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Nonresidents of Canada who are present in the country for 183 days or more in a calendar year are generally considered residents and liable for Canadian income tax on their worldwide income. Those who work in Canada for shorter periods are considered nonresidents and are usually taxed only on their Canadian-source income, such as salary and capital gains from the disposition of certain Canadian property. Nonresidents may also benefit from tax treaties.

Individuals employed by companies or other organizations usually have personal taxes

deducted from their pay and remitted to the government. Those who are self-employed (or for other reasons do not have taxes deducted by an employer) must usually make quarterly payments based on estimated income. Tax returns for most individuals must be filed by 30 April of the year following the tax year.

Taxable income and rates
The provinces and territories apply their own tax rates rather than charging tax as a percentage of the basic federal tax liability, although the federal government is the tax collector for every jurisdiction except Quebec.

Personal income tax rates are progressive and vary by jurisdiction. The top marginal combined federal and provincial/territorial rates for 2008 range from 39% in Alberta to 48.25% in Nova Scotia. Quebec's top marginal rate is 48.22% and Ontario's is 46.41%.

Determination of taxable income
Taxable income for Canadian residents is based on worldwide income, including income from wages and salaries, pensions and annuities, El benefits, taxable capital gains on the disposal of investments, interest and dividend income. Old-age security benefits given to high-income earners are reduced under a formula; child tax benefits are not taxable. Excluded from the tax base are gifts, inheritances, lottery winnings and veterans' pension payments. Some personal expenses are partially deductible for tax purposes, including the cost of childcare for working parents. There is a lifetime exemption of CAD 750,000 on capital gains from the sale of qualifying small business shares, farm or fishing property, and generally no tax is paid on the gain from selling a principal residence.

Since dividends are paid after corporate taxes, individual taxpayers may claim a tax credit on dividends. Dividends from taxable Canadian companies are grossed up before being included in taxable income. The dividend-tax credit then reduces a taxpayer's basic federal tax on the grossed-up dividend income. There are two levels of dividend gross-up and tax credit, depending on the nature of the shares held and the income earned by the paying corporation.

Payments into Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs), which are limited by federal government regulation, are the main tax exemption for most Canadians. Contributions are limited to 18% of earned income, with a maximum contribution of CAD 20,000 for 2008 (CAD 21,000 for 2009 and CAD 22,000 for 2010).

Certain employment expenses (e.g. cars, tools and home offices) may be deducted from personal income, but amounts are restricted. Medical costs not covered by the healthcare system may also be deducted up to certain limits. Similar deductions cover education costs and the care of a disabled person.

Special expatriate regime
The Canadian tax regime computes income and tax differently for residents and nonresidents, as noted briefly above. As well, there are special deemed disposition rules that apply when an individual ceases or assumes Canadian residency.

Capital taxes
There are no additional taxes on personal capital, net worth or property.

Source: Deloitte

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