Freelancing Gigs in Canada - Taxes North of the Wall

Your passport isn’t the only thing you need to take a gig in Canada. Freelancers and startups - when working in Canada: BEWARE!

Before you go: Consider filing for a R105 tax withholding waiver. Without it Canada may require your employer to take taxes out on your behalf. That’s on the gross amount you’re paid, not net of any expenses - ouch!

While in Canada: You may need to file for Canada’s version of a Social Security Number called a SIN (social insurance number.) This is typically done in person at a local office. If you need one make sure you do this before you come back!

Back home: Just because you’re not Canadian doesn’t mean you don’t have to file a Canadian tax return. You may be required to file and pay taxes or if you had taxes withheld from your pay (see above) then you may be eligible for a refund. Check with your CPA and know your Canadian filing requirements & deadlines. And that’s not to mention the impact on your U.S. tax returns!


Working across borders makes your tax situation instantly more complicated. Check in with your CPA before working abroad. Don’t turn down the gig; just be prepared.

Please read all blog disclaimers. Seek advice from a tax professional.