Tax & Accounting June 28, 2017

Canadian T1135 reporting for part-year residents

As a general rule, Canadian residents need to file form T1135 with the CRA for any year in which the total “cost amount” of “specified foreign property” exceeds $100,000 at any time in that year[1]. Depending on the circumstances, this form requires various levels of information to be reported with respect to transactions in connection with such properties during the relevant year. But what about a situation in which the taxpayer is not resident in Canada for the entire year? Does the CRA reporting have to include transactions (sales, purchases) for the part of the year that the taxpayer is not resident in Canada? In this regard, a literal reading of the Act and the form would suggest that the answer is “yes”. The taxation year of a natural person is always the calendar year. There is no deemed year-end on emigration or immigration, although the income earned in the nonresident portion of the year is generally not taxable in Canada[2]. Given that, it is comforting and refreshing to see the CRA taking a very common sense administrative position in a Technical Interpretation regarding an emigrating taxpayer (CRA Document 2014-052937). Based on that interpretation, transactions after emigration need not be reported, and the closing balance of the taxpayer’s investments should be treated as “NIL”. But what about the reverse situation: a taxpayer becomes a Canadian resident during the year. In most cases, the issue is moot because of the general exemption from T1135 reporting for the first year of residency[3]. However, the issue is still relevant for a returning Canadian expat, since the exemption would not apply in that case. One would think that the CRA would adopt an analogous position in such cases, and allow transactions prior to immigration to be excluded. However, curiously, in CRA document 2015-0611141E5, the CRA seems to take a position that is based on a literal reading of the Act. They require reporting in such circumstances for the entire calendar year. [1] Section 233.3 of the Income Tax Act (“the Act”) [2] As per section 114 of the Act, assuming not “taxable income earned in Canada” [3] Section 233.7
Michael Atlas
Toronto -based Chartered Professional Accountant
Michael Atlas is a Toronto-based CPA who is an independent consultant on high-level Canadian tax matters, with particular emphasis on international tax issues. 
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