Canadian Individual Taxation Numbers

Volume No. 09-13

“The ITN is a nine-digit number issued by the CRA to non-resident individuals.”

While many practitioners are familiar with the need for U.S. Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (“ITIN”), we are not usually reminded about Canada’s version, the ITN.

The ITN is a nine-digit number issued by the CRA to non-resident individuals who require an identification number, but are not eligible to obtain a Social Insurance Number (“SIN”). An ITN is not available if you are otherwise able to obtain a SIN or if you already have an ITN or temporary tax number.

Some common examples of taxpayers requiring a Canadian ITN are:

  • International students residing in Canada for educational purposes;
  • Domestic workers (such as nannies and caregivers) who have tax filing requirements, but are not eligible for a Social Insurance Number;
  • A non-resident filing an application to waive or reduce Canadian withholding tax (common in the film and television industry);
  • Any non-resident disposing of taxable Canadian property (if a personal tax return will be required);or
  • Any non-resident who is required to file or intends to file a Canadian income tax return, for example a section 216 tax return for net rental income.

The application for an ITN (form T1261) can be found at the CRA’s website http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pbg/tf/t1261. There is no requirement that the documentation be notarized. The documents can be certified to be true copies by eligible individuals. Some examples of eligible individuals are accountants, bank managers, chiropractors, medical doctors, lawyers, clergy, police officers and CRA employees (at a CRA tax office, by appointment only).

When a T1261 is completed without a return, or when it is filed with a form NR5 or NR6, it should be filed at the International Tax Services office in Ottawa. Forms filed with section 116 clearance certificate requests or with regulation 105 or 107 waiver applications should be filed at the local tax services office.


TAX TIP OF THE WEEK is provided as a free service to clients and friends of the Tax Specialist Group member firms. The Tax Specialist Group is a national affiliation of firms who specialize in providing tax consulting services to other professionals, businesses and high net worth individuals on Canadian and international tax matters and tax disputes.

The material provided in Tax Tip of the Week is believed to be accurate and reliable as of the date it is written. Tax laws are complex and are subject to frequent change. Professional advice should always be sought before implementing any tax planning arrangements. Neither the Tax Specialist Group nor any member firm can accept any liability for the tax consequences that may result from acting based on the contents hereof.