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Phil Hogan, CPA, CA, CPA (CO)
Cross-Border Tax and Investment Specialist
I am a self employed Canadian and US citizen residing in Canada.
I file Canadian and US income taxes each year on worldwide income with
foreigh tax credits/exclusions. I am going to marry a US citizen who
resides in Massachusetts (he is not a Canadian citizen).
We plan to continue to “visit” each other after we get married for a few years and
retain our respective residency status (me in Canada; he in the US). So
each of us would be at least 6 months in our respective countries. My
question is: Will this marital arrangement cause us tax issues in either
country? Do we each continue to file separately as we have been in the
past, but now state that we are married on the returns? Would “married
filing jointly” in the states have any tax benefits under our arrangement?
You definitely have to disclose that you’re married on both your Canadian and US tax return, however you can decide whether to file separate or jointly in the US.
The biggest concern would be your new husband’s Canadian tax residency status. If he stays in Canada for more than 183 days in any particular year he’ll be a deemed a Canadian tax resident and have to pay tax on his worldwide income in Canada. From a tax minimization strategy it would be best if he ensured he wasn’t in Canada for more than 183 days in each respective year.
Hope that helps.
Phil Hogan, CA