Canadian Living Overseas in XXXXi -

Dear Mr. Ingram and Associates,
My name is  XXXXX XXXXXXXXX – a Canadian living overseas.  My
wife, child and I have lived in  XXXXXXXXXX for 3 years now and
will be moving to Singapore in  Sept.  We are teachers on the
international school circuit and intend on staying overseas to
finish out our careers (approx. 15-18 years).
Never have I consulted an international tax lawyer, but I found
your website online and found some very useful information.  I
think it is rather timely, as I move schools, have TIAA-CREF
retirement funds at one school and am investigating a withdrawal
of these funds or a roll over.  What also complicates our tax
situation (which was once very simple) is the fact that we bought
an investment property in  Alberta in October.
We are in Vancouver for 4 days when we visit Canada this summer
(early  Aug).  I think it would be prudent to visit with one of
your consultants and get things straight relative to
non-residency and taxes.  However, if you don’t mind, before that
time I would like to pose some questions in an attempt to set my
mind at ease regarding a few issues/concerns I have.  If you can
respond via email, great.  If not, I would be more than willing
to set up and pay for a phone consultation.  If this works for
you, please let me know.  In the meantime, here are the concerns
I have:
  1.. Under the advisement of a group in  xxxxxxx specializing in
expat relocation, etc.  we have never submitted the NR-73
(Non-residency declaration).  We paid taxes the year we left,
ticked off non-resident, broke all ties (primary and secondary),
but never submitted the form.  Simple question – is this correct
or should we have submitted the form?
  2.. We purchased a condo in  XXXXXXX in the fall.  The deal
went through while we were in  xxxxxxx.  The property needed to
be renovated and because of various complications, the
renovations are just being completed.  We return in 2 months and
intend to meet with various property management companies and
have them rent it either short or long term My question is --
should we have filed a tax return for 2005 even though we had no
rental income?  I intend to file one in 2006, but was wondering
if we needed to communicate with Revenue Canada about the lack of
rent for the several months we were muddling through renovations?
  3.. And my final concern is the one that is perplexing me the
most.  Our school,  xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx School, initially enrolled
all non-American teachers with TIAA-CREF.  However, after 2 years
of paying into the program they dropped our school, claiming
patriotic act complicating factors.  The bottom line is, can I
take the money for my wife and I out of TIAA-CREF.  She has about
$9000 and I only have $1200 because they messed up my initial
application (a hassle at the time, but perhaps a blessing in
disguise).  We have non-registered investments with Investors
Group in their “corporate class” and also a new school set-up
account with AIG-AIS in the Isle of Mann.  Is there anyway that
we can roll over our CREF funds (our money is all in CREF) into
either our Investor Group mutual funds or into the AIG-AIS
account.  The biggest concern of mine is the penalty with
TIAA-CREF and the resulting taxes.  The way I understand it – a
withdrawal from CREF is a 10% penalty – however I have no idea if
a withdrawal is possible.  As for taxes, I was wondering if the
taxes on a withdrawal are in the USA, Canada or both?  And I am
unclear as to the amounts as well.  Ideally I would like to
transfer or roll over the funds to another “qualified” account,
but have no idea if the two I currently hold serve this purpose.
My apologies for the ramble, however as you can see I certainly
have some unanswered questions.  As I mentioned at the start of
this email I would be willing to meet and pay for a consultation
during our stop in Vancouver during the summer, however I would
also like to clarify some things before then.  If you have time
to reply, I would be very appreciative.  Thanks for your time.
 xxxx xxxx  School
david ingram replies:
1.    I do not suggest that you submit the NR-73 unless requested
to do so by the CRA. You should, however, read it carefully and
be sure that you do not have any Canadianisms like keeping a
driver's licence.
2.    Buying the unit in  Alberta is a negative but not
insurmountable if you have a long term rental. Do not file a
return for 2005.  DO capitalize all of your repair or improvement
3.    There should not be any TIAA-CREF taxation.  You are NOT
subject to American Tax in any way, shape or manner. Make sure
that they know you are NOT and have never been an American
citizen or resident.  However, if the TIAA-CREF pension was used
as a deduction in  xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx it may be taxable there.
Be glad to see you if and when you make it to Vancouver.
David Ingram's US / Canada Services
US / Canada / Mexico tax, Immigration and working Visa
US / Canada Real Estate Specialists
My Home office is at:
4466 Prospect Road
North Vancouver,  BC, CANADA, V7N 3L7
Cell (604) 657-8451 -
(604) 980-0321 Fax (604) 980-0325
Calls welcomed from 10 AM to 10 PM 7 days a week  Vancouver (LA)
time -  (please do not fax or phone outside of those hours as
this is a home office)
email to taxman at
Disclaimer:  This question has been answered without detailed
information or consultation and is to be regarded only as general
comment.   Nothing in this message is or should be construed as
advice in any particular circumstances. No contract exists
between the reader and the author and any and all non-contractual
duties are expressly denied. All readers should obtain formal
advice from a competent and appropriately qualified legal
practitioner or tax specialist for expert help, assistance,
preparation, or consultation  in connection with personal or
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message, this disclaimer must be included."
Be ALERT,  the world needs more "lerts"
international non-resident cross border income tax help
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