Blog powered by Typepad

The Merrill Photo Corner

  • Destination - home
    Life in Sports & Recreation




Regarding the article at, I am a UN retiree (resident in Canada) and the Canadian tax authorities have ALWAYS accepted my claim for partial exemption of the 'basis' for my UN pension. It is claimed based on the US-CANADA tax treaty which says that pensions that arise in the USA are taxed in Canada on the same basis as they are taxed in the USA -- i.e., the 'basis' is not taxed.



If you Canadian friend either HAS or HAS NOT gotten his/her tax situation with the Canadian authorities recognized, would you ask him/her to contact me at Canadian Association of Former International Civil Servants (CAFICS), c/o International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), 999 rue University, Montreal QC H3C 5H7 -- thanks in advance for passing along this contact.

I am the CAFICS Councilor for Taxation Questions. You may also wish to give him/her my e-mail address.

Merrill Cassell

However, the Canadian tax authorities were unwilling to consider the UN agency contribution as the basis of the pension although this UN retiree was neither a citizen nor living in Canada during the employ of the UN.

I am passing your information to my friend and he may contact you if he has not resolved the problem.

Claudia Argandona

How can I found out what amount of my mother's pension from UN is tax fee?


Are you referring to taxation of ex G4 visa holders now living in the US? If so, please see This may help.


Hi Merrill,

I am a former UN staff member with dual Canadian/US citizenship,living in Canada. I recently received a letter from revenu canada claiming that I cannot file for an excemption for my UN pension? can you help? in the past they accepted the excemption but now they told me that things have changed and are asking me to pay tax for the past three years?

Merrill Cassell

You'll need to consult with a tax accountant in Canada. But you must refer to and print out the CRA letter and show it to the tax authorities. If your tax base is Canada I think you should not have a problem. But I am wondering whether your dual citizenship is causing a problem; if such is the case you will also need legal advice.

Meorah Kassemm

I want to apply for refund of taxes I paid on my U.N. pension. The form has questions on whether such pension would have been tax free in the countries where I served. How do I obtain this information without expensive legal fees?

Merrill Cassell

Are you writing about refund of your pension contributions on pension taxed in the USA? If it some other country that is asking you these questions, it would seem irrelevant as your UN salary was tax-exempt in your working years in those countries. However, if you must answer then you may want to try a Google search and also check with local embassies.


Could you comment on whether pensions from International Organizations are exempt from taxation in France?

Merrill Cassell

I have no idea about France. You may wish to contact the UN office in Paris, still better, also check with UN retirees who have retired back home (UNAFICS for instance).


I can confirm to you with 100% confidence that UN Pensions received by former UN staff residing in France are NOT EXEMPT from taxation in France!


Hi, Can anyone tell me, in case I --a U.S. citizen -- retire in a tax-exempt non-U.S. country (I odn't know, say, Autria? Thailand? Malaysia?), do I have to pay tax on my U.N. pension to U.S.-IRS? Note that the pension is U.N., not U.S. I read that foreign earned income exclusion (FEIE) does not apply to pensions, is that correct? What about U.N. sourced pension? And what happens if I retire in the U.S. itself? Please would someone explain? With some certainty and really reliable authority, perhaps quoting agreements btw US. and U.N? Are there such Amerian U.N. retiree-expats? There are bound to be, right? Please reply! look forward to it.

By the way, the article "Why Is UN Pension Tax Exempt" seems later hesitant to say that it IS tax exempt, and that all depends on the country of citizenship and residence, etc, "you must always follow the tax laws in your country" and lobby! Then why the title? Am I missing something?


I worked for the UN (DPKO) abroad. I'm just going over my taxes now (yes I'm a little late).

Do I HAVE to claim non-residency in Canada to be exempt from taxation? The reason why I'm asking is that the tax rate on renting out my house as a non-resident is astronomical.


Jim, Did you get a response? I'm in the same situation. Thanks a lot, Hannah

Advice on Pension

Thanks for the comprehensive explanation on this. I am also an investor and taxes to my investments are one of my main concerns.



Could you please comment on the Canadian revenue Agency's treatment of UN pension benefit paid before the person reaches the normal retirement age (for participants with 5 years of Contributory Service)? I am wondering if employee's contribution part of this benefit is tax free in Canada similar to Netherlands's treatment?

Currently mu husband is working as an expatriate in Europe. UN remuneration is tax exempt here.

Later this year we are planning to take Canadian residence and it might result in dual tax residence for some period.

thank you in advance

A. Haile

I am a Canadian citizen and former UN employee. Currently, I am residing in the USA as a permanent resident. As far as I know I am considred non-resident Canadian. My main question however, is that as you know as a Canadian my UN slalry was tax-exempt. When I checked my Canada Pension Plan Statement there were no contributions for the period I worked for the UN.
This has greatly affected the amount of Canada Pension I will be receiving. At the same time, I know the UN was taking significant Staff Assessment amount from my pay check every month. I have not been able to understand how these two systems complement to each other. I feel it is not fair to make me lose my Canadian Pension income because naturally, I have not contributed to it. But what happens to the money the UN takes? I would appreciate your advise on this. Thanks.


I would like to know about Jim's issue too. How can I find out?
thanks. Jane

Margaret Daly

Hello, if you retire to a European country like Spain being a British citizen is your pension taxable. Could somebody help me find this information.

marie tekle

what are the US tax requirements for a former UN international staffmember receiving a UN pension and who became a US resident and citizen after retirment?

Sandra Rivera

I have a client that has united nation pension. How do i determine the portion of pension that is taxable?

John Northcut

For Micheal who asked about taxation of UN pensions in France, perhaps you could get in touch with me and I can give you some information.

John Northcut

Regarding Spanish taxation, some UN retirees have appealed to the Spanish Supreme Court who have ruled their pensions to be tax-free. Unfortunately, the Spanish government only recognizes this for those who made the Appeals (and not for all retirees). However, it does recognize UN retirees from the WTO in Madrid as having tax-free UN pensions since the WTO (World Tourism Organization) has its written into their Headquarters Agreement.

John Northcut

For Sandra who wanted to know how to calculate the tax-free portion of a UN pension, for the US, AFICS (New York) has a booklet. For Canada, CAFICS (Montreal) has a booklet. Contact me at if you need further information.

The comments to this entry are closed.