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Non-Resident Tax Questions (TFSA, etc.)

nedvert

Star Member
Jan 23, 2013
140
21
Hi there.

I have been an expat and living outside of Canada but only recently discovered that despite notifying CRA about my status as non resident, it still was considering me a resident for a few years so I sent them a note a few weeks ago to let them know. I had been seeing the TFSA cap increase so that is what flagged it to me after doing research that investing would be a potential issue since I am not supposed to have qualified.

It seems like just the other day they actually "fixed" my account but I do have a few questions.

1. They seem to have wiped out the ability to view the entire TFSA contribution as under that section it just indicates "non-resident" so cannot increase or add contribution room and links to the non resident section. While I understand that, I probably still had "some" leftover from when I was a resident. Is this just a system thing or should I call in to make sure they didn't mess things up.

2. With the exception of the above, there are not notes or messages or any indication about them receiving my note and making changes. I had to figure it out by going in and unless you were looking for something specific, I wouldn't have seen it. Is that also normal? I am not expecting a love letter but one of the major root causes was my international address being updated on the system and nothing specific was what made me feel comfortable that they were already aware. I also see that it still indicates that my returns from the years past were not submitted. Is this also just an "in case" detail? I don't have any income in Canada at all outside of an RRSP which I am told isn't something that would warrant an actual return.

3. I am going to be returning to Canada. My banks and advice from other accountant friends is to wait until I am an actual resident before doing anything. (And thank goodness, I found about the non resident TFSA stuff lol.)

How long after I "land" and become living in Canada would I have to wait to actually start investing/doing things on my finances without worrying about it all. I would of course submit another letter to indicate that I have returned but was wondering if I have to wait or something.

Thanks ahead of time for any responses that come out of this :)
 
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canuck78

VIP Member
Jun 18, 2017
45,732
10,876
Hi there.

I have been an expat and living outside of Canada but only recently discovered that despite notifying CRA about my status as non resident, it still was considering me a resident for a few years so I sent them a note a few weeks ago to let them know. I had been seeing the TFSA cap increase so that is what flagged it to me after doing research that investing would be a potential issue since I am not supposed to have qualified.

It seems like just the other day they actually "fixed" my account but I do have a few questions.

1. They seem to have wiped out the ability to view the entire TFSA contribution as under that section it just indicates "non-resident" so cannot increase or add contribution room and links to the non resident section. While I understand that, I probably still had "some" leftover from when I was a resident. Is this just a system thing or should I call in to make sure they didn't mess things up.

2. With the exception of the above, there are not notes or messages or any indication about them receiving my note and making changes. I had to figure it out by going in and unless you were looking for something specific, I wouldn't have seen it. Is that also normal? I am not expecting a love letter but one of the major root causes was my international address being updated on the system and nothing specific was what made me feel comfortable that they were already aware. I also see that it still indicates that my returns from the years past were not submitted. Is this also just an "in case" detail? I don't have any income in Canada at all outside of an RRSP which I am told isn't something that would warrant an actual return.

3. I am going to be returning to Canada. My banks and advice from other accountant friends is to wait until I am an actual resident before doing anything. (And thank goodness, I found about the non resident TFSA stuff lol.)

How long after I "land" and become living in Canada would I have to wait to actually start investing/doing things on my finances without worrying about it all. I would of course submit another letter to indicate that I have returned but was wondering if I have to wait or something.

Thanks ahead of time for any responses that come out of this :)
When it comes to things like contributing to your TFSA, RRSP, you’ll need to wait until the next tax year to qualify to contribute. Not clear what other things you want to do in terms of banking.
 

nedvert

Star Member
Jan 23, 2013
140
21
Thanks C.

So if I move back in 2022, I can't even "invest" until 2023? I get that you wouldn't get contribution room until it was noted you were a resident, but what if you already have deduction limits and space to contribute? (From before I became a non-resident.)

So for this I would have to wait at least a year depending on when I end up going back to do anything? Isn't it when "become a resident again". This would be silly if that means I would be OK to invest on Jan 1st if I showed up on Dec 30th, but if I showed up on Jan 3 I would have to wait a full year?

I will notify CRA as so on as I am back that I am now landed and a resident again. Hopefully someone can know about the actual website status but I guess that's how they roll, not much info or detail unless they want money from you, then it's very specific lol :)
 

canuck78

VIP Member
Jun 18, 2017
45,732
10,876
Thanks C.

So if I move back in 2022, I can't even "invest" until 2023? I get that you wouldn't get contribution room until it was noted you were a resident, but what if you already have deduction limits and space to contribute? (From before I became a non-resident.)

So for this I would have to wait at least a year depending on when I end up going back to do anything? Isn't it when "become a resident again". This would be silly if that means I would be OK to invest on Jan 1st if I showed up on Dec 30th, but if I showed up on Jan 3 I would have to wait a full year?

I will notify CRA as so on as I am back that I am now landed and a resident again. Hopefully someone can know about the actual website status but I guess that's how they roll, not much info or detail unless they want money from you, then it's very specific lol :)
If you have unused contribution space leftover from when you were a resident you should be able to use that when you return to Canada.