How can I transfer my money from Canada?

Unfortunately the CRA does not deposit tax refunds into foreign bank accounts. After you left Canada, and when you file your last Canadian tax return the best option to receive the refund is to keep your Canadian bank account open until the tax return is processed and deposited. 

  • If you filed a Canadian tax return in previous years, and arranged direct deposit and still have the same account open, the tax refund will automatically be deposited to your Canadian bank account. 
  • If the account is already closed, a cheque will be issued to the address on file with the CRA or the address in the paper tax return.

I received a tax refund via cheque, how do I cash it?

In today’s modern times quite all Canadian bank accounts have an app where you can deposit the cheque via online banking in 2 simple steps. In the photo to the right you can see how it looks like on the CIBC banking app. You take a photo of the front and back, enter the amount and in the next step you submit the photos. 

Government cheques usually do not have a waiting time until they are cleared. But you should wait until the tax refund amount shows up in your balance in the bank account. 

Then it’s time to close the bank account. Before you can do that, you must bring the balance to zero which means you need to transfer all money out first. 

How do I transfer my money out from Canada to my home country?

Many IEC participants use the newcomer account from CIBC because it is very popular and free for 2 years. This means in the account they have the option to make an international “Global Money Transfer” to their bank in their home country. This is available in 49 countries worldwide. At CIBC this transfer is free. The good thing, you can also send the money directly to a Visa credit or debit card, all you need is a Visa card number. 

If you are with another bank, please check their international money transfer fees. 

Wise - Another great option to transfer money

Another most recommended option from IEC participants to transfer your money out from Canada is a third party provider named Wise. It was previously called Transferwise, I am sure you heard of them before. Wise has over 13 million customers around the world. With Wise you have one of the best exchange rates in the international money transfer world. When you transfer money you will always get the mid-market exchange rate. 

The transfer fees depend on the amount you send, the type of currency and the payment method.

Because you will start paying monthly fees after a certain amount of time, (for example at CIBC after the 2 years promotion is over), you can open a free Wise account. 

In the Wise account you can create Canadian bank details

Then change the direct deposit in your CRA online account to the Wise account details. This will ensure that you still receive payments after you leave Canada.

You can then close the Canadian account with the Canadian bank before you go home and only use the Wise account until you have filed your tax return and received the money. Then transfer the money to your account in your home country. If you click the below button, Wise will waive the fee on the first $800 CAD. Isn’t this awesome?

Please first read into Wise if this is a viable option for your country.  

Canadian bank details in Wise 

What if I don't have a CRA online account?

If you never filed a Canadian tax return before, you cannot use the direct deposit tips above. As a first time filer, your only option is the cheque.  

You can only register for a “CRA My Account” if you have already filed a Canadian tax return and that tax return has been processed.

You can then register manually. You’ll need to provide personal information:

  • Name
  • SIN number
  • Date of birth
  • Postal code that you entered in your tax return
  • Tax return (you will be asked for the amount “in line 10100 or 15000 of your tax return”)

You register >> here << under “Option 2“, CRA Register, then create a user ID, a password and security questions.

After the registration process, you will have limited access to CRA My Account, but you will be able to view the status of your tax return once you have submitted it and it was processed. 

If you would like to have full access, i.e. also want to view the tax assessment, or change address and direct deposit, you must activate the account with a CRA security code (access code). The code will be sent to the address indicated in the tax return. 

Do you have more questions to Canadian taxes?
General Canada Taxback FAQ's for IEC participants

Do you need to file taxes after you left Canada?
The most affordable taxback service on the Internet
Canadian tax return starting from $20