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5 Options for Canadians with US IRAs- Expat Tax Podcast

On episode #5 of the Expat Tax and Financial Planning Podcast we discuss some options for Canadians holding US IRA accounts.

Whether you moved up to Canada with a pre-existing IRA or have inherited an IRA from a relative living in the US the following discussion should help you make a decision on what to do with your US IRA accounts.

Collapse the IRA and bring the money to Canada

  • A good option for small accounts
  • May work if your income is already low
  • Keeps things simple
  • 15% minimum tax for non-US citizens

Roll the IRA into a ROTH IRA

  • An option for Americans moving to Canada only
  • Works if your current tax rate is less than your future tax rate
  • Need Canadian ROTH election

Leave the IRA in the US

  • Simple option
  • Some US brokers can’t manage US IRAs for Canadians
  • Likely the US broker will not be able to take direction from Canadian clients
  • Foreign currency risk not properly managed
  • Most US brokers simply do not understand Canadian tax and financial planning

Transfer the IRA to an RRSP

  • Can help consolidate accounts
  • Works well for smaller accounts
  • Often suggested by Canadian investment advisors that cannot manage IRA accounts
  • Can only transfer approximately the amount of your Canadian source income for the year
  • May be able to eventually split RRIF payments
  • You’ll lose the ability to transfer IRA to beneficiaries tax-free

Transfer the IRA to a Canadian border with both a US and Canadian securities license.Read more...

President Biden’s Financial Plan and Your 401(k)


Among the numerous changes to individual taxes that President Biden is proposing to pass into law in the first months of his term are some changes to the 401(k) plan that could significantly change retirement financial planning. According to reports, the most important changes will include:

  • The current 401(k) tax deduction will disappear.
  • Deductions will be replaced by a tax credit for all 401(k) contributions.
  • The tax advantage of 401(k) contributions would be reduced for high-income earners and increased for low- and middle-income earners.

Moving with Family and Daughter to Quebec from Texas


Hi Philip,

First let me thank you for your very informative “Americans Living in Canada” FB group. I learn a lot by reading through the posts – this is useful to me as my family is going to relocate to Canada (from Texas) and I started the immigration process.

The first step of this adventure is planned for this year and this is where I was hoping I could ask you a question. My daughter is an American-Canadian dual citizen, she is going to move to Quebec to pursue her studies by the summer.… Read more...

Top 10 Expat Tax Questions – Expat Tax Podcast

On episode #4 of the Expat Tax and Financial Planning Podcast we discuss some of the most asked questions I get from clients regarding cross-border tax and financial planning issues.

The top questions discussed on this podcast include:

  1. As a US citizen in Canada do I have to file US taxes?
  2. What is an FBAR?
  3. How do I report my US assets?
  4. What is the Canadian tax filing deadline?
  5. What is the US filing deadline?
  6. Can I own Canadian mutual funds as a US citizen in Canada?

Update: Biden’s Tax Plan


Although incoming-President Biden will come into office with control of both the House and Senate, the margins in both chambers are razor-thin. The bottom line: passing his proposed tax increases on corporations and individuals making over $400,000 annually might not prove a bit tougher than expected. As explained in a previous blog, the proposed changes include repealing President Trump’s 2017 tax cuts and raising the corporate tax rate from 21 to 28 percent.

Historically, Democrats have argued that wealthy people and corporations are not paying enough taxes.… Read more...

Second Stimulus Checks and President-Elect Biden’s COVID Relief Plan


How quickly things can change in Washington. Just weeks after a months-long stalemate was broken with the approval of a $900 per individual second stimulus payment, incoming-President Biden has unveiled a $1.9 trillion COVID relief proposal that will provide direct payments of $1,400 per person and expand both the earned income and child tax credits. Although specifics are still forthcoming, the belief is that the plan also opens up eligibility to both child and adult dependents along with mixed-status households, not only those households in which one spouse is a U.S.… Read more...

Inherited IRA from Brother in Texas


My husband and I live in a small town in rural Canada. In 2019 my husband’s brother, who lived in Texas, passed away and left my husband as beneficiary of an IRA account. Now we are in a frenzied dilemma!

Not sure what to do – we have talked with accountants in Canada who were no help at all. We understand that my husband must claim this money this year as “income” on his tax return.

Do we have to file taxes in Texas?…

The Biden Tax Plan: Implications for Individuals


It is safe to say that the 2020 Presidential Election was on personality and relatively light on policy details. But with the January 20th inauguration approaching quickly, here is an overview of what we know about the tax plan that will likely come into play in the first few months of the Biden presidency:

  • There is an expectation that Biden will enact several policies that will raise taxes on individuals with income above $400,000. This change is likely to include raising three primary taxes: individual income, capital gains, and payroll.

Tax implications of moving investments to Canada – Expat Tax Podcast

Note: apologies for the quality of the audio. Half of the podcast was recorded in my car. Subsequent recordings will be much more clear.

On episode #3 of the Expat Tax and Financial Planning Podcast we discuss some of the tax issues related to moving investments from the US to Canada.

Moving investments from the US to Canada does require some planning and a deep understanding of cross-border tax rules including the integration of the US-Canada income tax treaty.

In this podcast we discuss briefly how the cost basis of your investments are adjusted for Canadian purposes when you move to Canada.… Read more...

What is a 401k in Canada?


I’ll be relocating to Canada closer to the end of the year. I currently have a 401k that I contribute to through my employer. I will still be working for the same employer when I move to Canada (remotely). Should I continue contributing to my 401k? What is a 401k in Canada?


As with most cross-border tax questions…it depends.

First, you’ll want to ensure your employer truly understands their Canadian tax obligations for having employees in Canada. For example, if you’re doing the work in Canada you should be paid on a T4 with proper CPP and EI withholdings.… Read more...

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