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If you’re bringing money into Canada — especially large sums of money — it’s important to know what the rules are in terms of declaring the funds to officials or paying taxes on them. 

Perhaps you’ve recently travelled and are making your way back into Canada. Or, maybe you’re expecting to receive a money transfer from abroad. In either case, there are a few important things to understand to avoid any penalties.

Let’s take a closer look at international money transfers, particularly when it comes to taxation.

Key Points You Should Know

  • When bringing $10,000 or more into Canada, you must report funds to the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Center of Canada (FINTRAC).
  • Gift money is generally not taxed, but funds received from business transactions or the sale of an asset may be subject to capital gains tax.
  • You can send money to or from Canada via cash, bank transfer, PayPal and international money transfer services such as Simplii Financial, WorldRemit and Wise.

Tax Rules On Bringing Money Into Canada 

Whether or not you have to pay taxes on funds brought into Canada depends on if the money is considered a gift, or whether it’s money received from the proceeds of a sale. 

Generally speaking, most gift money is not taxed when it’s brought into Canada. However, if you’re receiving international funds from the sale of an asset, you’ll have to pay capital gains taxes on that money. For example, if you are receiving funds after selling real estate, stocks, artwork, or any other asset of value, 50% of profits up to $250,000 may be subject to a capital gains tax. And 66.7% of profits over $250,000 are taxable.

Do You Need To Report Cash You Receive To The CRA? 

If you’re receiving at least $10,000 CAD, these funds must be reported to the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Center of Canada (FINTRAC). However, it’s usually your bank that will report these received funds, not you. 

If you’re bringing the money into Canada yourself after travelling, you’ll need to declare these funds. You can do this by filling out Form E311 or a Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) declaration card.

You’ll also need to report the money you receive to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) when you file your taxes if it’s considered income. In contrast, you won’t need to pay any income tax to the CRA for internationally received funds that are considered a gift.

What Happens If You Don’t Report The Money You Receive?

If you’re physically bringing $10,000 or more into Canada and do not declare it, you could be faced with penalties. More specifically, you could be fined up to $5,000 and have your money seized.

FINTRAC and CRA reporting is meant to fight back against criminal activity, including money laundering and tax evasion

If the CRA catches wind of your received funds that were not reported, they may send you a tax bill and charge you a penalty. In more serious cases, you could face legal trouble. 

For the most part, receiving large sums of money from outside of Canada shouldn’t be an issue. You should be fine as long as you report your payments and properly file your taxes.

How To Report Large International Money Transfers?

All banks and third-party providers that handle international money transfers are required to report transfers of at least $10,000 to the CRA and FINTRAC. As mentioned, it’s not your responsibility to report these transfers to the CRA and FINTRAC. This is because your bank will do that on your behalf when the funds are received.

Large Money Transfers And Capital Gains Tax

When you make a profit after selling an asset of value, such as real estate or stocks, you’ll need to pay capital gains tax on half the amount you earned up to $250,000, and two-thirds on amounts over $250,000. That means half of the money will be taxed, while the other half is tax-free.

To calculate capital gains tax, follow these steps:

  1. Find out what the adjusted cost base is, which is what you originally paid when you bought the asset, plus any associated fees.
  2. Subtract the adjusted cost base from the sale price of the asset. 
  3. For amounts of $250,000 and under, multiply by 50%.
  4. For amounts over $250,000, multiply by 66.7%.

The answer you get will be added to your taxable income when you file your taxes. The tax rate you’re charged on that amount is based on how much you earned in that tax year. 

How Much Money Can You Transfer To Canada? 

There’s no limit on how much money you can transfer into Canada. That said, your bank or money transfer service provider might have limits. But again, if you’re bringing in over $10,000 into Canada, it must be declared.

Ways To Transfer Large Sums Of Money To Canada

There are a few ways to transfer money into Canada, no matter how large or small the sum may be: 

Bank Transfer

A simple and convenient way to move money in and out of Canada is through a bank transfer. Since your bank is facilitating the transfer, the funds will be secure. However, the cost associated with this option is generally high. The funds will also be subject to a foreign exchange rate.

Cash

If you’re travelling outside of Canada, you can physically bring the cash in with you. While no fees are associated with this method, it may not be as secure as a bank transfer. 

There are inherent risks associated with carrying large sums of cash. Plus, there are some regulations to adhere to when it comes to bringing in a lot of money into Canada. This includes the need to declare amounts of $10,000 or more to the border agent.

PayPal

To use PayPal to send and receive money to and from Canada, you’ll need two bank accounts: one with a Canadian bank and the other in the country of origin. There are also fees associated with using PayPal.

Third-party services

There are several international money transfer providers available that can help you transfer money into Canada without the high fees that banks often charge.  

Transfer FeeAmount LimitsTransfer Time
Simplii FinancialNone$100 – $70,0001 – 3 daysLearn More
World RemitDepends on type of transfer and country.Up to $40,0000 – 7 daysLearn More
Western UnionDepends on type of transfer, transfer method, amount, and country.Up to $7,5000 – 4 dayLearn More
MoneyGramDepends on type of transfer, transfer method, amount, and country.Up to $990
0 – 1 dayLearn More
WiseVaries by currency and transfer amount (from 0.43%).Up to $1,500,0001 – 5 daysLearn More
OFX- $15 CAD for transfers less than $10,000 CAD
- Free for transfers more than $10,000 CAD
$150+1 – 5 daysLearn More
XE Money TransferDepends on type of transfer, transfer method, amount, and country.Varies
1 – 3 daysLearn More
Currency Solutions- Free for transfers over £3,000
- £10 for transfers under £3,000
Up to £20,000Varies Learn More
xoomDepends on type of transfer, transfer method, amount, and country.Up to $75,001 – 3 daysLearn More
RemitlyVaries by transfer amount, payment method, and delivery option.VariesVariesLearn More
riaDepends on type of transfer, transfer method, amount, and country.Varies0 – 4 daysLearn More
n2xpressDepends on type of transfer, transfer method, amount, and country.$10 – $2,999VariesLearn More
Remitbee$0 – $29.99 (depends on transfer method)Up to $9,0000 - 2 daysLearn More

Do You Need Any Documents To Receive Money Transfers? 

Your bank or money transfer provider will take care of all the necessary paperwork associated with transferring money into Canada. They’ll also ensure that they adhere to Anti-Money Laundering (AML) laws. But it’s still a good idea to keep a paper trail of records and emails regarding the transfer just in case.

If you’re coming into Canada with at least $10,000, you’ll need to fill out Form E311 (CBSA declaration car), as mentioned earlier.  

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re just getting back from travelling abroad or are expecting a money transfer from someone in another country, there may be rules attached to the receipt of these funds. Be sure to understand what these rules are to avoid any financial repercussions or even legal action.

FAQs On Tax Rules For Large Money Transfers Into Canada

Can you bring money into Canada without paying taxes?

Yes, you can bring money into Canada without paying taxes on it, as long as the funds were given to you as a gift. But if the money is from a recent sale of an asset, you will have to pay taxes on it. Furthermore, if you are bringing in more than $10,000 you need to declare it

How much money can you receive from abroad without tax in Canada?

There’s no legal limit to the amount of gift money you can bring into Canada when it comes to taxation. However, the proceeds from the sale of an asset will be taxed. Again, if you are receiving more than $10,000 you need to declare that. 

Can I avoid reporting large money transfers by splitting up a transfer into smaller transactions?

Splitting up a large sum of money into smaller amounts to avoid reporting it is considered fraudulent. Referred to as “structuring,” this practice is used by people who actively try to trick officers. Money transfer service providers are trained to spot this activity and will report it to FINTRAC, who will investigate you.

Will you be taxed on money transfers from India to Canada? 

No, in most cases, the CRA doesn’t charge taxes on money sent from India to Canada. For example, if the money is sent as a gift, no taxes will be collected. However, if the money received is from the sale of an asset or from a business endeavour, you’ll have to pay capital gains tax.  The CRA does not charge tax on money sent from India to Canada in most cases, like where the money is a gift from another person. There are tax implications if you get the money after selling or disposing of an asset – you’ll have to pay capital gains tax in Canada.
Lisa Rennie avatar on Loans Canada
Lisa Rennie

Lisa has been working as a personal finance writer for more than a decade, creating unique content that helps to educate Canadian consumers in the realms of real estate, mortgages, investing and financial health. For years, she held her real estate license in Toronto, Ontario before giving it up to pursue writing within this realm and related niches. Lisa is very serious about smart money management and helping others do the same.

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