I'm not a Canadian citizen or resident. If I have a bank account in Canada, which I use to receive payments for a software product/service from people outside Canada, am I eligible to pay Canadian tax?

I come from a country, which is not widely supported by many payment gateways, so I'm exploring this option to receive payments.

I did stumble upon this quote from Canada Revenue Agency on this page:

As a non-resident of Canada, you pay tax on income you receive from sources in Canada. The type of tax you pay and the requirement to file an income tax return depend on the type of income you receive.

Any pointers greatly appreciated.

Update: This is not about tax evasion. The payment gateways in my country sucks, and are still using old XML SOAP APIs.

  • 2
    If you are not a Canadian citizen or resident, why are you using a Canadian bank account to receive payments from outside Canada? That seems to be making like over-complicated for yourself. Why not use an account in the country where you are resident? Dec 14, 2013 at 19:38
  • @littleadv: Definitely not because of tax evasion. As I have mentioned in the post, my country is not supported by some of the good payment gateway systems like Stripe and Brain Tree payments. These systems make the building of subscription based products much easier. Please don't think this is about tax evasion. I have every intention to declare the income in my home country. My only question is whether I should also pay the Canadian tax.
    – foobar
    Dec 15, 2013 at 1:32

2 Answers 2


You state that you will be using your Canadian bank account(s) to receive payment for goods and services sold outside Canada.

There are two reasons for you to be filing your taxes in Canada:

1- What if a entity within Canada decides to purchase your software? Canada Revenue Agency says:

income from providing services in Canada other than in the course of regular and continuous employment.

is part of Part 1 tax and must be reported. If you do happen to sell goods or services in Canada, you must also invoice the entity for GST/HST and this also needs to be reported.

2- The bank account in Canada may pay you interest on funds you have sitting in the account. Interest income from Canadian sources must also be reported.

Finally, if you are still unsure about what to do, get in touch with Canada Revenue Agency directly.


Besides the interest interest earned through holding the funds in a Canadian bank account, it sounds like you may not be taxable since it was earned outside of Canada.

In addition to the answer provided above, I would recommend you approach a CA or CPA to determine if there are any risks. If you decide to discuss with CRA, you may want to ask them on a no name basis so you can assess the correct path.

It's definitely not about tax evasion, but CRA, like many other tax departments within countries, may offer voluntary disclosure programs which you can take advantage of to reduce penalties (if any). Once CRA has identified your tax issue or have audited you, you are no longer eligible for voluntary disclosure.

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