So I just finished reading this entire thread, and I would like to say thank you so much to all the people posting this useful information for so many years, I am extremely grateful!! particularly henry17, torontoCFE, TaxGuru.. Thanks again!
OK so now though I have some additional questions. I will start with the details about myself. I am a professional tournament player, I have been playing for several years with no other income, and making in the low 6 figures annually. I started playing as a student when I had some other very low income summer jobs for which I may or may not have filed income, depending on if I made enough money to warrant taxation. Other than those jobs, I have never filed any income. I also have never really had my own dwelling place, other than my university residences. I was living at my parents’ house at that time. For the past 1.5-2 years (after I dropped out of school, and also the time period where I made the most money) I have been living mostly abroad, say 85% of the time I am outside of Canada, visiting home for about 2 months at a time maximum. Specifically I lived mainly in Thailand, and like many other expats I used legal loopholes to acquire long term visas. Some visas I have used and/or plan to use are: tourist (the longest possible), business (no work permit), and student.
My first question will be regarding residency in Canada. It was mentioned several times in this thread that in order to be a non-resident of Canada you must sever all ties with the country, some common things mentioned were: dwelling place, property, bank account etc. It was also mentioned that perhaps you have to be a fiscal resident in another location to be considered a non-resident of Canada. I also read this link: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/tchncl/n...f1-c1-eng.html
What I gathered from reading that article that was different from what I read in the thread was that, in a similar way to the threshold where a person becomes a “professiona/in the business of gambling” is a gray area, so too is the threshold where a person becomes a “non-resident”. For example in the article it mentions that having a Canadian bank account would be a factor to consider in whether or not I am a resident, but it would still be hypothetically possible for me to have a Canadian bank account and still be a non-resident. Given the situations with the visas I mentioned earlier, I have no idea if I qualify as a fiscal resident of Thailand, and I certainly don’t pay tax there. Also when I told my bank that I was going to be in Thailand for 6mo+ I was asked if I would be claiming non-residence. At the time I didn’t know anything about that so I just said no, but it suggests to me both that it is somewhat easy to apply for non-residency, and also that I could potentially still have the bank account.
So my questions: would I be considered a non-resident at this point in time? Do you have to specifically claim to be a non-resident before you are considered one? Any other thoughts on my situation/becoming a non-resident to minimize my required taxes?
Another thing that was mentioned in this thread several times was that having a notarized letter or something similar from a tax law professional saying that you believe you do not have to pay taxes would exonerate you from any tax evasion charges and possibly even interest in the event of an audit/requirement to pay backtaxes. It was also mentioned that this would be pretty much impossible to get a professional to give said letter; in fact someone offered a 5k reward to find someone who would do this.
Now, as a PURELY HYPOTHETICAL question:
Say I go to a tax professional, tell them that I have won a bunch of money in some big tournaments, and that now I plan to travel and play poker aswell with no other income.. I guess playing down or leaving out how much time I spend on this and how much I make annually and I got the letter, would that document also suffice to exonerate me of those tax evasion/interest charges?