Making appointments with local lawyers isn’t always convenient. Who wants to beat traffic and apologize to the boss just to get to a lawyer’s office on time? Ontario virtual notary publics take the headache out of getting documents authenticated. You can join by video call from almost anywhere, using a smartphone, computer, laptop or tablet. Here are four times you can use an Ontario virtual notary service (meeting in person works too):
- Apply for tax treaty benefits.
- Prove you are an Ontario resident.
- Invite visitors to Canada.
1. Apply for Tax Treaty Benefits
Taxes, taxes, taxes. No matter where (almost) in the world you go, taxes are usually owed.
Good news! Some gorgeous beachside paradises and U.S. states (Alaska or Nevada), charge no income taxes at all. Bad news! You may need to invest quite a bit to live there ($600,000 for a Cayman Islands retreat). And permanent residency may be out of the question.
Besides, do you want to live in a place that’s slowly sinking into the ocean (Nauru) or where you need a personal liquor licence from police to buy a bottle of wine (Oman)?
Are You Still a Canadian?
That brings us to tax treaties. Being an expat or foreign worker exposes you to potential double taxation. It also means you are out of sight, out of mind to your own government. Before you decide you can hide from the taxman (or woman), the Canadian government takes steps to make sure you pay. As long as you are a “factual resident” (own a Canadian home or driver’s licence or have family ties), you’re liable for Canadian income tax.
Reduce Your Canadian Tax Bill
Being a foreign worker could mean you pay taxes twice. Fortunately, you can get credit for it. For instance, if your income is taxed by the country where you work, Canada deducts that amount from your taxes here. Two ways that works for you:
- Your income taxes in Canada are $8,000. You paid $6,500 in Dubai. Canada collects $1,500.
- You paid $10,000 in Dubai. Your tax bill in Canada is $8,000. Canada collects $0.
Get an Exemption from Foreign Taxes
Tax agreements between countries can limit how much tax you pay in a foreign country or even exempt you. American expats living in Canada and collecting U.S. Social Security since 1996 can thank a tax treaty for lower taxes. The treaty makes 50% of American social security payments tax exempt in Canada. You also qualify if your deceased U.S. spouse lived in Canada from 1996 onward.
2. Prove You Are an Ontario Resident
You live in Ontario, but can you prove it? Colleges, universities and trade programs can require proof of residency, as can landlords. You may also need to show you are in Canada legally on a student or work visa.
Proof for Minors
No utility bills, no driver’s licence, no proof. Proving you live here can be a headache for Ontario minors. On the upside, most postsecondary institutions take a notarized letter from a parent or guardian. Minors can also get a notarized letter of authorization to travel outside Canada.
Authenticate Your Student Visa
You have paperwork that says you are from another country. But is it real? Virtual notaries authenticate international documents to take the guesswork out of taking your word for it.
Verify You Lived in Ontario
You’ve been out of country working for government or an international organization. Remote online notaries can help you prove you lived in Ontario for at least 12 months before you left Canada.
3. Invite Visitors to Canada
Your grandparents are coming from abroad for an extended visit. Naturally, Immigration and Refugee Canada is wondering if they’re here to stay. Getting a visa or past the Canada Border Services Agency could be complicated.
Letters of Invitation for Foreign Embassies
Getting a visitor visa can go quicker when you provide a notarized letter of invitation. Telling a foreign embassy why you are inviting someone is helpful. You are not legally responsible for that person while they are here. But you can prevent problems by verifying they can support themselves financially during their visit. Inviting a casual acquaintance you met during your Asian vacation may not be the best of moves.
Applying for a Super Visa in Ontario
Inviting grandparents or parents to stay in Ontario for more than six months requires a super visa application. Your family members will need a written and signed promise that you will support them financially during their entire stay. Embassies can require letters to be notarized. Taking that step before you send your invitation saves time and aggravation.
Convenient Day or Evening In Person or Virtual Appointments
Whatever your need, Axess Law’s Ontario notary publics offer virtual legal services 7 days a week, at your convenience. Call ahead to arrange a day or evening appointment. Dial toll-free to 877-522-9377 or in Greater Toronto at 647-479-0118 or use our online booking form. In person notary public appointments are available at our Ottawa, Toronto, Scarborough, Vaughan, Etobicoke, Mississauga Winston Churchill or Mississauga Heartland law offices.
Click here to learn more about Axess Law’s notary public services.