residents

Anyone who lives in a foreign country and doesn’t reside permanently in Canada is considered a non-resident. That also includes the tourists who visit Canada and spend not more than 183 days each year. However, this rule applies for tax purposes only.

As a non-resident visiting Canada, you must declare your net income earned inside Canada to claim the non-refundable tax credits issued in Canada. At the same time, your home country will need you to report the income you earned in Canada.

What happens next after reporting your income to the CRA?

Well, the CRA won’t tax your non-Canadian income if you are a non-resident. However, the report will determine the number of non-refundable tax credits you are eligible for in Canada. Some people refer to it as a personal tax credit or tax-free threshold.

As a non-resident in Canada, filing your Canadian tax return first before answering the home country’s tax department is wise. It helps you determine your Canadian net income and the taxes payable. After that, proceed to file tax returns in your country.

Notably, you don’t have to declare your foreign income to the CRA if you are a non-resident in Canada. However, the agency will only require you to report the income you accumulated while in Canada, including from income sources like pension payments.

Foreign income Taxation for Canadian Residents

What happens to your foreign income if the CRA considers you a Canadian resident? In that case, you must declare any of your income earned outside the country when filing your annual tax returns. The Canada Revenue Agency will tax that income in Canada.

When filing tax returns for foreign income, you have to indicate your income sources, including the countries where you earned them. Also, you must declare the total amount of income you had before your foreign taxes got withheld. 

To ensure that you report the correct figures to the CRA, remember to keep records of your payment receipts and copies of your income and tax returns. That will make it easier for the agency to determine your foreign income tax exemption.

Pro Tip: The amount of foreign income that the CRA will exempt from taxation depends on the income’s country of origin, its nature, and other crucial factors.

Foreign Income Taxation for Immigrants in Canada

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Suppose you enter Canada as an immigrant or move into the country to start a new life and build yourself. In that case, the Canada Revenue Agency will only tax the foreign income you earned after becoming a Canadian resident. 

You must declare anything you earned up to the time you became a Canadian resident. However, the CRA won’t impose any tax on it. So a plausible reason you should do that is that it helps the tax agency determine your non-refundable tax credits.

Foreign Income Tax Credits for Canada’s Residents

As a Canadian resident, you are obliged to pay taxes on your foreign income each year. So, what happens if you had already paid taxes in the country where you earned the income? In that case, you can claim the tax in the form of a foreign tax credit.

The foreign tax credit is non-refundable, but it helps to reduce the taxes payable in Canada. To qualify for the tax credit, you must be residing in Canada during the tax year you earned the foreign income. That will help you avoid paying the taxes twice.

In most cases, the tax credits are often available for Canadian residents who have invested in countries that have tax treaties with Canada. An excellent example is the United States. If you had paid taxes in the U.S., you wouldn’t pay again in Canada.

A foreign income tax credit helps to lower your taxable income. But when your foreign revenue comes from different countries, you must submit separate tax credit forms for every country. The same also applies when you have income from business sources and non-business income sources.

Some of the forms you need to fill out to claim your tax credits include Form T2209 for Federal Foreign Tax Credits and Line 40500. When filling out these forms, ensure that you convert your foreign income to Canadian currency. Use the exchange rates provided by the Bank of Canada for accurate conversions.

Final Words

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) requires all Canadian residents to declare all their domestic and foreign income sources for taxation purposes. So, if you have multiple sources of income from other countries, you need to report your income when filing your annual tax returns. However, if a tax treaty exists between Canada and the nations, you may qualify for a foreign income tax credit.

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