Tens of thousands of mostly Chinese millionaires who have moved to Vancouver and the surrounding area in the last three decades pay an average $1,400 Canadian in income tax per year.
The Canadian Immigrant Investor Program — which allowed foreigners to become citizens if they temporarily invested $800,000 in Canada — is over, while the Quebec version of the same plan continues, allowing thousands to immigrants to gain citizenship by investing in Quebec. As much as 90 percent of these mostly-Chinese immigrants move out of Quebec, mostly to Vancouver.
Analysts have noted that while Quebec received almost $4 billion in investor immigrant temporary investments in a 5 year period, they have housed less than 10 percent of those people, while BC has received around $350 million but has housed over 60 perent of Canadian immigrants.
The $1,400 income tax figure came to the attention of the public in early 2016 despite being originally published by the Federal government in a 130-page report in 2014.
According to the report, the government has known since 2014 that immigrant investors pay an average of $2,000 or less per year during their first 10 years in the country, well below the $7,500 Canadian average.
This number is known to be lower than the what would be the actual average amount paid, because a large portion of immigrant investors do not file tax returns.
The average taxable income reported by this class of immigrant peaks at around $20,000. However, it has been widely reported that many members of this class actually continue to earn large amounts every year working outside of Canada. They have been termed “astronauts” and the Canadian government has been criticized for not cracking down on them.
While 10 percent of investor immigrants do claim self-employed business income, the bulk of this is generated by owning and renting Canadian real estate.