- Waiver requests: the processing of applications to CRA for a waiver of the withholding requirement in respect of payments for services rendered in Canada by non-residents, or remuneration paid to a non-resident officer or employee, was temporarily interrupted due to the COVID crisis. Requests not processed within 30 days due to this interruption will not result in an assessment for failure to deduct, withhold or remit in respect of those amounts. Urgent waiver requests may be submitted electronically on a temporary basis. CRA will review on a case-by-case basis situations where the waiver request could not be submitted due to travel restrictions. Both the non-resident and the person paying the amount must otherwise fulfil their Canadian reporting and remitting obligations in respect of the waiver application.
- Disposition of taxable Canadian property by non-residents: Where a non-resident has submitted a request for a Section 116 Certificate in respect of a disposition of taxable Canadian property, and the certificate has not been issued by the time a purchaser’s remittance is due to CRA’s temporary interruption of processing such requests as a result of the COVID crisis, the purchaser or vendor may request a comfort letter from CRA. Urgent requests for comfort letters may be submitted by email on a temporary basis, or by contacting the CRA’s Individual tax enquiries line at 1-800-959-8281.
The above guidance applied from March 16, 2020, to September 30, 2020. CRA has not extended such guidance beyond September 30, 2020.
- Withholdings: On October 15, the CRA issued a guidance to address the situation that may arise if a non-resident employee of a non-resident employer travelled to Canada for personal reasons and, as a result of the travel restrictions, was unable to return to their country of residence. If the non-resident employee performs their duties of employment remotely while in Canada, the CRA will not assess or penalize the non-resident employer for failing to withhold the required Canadian payroll deductions, in respect of remuneration paid to this non-resident employee, provided that certain conditions are met. This administrative position will apply beginning on the day the non-resident employee began working remotely in Canada because they were unable to return back to their country of tax residence due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, and ending at the earliest of:
- the day the non-resident employee returned or was able to return to their jurisdiction of residence;
- the day specified on a Regulation 102 waiver relieving the non-resident employee from the relevant Canadian withholdings;
- the day the non-resident employer was certified by the Minister as a qualifying non-resident employer and the non-resident employee was also a qualifying non-resident employee; or
- December 31, 2020.
Federal Tax Measures for Charities
Flexibility for Registered Charities