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How Canadians Pay No Taxes
(Non-Residency Guide)

Table of Contents

Canada, known for its stunning landscapes and high quality of life, also holds the reputation of being one of the highest taxed nations globally. With the average Canadian family dedicating a significant portion of their household income, approximately 45%, to taxes, many individuals are exploring ways to alleviate this financial burden. 

In this article, we delve into the intricacies of Canadian taxation, the challenges it poses, and explore the process of becoming a non-resident to minimize tax obligations. At GenZone, we specialize in assisting individuals worldwide in setting up companies, obtaining residency, becoming tax residents, and establishing personal and business bank accounts in Dubai to optimize their tax positions.

I. Understanding Canadian Taxation: A Closer Look at the Numbers

A. Canada’s Global Tax Ranking

Canada stands as the 25th highest taxed country out of 172 nations globally, placing it in the upper third spectrum of countries with the highest tax rates. The Canadian tax system operates on a bracketeer system, where higher income earners face elevated tax rates. For individuals making over $250,000, tax rates can surpass 50%, and additional sales taxes ranging from 5% to 15% further contribute to the overall financial burden.

B. The Bracketeer System: Earning More, Taxed More

Navigating the Canadian tax landscape involves understanding the bracketeer system, where higher income levels place individuals in progressively higher tax brackets. This results in a higher percentage of income being allocated to taxes, emphasizing the need for strategic tax planning for high-income earners.

II. The Crux of the Matter: Becoming a Non-Resident to Avoid Canadian Taxes

A. The Non-Resident Status and its Implications

The key to escaping the grasp of Canadian taxes lies in becoming a non-resident. The Income Tax Act in Canada governs the rules for Canadian residency and non-residency, emphasizing the importance of residential ties in determining one’s tax status.

B. Significant Residential Ties: Primary Factors in Residency Determination

  • Home Ownership: Owning a primary residence in Canada is considered a significant residential tie. This tie is irrespective of whether the property is owned, rented, or leased, emphasizing the importance of the primary place of residence in Canada.
  • Spousal Ties: Having a spouse or common-law partner in Canada, even if the individual seeking non-residency is not physically present in the country, constitutes another significant residential tie.
  • Dependents in Canada: Having dependents, such as children or individuals under one’s care, residing in Canada adds another layer of residential ties.

C. Secondary Residential Ties: Additional Considerations

Canada recognizes secondary residential ties, which may or may not influence one’s residency status. While it is advisable to minimize these ties, some secondary ties include personal property in Canada, social ties, economic ties, and legal ties.

  • Personal Property: Owning items like cars or furniture in Canada is considered a secondary residential tie.
  • Social Ties: Memberships in Canadian recreational or religious organizations form another layer of secondary ties.
  • Economic Ties: Holding Canadian bank accounts, credit cards, a driver’s license, a Canadian passport, or health insurance in a Canadian province or territory are all considered secondary ties.

D. The Government’s Criteria for Non-Residency

According to the Government of Canada, an individual may be considered a non-resident if they do not maintain significant residential ties with Canada, reside outside of the country throughout the year, and spend less than 183 days in Canada during the tax year.

III. The Process of Becoming a Non-Resident: Navigating the Steps

A. Lack of Clear-Cut Measures: Understanding the Challenge

The Income Tax Act in Canada does not provide precise steps to become an official non-resident. Instead, the determination relies on a comprehensive evaluation of residential ties.

B. Cutting Ties Strategically: A Path to Non-Residency

Strategically cutting ties with Canada is essential for those aiming to become non-residents. While some ties may be unavoidable, minimizing secondary residential ties is crucial for a successful transition.

IV. The Role of Dubai: A Tax-Friendly Destination for Canadian Expatriates

Moving Your Company to Dubai: A Strategic Decision

For Canadians seeking relief from high taxes, Dubai emerges as an attractive destination. Genzone specializes in facilitating the process of moving companies from Canada to Dubai, providing individuals with a pathway to establish residency and reduce their tax liabilities.


Becoming a non-resident of Canada is a strategic move for individuals seeking to minimize their tax burden and explore opportunities in tax-friendly jurisdictions like Dubai. Understanding the intricate ties that determine residency status and strategically cutting these ties is crucial for a successful transition. As experts in assisting individuals in establishing themselves in Dubai, Genzone offers a comprehensive solution for Canadians looking to optimize their tax positions. 

To explore the possibilities of moving your company from Canada to Dubai and establishing residency, book a call with our team using the link in our description. Genzone is committed to guiding you through every step of this transformative journey, helping you achieve financial efficiency and a new chapter in your life.

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