Are you a newcomer to Canada?
You become a resident of Canada for income tax purposes when you establish significant residential ties in Canada.
Do you have to file a tax return?
As a resident of Canada for income tax purposes for part or all of a tax year (January 1 to December 31), you must
file a tax return if you:
- have to pay tax; or
- want to claim a refund.
Even if you have not received income in the year, you have to file a tax return so that the Canada Revenue Agency can determine if you are eligible for:
- the goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) credit
- the Canada child tax benefit payments; and
- payments from certain related provincial or territorial programs.
It is important that you complete the entire identification area on page 1 of your tax return. We need this information to assess your tax return and calculate your goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) credit, plus any benefits to which you may be entitled under the Canada child tax benefit.
Date of entry in Canada
When completing this area on your return, enter the date you became a resident of Canada for income tax purposes.
Information about your spouse or common-law partner
Enter your spouse or common-law partner’s net world income for 2015. Net world income is the net income from all sources both inside and outside of Canada. Underneath, enter your spouse or common-law partner’s net world income for the period you were a resident of Canada. If applicable also enter the amount of universal child care benefit (UCCB) included on line 117, and the amount of UCCB repayment included on line 213 of his or her tax return.
What income do you have to report?
For the part of the tax year that you WERE NOT a resident of Canada
You have to report the following amounts:
- income from employment in Canada or from a business carried on in Canada;
- taxable capital gains from disposing of taxable Canadian property; and
- taxable part of scholarships, bursaries, fellowships, and research grants you received from Canadian sources.
- the federal non refundable tax credits that apply to the part of the year that you were a resident of Canada; and
- the federal non refundable tax credits that apply to the part of the year that you were not a resident of Canada.
- no tax treaty exists between Canada and the other country; or
- there is no provision in the tax treaty that prevents both countries from taxing the type of income you received.
- the Canada child tax benefit (CCTB) payments (including those payments from certain related provincial or territorial programs); and
- the universal child care benefit (UCCB) payments.
For the part of the year that you were not a resident of Canada, do not include on your tax return any gain or loss from disposing of taxable Canadian property, or a loss from a business carried on in Canada, if, under a tax treaty, the gain from that disposition or any income from that business would be exempt from tax in Canada.
For the part of the tax year that you WERE a resident of Canada
You have to report your world income (income from all sources both inside and outside Canada) earned after becoming a resident of Canada for income tax purposes on your Canadian tax return.
In some cases, pension income from outside of Canada may be exempt from tax in Canada due to a tax treaty, but you must still report the income on your tax return. You can deduct the exempt part on line 256 of your tax return.
If you owned certain properties, other than taxable Canadian properties, while you were a non-resident of Canada, we consider you to have sold the properties and to have immediately reacquired them at a cost equal to their fair market value on the date you became a resident of Canada. This is called a deemed acquisition.
Usually, the fair market value is the highest dollar value you can get for your property in a normal business transaction.
You should keep a record of the fair market value of your properties on the date you arrived in Canada. The fair market value will be your cost when you calculate your gain or loss from selling the property in the future.
What deductions can you claim?
Registered retirement savings plan contributions
Generally, you cannot deduct contributions you made to a registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) in 2015 if this is the first year that you will be filing a tax return in Canada.
However, if you filed a tax return in Canada for any tax year from 1990 to 2014, you may be able to claim a deduction for RRSP contributions you made in Canada for 2015. We base the maximum amount you can deduct on certain types of income you earned in earlier years.
Pension income splitting
If you and your spouse or common-law partner were residents of Canada on December 31, 2015, you can elect to split your pension income that qualifies for the pension income amount (line 314 on Schedule 1). To make this election, you and your spouse or common-law partner must co
Generally, you cannot deduct moving expenses incurred to move to Canada.
However, if you entered Canada to attend courses as a student in full-time attendance enrolled in a program at a post-secondary level at a university, college, or other educational institution, and you received a taxable Canadian scholarship, bursary, fellowship, or research grant to attend that educational institution, you may be eligible to deduct your moving expenses.
You cannot deduct moving expenses if your only income at the new location is scholarship, fellowship, or bursary income that is entirely exempt from tax.
If you make spousal or child support payments, you may be able to deduct the amounts you paid, even if your former spouse or common-law partner does not live in Canada.
You have to report your world income that you received after you became a resident of Canada. World income is income from all sources both inside and outside Canada. However, part or all of the income may be exempt from Canadian tax. This may be the case if Canada has a tax treaty with the country in which you earned the income and there is a provision in the treaty that prevents Canada from taxing the type of income you received. You can deduct the exempt part on line 256 of your tax return.
You may be able to claim other deductions, such as:
• support payments
• professional fees
• carrying charges
• employment expenses or
• child care expenses
What credits can you claim?
Federal non refundable tax credits (Schedule 1)
The federal non-refundable tax credits you can claim are limited to the total of the following amounts:
Provincial or territorial non-refundable tax credits (Form 428)
The amount of certain provincial or territorial non-refundable tax credits you can claim may also be limited.
Generally, the rules to calculate your provincial or territorial non-refundable tax credits are the same as those used for the corresponding federal non refundable tax credits. However, the amounts used to calculate most provincial or territorial non refundable tax credits are different from the corresponding federal credits.
Provincial or territorial tax credits (Form 479)
You may be entitled to certain provincial or territorial tax credits.
Federal foreign tax credits (Form T2209)
After you become a resident of Canada, you may receive income from the country where you used to live or from another country. This income may be subject to tax in Canada and the other country. This could happen if:
If this is your situation, you may be able to reduce the amount of federal tax you have to pay in Canada by claiming a federal foreign tax credit for the foreign tax you paid.
Entitlement to benefits and credits
You may (in the year you became a resident of Canada) be eligible to receive:
- the goods and services/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) credit