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Frequently Asked Questions on Foreign Assets Reporting

If you have a question, you may find your answer here in our FAQ section. Click on the topics (listed in alphabetic order) below to view the subtopics (if any), questions and answers. Post-publication changes in legislation, government policies, or the interpretation of the law could affect the validity of the information contained herein. Answers provided are current as of the date on which they are added.

Answers to these questions are not an exhaustive treatment or analysis of such subject(s) and related law. Accordingly, information herein is not intended to constitute accounting, tax, legal, investment, consulting or other professional advice or services. Before making any decision or taking any action that might affect your personal finances or business, you should consult a qualified professional adviser. Use of information is at your own risk.

More information on this topic can be found in our article titled "Foreign Assets Reporting". This article is available for purchase in our e Store.

  1. Who must report foreign assets?

    Canadian resident individuals, corporations, partnerships and trusts who have offshore investments totaling more than Canadian $100,000 in cost or book value (not the fair market value in the year of reporting) at any time during the taxation year must report these assets to CRA in their income tax return, regardless of whether these assets have generated any taxable income. Details of where the assets are held are generally not required. However, taxpayers must indicate the value by checking off the appropriate asset category box in the form.

    [This answer was added on April 10, 2009.]

  2. What assets must be reported?

    They include:

    • foreign bank account holdings;
    • shares of Canadian corporations held outside Canada;
    • shares of non-resident corporations held by the resident taxpayer or on deposit with a Canadian or foreign broker;
    • real estate (excluding land and buildings for personal use) located outside Canada;
    • precious metals, gold certificates and futures held outside Canada;
    • interests in mutual funds which are organized in a foreign jurisdiction;
    • patents, copyrights or trademarks held outside Canada; and
    • other income-earning foreign properties.

    Interests in or rights to specified foreign property, Canadian property that is convertible to specified foreign property, and debts owed by non-residents such as government or corporate bonds, debentures, or mortgages must also be reported.

    In addition to the reporting requirement, all income generated by foreign properties must be reported and taxed accordingly.

    [This answer was added on April 10, 2009.]

[This page was added on April 6, 2009, last revised on April 10, 2009.]