Cross Border Tax Q&A – Dual Status Return when Entering the US


I have helped hundreds of people successfully navigate from the US to Canada. If you're thinking of moving or retiring to Canada contact me today to chat about your plans.

I can be reached via email at, by phone at 250-661-9417 or through my contact page here.

I look forward to speaking to you soon.

Phil Hogan, CPA, CA, CPA (CO)
Cross-Border Tax and Investment Specialist


Hi Mr. Hogan

I’ll be moving to the US to take up a permanent job. I plan on getting my green card and remaining in the US for an extended period of time. I am aware of the need to sever my ties from Canada (i’m currently in the process of doing so) but I’m concerned about the need to file a “dual status return”. My legal representative advised me to contact a cross border tax expert to get some advice on such a return(s).

Do you prepare these type of returns?




Yes I do prepare dual status returns and I’ll be able to guide you through the process. You can read the article I wrote on the subject of entering the US and filing a dual status return here.

But let me give you an overview:

You are considered a dual status tax filer if you move to the US from Canada at anytime in the year. As such you have to file both a non-resident 1040 return (1040NR) and a regular 1040 income tax return.

The 1040NR will include any US source income you earned before entering the US and the 1040 will include all your income for the portion of the year you were a resident alien.

You can however elect under IRC 6013(g) to be deemed a full year resident alien which helps to simplify the filing of the 1040NR.

As married couples are required to file married filling separately when filing dual status returns it may be wise to elect under IRC 6013(h) to elect to file the returns on a married filing joint basis. The down side to this of course is that both spouses income will be included on the return for the full year regardless of when they entered the country.

Hope that helps and please give me a call so we can discuss the filings of your dual status returns.


Phil Hogan, CA


  1. Hi, My dad is a dual Canada/Us citizen. He is living in the states for past 25 years— recently widowed. He is remarrying a Canadian woman. What are the tax implications if he moves back to Canada for 6 month of the year?


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