Tracking Canadians emigrating to other parts of the word has become a serious challenge for the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). Over the past several years the CRA has begun targeting non-residents claiming child tax benefits and GST/HST rebates. This has created confusion among taxpayers in determine if they qualify for these benefits while they are residents/non-residents. Although a taxpayer files tax returns as a resident, they still may not be eligible for the child tax benefits and GST/HST.
This is exactly what happened with a Calgary family living in China for the past several years and filing tax returns as residents. Although the tax returns were accepted by the CRA, they have still assessed the family with $18,000 tax bill for child tax benefits and gst/hst rebates for which the CRA claims they did not qualify for.