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Canadian Residency Certificates for Tax Purposes - Corporations

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Canadian Residency Certificates need to be legalized for use overseas, and Canada Legalization Services can assist with such service Canadian companies often need to obtain letters from Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) commonly referred to as "Certificates of Canadian Residency" - issued by CRA to a company or to accountants of the company for a particular tax year and in accordance with the tax treaty between Canada and another country where company does business.

Canada Legalization Services helps Canadian and U.S. resident corporations and individuals to legalize quickly CRA and IRS Tax Residency Certificates

Canada has tax conventions or agreements - commonly known as tax treaties - with many countries. A tax treaty is designed to avoid double taxation for corporations and individuals who would otherwise pay taxes on the same income in two countries. If Canada has a tax treaty with another country (the tax treaties can be found using this link ), one can contact the International and Ottawa Tax Services Office using this link for more information about the treaty.

Thus, these Certificates of Canadian Residency are very common as corporations often require them to avail themselves of reduced tax treaty rates for withholding tax, etc. These certificates are usually submitted to the foreign tax authorities either regularly at a certain time in the tax year or ad hoc when needed for a particular tax-related litigation.

In instances where double taxation has occurred, or is expected to occur, in a Treaty jurisdiction and the taxpayer believes that he/she/it is a resident of Canada for Treaty purposes, requests for relief may be submitted to the Competent Authority.

More information on this topic can be found here on CRA website.

Recommended Procedure for Certificates of Canadian Residency

As Canada is not a party to The Hague Apostille Convention, the Certificates of Canadian Residency often need to be authenticated and legalized. The below is the recommended procedure for companies to submit the Tax Certificates in proper order with local specifics taken into account in advance:

  1. Review the tax treaty using the link above and talk to your company's tax agents or your company representatives in the foreign country to finalize specific local requirements for the format of the Tax Residency Certificate. For example, if the language of the foreign country is not English or French, these Certificates often need to obtain certified and notarized translation either in Canada or in the foreign country. The translation can be done either before legalization or after. Additional requirements may be raised by foreign tax authorities for binding/sealing of multiple pages. Certain foreign tax authorities may reject CRA Residency Certificates even after authentication and consular legalization if they are made on several pages (i.e., actual letter plus attached Canadian notarial certificate as 2 pages).
  2. Write an application letter by company to the local tax office where the company returns are filed. The list of local tax services offices or tax centres can be found using this link. There is no prescribed form - a company just needs to write a letter of request explaining to CRA what the certificate is for and what needs to be put there. It may take a month or two to get as CRA basically reviews company tax filings using their residency criteria.
  3. After receiving the original CRA letter, you need to go to Canadian Commissioner-of-Oaths, Notary Public, Lawyer, Student-at-Law or Solicitor/Barrister and to request a certified true copy of the original as Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) stopped authenticating original CRA letters. Depending on the results of Item 1 above, you may be able to translate the document then and bind/seal it properly. Most clients prefer to "squeeze in" notarial text and stamp into the free space on the actual residency letter. Usually, it is not a problem as there is plenty of space on these Certificates. However, if the text from CRA takes more space than usual, a Legal size paper is better to accommodate multiple stamps and signatures of the officials.
  4. The document is then ready for authentication at DFAIT.
  5. After authentication, the document can be legalized at a foreign Embassy/Consulate.

Our Services for Certificates of Canadian Residency

Canada Legalization Services understands that timing of these Tax Residency Certificates is very crucial so we will do our utmost to process you documents ASAP. Many of our domestic and international clients can attest to our professionalism in getting the job done with high service quality.

Usually, we offer our clients either regular or rush service for:

  1. Authentication at DFAIT
  2. Subsequent legalization at a foreign Embassy/Consulate.

To proceed, we will need the following:

  1. Notarized Certificate of Canadian Residency (it may be translated and bound/sealed).
  2. Copy of the Certificate for Embassy/Consulate records (if you would like us to legalize it as well).
  3. Payment in the form described in our Payment Methods section and amount described in our Fees section.
  4. Self-addressed envelope with prepaid airway bill. You can use any courier company but we strongly suggest using FedEx, UPS or DHL for faster return of your documents. If you do not enclose return envelope, we will return your documents either via Canada Post standard or registered mail.

Please contact us in advance if you have any questions. We hope to hear from you soon! 

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