Moving in and out of Canada

What’s in this article?


What is this?

Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) uses information on when you moved in or out of Canada to determine your residency status in Canada for income tax purposes. If you travelled extensively, lived, or worked abroad in the year, you may still have to pay federal and provincial or territorial income taxes.

Your residency status can be determined by:

  • The purpose and duration of your stay outside Canada
  • The ties you establish in your new country
  • How long and how often you return to Canada
  • Your residential ties to Canada

Based on the information you provide, the CRA can determine if you are a factual residentdeemed resident, a non‑resident, or a deemed non-resident of Canada for income tax purposes, and assess the amount of Canadian income tax you will pay. Click this link for more information about determining your residency status.


CRA says…

You become a resident of Canada for income tax purposes when you establish significant residential ties in Canada. You usually establish these ties on the date you arrive in Canada.

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:

If you move out of Canada to live in another country or sever your residential ties with Canada, you are considered an emigrant for income tax purposes.

You are considered a non-resident of Canada if you normally live in another country and are not considered a resident of Canada, or do not have significant residential ties in Canada and live outside Canada throughout the tax year or stay in Canada for less than 183 days in the year.

You are considered a deemed resident of Canada if you lived outside Canada during the tax year, did not have significant residential ties, and you are a government employee. You are a deemed resident also if you lived in Canada for 183 days or more in the tax year, do not have significant residential ties with Canada, and are not considered a resident of another country under the tax treaty between Canada and that country.

If you keep significant ties to Canada while living or travelling outside the country, you are a factual resident.


Revenu Québec says…

If you have sufficient residential ties in Québec, you are considered a Québec resident for income tax purposes, generally as of the date of your arrival in Québec.

If you severed your residential ties with Québec and moved out of the province, you will become a Québec resident again when you return to Québec and re-establish residential ties there.


Am I eligible?

If you moved to or out of Canada in the year, you must provide information to CRA or Revenu Québec, as applicable. Depending on whether you have residential ties in Canada, duration of your stay in Canada, your ties to another country, and duration of your stay outside of Canada and reasons for such stays, the CRA can assess whether you must file an income tax return and the income tax payable by you.

Based on your residency status you may be:

Click on the links above to see the tax obligations and rules for each.


Where can I learn more?