Ask your Cross Border Tax Questions Here…

cross border financial planner

I’ve started this post to help those having trouble answering their Canada-US cross border expat tax and financial planning questions. Please leave your question in the comments and we’ll do our best to help answer.

Also don’t forget to keep current on cross border tax and financial planning matters by signing up for our cross border newsletter.

Please ensure to use your email address (it won’t be displayed publicly) when commenting so you can be notified of new replies.

Likely question categories will include:

  • cross border tax questions
  • compliance and foreign reporting
  • late US tax returns
  • questions about holding US investments as a Canadian resident e.g. 401k, IRA, ROTH IRA, etc.
  • moving to Canada
  • moving to the US
  • non-resident tax issues
  • CRA or IRS dispute resolution issues

I look forward to your questions and please don’t hesitate to help answer anything below if you feel like you can contribute.

15 COMMENTS

  1. I moved to Canada in 2011 and had a relatively small IRA when I crossed. I will be receiving a rather large inheritance from my father who lives in the US. I would like to move the money to Canada when I get it. Does it have to stay down there? Or is their a waiting period? Is US inheritance taxed in Canada or the US?

  2. I was born in the US and my brother says I need to file US tax returns even though I’ve live in Canada my whole life. Is this true? do I file a 1040 or 1040NR?

  3. do I have to report my corporate bank accounts on my FBAR? I can’t seem to find a good answer to this and my accountant says he’s not worried about it.

  4. I moved to Canada with a variety of different accounts. I just realized that although I didn’t need to file my ira or 401k on my T1135 I was supposed to file something with CCRA with respect to my roth ira. what should I do?

    thank you

  5. Hello,

    My wife and I are possibility moving back to live in the UK , and we are looking for an adviser who is knowledgeable about how the following pensions are taxed if received in the UK:

    CPP ,OAS,Municipal pension and funds withdrawn from a RRIF .

    . Today, I spoke to someone at the CRA who told me that we would have to pay a withholding tax of 25% on OAS and CPP. However, according to their website the UK has a tax treaty with Canada and it states that we don’t pay tax, at least for those two pensions. As you can imagine we are left feeling confused. Therefore, we were wondering if your company is able to answer any questions we might have about our move and the tax implications related to moving to the UK? Also, if we decide to move we want a reliable company to help us out with filing all the appropriate forms and returns.

    • Hi there

      Thanks for the comment. I think you’ll need to call them back. On most period pension payments the tax rate should be nil, however considering the government will be making the payment you want to ensure they confirm this with you.

      I would contact OAS, CPP and any pension payors you have to verify what they will be withholding. It won’t matter what CRA says if they are not the payer.

      I’ve attached a reference for you to show them (see page 17).

      Hope that helps.

      Cheers

      Phil

  6. I’m a Canadian citizen (non-resident of Canada). I live in the US. I was paid a lump sum from my canadian pension while I was residing in the US. The Canadian government withheld 25% tax. How do I report this on my Canadian taxes and US taxes?

  7. I am Canadian living in the USA since 2018 and don’t have any residential ties to Canada. I filed my 2018 tax as a non-resident. What I want to know is –

    a. For 2019, do I need to file Canadian federal tax return?
    b. For 2019, do I need to file Canadian provincial tax return? (My last province was Quebec)
    c. Am I eligible for RRSP contribution credits for prior years as a non-resident?

    • Hi Talha

      Residency issues can be complex, so I can’t give you a firm yes or no, however generally speaking, if you’ve already severed your ties to Canada and properly filed an exit returns with form T1161 and T1243 (if applicable) you will only have to file Canadian returns if you earn rental income from Canada or sell real estate. Or in some cases work or earn business income in Canada.

      Unless you have Canadian sourced earned income, you will not continue to accumulate RRSP room.

      What sources of income do you have from Canada?

      Phil

  8. Hi Phil and team,

    I have some questions with regards to capital gains calculation for my situation of moving from the US to Canada.

    Facts:
    I acquired TSLA at an average cost of $223 in 2016 while residing in the US on H1 visa.I moved to Canada in December 2017 as a permanent resident. The high price os TSLA on the date of move was $333.74.I sold all shares of TSLA for $358 on 11/25/2019.I no longer have any income from the US other than Dividends from some companies shares I own that are domiciled in the US.
    My understanding:
    My understanding is that the cost basis is determined on the date of my move to become a permanent resident of Canada. If I use the high price of the day then the cost is 333.74. Thus the capital gains on this transaction would be 358-333.74 = $24.26/ share. I believe this is what I have to report to CRA.

    Questions:
    Is the calculation of capital gains correct given the facts?What happens to capital gains from $223 to $333.74 that was not realized when I moved to Canada but was realized when I sold the shares on 11/25/2019? Is that meant to be reported to IRS via my filing for 2019?

    • Hi There

      To provide proper tax advice we would need to review your situation in more detail, however in general terms (not formal advice), you will only pay tax on capital gains on US stocks in Canada. When you move to Canada you get a “bump” in your ACB up to FMV at that date. However, if you don’t pay at least 10% Canadian tax on the US gain (the full original) gain, then you in fact still have to tax at amounts in the US. Then you can apply a foreign tax credit to your Canadian returns for any US taxes paid.

      Hope that helps.

      Phil

  9. I am a Canadian, working in Canada but have permanent (green card) to live in the US with my spouse. I live close to the border in Washington State and commute daily to work in Canada. Need to know how to file my taxes and whether it’s best to do it joint with my spouse or married filing separate. Also would like to know implications if I cash out my pension at work, max out my rrsp limit and put the rest into a registered fund will I be taxed in the US even if it’s secured registered for retirement?

  10. My son is a Canadian university student who worked at Lyft in San Francisco during Fall of 2019. He has a simple return – just a W2 form, but overpaid USA Federal tax and California State Tax.
    He was taxed as if he earned that salary for 52 weeks (only worked 12 weeks).
    He had a work visa for the usa.

    Approximately what would your fees be to do his USA taxes (federal and California)?

    What is the process ?

    Can you service us from Winnipeg ?

  11. Hi Mr. Hutcheson,
    I found your website after searching for help on filing US taxes from Canada.
    To give you some background information about my situation, I am an American citizen and I have been living in Canada as a permanent resident for the past 12 years. Over the years living in Canada, I have been told various information about US tax filing that have left me confused and overwhelmed. I’m aware that there’s a certain threshold required by the US to file taxes and I have definitely gone over that threshold for the year 2019, but I’m worried that what this threshold doesn’t matter and I was supposed to file my taxes for previous years.

    I just need some clarification on what to do in regards to previous years.

    Thank you

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