Is an NR-74 necessary for a Canadian Citizen son. - help help help! Canadian-US-Global Income tax help - david ingram expert


Below is the result of your feedback form.  It was submitted by
XXXXX XXXXXX on Friday, January 1, 2010 at 09:23:27

My_question_is: Canadian-specific

question: We have asked to become non resident by filling a NR-73
and our status was accepted. When we left the children were young
but now my son turned 18 and he wants to go back home to Canada.
He is adult and I cannot stop him. Should he fill a NR-74.

Thank you for your advise, regards



  david ingram replies with this Income Tax Help.

The NR-73 form is used by the CRA to decide whether a person is a
resident of Canada when they have left. -

The NR 74 form is usually used when a person is coming to Canada in
such a way that they have not really severed ties with their former
country and may in fact, still be a taxable resident of his or her
former country -

As David McLean found out after seven years in Saudi Arabia - see court
case below - even with the letter, the CRA can reverse its decision if
you or a member of your family does something that is not exactly as
described on the NR-73.

In your case, you  might be nice and clean but if, for instance, your
house was rented out to strangers and 'now' because your son will be
back in Canada, it is decided that he might as well live in the house
or he takes over a basement suite and then you come back to Canada for
a visit and stay with him in the house which is obviously available for
you, YOU will become taxable in Canada unless you are in a Tax Treaty
country like Indonesia or the UK or Australia or Brazil or any one of
the other 100 or so countries with which Canada has a treaty and
Article 4 of the Treaty takes over.

Or, if you are in Libya for instance, the tax paid to the Libyan
government usually means that you do not owe any tax to Canada after
claiming the foreign tax credit on your Canadian return.  

So everyone is different and there is no 'pat' answer.  

Your son does not have to file an NR-74.  If he has made up his mind to
come back to Canada and he is a Canadian citizen, he is taxable
automatically unless he proves that he is not a resident of Canada and
is a real resident of another country.  

And, he does not have to be living in something you own to make you

If he is a single guy and rents a 3 bedroom townhouse so that there
will be room for you to stay when you visit, that could be enough to
tip the scales.  Whatever he does, make sure that you do NOT stay with
him when  and if you come back to Canada to visit.  In particular, make
sure that your wife does not come and stay with him for a couple of
months to help him get established or something.  He is 19, a big boy
and it is time he learns to do that stuff on his own.

You should likely buy an hour of my time because it is so easy to tip
the scale.

Read on:


My_question_is: Applicable to Another Jurisdiction or Multi-jurisdictions
Subject:        Doubt you have had this question before (probably will be paying client)
Expert:         [email protected]
Date:           Monday February 04, 2008
Time:           10:24 AM -0000


I left canada in 1993. I worked in Saudi for 2 years then Brunei for 4 years. During that time I kept a drivers license, a locked in RRSP, a credit card and a professional membership. I used my parents address for my credit card mail. I returned to canada in 1999 for less than 183 days and worked part time. I left again and went to the United Arab emirates for 5.5 years. I left some clothing and personal items that belonged to me and my girlfriend in storage for 4 years paid for with my credit card. These were eventually removed and mostly given away to charity.In 2005 I submitted NR63 from to the CRA and they sent me a letter stating that I was not a resident for tax purposes.

While in the UAE I applied for and received Australia residency. I moved there and lived there for a year, opened bank accounts got a credit card, drivers license joined professional organizations, paid taxes, rent, bills. I then moved to Qatar to work for a Canadian company, XXXXXXXXX XXXXXXX. I was hired as a non resident on a non resident contract. I had to open a bank account in Canada as a requirement of my employment. I opened a non resident account and so did my wife who is south African. We were married in Canada but she does not have Canadian residency, she does however have Australian residency. I am now in a position where I am considering going back to Canada in the future 2-3 years. I would like to buy a Cottage on a lake for when I return. I have an Ontario drivers license, a professional membership, a credit card and a non resident bank account and I am living in Qatar working for a Canadian college. How does that all affect me if I return? ....
See you never got one like this eh?

david ingram replies:

Your situation is quite standard actually, particularly for ESL Teachers.  My associate  has lived in more countries (including Qatar) and has children born in Saudi Arabia.  Unless your wife is 7 feet 8 inches tall,  your situation is pretty typical. 

I think from your letter that the NR'7'3 you filled out was either when you were in Australia or planning on going there.  If you had furniture in storage in Canada AND a Canadian driver's licence and a Canadian Credit Card AND a Canadian Mailing address, the CRA would usually take a run at you when you are in Qatar or the UAE or the Bahamas or Panama or any other no tax country.  An example is the South Korea situation mentioned further on.

When you are granted a permanent residence status in a country like Australia, the tax treaty lets you keep those things in Canada although it has a problem with the ownership of a home as Art 4(3) (a) and (b) show

.Australian / Canada tax treaty Art IV(3). Where by reason of the provisions of paragraph 1 an individual is a resident of both Contracting States, then his status shall be determined in accordance with the following rules:

    a) he shall be deemed to be a resident solely of the Contracting State in which he has a permanent home available to him;

    b) if he has a permanent home available to him in both Contracting States, or if he does not have a permanent home available to him in either of them, he shall be deemed to be a resident solely of the Contracting State with which his personal and economic relations are the closer.

Anything you left out on the NR73, no matter how small, is enough to nullify it retroactively as David McLean found out after seven years in Saudi Arabia. Getting a non-resident for tax purposes when the information was given for Australia has no bearing on your life in Qatar.  As it says, 'let us know if your circumstances change'.  There is little doubt that moving from Australia to Qatar is a change in circumstances.

Now, on the other hand, if you were still in the UAE not knowing about Australia yet or already in Qatar when you sent in the NR73,  my bet is that you left out a couple of items Although the UAW does have a treaty with Canada, the treaty works better for a UAE citizen than for a Canadian..

In the meantime, buying your waterfront lake cottage is an absolute invitation for the CRA to tax you on your return when you are in Qatar.

Read on. 
I saw one of your posts online and wondered if you could provide some adice for my situation.
I have been living and teaching in South Korea for over 2.5 years now (since August 2004). I have filed tax returns in Canada for 2004 and 2005. For 2005, I applied for non-resident status but was denied based solely on the fact that I am not a resident of Korea. I applied for non-resident status again for 2006, but again was refused based on the same rationale. In 2006, I never visited Canada and my health benefits expired from being away for too long. My links to Canada are student loans, a passport, credit cards, and a drivers' license. I was wondering what your suggestion is for this situation and what I can do to avoid being taxed on my foreign income (Korean income - which I am taxed on in Korea) from CCRA.  Thank you for your tim
david ingram replies:

Get a Korean Driver's licence -  Get a Korean credit card

hard but it can be done

Get rid of your Canadian driver's licence and credit cards.

Read the following
I have been enjoying your messages regarding taxes and even immigration.  Great source of information.  I am also touched by your account of experience with your children - - there is similar reflection.   Importance is to spend more valuable quality time with the kids.
What is the procedure to declare oneself as non-resident (in terms of taxation) of Canada ?
Thanks David
david ingram replies:

There is really no such thing as "declaring" oneself a non-resident of Canada.  You 'can' fill in a NR73 and ask for a ruling but these only give the CRA a list of who to look at after.

You can call a toad a frog all day long and it is still a toad. 

You are either a non-resident in fact or you are a taxable resident of Canada because of your lifestyle or because you are not a 'real' resident of  the other country that you are calling home.

It is very easy to become a non-taxed resident of Canada if your other country is a tax treaty country like the United States or Greece or Spain or Indonesia.

It is difficult in a non-tax treaty country like Saudi Arabia or the Grand Cayman Islands and also difficult in the UAE (United Arab Emirates) countries like Dubai which have a treaty but which treaty is almost useless for Canadian citizens but does wonders for a UAE national.

Read the following  tax cases and pay attention to  the Dennis Lee, Wolf Bergelt and David MacLean Cases.  David MacLean  even had a letter from the CRA stating that he was a non-resident so you can see that they are not worth the paper they are written on. Judge Teskey's list  is 'right on'!


My_question_is: Canadian-specific
Subject:        Thinking of moving to Dubai to work for government from Canada
Expert:         [email protected]
Date:           Saturday March 31, 2007
Time:           11:25 AM -0500



I have been bantering back and forth with a possible offer to work for the government of Dubai.. if I do accept the offer and go, I want to keep my condo and my car here in Canada... I will establish a residence there as well.. my question is how much tax will I have to pay out of my income from over there.. I do not wish to sell everything and put it in storage... the car maybe, but it is a lease and I don't currently own it.. but Dubai is ready to take care of my obligations here, so I say keep it.

Thanks for your time
david ingram replies:

If you keep a car and home here and return for visits, you will be taxable at full rates on whatever you earn in Dubai.

read the following:

So what are the rules?

Well, to leave Canada for tax purposes, you must give up clubs, bank accounts, memberships, driving licences, provincial health care plans, family allowance payments (if you are a returning resident, you can continue to get Family Allowance out of the country), your car, and furniture. You can keep a house here as an investment and rent it out, but it must be rented on lease terms of a year or more. And you MUST have an agent sign an NR6 for you (see example). This NR6 has the Canadian Resident AGENT ** guarantee the Canadian Government that if YOU do not pay your tax to Canada, the AGENT WILL. Even after fulfilling the foregoing, the Canadian government can still tax you or "try" to tax you on your income out of the country. If you are being paid by a Canadian Company, they can quite often succeed.

Even though you can collect family allowance out of the country, don't! One client's wife found out that she could get family allowance out of the country if she said they were coming back to Canada. She got some $3,000 of family allowance and cost the family some $80,000 in income tax when they came back to Canada from Brazil. I will never forget the husband's expression when he found out why he had been reassessed and I will never forget his wife's explanation. She said he was a skinflint and never gave her any money. The total episode cost them their house.

** The "agent" referred to above can be a friend, relative, or a business such as ours. We charge a minimum of $40.00 per month to be an "AGENT" for an NR-6 filing. This $480 per year is "in addition" to any other fees but "well worth it" of course. It stops your mother, father, brother, next door neighbour or ex-best-friend from being plagued by paperwork they do not understand.


It is possible to be physically "in Canada" and be treated as a Non-Resident and it is possible to be out of the country for seven years, or never have even lived in Canada, but wanted to, and be taxed as a Canadian resident as the following three cases show. In case you missed it, the reason for the different rulings is the "INTENT" of the parties involved.  Wolf Bergelt intended to leave Canada.  David MacLean was only working out of the country.  He still maintained a residence and could not ever become a resident of Saudi Arabia anyway. Dennis Lee "wanted" to live in Canada.

In 1986, Wolf Bergelt won non-resident status before Judge Collier of the Federal Court, even though he was only out of the country for four months and his family stayed behind to sell his house. He had given up his memberships, kept only one bank account and rented an apartment in California until his house in Canada was sold. Four months after his move, his company advised him that he was being transferred back to Canada. Judge Collier said his move was a permanent (although short) move and he was a non-resident for tax purposes for those four months.

In 1985, David MacLean lost his claim for non-residence status even though he was gone for seven years. He kept a house and investments in Canada and returned a couple of times a year to visit parents. He had even been to the Tax Office and received a letter on January 29, 1980 stating that his Canadian Employer could waive tax deductions because he was a non-resident. However, he did not advise his banks, etc. that he was a non-resident so that they would withhold tax, he did not rent his house out on a long term lease and he did not do any of the things that makes a person a "NON-RESIDENT". Judge Brule of the Tax court of Canada said that he thought Mr. MacLean had stumbled on the non-resident status by chance rather than by design. In other words, to become a non-resident of Canada, you must become a bone fide resident of another country.  As a rule, only a Muslim born in Saudi Arabia to Saudi Arabian parents can become a Saudi Arabian citizen.  The best that David MacLean can hope for is that he has a Saudi Arabian temporary work permit.

In other words, when a person leaves a place, they usually leave and establish a new identity where they are because the "new place" is where they live now. Trying to "look" like a non-resident is not the same as "BEING" a non-resident - think about it.

In 1989, Denis Lee won part but lost most of his claim for non-resident status. He was a British Subject who worked on offshore oil rigs. He maintained a room at his parents house in England and held a mortgage on his ex-wife's house in England. For the years 1981, 82 and 83 he did not pay income tax anywhere. in 1981 he married a Canadian and she bought a house in Canada in June of 1981. On September 13, 1981, he guaranteed her mortgage at the bank and swore an affidavit that he was "not" a non-resident of Canada. [As I have said in the capital gains section of this book, bank documents will get you every time.] During this time he had a Royal Bank account in Canada and the Caribbean but no Canadian driver's licences or club memberships, etc.

Judge Teskey said:

"The question of residency is one of fact and depends on the specific facts of each case. The following is a list of some of the indicia relevant in determining whether an individual is resident in Canada for Canadian income tax purposes. It should be noted that no one of any group of two or three items will in themselves establish that the individual is resident in Canada. However, a number of the following factors considered together could establish that the individual is a resident of Canada for Canadian income tax purposes":

  • - past and present habits of life;

  • - regularity and length of visits in the jurisdiction asserting residence;

  • - ties within the jurisdiction;

  • - ties elsewhere;

  • - permanence or otherwise of purposes of stay;

  • - ownership of a dwelling in Canada or rental of a dwelling on a long-term basis (for example, a lease of one or more years);

  • - residence of spouse, children and other dependent family members in a dwelling maintained by the individual in Canada;

  • - memberships with Canadian churches, or synagogues, recreational and social clubs, unions and professional organizations (left out mosques);

  • - registration and maintenance of automobiles, boats and airplanes in Canada;

  • - holding credit cards issued by Canadian financial institutions and other commercial entities including stores, car rental agencies, etc.;

  • - local newspaper subscriptions sent to a Canadian address;

  • - rental of Canadian safety deposit box or post office box;

  • - subscriptions for life or general insurance including health insurance through a Canadian insurance company;

  • - mailing address in Canada;

  • - telephone listing in Canada;

  • - stationery including business cards showing a Canadian address;

  • - magazine and other periodical subscriptions sent to a Canadian address;

  • - Canadian bank accounts other than a non-resident account;

  • - active securities accounts with Canadian brokers;

  • - Canadian drivers licence;

  • - membership in a Canadian pension plan;

  • - holding directorships of Canadian corporations;

  • - membership in Canadian partnerships;

  • - frequent visits to Canada for social or business purposes;

  • - burial plot in Canada;

  • - legal documentation indicating Canadian residence;

  • - filing a Canadian income tax return as a Canadian resident;

  • - ownership of a Canadian vacation property;

  • - active involvement with business activities in Canada;

  • - employment in Canada;

  • - maintenance or storage in Canada of personal belongings including clothing, furniture, family pets, etc.;

  • - obtaining landed immigrant status or appropriate work permits in Canada;

  • - severing substantially all ties with former country of residence.

"The Appellant claims that he did not want to be a resident of Canada during the years in question. Intention or free choice is an essential element in domicile, but is  entirely absent in residence."

Even though Dennis Lee was denied residency by immigration until 1985 (his passport was stamped and limited the number of days he could stay in the country) and he did not purchase a car until 1984, or get a drivers licence until 1985, Judge Teskey ruled that he was a non-resident until September 13, 1981 (the day he guaranteed the mortgage and signed the bank guarantee) and a resident thereafter.

My point is made. Residency for "TAX PURPOSES" has nothing to do with legal presence in the country claiming the tax. It is a question of fact. My thanks to Judge Teskey for an excellent list. The italics are mine and refer to the items which I usually see people trying to "hold on to" after they leave and are trying to become non-residents. No single item will make you a resident, but there is a point where the preponderance of "numbers" leap out and say, "He / She is a resident of Canada, no matter what he / she says." 

The case above is not unusual in any way. It is a fairly typical situation in my office.

In 1990, John Hale was taxed as a resident on $25,000 of directors fees he had received from his Canadian Employer and on $125,000 he received for exercising a share stock option given to him when he had been a resident of Canada (the option, not the stock). Judge Rouleau of the Federal Court ruled that section 15(1) of the Great Britain / Canada Tax Convention did not protect the $125,000 as it was not "salaries, wages, and other remuneration". It was, however a benefit received by virtue of employment within the meaning of section 7(1)(b) of the act.

Even a car you do not own can make you a resident as the next sailor found out.

In 1988, Frederick Reed was claimed by the Canadian Government as one of their own. He lived on board ship and shared an apartment with a friend in Bermuda but only occasionally. He also stayed with his parents in Canada when visiting his employer in Halifax. Judge Bonner of the Tax court ruled that he could not claim his place of employ or the ship as his residence and just because he did not have a fixed abode, did not make him a non-resident. He was also the beneficial owner of a car in Canada which even though of minor consequence, served to add to his Canadian Residency. He had in fact borrowed money from a credit union to buy the car, even though it was registered in his father's name. He had maintained his Canadian Driver's licence as well.

An interesting case in June, 1989 involved Deborah and James Provias who left Canada in October of 1984. They had sold a multiple unit building to James' father on September 21, 1984 but the statement of adjustments did not take place until December 1, 1984. They tried to write off rental losses and a terminal loss against other income as `departing Canadians'. Judge Christie of the Tax Court ruled that they had left before the sale and were not entitled to the terminal loss or another capital loss as these could only be applied against income earned in Canada from October 13, 1984 (the day they left) to November 30, 1984 (the day before the sale) and there was no income, only a rental loss.

But June, 1989 was a good month for Henry Hewitt. He had been a non-resident living in Libya for four years and received some back pay after returning to Canada. DNR tried to tax him on the money but Judge Mogan of the Tax Court came to the rescue. He ruled that although Canadians were usually taxable on money when received, that assumed that the money itself was taxable in Canada, which was not true in this case.

In 1989, James Ferguson lost his claim for non-residency status but from the information, it didn't stand a chance anyway. He had been in Saudi Arabia on a series of one year contracts for four years. His wife remained employed in Canada, and he kept his house, car, driver's licence, union membership, and master plumber's licence. Judge Sarchuk ruled that he had always intended to return to Canada and was a resident.

A similar situation involved John and Johnnie M. Eubanks in the United States. He was working on an offshore oil rig in Nigeria with a Nigerian work permit and attempted to claim non-resident status for the purposes of exempting the foreign earned income exclusion. His wife was in the United States at all times and because he worked 28 days on and 28 days off, he returned to the U.S. for his rest periods using 4 days for travel and 24 days for rest with his family. He did not spend any 330 day period (out of a year) in Nigeria and only had a residency permit for the purposes of working in Nigeria. Judge Scott ruled he was a resident of the U.S. and taxed him some $20,000 with another $6,000 penalties and interest.

The Tax departments in Canada and the U.S. issue Interpretation Bulletins and Information Circulars and Guidance Pamphlets. These documents sometimes get people in trouble because the individual reads the good part and doesn't pay any attention to the exceptions. The following case ran contrary to a Guidance Pamphlet issued by the IRS.

On and Off-shore Oil rigs were involved with William and Margaret Mount and Jesse and Mary Wells. William and Jesse worked in the United Arab Emirates. However, they kept their homes and families in Louisiana and kept their driver's licences in Louisiana and voted in Louisiana. No evidence was shown that they had tried to settle in The United Arab Emirates. Judge Jacobs turned down claimed exclusions of approximately $75,000 each.

There isn't any question about what oil rig people talk about on oil rigs. It has to be "how to beat the tax man". Unfortunately, they all seem to think it is easy. Another such story follows.

In 1989, Clarence Ritchie found out that bona fide residence means just what it says. You cannot be a non-resident of the U.S. for tax purposes if you are not a bona fide resident of another country. He was working on the Mobil Oil Pipeline in Saudi Arabia and although when he left he was married with a couple of kids, by the time he returned permanently, he was a happily divorced man. Judge Scott ruled that though he did not have an abode in the United States, he had not established one in Saudi Arabia and therefore was not entitled to the foreign earned income exclusion which requires you to be away for 330 days out of 365. He had worked a 42 days on, 21 days off schedule and usually returned to the U.S. for his days off although he did spend time in Tunisia, England, Italy and Greece.

On a final note, as explained on page 143 of the "PINK" 17th edition of my ULTIMATE TAX BOOK, it is possible to have three countries after you for tax. If you are thinking of taking a job because a recruiter told you the money is tax free, think twice and check three times with competent individuals about what the rules "really are". No government likes giving up the right to tax its citizens.


Non-residents of Canada with investments in Canada are subject to a 25% non-resident withholding tax on any money paid to them while they are out of the Canada. Therefore, if they have $10,000 in the Bank of Montreal and they live in Argentina, The Bank of Montreal must withhold 25 cents out of every dollar of interest paid to the account. Most tax treaty countries such as Great Britain, Germany, the United States, and Australia have a reciprocal agreement with Canada that limits the withholding to 15%.

david ingram wrote:

If your question was not answered fully or you wish to go further, I am available for individual consultations by phone or email or in person for $450 per professional hour. 

Please also note that we prepare Canadian, US, Australian, UK and New Zealand returns on a mail in, email, fax, snail mail or couriered basis. At any time, our clients are in 40 countries or more.  They have every occupation from nuclear Submarine captains to FedEx pilots to Major Bank officers to Politicians, Diplomats and border patrol officers.  My favourite, however, is a penguin catcher in Antarctica among others there..

If you 'really' only have a single question requiring a 'couple' of minutes, you can try phoning me for free as part of the following.

- For a quick free question

Most Wednesday evenings, from 6 to 9 PM Vancouver (Pacific - LA, Seattle) time, I interview others and answer short US Canada, Great Britain, Spain, Indonesia,  Mexico, etc.  tax and immigration questions.  GOTO - the North American phone number is (866) 980-0499 - the local number in the lower mainland is (604) 980-0321.

There is no January 6, 2010 show but Jan 13th has Roger McAfee on to talk about the Justice System in Canada and Dan Walkow ( to talk about US Canada Cross border Investing and Fred Snyder ( on to talk about Investing in BC and in particular the importance of a written Financial Plan.


You might try calling Fred Snyder's own radio program for an answer. 

Fred Snyder's  "IT'S YOUR MONEY" radio show. on CISL,  650 AM on the dial in Vancouver from 9 to 11:00 AM every Sunday  (604) 280-0650 or (877) 280-0650 - You can listen live from anywhere in the world at from anywhere in the world. click on the button in the top left hand corner.
You might try calling Fred Snyder's weekly radio programs for an answer. 

IRS Circular 230 Disclosure:  To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the IRS, please be advised that any U.S. tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended or written to be used or relied upon, and cannot be used or relied upon, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code, or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein.

Disclaimer:  This question has been answered without detailed information or consultation and is to be regarded only as general comment.   Nothing in this message is or should be construed as advice in any particular circumstances. No contract exists between the reader and the author and any and all non-contractual duties are expressly denied. All readers should obtain formal advice from a competent and appropriately qualified legal practitioner or tax specialist for expert help, assistance, preparation, or consultation  in connection with personal or business affairs such as at or  If you forward this message, this disclaimer must be included."

david ingram's US / Canada Services
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