U.S. Citizens Working & Performing In Canada

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U.S. Citizens Working & Performing In Canada

11 March

U.S. Citizens Working & Performing In Canada

It is March 2013, and I return to Canada to perform for a fundraising show in Kindersley, Saskatchewan, about 2 hours outside Saskatoon. Kindersley has a population of just under 5,000 and is a mineral rich farming community, like so many others in this region.

Over the last 25 years of my career, I have performed for a lot of fairs and expositions, including the Calgary Stampede, Saskatoon Prairielands Exhibition, Medicine Hat Exhibition, Royal Manitoba Winter Exhibition in Brandon, private parties for the military, and others.

In December 2011, I did not apply for a tax exemption before doing a show for a military squadron. This was my mistake and I knew better. Regaredless, it cost me $225.00, which the government withheld from my check and submitted to Revenue Canada (the equivalent of the Internal Revenue Service in the USA). The only way I was going to get that money back was to file a Canadian tax return. I didn’t bother.

Before working in Canada, U.S. citizens must apply for tax exemption. If they do not, it is mandated that the Canadian host retain 15% of gross payment and send it to Revenue Canada. To apply for tax exemption, there are a number of steps to take. It is not complicated, but it must be done at least 3-4 weeks before the event date to give Revenue Canada sufficent time to respond.

  • Step #1: Make sure your client in Canada writes you a “Letter of Intent” on letterhead stating they will be hiring you on the specific DATE and have them send you a copy of this signed letter. My own recent  Letter of Intent reads as follows (your client should put in your information and remove my personal information where appropriate):
  • (Letterhead of Client engaging my Services)


    THIS LETTER OF INTENT (“the Letter”) made as of this 28 day ofJanuary, 2013(the “Execution Date”),


    365 Lloyd “Sparky” Ament Air Cadets of Kinderley, SK


    Alan Sands of Foster City, CA

    A. 365 Lloyd “Sparky” Ament Air Cadets Squadron has hired Alan Sands to perform his hypnosis show in Kindersley, SK on Friday, March 15, 2013. Alan Sands is a well-known hypnotist from Foster city, CA

    B. The Squadron will be putting Alan Sands up in a hotel overnight before he returns home.

    Signed by Executive of 365 Lloyd “Sparky” Ament Air Cadets Fundraising Committee



  • Step #2: You will need a copy of your contract or the agreement signed by all parties to submit as evidence.
  • Step #3: Go to the Revenue Canada web site and download the 3-page form Regulation 105 Waiver Application (PDF download).
  • Step #4: Revenue Canada wants a photocopy of your U.S. driver’s license. I also include a copy of my social security card. You may also want to send them a copy of the second page of your passport. On this trip, I lost my passport and had to replace it before I was leaving. I did not have my passport at the time I submitted my Regulation 105 Waiver Application to make a copy, so I did not include this. It was not a problem.
  • Step #5: I include a copy of my “Articles of Incorporation” as further proof of who I am because my contract lists my company as the recipiant of the payment.
  • I filled out the Regulation 105 Waiver Application to the best of my ability and I faxed the form to Revenue Canada. My fax was seven pages.

    It’s important to know that US Citizens are only exempt from witholding on $15,000 Canadian “net” revenue. On the Regulation 105 Waiver Application you can show that you have expenses. These can be deducted from the $15,000 net. Expenses can include, but are not limited to: payroll to other members of your group, hotel, transportation costs, car rental costs, fuel in Canada for your vehicles, meals and rental equipment you will need to acquire to do the event.