Angela Hardbattle
Angela Hardbattle
Angela Hardbattle

Tax Question:

What is a section 216 election?


A non-resident that receives real property rental income, can elect to file a Canadian income tax return to report its rental income. This election is made under section 216 of the Canadian Income Act.


A non-resident can elect to file a Canadian income tax return to report real property rental income for the year. The return is separate from any other return that is required to be filed. It allows the non-resident to pay taxes on the net rental income earned instead of taxes on the gross rental income received. Furthermore, if the amount of taxes withheld during the year were more than the amount calculated based on section 216, then the excess will be refunded to the non-resident.

If a non-resident filed a NR6 and the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) approved it, the non-resident is required to file a Canadian income tax return under section 216. The return is due within six months of the year end (whether there is a profit or loss on rental income). If the non-resident does not file within this time period, the non-resident is subject to taxes on gross rental income plus any applicable penalties and interest. The Canadian corporation that is paying rent to the non-resident will become liable for any taxes due by the non-resident.

A non-resident can also elect to file a Canadian income tax return under section 216 even if it has not filed a NR6 or the CRA did not approve the NR6. This tax return is due within two years of the end of the tax year.

If the non-resident has a net rental loss for the year, the rental loss cannot be deducted against any other income on another Canadian income tax return.

When submitting the Canadian income tax return under section 216, the non-resident needs to include all NR4 slips received. The completed return is sent to the International Tax Services Office in Ottawa, Ontario.

Angela Hardbattle, Dipl. T (Hons), CPA, CA, Manager

Manager, Gilmour Group CPA’s

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