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is bank interest (in a CAD bank) taxed for non-residents?
January 10, 2016
6:54 pm
mysteir
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January 10, 2016
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I'm a non-resident of Canada living in Asia. I am looking to open and deposit a fairly large amount in a high-interest bearing account with a Canadian bank. First question is, is this allowed for non-residents (opening this type of account) and if so, would that interest be taxed?

January 11, 2016
11:27 am
AltaRed
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I suspect most banks would be willing to open an HISA for a non-resident Canadian (no law stopping that) but it will depend on the bank. You have to ask.

Interest will be taxable somewhere and where the tax is paid will depend on the tax treaty between Canada and the country you are resident in. For example, between US and Canada, the tax treaty provides for no withholding tax by Canada on most* interest bearing accounts but the interest is taxable income in the USA. In your case, it might be an automatic 10% withholding tax in Canada and then you also declare the interest as income in your resident country and then claim a foreign tax credit (maybe) for Cdn income tax paid when you file your income tax in your resident country. You have to check the tax treaty.

* Not all interest bearing accounts have zero withholding in the tax treaty between Canada and USA. Bank accounts are like that but not necessarily income mutual funds or ETFs.

January 11, 2016
7:44 pm
Loonie
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AltaRed's response makes sense to me although I have no experience in this.

Canadians are taxed on income at Canadian rates, no matter where in the
world it is earned. You need to find out if your country has the same rule. Governments usually have ways of finding out if you are getting income from overseas.

You might also want to bear in mind that the value of the Canadian dollar vis-a-vis the US dollar, has fallen about 30% in the last 2 years, and in my opinion will fall further in the next year or so. Until the price of oil comes up, Canadian currency is risky for foreigners.

January 10, 2020
4:10 pm
bird
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It's an old thread, I know, but I was wondering if the OP was able to open a HISA as a non-resident? Contrary to the replies, I was unable to open ANY account in CA remotely - they all demand proof of CA residency.

January 10, 2020
5:42 pm
Norman1
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Non-resident and wishes to open a bank account remotely, without appearing in person in Canada.

I'm not surprised most would pass. How would a financial institution even confirm identity, as required under anti-terrorist financing and anti-money laundering requirements?

Many of the online banks are low cost offerings that don't have a worldwide network of agents to confirm identity.

January 10, 2020
6:13 pm
Bud
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I read somewhere new immigrants get a 5yr tax holiday

January 10, 2020
10:55 pm
Loonie
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You heard wrong.

January 11, 2020
6:04 am
mechone
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Didn't realize this was old

January 11, 2020
7:38 am
Norman1
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Bud said
I read somewhere new immigrants get a 5yr tax holiday

Loonie said
You heard wrong.

I agree.

It is a misinterpretation of the former five-year immigration trust exemption for the non-resident trusts someone immigrating to Canada may have.

Immigrant Trusts explains what the exemption was and how it used to work.

It is not a big deal. An immigrant could have put his/her foreign assets into a foreign corporation and the income from those assets could be exempt from Canadian taxes indefinitely. A Canadian resident can do the same with his/her foreign assets. In fact, lots of international Canadian companies do the same.

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