Snowbirds in the USA - 1040NR - 8840 - Substantial Presence Test.

 QUESTION: I am planning on relocating to USA in the near future. I will not 
work in USA but I do have retirement income from Canada, that I would use to 
live on in the USA. I only plan to live not work in USA, are their going to 
be any tax concerns for me.
 I realize I have to file a Canadian tax return can I be taxed again in USA 
on this income.
 david ingram replies:
 You can NOT just retire to the USA.   You can spend up to 6 months a
 year there as a visitor IF you have a home ready for you at a moment's
 notice in Canada. That means you can NOT rent your home ouot to a stuent
 or visiting professor while you go south.  It has to be ready for you to
 go home to if you get turned back at the border.
 In addition, to keep your provincial or territorial medical plan alive,
 you have to be in your home province or territory for more than 183 days
 a year with the exception of Ontario which only requires you to be there
 more than 153 days for some reason or the other.
 Under the substantial Presence test, if you are in the USA more than 120
 days a year three years in a row or 140 days a year two in a row, you
 will need to file a 1040NR US tax return and claim a closer connection
 to Canada on form 8840.
 Read the April 1994 newsletter in the top left hand box at
 for more information.  The numbers are a little out of date but the
 concept is exact.
 It is very unlikely that blind or unexpected email to me will be
 answered.  I receive anywhere from 100 to 700  unsolicited emails a day
 and usually answer anywhere from 2 to 20 if they are not from existing
> clients.  Existing clients are advised to put their 'name and PAYING 
> CUSTOMER' in the subject and get answered first.  I also refuse to be a 
> slave to email and do not look at it every day and have never ever looked 
> at it when i am out of town.  expert  US Canada Canadian American  Mexican 
> Income Tax help
> However, I regularly search for the words"PAYING CUSTOMER" and always 
> answer them first if they did not get spammed out. As an example, as I 
> write this on Sept 2, 2007 (the day before I turn 65), since June 16th (78 
> days), my 'spammed out' box has 24,417 unread messages, my deleted box has 
> 8063 I have actually looked at and deleted and I answerd 576 email 
> questions for clients and strangers.  I have also put aside 472 messages 
> that I am maybe going to try and answer because they look 
> interesting. -expert  US Canada Canadian American  Mexican Income Tax help
> Therefore, if an email is not answered in 24 to 36 hours, it is lost in 
> space.  You can try and resend it but if important, you will have to phone 
> to make an appointment.  Gillian Bryan generally accepts appointment 
> requests for me between 10:30 AM and 4:00 PM Monday to Friday VANCOUVER 
> (Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles) time at (604) 980-0321. expert  US Canada 
> Canadian American  Mexican Income Tax help.
> David Ingram's US / Canada Services
> US / Canada / Mexico tax, Immigration and working Visa Specialists
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> My Home office is at:
> 4466 Prospect Road
> North Vancouver,  BC, CANADA, V7N 3L7
> Cell (604) 657-8451 -
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> Calls welcomed from 10 AM to 9 PM 7 days a week  Vancouver (LA) time - 
> (please do not fax or phone outside of those hours as this is a home 
> office) expert  US Canada Canadian American  Mexican Income Tax help.
> 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 business 
> affairs such as at If you forward this message, this 
> disclaimer must be included." expert  US Canada Canadian American  Mexican 
> Income Tax help.
> David Ingram gives expert income tax & immigration help to non-resident 
> Americans & Canadians from New York to California to Mexico  family, 
> estate, income trust trusts Cross border, dual citizen - out of country 
> investments are all handled with competence & authority.
> Phone consultations are $400 for 15 minutes to 50 minutes (professional 
> hour). Please note that GST is added if product remains in Canada or is to 
> be returned to Canada or a phone consultation is in Canada. expert  US 
> Canada Canadian American  Mexican Income Tax help.
> This is not intended to be definitive but in general I am quoting $800 to 
> $2,800 for a dual country tax return.
> $800 would be one T4 slip one W2 slip one or two interest slips and you 
> lived in one country only - no self employment or rentals or capital 
> gains - you did not move into or out of the country in this year.
> $1,000 would be the same with one rental
> $1,200 would be the same with one business no rental
> $1,200 would be the minimum with a move in or out of the country. These 
> are complicated because of the back and forth foreign tax credits. - The 
> IRS says a foreign tax credit takes 1 hour and 53 minutes.
> $1,500 would be the minimum with a rental or two in the country you do not 
> live in or a rental and a business and foreign tax credits  no move in or 
> out
> $1,600 would be for two people with income from two countries
> $2,800 would be all of the above and you moved in and out of the country.
> This is just a guideline for US / Canadian returns
> We will still prepare Canadian only (lives in Canada, no US connection 
> period) with two or three slips and no capital gains, etc. for $150.00 up.
> With a Rental for $350
> A Business for $350 - Rental and business likely $450
> And an American only (lives in the US with no Canadian income or filing 
> period) with about the same things in the same range with a little bit 
> more if there is a state return.
> Moving in or out of the country or part year earnings in the US will 
> ALWAYS be $800 and up.
> TDF 90-22.1 forms are $50 for the first and $25.00 each after that when 
> part of a tax return.
> 8891 forms are generally $50.00 to $100.00 each.
> 18 RRSPs would be $900.00 - (maybe amalgamate a couple)
> Capital gains *sales)  are likely $50.00 for the first and $20.00 each 
> after that.
> Just a guideline not etched in stone.
> This from "ask an income trusts tax and immigration expert" from 
> or or David Ingram deals 
> on a daily basis with expatriate tax returns with multi jurisdictional 
> cross and trans border expatriate problems  for the United States, Canada, 
> Mexico, Great Britain, United Kingdom, Kuwait, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, 
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