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Tax implications : Soft landing & delayed moving to Canada

Hello All,

I have a slightly less common situation.
I will have to do a soft landing next month and claim my PR, then move back to the US immediately & might take a year to 18 months (due to family reasons, finances, etc) to move to Canada permanently .

I have a few questions that I will number below (for ease). I’d appreciate your time taken in answering them or referring to some website or info out there.

  1. I understand I have to declare all my personal belongings , finances, etc. that I will be bringing to Canada so that I won’t be taxed on those .
    I remember reading that applies only for stuff & assets brought in to Canada within 12 months of the landing date.
    Is that Correct ?
    If that’s the case, what would be the implications if I were to move 15-18 months after my landing date ?

  2. Also, when it comes to finances, did everyone just sell all their Non-Canadian assets (shares , property, bonds, etc.) soon after immigrating ? That seems unlikely to me . What was your experience in selling those assets or transferring money to Canadian bank accounts a few years after “landing” in Canada ?

  3. If you are undecided about which Province you will eventually live in , then is there any tax implications in landing in one province vs another , for soft landing ?
    I do not plan to land in Quebec . I do not have a Provincial nomination . But I want to understand if it’s better to land in say Calgary as opposed to Vancouver .

  4. Do they not send physical SIN cards any more ?

  5. Is it possible to open a bank account the day of landing after getting a SIN but not having a permanent Canadian address ?

Thanks !

I know answer to you #4 and #5

Do they not send physical SIN cards any more ?
No, they don’t do anymore.

Is it possible to open a bank account the day of landing after getting a SIN but not having a permanent Canadian address ?
Yes, you can open an account as long as you complete landing, get SIN and go to bank to open an account (get an appointment first to make this work).

I will have to do a soft landing next month and claim my PR, then move back to the US immediately & might take a year to 18 months (due to family reasons, finances, etc) to move to Canada permanently .

Do not mention you are headed back at the immigration checkpoint. Also, if you do not have a recent bank statement with the requisite amount of money, do not go. You need to take the appropriate amount – that amount can be in USD.

I understand I have to declare all my personal belongings , finances, etc. that I will be bringing to Canada so that I won’t be taxed on those .

You do not ahve to declare your GOODS TO FOLLOW (GTF) upon landing. You can bring it in later when you want to settle.

Also, when it comes to finances, did everyone just sell all their Non-Canadian assets (shares , property, bonds, etc.) soon after immigrating ? That seems unlikely to me . What was your experience in selling those assets or transferring money to Canadian bank accounts a few years after “landing” in Canada ?

No, it all depends on what you want to do. If the items can make more money abroad (like your 401K), then you do not need to bring that over because you will incur a tax penalty (in the US) if you do.

If you are undecided about which Province you will eventually live in , then is there any tax implications in landing in one province vs another , for soft landing ?
I do not plan to land in Quebec . I do not have a Provincial nomination . But I want to understand if it’s better to land in say Calgary as opposed to Vancouver .

When you approach customs (which you approach before immigration) they will ask if you are headed to another province. Tax wise, I do not see an issue at all (but I am not a lawyer or a Canadian tax accountant). And, unlike USA, Canada does not tax you on worldwide income.

Do they not send physical SIN cards any more ?
After you go through immigration, you can go to the “service Canada” desk - they will issue you a paper with the SIN number in like 10 mins at the most (without wait time).

Is it possible to open a bank account the day of landing after getting a SIN but not having a permanent Canadian address ?

Yes. You need a Canadian address, not necessarily a permanent one - but one where you can receive your debit/credit cards. Let me know if you want me to send you to a bank, I just came back from there with a very good experience.

2 Likes
  1. I moved to Canada 19 months after soft landing. They accepted my GTF without a single word. If you want to bring more than $10,000 in cash with you that’s your decision, but you don’t need to. You can wire it later.

  2. You have complete control over your investments, ETFs etc (but not retirement funds). I didn’t touch any of these, just brought over some cash for initial expenses and transferred the rest later. Also, I didn’t have much time to think of these things

  3. You can check
    Income taxes by province
    and
    Sales taxes by province
    Unless I read wrong, Ontario has lower taxes (probably because 38% of Canada’s population lives here).
    Tax calculator
    marginal tax rate

  4. There is no physical SIN card, just a printed out piece of paper

  5. Yes, just give the address you would give during landing, and retrieve the bank papers later, like you would retrieve the PR card.

One thing I would highly recommend is, talk to a tax consultant upon landing (e.g. H&R block), and figure out a way to file your tax returns if even you have no income in Canada. If you can somehow get a T4 form, it might save you some time in the future when you are trying to use CRA’s automated system.

3 Likes

Hi Avij,

Thank you for sharing your experience. We did soft landing a month back and we don’t plan to move within one year. Can you please share whether you filed your taxes when you were outside the country (canada) or you did as a first thing after landing permanently?

Thanks,
Shri

1 Like

Hi Shri,
I am in similar situation, soft landed jan’19 in Toronto and not planning to move till Jan’21 (residence in california).
Do we need to file taxes for 2019, without any Canadian income ? If so, any recommendations (tax consultants) for filing taxes with CRA (who is knowledgable in foreign tax credit paid to US taxes).
Please let me know if you hear from @avj or happen to know more details. Happy to connect offline.
Thanks
Ravi

If you’re filing first time you need to mail in your taxes. I don’t know too much about taxes here but you need some form of T4 slip (generated by the Canadian employer, similar to W-2 in the US). If you’re not employed in Canada I’m not sure what the way is; maybe consult a tax person.

You don’t need to file taxes if you’re not a resident for tax purposes in Canada (living more than 6 months in Canada); this is to avoid double taxation.