Leaving Canada (emigrants)

This page provides basic information about the tax rules that apply to you for the year you become an emigrant of Canada for income tax purposes. It will also help you understand your tax obligations to Canada.

Are you an emigrant?

Generally, you are an emigrant for income tax purposes if you leave Canada to settle in another country and you sever your residential ties with Canada.

Severing residential ties?

Severing your residential ties may include:

  • disposing of or giving up a home in Canada and establishing a permanent home in another country;
  • having your spouse or common-law partner or dependants leave Canada; and
  • disposing of personal property and breaking social ties in Canada, and acquiring or establishing them in another country.

Your residency status could also be affected by the severing or not of other residential ties, such as:

  • a Canadian driver's license;
  • Canadian bank accounts or credit cards; and
  • health insurance with a Canadian province or territory.

When do you become a non-resident?

When you leave Canada to settle in another country, you usually become a non-resident for income tax purposes on the latest of the following dates:

  • the date you leave Canada;
  • the date your spouse or common-law partner and dependants leave Canada; or
  • the date you become a resident of the country to which you are immigrating.

If you lived in another country before living in Canada and you are leaving Canada to re-establish a residence in the other country, you usually become a non-resident on the date you leave Canada. This applies even if your spouse or common-law partner temporarily stays in Canada to dispose of your home.

Note

Generally, you become a deemed non-resident of Canada at a time when your residential ties in the other country are such that, under the tax treaty between Canada and that country, you are considered to be a resident of that country and not of Canada.

Your tax obligations

Do you have to file a tax return?

You must file a Canadian tax return if you:

  • owe tax; or
  • want to receive a refund because you paid too much tax in the tax year.

For more information, go to Do you have to file a return?.

Which tax package should you use?

For the tax year that you leave Canada and are an emigrant for income tax purposes, use the general income tax and benefit package for the province or territory where you resided on the date you left Canada.

If you emigrated from Quebec in the tax year, you may have to file a separate provincial return for the province of Quebec. For more information, contact Revenu Québec.

Filing due date

Generally, your income tax return must 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 primarly in connection with a tax shelter), your return has to be filed on or before June 15 of the year after the tax year.

Note

A balance of tax owing must be paid on or before April 30 of the year after the tax year, regardless of the due date of the tax return.

What income must you report?

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) on your Canadian tax return.

For the part of the tax year that you WERE NOT a resident of Canada

After your departure from Canada, you pay Canadian income tax only on your Canadian source income. For more information, see Your tax obligations after you leave Canada.

Deemed dispositions

If you ceased to be a resident of Canada in the tax year, you are deemed to have disposed of certain types of property at their fair market value (FMV) when you left Canada and to have reacquired them for the same amount right after. This is called a deemed disposition. For more information, see Dispositions of property.

Your tax obligations after you leave Canada

After you leave Canada, you are a non-resident for income tax purposes provided you have severed your residential ties with Canada. As a non-resident, you pay tax on income you receive from sources in Canada. This applies in the year you leave Canada and for each year afterwards, provided you remain a non-resident for income tax purposes.

For more information on your tax obligations as a non-resident of Canada, see Non-residents of Canada.

Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA), Home Buyers' Plan (HBP), and Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP)

If you emigrate from Canada and hold a TFSA, you can keep your TFSA and continue to benefit from the exemption from Canadian tax on investment income and withdrawals. However, no contribution will be allowed and no contribution room will accrue while you are a non-resident of Canada. For more information, see Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) or Guide RC4466, Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA), Guide for individuals.

If you emigrate from Canada and are participating in the HBP or the LLP, see Guide RC4135, Home Buyers' Plan (HBP) or Guide RC4112, Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP), as required, for the special rules that apply.

Entitlements to benefits and credits

It's important that you tell us the date you leave Canada because your residency status affects your eligibility to receive:

If you receive such credits or payments after you emigrate, contact us immediately.

Forms and publications

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