Taxation in Canada

Like most countries, Canada has a system of levying taxes on individuals based on what they earn – and in some cases, on what they spend. Taxes are paid to the federal government, and to the provincial or territorial government where you live. Most of the cities have the authority to levy taxes of their own, such as property tax that pays for local services.

The tax paid in Canada is collected by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), which distributes provincial and territorial tax payments to the appropriate provincial agencies. The CRA collects tax in the following ways:

  • Through a system of unified tax returns that allows for the submission of federal and provincial tax data
  • Through corporate taxes (except in Quebec and Alberta)
  • Through taxes made on purchases: general sales tax (GST) goes to the federal government, provincial sales tax (PST) goes to the provincial government, and harmonized sales tax (HST) goes to the federal government, which disburses the provincial share to the appropriate government. In Quebec, The Agence du Revenu du Québec collects GST on behalf of the federal government.

Are my international assets protected from Canadian taxation?

Although Canada taxes its residents on worldwide income, new permanent residents are allowed to set up offshore trusts to protect their foreign assets and the capital gains they generate, for a period of five years. Since non-resident Canadian citizens do not pay Canadian taxes on worldwide income, you individuals can continue to protect their offshore assets by acquiring Canadian citizenship and becoming non-residents.

It should be noted that there are no estate or succession duties in Canada.

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