I’m in the unfortunate situation (and true Digital Nomad’s worst nightmare) where the Canadian tax man (i.e. the CRA) has decided to come calling. And calling hard.
Any recommendations for Canadian Tax Accounts / Tax Lawyers specializing digital nomads / expats / non residents?
Here’s the deal:
I’m a digital nomad living in Thailand who has NOT lived in canada since the middle of 2011, and in that time, only been back to canada three times for a brief visit (with a total period between all those years of less than 90 days out of the 5 years).
I make an online income (affiliates, adsense, and such) of which all if it does not derive from Canada. And as stated, I don’t live there anymore and haven’t in many years. I don’t own houses, cars, or anything (I do have a personal bank account though and a DL – you need those to function mostly). I’ve only used Canada as my bank account, from which I would send money abroad to live while outside of Canada, which was the entire period of time.
Anyways, the taxman back in Canada doesn’t know this (that I’m a non resident) and of course has now come to collect. I had income tax demands sent to an address (parents’) stating I owe a very high five figure balance in income tax and owe it right away.
The whole digital nomad thing has just come to life the past years and when I left Canada in 2011/2010, no one new much about making money online, how to pay taxes when you don’t live in your home country, etc. I was doing this earlier than most (from this forum, I gather it’s common now).
I assume I’ll probably need a Canadian tax accountant and mayhaps a tax lawyer versed in…well…digital nomads. I’m going to call the CRA (Canadian Revenue Agency) and try to explain that I don’t live there and haven’t (and I can prove it), but yea. It may take more than that.
At this point, I’ve been looking how to properly structure my affairs (creating an Estonian Corp, creating an Thailand corporation) to properly handle how I should structure things in the future, but in the meantime…
Advice or a recommendation for a specific tax specialist (i’m from BC, Canada if that helps) would be awesome.