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I am a Canadian expat who has been living down in Atlanta Georgia since 2008. Starting in 2009, I stopped filing Canadian tax returns since I was a resident alien in the US, and no longer had any home in Canada. Another Canadian expat here told me that I should have sent the Canada Revenue Agency form NR73 to apply for status as a non-resident, and because I did not do that, I would still be considered a Canadian resident and subject to Canadian tax on all of my income! Am I in trouble?

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Michael Atlas, CPA, CA
No you are not! There is absolutely no legal requirement to submit form NR73 to the CRA in order to be a non-resident of Canada. If you are a resident alien of the US, and have no permanent home available in Canada, you should automatically qualify as a non-resident under Article IV(1) of the Treaty.
As a generally rule, savvy tax practitioners in Canada will always discourage Canadians who are emigrating from submitting form NR73 to the CRA if they can avoid it. Submitting the form automatically puts the emigrant on the “radar screen” with the CRA, which is generally not a good idea, particularly in potentially contentious situations.
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