Moving From UK to Canada Tax Residents Implications & Cross border Taxes For Expats

Moving from the UK to Canada: Tax Implications Detailed

There are many tax implications of moving from the UK to Canada. Making the move from the bustling streets of London to the expansive landscapes of Canada is exhilarating. Yet, amidst the excitement, understanding the intricate web of tax implications is crucial. While both countries share similarities, there are distinct differences in their tax systems.

Taxes in the UK and Canada is a complex subject, be careful not to be taxed twice.

Cross border taxation is a complex subject. Ensure you work with a tax professional to get a clear and actionable plan

Canadian Residency Status:

Understanding the Canadian tax residency is pivotal when moving to Canada. In Canada, your tax obligations revolve around your residency status. Canada has specific guidelines to determine if you are a resident or non-resident for tax purposes. 

Residential Ties:

Canada primarily determines your tax residency based on residential ties. These ties include:

  • A home in Canada
  • A spouse or common-law partner in Canada
  • Dependents in Canada

The more significant ties you have, the more likely you will be considered a resident for tax purposes.

Days in Canada – The Sojourning Rule:

Even if you don’t have significant ties to Canada, if you stay in the country for 183 days or more in a calendar year, you are deemed a resident for tax purposes for the entire year. This is known as the “sojourning rule.”

Example 1: Sarah, originally from London, spends 190 days in Ontario within a calendar year without a permanent home or immediate family in Canada. She is still considered a tax resident due to the sojourning rule.

Example 2: James from New York spends 150 days in British Columbia in 2023 and rents a condo during his stay. Though he hasn’t crossed the 183-day threshold, if he also has other residential ties, such as a Canadian driving license or a Canadian bank account, the CRA (Canada Revenue Agency) might consider him a tax resident.

Example 3: Emma, from Texas, comes to Quebec for a 5-month work assignment totalling 150 days. She has no other ties to Canada and returns to the US after her assignment. Emma wouldn’t typically be considered a tax resident in this scenario.

Part-Year Residents:

If you move to or from Canada within a year, you might be considered a part-year resident. In this situation, you’re only taxed on worldwide income for the part of the year you were a Canadian resident. You’re only taxed on Canadian-sourced income for the rest of the year.

Taxable Income in the UK and Canada:

UK: Tax is levied on various incomes such as employment, rental, and interest. Non-residents pay tax only on income sourced in the UK.

Canada: Residents pay tax on worldwide income. Non-residents are taxed solely on Canadian-sourced income. This includes employment in Canada, business income, and rental income from Canadian properties.

Canadian Income Tax Rates:

Canada’s income tax system is progressive, meaning individuals pay increasing tax rates on higher income levels. The federal government and each province or territory levy personal income taxes, but the rates and brackets vary across jurisdictions.

Canada’s Federal Tax Rates for 2023: (Note: Rates are for illustrative purposes, as they can change yearly.)


 – $49,231 or less 15%

 – $49,231 to $98,040:5%

 – $98,040 to $151,978: 26%

 – $151,979 to $216,511: 29%

 – Over $216,511: 33%


On top of the federal rates, each province has its own tax rates. For simplicity, let’s look at the combined federal and provincial tax rates for Ontario for 2023:


 – $49,232 or less 05%

 – $49,232 to $53,359; 15%

 – $53,360 to $86,696:65%

 – $86,697 to $98,463;48%

 – $98,463 to $102,139:89%

 – $102,140 to $106,717:91%

 – $106,718 to $150,000;41%

 – $150,000 to $165,430:78%

 – $150,000 to $165,430:97%

 – $165,431 to $220,000:29%

 – $220,001 to $235,675:85%

 – Over $235,675:53%


Example 1: Tom earns $40,000 annually in Ontario. He’d be in the first tax bracket. His combined federal and provincial tax would be 20.05% of his taxable income.

Remember, these are basic rates. Various factors can influence an individual’s effective tax rate, such as deductions, non-refundable tax credits, and other tax-saving strategies. It’s also crucial to consider other taxes, like the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) contributions and Canada’s Employment Insurance (EI) premiums, that might be applicable based on your earnings and employment situation. Consulting with tax professionals can provide tailored advice and strategies for individual circumstances.

Canada & UK Benefits and Credits:

UK: The UK offers various tax reliefs and allowances, like Marriage Allowance or Blind Person’s Allowance.

Canada: Canadian residents can access a range of credits like the Canada Child Benefit or the GST/HST credit. Provinces like British Columbia have additional credits and benefits tailored to their residents.

Canada & UK Returns:

UK: Individuals usually file through the Self Assessment system. Important to note, the UK tax year runs from April 6 to April 5.

Canada: The Canadian tax year is from January 1 to December 31. Canadian Tax returns are typically due by April 30 of the following year. Canada uses the T1 General Tax Form, with different provinces, like Quebec, having additional forms.

UK & Canada Pension and Retirement:

UK: The UK offers a State Pension based on National Insurance contributions. There are also private pension schemes, with tax relief available on contributions.

Canada: The Canada Pension Plan (CPP) or Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) in Quebec is essential for retirees. There’s also the Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP), where contributions are tax-deductible.

Canada & UK Treaties and Double Taxation:

Canada and the UK Tax Treaty: Canada and the UK have a treaty to prevent individuals from being taxed twice on the same income. It dictates which country has taxing rights on specific types of income. For instance, a UK expatriate in Ontario might have a UK-sourced pension income. The treaty will detail how this pension is taxed.

Navigating this maze requires expertise. Whether you’re a UK citizen contemplating life in the snowy peaks of British Columbia or the bustling cities of Ontario and Quebec, it’s crucial to arm yourself with the right knowledge. And that’s where our team shines. We break down the complex into understandable, ensuring your transition is seamless and tax-efficient.


Navigating the UK to Canada tax implications can be challenging, especially when considering the specific tax considerations for UK residents in Canada. Our tax guide for Brits in Canada offers comprehensive insights, assisting those moving to Canada from UK taxes in understanding their financial obligations. As Canada tax for UK expats varies, every UK citizen moving to Canada should seek tailored tax advice to ensure compliance and optimize their finances.

FAQ considerations for UK residents moving into Canada - Taxes that affect Brits

What are the main UK to Canada tax implications I should be aware of when relocating?

When moving from the UK to Canada, you'll need to be aware of potential double taxation, residency status changes, and differences in tax systems. It's essential to understand the tax treaties between the two countries and any credits available to avoid being taxed twice on the same income.

How does moving to Canada affect my UK taxes?

Once you become a Canadian resident for tax purposes, you'll primarily pay tax in Canada on your global income. However, you might still have UK tax obligations if you receive income from the UK, such as rental income from a UK property.

Are there specific Canada tax considerations for UK expats?

Yes, UK expats in Canada need to consider issues such as transferring or cashing out UK pensions, handling UK investments, and managing any ongoing UK income. Furthermore, understanding the Canada-UK tax treaty can help in optimizing tax strategies.

As a UK citizen moving to Canada, where can I get specialized tax advice?

It's crucial to consult with tax professionals familiar with both UK and Canadian tax systems. They can provide insights into your specific situation, ensure you're compliant with all tax obligations, and help you make the most of any available tax benefits.

Is there a comprehensive tax guide for Brits in Canada?

While there are several resources online, it's recommended to use a combination of official government resources and guidance from specialized tax professionals. A tailored tax guide can help address unique situations faced by British expats in Canada.

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