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What is a Qualifying Non-Resident Employee

May 1, 2018

Tax Question:

If I am a qualifying non-resident employer, how do I know if an employee is a qualifying non-resident employee?


If you are a certified qualifying non-resident employer, then you do not have to withhold taxes from the salary or other compensation paid to employees that are qualifying non-resident employees in Canada.


In order to be a qualifying non-resident employee, the employee must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a resident of a country that has a tax treaty with Canada at the time of the payment;
  • Not be liable for income tax in Canada due to the tax treaty and the type of payment received; and
  • Either work less than 45 days in the calendar year in Canada or is present less than 90 days in any 12 month period in Canada.

Working days are counted based on days in Canada in which the employee is paid for work. This would exclude weekends, days off and holidays. Conversely, days of presence is counted based on the days the employee is in Canada whether working or not. In addition, even though income tax would not be withheld, Canada Pension Plan (CPP) contributions and Employment Insurance (EI) premiums may still have to be deducted. If the employer does not have an establishment in Canada or the employee has coverage in their country of residence (must produce a certificate of the coverage), then CPP contributions are not required. Similarly, if an employee has comparable coverage in their country of residence, then EI premiums are not required.

If you would like more information on this topic, please contact a member of the Empire CPA team by filling out the contact form below.

Canadian and foreign tax laws are complex and have a tendency to change on a frequent basis. As such, the content published above is believed to be accurate as of the date of this post. Before implementing any tax planning, please seek professional advice from a qualified tax professional. Empire, Chartered Professional Accountants will not accept any liability for any tax ramifications that may result from acting based on the information contained above.

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