CRA referred to the travel restrictions imposed by governments or businesses in response to the COVID-19 crisis as a safety measure for their citizens or employees (the “Travel Restrictions”) and to the administrative response of CRA (being a concession rather than an interpretive approach) which will apply from March 16 until August 31, 2020, unless extended.
Days in Canada solely because of COVID-19 Travel Restrictions not counted towards individual’s residency
Where [an individual visiting Canada] has remained in Canada solely because of the Travel Restrictions, that factor alone will not cause the Agency to consider the common-law factual test of residency to be met. In addition …the Agency will not consider the days during which an individual is present in Canada and is unable to return to their country of residence solely as a result of the Travel Restrictions to count towards the 183-day limit for deemed residency. This will be the Agency position where, among other things, the individual is usually a resident of another country and intends to return, and does in fact return, to his or her country of residence as soon as he or she is able to do so.
Participation in board meetings from Canada due to Travel Restrictions does not render the corporation or trust resident in Canada
[W]here a director of a corporation must participate in a board meeting from Canada because of the Travel Restrictions, the Agency will not consider the corporation to become resident in Canada solely for that reason. …
[W]here appropriate, the Agency will consider adopting a similar approach in determining the residency of a commercial trust.
VII. Supplemental guidance
A. Extension re individual residency
- For the initial relief period (March 16 until September 30, 2020), the guidance provides that the CRA will not consider the common-law factual test of residency to be met if an individual stayed in Canada only because of COVID travel restrictions, and the days of physical presence will not count towards the s. 250(1)(a) sojourning rule of deemed residency. This specific relief for individuals is extended until the earlier of the date of the lifting of the travel restrictions and December 31, 2021. This extension does not apply to corporate residency.