I'm an American software developer working for an American financial services company that only services American citizens and permanent residents. I am a remote worker who lives and works in Michigan.

My partner lives and works in Toronto, Ontario. Canada.

I take trips to visit Toronto and the trips are usually only about 4-7 days about once a month or every two months. These are personal trips to visit my partner and have no business purpose. I have been taking PTO so far, but visiting monthly or every other month I would really like to be able to work from Canada during these trips. I will not be working with any Canadian citizens or businesses. I do not own property in Canada and will not be using any Canadian facilities for performing business. I will not be in Canada greater than 6 months for any given year. My line of work will not compete with Canadian workers as is it a American financial institution that only services American citizens.

Has anyone had experience with this? Any known documentation published from government sites (both American and Canadian) that address this topic? In particular as it relates to taxes and corporate responsibility for these taxes?

My research:

Canadian Taxes & Residency

Understanding: I do not have significant or secondary residential ties, and my partner and I are not classified as common law partners as me and my partner spend majority of our time separated and do not co-habituate regularly.

If you did not have significant residential ties with Canada and you stayed in Canada for less than 183 days in the tax year, you may be considered a non-resident of Canada

Source (Residential Ties): https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/international-non-residents/information-been-moved/determining-your-residency-status.html

Source (Common Law Partners):(https://www.cic.gc.ca/english/helpcentre/answer.asp?qnum=346&top=14

Understanding: I am a non-resident due to lack of significant residential ties and no business being conducted in, with, or in competition of Canadian citizens and organizations.

Source: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/international-non-residents/information-been-moved/determining-your-residency-status.html

Source: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/individuals/topics/about-your-tax-return/tax-return/completing-a-tax-return/personal-address-information/marital-status.html

This can be confirmed by the Canadian Government by submitting a NR74 to determine residency status: https://www.canada.ca/content/dam/cra-arc/formspubs/pbg/nr74/nr74-17e.pdf

Understanding: My income is not taxable in Canada as it is not coming from a Canadian source:

As a non-resident of Canada, you pay tax on income you receive from sources in Canada.

Source: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/international-non-residents/individuals-leaving-entering-canada-non-residents/non-residents-canada.html#txblgtns

U.S. Taxes & Residency

Understanding: I am U.S. resident because I am a U.S born Citizen, own a home in the U.S., and spend majority of my time in the United States. As such, I must pay U.S. income taxes (as I do today).

If you are a U.S. citizen or resident alien, the rules for filing income, estate, and gift tax returns and paying estimated tax are generally the same whether you are in the United States or abroad. You are subject to tax on worldwide income from all sources and must report all taxable income and pay taxes according to the Internal Revenue Code.

Source: https://www.irs.gov/individuals/international-taxpayers/us-citizens-and-resident-aliens-abroad

Note: I am working with my employer, reaching out to lawyers in both the U.S. and Canada for paid legal opinions. Just looking to be as informed as possible.

  • 1
    This is a good question. There are lots of questions with similar fact patterns at this site, although I don't recall seeing one on U.S.-Canada in particular and the particular countries involved do matter do to tax treaties, etc. I don't have a pat answer off the cuff but will research it if I have time. Analysis of U.S. tax law, Canadian tax law, and their tax treaty is all required for a full answer.
    – ohwilleke
    Aug 3, 2022 at 23:18
  • 2
    Source (Residential Ties), Source (Common Law Partners). You seem to already fall into the traps of mixing definitions for different purposes (determination of tax residency and eligibility for immigration sponsorship)... The proper definition for tax purposes is canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/individuals/topics/….
    – xngtng
    Aug 4, 2022 at 7:35
  • 1
    You (your employer) can ask for a determination from the CRA: canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/… with respect to the obligations in Canada. There are other non-tax legislative considerations (provincial labour law, workplace insurance law etc.) as well. Crossborder working is a mess.
    – xngtng
    Aug 4, 2022 at 7:41
  • @xngtng Your last link is very helpful and might be exactly what I'm looking for.
    – S.B.
    Aug 4, 2022 at 13:35
  • 1
    Canada explicitly allows visitors to work remotely for their foreign employers -- as far as immigration law goes. I've never seen any official mention of the applicability of Canadian labor laws in such cases nor of the tax implications. Traditionally, and this is the US view, income derived from work done in a jurisdiction is "sourced" from that jurisdiction regardless of the employer's location (i.e., income from remote work performed in the US for a foreign employer is US-source income). But the wording "sources in Canada" suggests that they may view this question differently.
    – phoog
    Aug 4, 2022 at 13:52


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