|Pub. 597, Information on the United States-Canada Income Tax Treaty
||2007 Tax Year
Publication 597 - Main Contents
The benefits of the income tax treaty are generally provided on the basis of residence for income tax purposes. That is, a
person who is recognized
as a resident of the United States who has income from Canada, will often pay less income tax to Canada on that income than
if no treaty was in
effect. Article IV provides definitions of residents of Canada and the United States, and provides specific criteria for applying
the treaty in cases
where a taxpayer is considered by both countries to be a resident.
In most instances, a treaty does not affect the right of a foreign country to tax its own residents (including those who are
U.S. citizens) or of
the United States to tax its residents or citizens (including U.S. citizens who are residents of the foreign country). This
provision is known as the
For example, an individual who is a U.S. citizen and a resident of Canada may have dividend income from a U.S. corporation.
The treaty provides a
maximum rate of 15% on dividends received by a resident of Canada from sources in the United States. Even though a resident
of Canada, the individual
is a U.S. citizen and the saving clause overrides the treaty article that limits the U.S. tax to 15%.
Exceptions to the saving clause can be found in Article XXIX, paragraph 3.
If you take the position that any U.S. tax is overruled or otherwise reduced by a U.S. treaty (a treaty-based position), you
disclose that position on Form 8833, Treaty-Based Return Position Disclosure Under Section 6114 or 7701(b), and attach it to your return.
A U.S. citizen or resident who is temporarily present in Canada during the tax year is exempt from Canadian income taxes on
pay for services
performed, or remittances received from the United States, if the citizen or resident qualifies under one of the treaty exemption
provisions set out
Compensation for personal services (Articles XIV, XV, and XVI).
Under the treaty, the exemption from Canadian tax for personal service income of a U.S. resident depends on whether
the services are performed as
an employee (dependent personal services) or as an independent contractor or self-employed individual (independent personal
Income U.S. residents receive for the performance of independent personal services in Canada (except as public entertainers)
is exempt from
Canadian tax if they do not have (and have not had) a fixed base regularly available to them in Canada for the purpose of
performing the services. If
the U.S. residents have (or had) a fixed base available in Canada, under the treaty they are taxed by Canada only on the income
attributable to the
Income U.S. residents receive for the performance of dependent personal services in Canada (except as public entertainers)
is exempt from Canadian
tax if it is not more than $10,000 in Canadian currency for the year. If it is more than $10,000 for the year, it is exempt
The residents are present in Canada for no more than 183 days during the calendar year, and
The income is not paid by a Canadian resident employer or by a permanent establishment or fixed base of an employer in Canada.
For example, assume that you are a U.S. resident employed under an 8-month contract with a Canadian firm to install
equipment in their Montreal
plant. During the calendar year you were physically present in Canada for 179 days and were paid $16,500 (Canadian) for your
services. Although you
were in Canada for not more than 183 days during the year, your income is not exempt from Canadian income tax because it was
paid by a Canadian
employer and was more than $10,000 (Canadian) for the year.
Pay received by a U.S. resident for work regularly done in more than one country as an employee on a ship, aircraft,
motor vehicle, or train
operated by a U.S. resident is exempt from Canadian tax.
The exemptions for either dependent or independent personal services do not apply to public entertainers (such as
theater, motion picture, radio,
or television artistes, musicians, or athletes) from the United States who derive more than $15,000 in gross receipts in Canadian
reimbursed expenses, from their entertainment activities in Canada during the calendar year. However, the exemptions do apply,
regardless of this
$15,000 limit, to athletes participating in team sports in leagues with regularly scheduled games in both the United States
Compensation paid by the U.S. Government (Article XIX).
Wages, salaries, and similar income (other than pensions) paid to a U.S. citizen by the United States or any of its
agencies, instrumentalities, or
political subdivisions for discharging governmental functions are exempt from Canadian income tax.
The exemption does not apply to pay for services performed in connection with any trade or business carried on for
profit by the United States, or
any of its agencies, instrumentalities, or political subdivisions.
Students and apprentices (Article XX).
A full-time student, apprentice, or business trainee who is in Canada to study or acquire business experience is exempt
from Canadian income tax on
remittances received from any source outside Canada for maintenance, education, or training. The recipient must be or must
have been a U.S. resident
immediately before visiting Canada.
Pensions, Annuities, Social Security, and Alimony
Under Article XVIII, pensions and annuities from Canadian sources paid to U.S. residents are subject to tax by Canada, but
the tax is limited to
15% of the gross amount (if a periodic pension payment) or of the taxable amount (if an annuity). Canadian pensions and annuities
paid to U.S.
residents may be taxed by the United States, but the amount of any pension included in income for U.S. tax purposes may not
be more than the amount
that would be included in income in Canada if the recipient were a Canadian resident.
A pension includes any payment under a pension or other retirement arrangement, and payments under a sickness, accident,
or disability plan. It
includes pensions paid by private employers and the government for services rendered. Pensions also include payments from
arrangements (IRAs) in the United States, registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs) and registered retirement income funds
(RRIFs) in Canada.
Pensions do not include social security benefits.
Generally, income that accrues in a Canadian RRSP or RRIF is subject to U.S. tax, even if it is not distributed. However,
a U.S. citizen or
resident can elect to defer U.S. tax on income from the plan until the income is distributed. Form 8891 is used to make the
An annuity is a stated sum payable periodically at stated times, during life, or during a specified number of years,
under an obligation to make
the payments in return for adequate and full consideration (other than services rendered).
Social security benefits.
Benefits paid under the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), Quebec Pension Plan (QPP), and Old Age Security (OAS) program to
a U.S. resident are taxable
only in the United States.
These Canadian benefits are treated as U.S. social security benefits for U.S. tax purposes. If your total income is
above certain limits, a maximum
of 85% of your benefits will be subject to U.S. tax. See Publication 915, Social Security and Equivalent Railroad Retirement Benefits,
more information on the tax on U.S. social security benefits. Any benefit under the social security legislation of Canada
that would not be subject to
Canadian tax if paid to a resident of Canada is not subject to U.S. tax.
Alimony and similar amounts (including child support payments) from Canadian sources paid to U.S. residents are exempt
from Canadian tax. For
purposes of U.S. tax, these amounts are excluded from income to the same extent they would be excluded from income in Canada
if the recipient was a
Investment Income from Canadian Sources
The treaty provides beneficial treatment for certain items of Canadian source income that result from an investment of capital.
Dividends (Article X).
For Canadian source dividends received by U.S. residents, the Canadian income tax generally may not be more than 15%.
A 5% rate limit applies to intercorporate dividends paid from a subsidiary to a parent corporation owning at least
10% of the subsidiary's voting
stock. However, a 10% rate applies if the payer of the dividend is a nonresident-owned Canadian investment corporation.
These limits do not apply to dividends arising from a business carried on in Canada through a permanent establishment
or fixed base of the
recipient if the holding on which the income is paid is effectively connected with that permanent establishment or fixed base.
Interest (Article XI).
For Canadian source interest received by U.S. residents, the Canadian income tax generally may not be more than 10%.
This limit does not apply to interest arising from a business carried on in Canada through a permanent establishment
or fixed base of the recipient
if the debt on which the income is paid is effectively connected with that permanent establishment or fixed base.
Gains from the sale of property (Article XIII).
Gains from the sale of personal property by a U.S. resident having no permanent establishment or fixed base in Canada
are exempt from Canadian
income tax. However, the exemption from Canadian tax does not apply to gains realized by U.S. residents on Canadian real property,
and on personal
property belonging to a permanent establishment or fixed base of the taxpayers in Canada.
If the property subject to Canadian tax is a capital asset and was owned by the U.S. resident on September 26, 1980,
not as part of the business
property of a permanent establishment or fixed base in Canada, generally the taxable gain is limited to the appreciation after
Royalties (Article XII).
For Canadian source royalties received by U.S. residents, the Canadian income tax generally may not be more than 10%.
The following are exempt from Canadian tax:
Copyright royalties and other like payments for the production or reproduction of any literary, dramatic, musical, or artistic
than payments for motion pictures and works on film, videotape, or other means of reproduction for use in connection with
Payments for the use of, or the right to use, computer software,
Payments for the use of, or the right to use, any patent or any information concerning industrial, commercial, or scientific
not within a rental or franchise agreement), and
Payments for broadcasting as agreed to in an exchange of notes between the countries.
The limit or exemption does not apply if the right or property on which the royalties are paid is effectively connected
with the U.S. resident's
permanent establishment or fixed base in Canada.
United States income tax return.
Under Article XXI, you may deduct contributions to certain qualified Canadian charitable organizations on your United
States income tax return.
Besides being subject to the overall limits applicable to all your charitable contributions under U.S. tax law, your charitable
Canadian organizations (other than contributions to a college or university at which you or a member of your family is or
was enrolled) are subject to
the U.S. percentage limits on charitable contributions, applied to your Canadian source income. If your return does not include
gross income from
Canadian sources, charitable contributions to Canadian organizations are generally not deductible.
You are a U.S. citizen living in Canada. You have both U.S. and Canadian source income. During your tax year, you contribute
organizations that would qualify as charitable organizations under U.S. tax law if they were U.S. organizations.
To figure the maximum amount of the contribution to Canadian organizations that you can deduct on your U.S. income tax return,
adjusted gross income from Canadian sources by the percentage limit that applies to contributions under U.S. income tax law.
Then include this amount
on your return along with all your domestic charitable contributions, subject to the appropriate percentage limit required
for contributions under
U.S. income tax law. The appropriate percentage limit for U.S. tax purposes is applied to your total adjusted gross income
from all sources.
These Canadian organizations must meet the qualifications that a U.S. charitable organization must meet under U.S.
tax law. Usually an organization
will notify you if it qualifies. For further information on charitable contributions and the U.S. percentage limits, see Publication
Canadian income tax return.
Under certain conditions, contributions to qualified U.S. charitable organizations may also be claimed on your Canadian
income tax return if you
are a Canadian resident.
The treaty contains a credit provision (Article XXIV) for the elimination of double taxation. In general, the United States
and Canada both allow a
credit against their income tax for the income tax paid to the other country on income from sources in that other country.
For detailed discussions of
the U.S. income tax treatment of tax paid to foreign countries, see Publication 514, Foreign Tax Credit for Individuals.
See paragraphs (4) and (5) of Article XXIV for certain provisions that affect the computation of the credit allowed by the
United States for
Canadian income taxes paid by U.S. citizens residing in Canada.
Competent Authority Assistance
Under Article XXVI, a U.S. citizen or resident may request assistance from the U.S. competent authority when the actions of
Canada, the United
States, or both, potentially result in double taxation or taxation contrary to the treaty. The U.S. competent authority may
then consult with the
Canadian competent authority to determine if the double taxation or denial of treaty benefits in question can be avoided.
It is important that your request for competent authority assistance be made as soon as you have been notified by either Canada
or the United
States of proposed adjustments that would result in denial of treaty benefits or in double taxation. This is so that implementation
of any agreement
reached by the competent authorities is not barred by administrative, legal, or procedural barriers. Revenue Procedure 2002-52
information that you should include with your request for competent authority assistance.
The request should be addressed to:
Director, International (LMSB)
Attn: Office of Tax Treaty
Internal Revenue Service
1111 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20224
In addition to a timely request for assistance, you should take the following measures:
File a timely protective claim for credit or refund of U.S. taxes on Form 1040X, Form 1120X, or amended Form 1041, whichever
This will, among other things, give you the benefit of a foreign tax credit in case you do not qualify for the treaty benefit
in question. For
figuring this credit, attach either Form 1116 or Form 1118, as appropriate. Attach your protective claim to your request for
Take appropriate action under Canadian procedures to avoid the lapse or termination of your right of appeal under Canadian
You can get help with unresolved tax issues, order free publications and forms, ask tax questions, and get information from
the IRS in several
ways. By selecting the method that is best for you, you will have quick and easy access to tax help.
Contacting your Taxpayer Advocate.
If you have attempted to deal with an IRS problem unsuccessfully, you should contact your Taxpayer Advocate.
The Taxpayer Advocate independently represents your interests and concerns within the IRS by protecting your rights
and resolving problems that
have not been fixed through normal channels. While Taxpayer Advocates cannot change the tax law or make a technical tax decision,
they can clear up
problems that resulted from previous contacts and ensure that your case is given a complete and impartial review.
To contact your Taxpayer Advocate:
Call the Taxpayer Advocate toll free at
Call, write, or fax the Taxpayer Advocate office in your area.
Call 1-800-829-4059 if you are a TTY/TDD user.
For more information, see Publication 1546, How To Get Help With Unresolved Tax Problems (now available in Chinese,
Korean, Russian, and
Vietnamese, in addition to English and Spanish).
Free tax services.
To find out what services are available, get Publication 910, IRS Guide to Free Tax Services. It contains a list of
free tax publications and an
index of tax topics. It also describes other free tax information services, including tax education and assistance programs
and a list of TeleTax
Internet. You can access the IRS website 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at
E-file your return. Find out about commercial tax preparation and e-file services available free to eligible
Check the status of your refund. Click on Where's My Refund. Be sure to wait at least 6 weeks from the date you filed your return
(3 weeks if you filed electronically). Have your tax return available because you will need to know your social security number,
your filing status,
and the exact whole dollar amount of your refund.
Download forms, instructions, and publications.
Order IRS products online.
Research your tax questions online.
Search publications online by topic or keyword.
View Internal Revenue Bulletins (IRBs) published in the last few years.
Figure your withholding allowances using our Form W-4 calculator.
Sign up to receive local and national tax news by email.
Get information on starting and operating a small business.
Phone. Many services are available by phone.
Ordering forms, instructions, and publications. Call 1-800-829-3676 to order current-year forms, instructions, and publications
and prior-year forms and instructions. You should receive your order within 10 days.
Asking tax questions. Call the IRS with your tax questions at 1-800-829-1040.
Solving problems. You can get face-to-face help solving tax problems every business day in IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers. An
employee can explain IRS letters, request adjustments to your account, or help you set up a payment plan. Call your local
Taxpayer Assistance Center
for an appointment. To find the number, go to
look in the phone book under United States Government, Internal Revenue Service.
TTY/TDD equipment. If you have access to TTY/TDD equipment, call 1-800-829-4059 to ask tax questions or to order forms and
TeleTax topics. Call 1-800-829-4477 and press 2 to listen to pre-recorded messages covering various tax topics.
Refund information. If you would like to check the status of your refund, call 1-800-829-4477 and press 1 for automated refund
information or call 1-800-829-1954. Be sure to wait at least 6 weeks from the date you filed your return (3 weeks if you filed
your tax return available because you will need to know your social security number, your filing status, and the exact whole
dollar amount of your
Evaluating the quality of our telephone services. To ensure that IRS representatives give accurate, courteous, and professional answers,
we use several methods to evaluate the quality of our telephone services. One method is for a second IRS representative to
sometimes listen in on or
record telephone calls. Another is to ask some callers to complete a short survey at the end of the call.
Walk-in. Many products and services are available on a walk-in basis.
Products. You can walk in to many post offices, libraries, and IRS offices to pick up certain forms, instructions, and
publications. Some IRS offices, libraries, grocery stores, copy centers, city and county government offices, credit unions,
and office supply stores
have a collection of products available to print from a CD-ROM or photocopy from reproducible proofs. Also, some IRS offices
and libraries have the
Internal Revenue Code, regulations, Internal Revenue Bulletins, and Cumulative Bulletins available for research purposes.
Services. You can walk in to your local Taxpayer Assistance Center every business day for personal, face-to-face tax help. An
employee can explain IRS letters, request adjustments to your tax account, or help you set up a payment plan. If you need
to resolve a tax problem,
have questions about how the tax law applies to your individual tax return, or you're more comfortable talking with someone
in person, visit your
local Taxpayer Assistance Center where you can spread out your records and talk with an IRS representative face-to-face. No
appointment is necessary,
but if you prefer, you can call your local Center and leave a message requesting an appointment to resolve a tax account issue.
A representative will
call you back within 2 business days to schedule an in-person appointment at your convenience. To find the number, go to
look in the phone book under United States Government, Internal Revenue Service.
Mail. You can send your order for forms, instructions, and publications to the address below and receive a response within 10 business
days after your request is received.
National Distribution Center
P.O. Box 8903
Bloomington, IL 61702-8903
CD-ROM for tax products. You can order Publication 1796, IRS Tax Products CD-ROM, and obtain:
A CD that is released twice during the year. The first release ships in late December and the final release ships in late
Current-year forms, instructions, and publications.
Prior-year forms, instructions, and publications.
Tax Map: an electronic research tool and finding aid.
Tax Law frequently asked questions (FAQs).
Tax Topics from the IRS telephone response system.
Fill-in, print and save features for most tax forms.
Internal Revenue Bulletins.
Toll-free and email technical support.
Buy the CD-ROM from National Technical Information Service (NTIS) at
www.irs.gov/cdorders for $25 (no handling fee) or call 1-877-233-6767 toll free to buy the CD-ROM for $25 (plus a $5 handling fee).
CD-ROM for small businesses. Publication 3207, The Small Business Resource Guide, CD-ROM 2005, is a must for every small business owner
or any taxpayer about to start a business. This handy, interactive CD contains all the business tax forms, instructions, and
publications needed to
successfully manage a business. In addition, the CD provides other helpful information, such as how to prepare a business
plan, finding financing for
your business, and much more. The design of the CD makes finding information easy and quick and incorporates file formats
and browsers that can be run
on virtually any desktop or laptop computer.
It is available in early April. You can get a free copy by calling 1-800-829-3676 or by visiting
During the filing season, the IRS conducts an overseas taxpayer assistance program. To find out if IRS personnel will be in
your area, you should
contact the consular office at the nearest U.S. Embassy or consulate.
Mail. For answers to technical or account questions, you can write to:
Internal Revenue Service
P.O. Box 920
Bensalem, PA 19020-8518
Phone. You can call the IRS for help at (215) 516-2000.
You can get the text of the U.S.-Canada income tax treaty from:
Superintendent of Documents
U.S. Government Printing Office
P.O. Box 371954
Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7954
The treaty can also be found on our web site at
You can get information on Canadian taxation from the Canada Revenue Agency. The International Tax Services Office can be
1-800-267-5177 or on the Internet at www.cra.gc.ca.
Previous | Index | Next
Publications Index | 2007 Tax Help Archives | Tax Help Archives Main | Home