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Need advice regarding Singapore House (HDB) and CPF.

Discussion in 'Canadian Finance and Taxation' started by shri_canada, Mar 12, 2019.

  1. Hello Experts,

    Before moving to Canada in Jun-2018, I was residing in Singapore for more than 11 years. I am still a Singapore PR and I own a HDB flat and have money in my CPF account as compulsory savings. As everyone else back in Singapore, I have taken loan from HDB board and used partial funds from my CPF accounts to buy the HDB flat in Singapore. Now I am filling Income tax for first time in Canada. It is asking me to report foreign properties worth more than $100,000. I intend to sell the property soon. But as per rules I have to return all the money I have utilized from my CPF accounts (during house purchase) back to my CPF accounts after deducting the remaining mortgage. So in real I won't be gaining any money out of the house sale and all money will go to remaining mortgage and back to CPF account. Later once I give up my Singapore PR, I can withdraw all CPF amount.
    So my questions are:
    1. Do I need to declare my HDB house as foreign property and do I need to get property appraised from a property agent to get its current value or I can just use market value showed in the search tool websites?
    2. Do I need to declare Singapore CPF amount anywhere in the tax form?
    3. There is a tax treaty between Singapore and Canada, so once I withdraw my CPF amount, will it be taxed in Canada?

    Any help on this matter will be really helpful.

    Thank you and take care people.
  2. First, you do not need to declare foreign properties to CRA in the year you became resident in Canada, ie you do not need to file T1135.
    Second, you do not pay tax on the gain on your principle resident. If the house in Singapore is your principle resident then you would not need to pay tax on any gain when you sell it.
    Third, assuming your foreign assets is over $100,000, you will need to declare your CPF on the T1135 when you file your 2019 tax return. The value of foreign assets is crystallized on the date you became a Canadian resident. I think your CPF will be the same, however you should contact CRA to verify.
  3. You dont have to declare anything, even if you withdraw your CPF. It becomes your personal savings when you withdraw your monies from your CPF.
  4. Thank you for the reply.

    Firstly are you sure about the rule of first year of residency of not declaring foreign property to CRA?
    Second, the house in Singapore was my principal resident earlier, but now since i moved, I have put it on rental. So if I don't declare it and sell if off then after putting back money to CPF account, Can I later bring in all money from my CPF account to Canada without declaring anything with no tax on it? But let me clarify that CPF is pensions money / account which is controlled and governed by Singapore government.

    Sorry for so many questions.
  5. Thank you for your reply.

    It becomes my personal savings, but can I bring that savings into Canada without having to pay tax on it?
  6. If your foreign assets exceed $100,000 you need to answer yes to the question "Did you own or hold specified foreign property where the total cost amount of all such property, at any time in 2018, was more than CAN$100,000?". However, you do not need to file the T1135 until your next tax return. See bullet 37 https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/international-non-residents/information-been-moved/foreign-reporting/questions-answers-about-form-t1135.html.

    I don't know much about the regulation in Singapore, but I would think you are allowed to pocket any gain net of CPF contribution and mortgage repayment. If this is the case, then the gain is subject to capital gains tax in Canada. I am talking about the gain form house value increase after you became a Canadian resident.

    When you withdraw funds from your CPF, you need to report it as foreign income on your tax return. However, if the tax treaty between Canada and Singapore allows, you can claim a deduction. You need to check with CRA to find out the detail.

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