Can You Be Resident in More Than One Place?

“An individual’s residency often depends on his ties to a country.”

Mr. Hauser, an Air Canada pilot, claimed to be a non-resident of Canada, and resident in the Bahamas (2006 FCA 216 and [2005] 4 CTC 2260).

The Tax Court held that he was dual resident. This was confirmed by the Federal Court of Appeal. The CRA agreed that he was a resident of the Bahamas, so that was not an issue.

Mr. Hauser’s ties to Canada were extensive, even after he and his spouse moved to the Bahamas. They included:

  • His continued employment by Air Canada from his Toronto base;
  • A joint bank account in Ontario, to which his salary was deposited;
  • Follow-up medical and dental visits to Ontario practitioners;
  • Spending nights at his mother-in-law’s home in Ontario, where he kept clothes and uniforms;
  • Using his mother-in-laws’ address as his mailing address;
  • Purchasing a car in Ontario, which was later sold;
  • Spending many days in Canada during the period under appeal – over 180 days, for example, in 1998 and 2000, according to calculations made by the Court.

There is no tax treaty between Canada and the Bahamas, so an individual can be held to be resident in both jurisdictions.

The Tax Court held that he was dual resident in Canada and the Bahamas. He was consequently liable to Canadian taxation on his worldwide income.

The Federal Court of Appeal unanimously upheld that decision; noting that Mr. Hauser’s presence in Canada was not “occasional, casual, deviatory, intermittent, or transitory.”

It is clear that, in the absence of a tax treaty with the other jurisdiction, a taxpayer cannot claim to be a non-resident of Canada merely by becoming resident elsewhere. He or she must cut all ties with Canada, which Mr. Hauser certainly did not.

TAX TIP OF THE WEEK is provided as a free service to clients and friends of the Tax Specialist Group member firms. The Tax Specialist Group is a national affiliation of firms who specialize in providing tax consulting services to other professionals, businesses and high net worth individuals on Canadian and international tax matters and tax disputes.

The material provided in Tax Tip of the Week is believed to be accurate and reliable as of the date it is written. Tax laws are complex and are subject to frequent change. Professional advice should always be sought before implementing any tax planning arrangements. Neither the Tax Specialist Group nor any member firm can accept any liability for the tax consequences that may result from acting based on the contents hereof.

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