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Can Canadians Pay Zero Tax Legally In Dubai?

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If you’re pondering the idea of swapping the frosty Canadian winters for the sun-soaked landscapes of Dubai and enjoying the sweet taste of 0% tax, you’re in for a treat. Genzone helps Business Owners move from Canada to Dubai to savor the amazing benefits this vibrant city has to offer – from low taxation rates and an unparalleled quality of life to fantastic weather and countless business opportunities.

Now, you’re probably eyeing Dubai for similar reasons or perhaps a unique motivation of your own. If the prospect of tax relief is on your radar, there are crucial things you must know before embarking on this exciting journey. Grab a seat as I share insights that can help you legally slash your taxes to nearly zero, ensuring a smooth transition without any looming tax-related surprises down the road.


Before we dive in, let’s get this out of the way – what you’re about to read is not tax or financial advice. Everything shared here is for educational purposes only. If you’re seriously considering making Dubai your new home, reach out to us or consult a local professional to navigate the specifics. We at Genzone specialize in helping business owners to make Dubai their new base, so feel free to book a call with us for personalized assistance.

Decoding Ties to Canada: Primary vs. Secondary

First things first, let’s talk about ties – not the neckwear kind, but the connections you maintain with Canada. These ties can be categorized into primary and secondary.

Primary Ties to Canada:

  • Home in Canada:If you still own a primary residence in Canada, it’s a strong tie that can tag you as a taxable resident.
  • Spouse or Common Law Partner: Having a significant other in Canada can be a tie, but fear not – there are ways to navigate this without breaking any hearts.
  • Dependents: Just like with partners, bringing along dependents requires a thoughtful transition to ensure you’re not leaving any ties behind.


Secondary Ties to Canada:

  • Personal Property: Items like furniture and cars in Canada can be considered secondary ties. Reducing or parting ways with them is advisable.
  • Social Ties: Memberships to Canadian organizations fall under this category. Trimming social ties helps limit exposure.
  • Economic Ties: Bank accounts, credit cards, and economic links should be reviewed and minimized, although some flexibility is reasonable.
  • Driver’s License: Swapping your Canadian driver’s license for a UAE license is not just a legal requirement but also a step toward severing ties.
  • Canadian Passport: Holding on to your Canadian passport is entirely reasonable and won’t be a significant tie.
  • Health Insurance: Shifting from Canadian provincial health care to private international health insurance is necessary but straightforward.
Determining Residency Status: From Factual to Deemed

Once you’ve dealt with ties, the next step is to determine your residency status and understand its tax implications. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) uses terms like factual resident, deemed non-resident, and more. Let’s break it down:

Factual Resident:

If you maintain significant ties with Canada, you may be considered a factual resident, even if you’re temporarily working or vacationing outside Canada. This can impact your tax obligations.

Deemed Non-Resident:

If you establish ties in a country with a tax treaty with Canada, you might be deemed a non-resident. This involves maintaining significant ties with Canada while being a resident of another country.


If you don’t have significant residential ties with Canada and have lived outside the country throughout the year, you may be considered a non-resident. Staying in Canada for less than 183 days is crucial.

NR73 Form: A Handy Tool

As you embark on the journey to becoming a non-resident of Canada, consider the NR73 form as your trusty guide. Although not obligatory, this form is a powerful tool to seek clarity from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) regarding your residency status when bidding adieu to the Great White North. Here’s why it’s a valuable asset:

1. Precision in Determination:

The NR73 form allows you to present a comprehensive overview of your situation. It prompts you to provide essential details, making your case more transparent. This precision aids the CRA in offering a tailored response to your residency status.

2. Avoiding Ambiguity:

Residency status isn’t always black and white. Using the NR73 form helps you articulate the specifics of your move, reducing any ambiguity that might arise when assessing your ties to Canada. It’s your chance to paint a clear picture for the CRA.

3. Expert Guidance:

Filling out the NR73 form might seem daunting, but fear not – seeking professional guidance, either from us at Genzone or a local expert, can make the process smoother. This ensures that your responses align with your intentions and legal requirements.

4. Peace of Mind:

Navigating the residency landscape can be stressful. The NR73 form, when used wisely, provides a roadmap for your tax obligations. It offers peace of mind by fostering a transparent and honest dialogue between you and the CRA.

Strategic Moves for a Tax-Friendly Transition: A Recap

As you gear up for a tax-friendly transition to Dubai, let’s quickly recap the strategic moves to ensure a seamless and legal process.

1. Cut Primary Ties: Bid Farewell to Significance

Say your goodbyes to primary ties such as your Canadian residence, partner, and dependents. This step is pivotal in shedding your resident status and embracing a new chapter in Dubai.

2. Limit Secondary Ties: Minimize Exposure

Trim down social, economic, and personal ties to Canada. The goal is to minimize your exposure to secondary ties, allowing for a cleaner break and reducing any lingering tax obligations.

3. Spend Less Than 183 Days in Canada: Avoid Residency Snags

Keep a close eye on your calendar. Ensure you spend fewer than 183 days in Canada, steering clear of any residency pitfalls. This simple but crucial step can make a significant difference in your tax obligations.

4. Honesty is the Best Policy: Play it Fair and Square

Attempting to outsmart the system may lead to complications. The CRA is astute and vigilant. Honesty is your ally in this journey. Play it fair and square to ensure a smooth transition without any unexpected hurdles.

Book a Call for a Smooth Sailing Transition

Remember, you’re not alone in this. If the idea of navigating the tax intricacies feels overwhelming, we’ve got your back. Whether you’re packing your bags or just contemplating the move, booking a call with us ensures personalized assistance and expert guidance. Our goal is to make your transition to Dubai as seamless and legal as possible.

So, Canucks, with the NR73 form in hand and a strategic plan in mind, you’re all set to embark on your tax-friendly adventure to Dubai. For those considering the move, safe travels, and we look forward to welcoming you to the sunny side of taxation!

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