Canadian Buying Triple Net rental property in - will have cash flow problems -


An old friend George Carlin died today, June 22, 2008  -- George lived with me for two months in 1963 in Regina and Winnipeg when he performed at the Fourth Dimension just after breaking up with his former partner Jack Burns.

Farewell to the Hippy Dippy Weatherman

david ingram
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My question is: Applicable to both US and Canada

QUESTION: I am Canadian citizen. I am planning to Buy a 2.4M 
Commercial property with 20% down in US. This is leased 
out for next 22 years. The NNN rent for next 19 Years will 
go directly to bank, which is financing the purchase, to 
pay down Interest and Principal. I will not be getting any 
cash in my hand. The property will be free and clear after 
19 years. The question is what will be tax implications for 
next 19 years? I think Even though I don't get any Cash in 
Hand, there could tax implications as owner of the 
property [Income - (Interest +Depreciation)] will be 
attributed to me. Is that means I have to pay taxes out my 
pocket every year?

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david ingram replies;

You must file a US 1040NR and a state return to report the rent every year.  Even though you are not receiving any cash because it is a triple net lease with  the tenant paying repairs, taxes and utilities, because the loan is being paid off in 19 years, you will be making a profit of at least $1,920,000 over 19 years. 

Depending upon the breakdown between land and building, you will be able to write off or depreciate the value of the building against that profit but if the building was worth $1,200,000 and the land $1,200,000, you would still have tax to pay on $720,000 ($1,920,00 - $1,200,000) over that 19 years and in fact it would be more because you have to depreciate the building over 31.5 years and the loan is paid off in 19. The actual amount of depreciation available to claim would be $1,200,000 / 31.5 = $38,095 x's 19 years $723,809.50 so you would have tax to pay on $1,920,000 - $723,809 or $1,158.095 or so.

Of course, if the land was worth $200,000 with a brand new $2,200,000 building the answer would be more in your favour but if you have a $200,000 building on a $2,200,000 piece of land, you will owe a WHOLE lot of tax.  this is because your taxable profit each year will be the amount paid down on the principal of the mortgage minus the depreciation available.  In the US, you MUST claim  a set amount of depreciation even if it creates a loss on the tax return.  In Canada you can claim it or not if a profit but not use CCA (depreciation) to create of increase a rental loss.

You had better sit down with someone who knows how to do some calculations for you because you could be paying a whole lot of money out to both countries.

In particular anyone you talk to MUST - ABSOLUTELY MUST know how to do both returns at the same time.  DO NOT DEAL WITH ANYONE who is going to do the Canadian and send the American to his US office or vice versa.  You ONLY want to deal with an individual who does both countries themselves and lots of them.  If you do not coordinate the depreciation for instance, you may lose out on the ability to claim foreign tax credits.

I have no idea where you live so will give some names of others across the country who can help you if you do not want to use us.

------------------
Who could look after you other than us?

Gary Gauvin is absolutely qualified to deal with you.  He is an old business partner of mine from Ottawa.  He now practices outside of Dallas Texas as a one or 1 1/2 person office.  If you deal with Gary, you will deal with Gary.  He is a US enrolled agent.  You can find his website easily.  Type - income Tax Expert -  into
google.  Gary will come up as number one or two.  Why, because he is.  If I am looking for a first or second opinion, I call Gary. Disadvantage -

Gary is a one and a half  person office.  Advantage - You will always get to talk to Gary.

OR   KPMG in Vancouver. The last time  I checked they had 22 people in their US/Canada department.  call (604) 691-3025.  Advantage - Lots of Backup.  Disadvantage - It will be hard to get the same person to deal with you three times in a row.

OR   Steve Peters with KPMG in Halifax (902) 492-6011

OR    Kevin Nightingale in Toronto (416) 733-9595

OR     Len Vandenberg with BDO Dunwoody in Kelowna, BC.  (250) 763-7600

OR     Steve Katz in Vancouver at (604) 732-1515

OR    Brad Howland in Victoria at (250) 598-6258

Whoever you choose, you would likely do well to consult with me for one or two hours a year.  If I have a suggestion, it will be worth it.  If I can't come up with anything, you will know that what you are doing is likely the best track.  I will compare it to my dentist.  When I went in the fall of 2005, I ended  up with $16,000 to $18,000 of dental bills, a root canal, a bunch of pain, and a lot of nice new caps, etc. 

When I went for an inspection on Jan 29th, he could not find anything wrong except that I was not flossing.  Which one did i appreciate more?

Well both - the first time was expensive but dealt with years of neglect.  The second said I am on the right track.
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The following is what I presented to Ozzie Jurock's seminar at SFU yesterday, June 21, 2008

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David Ingram's US/Canada Services
US/Canada/Mexico Tax Immigration & working Visa Specialists
US / Canada Real Estate Specialists
4466 Prospect Road
North Vancouver,  BC, CANADA, V7N 3L7
Calls accepted from 10 AM to 10 PM 7 days a week
Res (604) 980-3578 Cell (604) 657-8451
Bus (604) 980-0321 Fax (604) 980-0325
davidingram@shaw.ca
www.centa.com www.david-ingram.com

 

June 21, 2008.


Rentals in the USA.

 

QUESTION that came to me from ASK AN EXPERT at  www.jurock.com

 
We just purchased property in Spokane Washington( a 4 plex apartments)
We plan on renting out 3 of the units and keeping one.  I was told by the border crossing inspector,
that I have to hire a rental agency in order to rent out the apartments.
and I also  have to have a property manger full time..
We will be at our apartment approx 2 times a month..
So we do not need a property manager.
Do you know if this true,, or please direct me to the correct person that would be able to help me.
Thanks for your time.
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david ingram replies:

You need a property manager if you do not want the strong possibility of going to jail for a few days before being deported and then not allowed back in the USA. For a story about US Immigrations hell for a Holiday Inn Manager, try
http://apostille.us/news/local_holiday_inn_express_manager_in_jail_on_immigration_charges;_husband_fights_for_her_return.shtml
or how about a married woman's ordeal in Georgia for a traffic violation  at
http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/story.html?id=f4f1d2fb-07ae-4560-8f6c-703acf8146fb&k=0

Crossing the border when you have an ad running to show the premises and saying you are going down to spend the weekend in your holiday home (i.e lying to the HOMELAND Security official) could result in seizure of your vehicle and a ban for up to 10 years under their ER (Expedited Removal) process.  In other words, it is more serious to lie to the guard at the border than it is to do the work.

You 'could' actually show the property for rent,  but you can NOT write out a contract for rent or collect a single rent cheque (check) or cash for rent in the United States. There is nothing new about this.  The first time I ran into it was in 1972 or 1973.

If you are physically there, you can NOT cut the grass, shovel the sidewalk, paint or decorate or repair or fix or remodel or improve or take out the garbage for any part of the rental property.

You can paint and clean your own unit if it is NEVER rented or intended to be rented. You can not paint and clean up getting the property ready for rent so DO NOT make the mistake of thinking you can live in one, clean it up and remodel it and then rent it out and do the same for another one and then another one and another one. If you do this and one of your tenants (who maybe doesn't like you because you evicted them or told them to turn their stereo down when you happen to be in town or for any other reason) read my website, (or the uscis website) he or she would find out that you can NOT do this stuff and could phone the Homeland Security office or write an anonymous letter and you could be arrested in November 2008 for something you did in December 2007. 

This may seem unreal, but in US terms, working without a visa is just as serious in law as the spontaneous robbing of a convenience store and the penalties can be worse.  Think of those nightly news shows with 28 illegal Mexican or Guatemalans citizens being stuffed into Paddy wagons on the Arizona border. This is not a racist comment but with the Mexican illegal immigrants, bing rounded up and shipped back across the border is a way of life with no social stigma.  For a nice clean living Canadian, being thrown into an immigration detention cell for taking money for rent is a devastating experience. In one case, a mother and her son were thrown into jail for 5 days in Phoenix when she went to Phoenix from White Rock BC.  Her husband owned 18 units and HAD a property manager.  Unfortunately, he also died in the arms of that female property manager and his widow then fired the property manager and she and her 20 year old son went to Phoenix to collect the rent and hire another property manager.

The property manager (who knew the law as everyone in Arizona does) phoned Homeland Security who showed up and arrested mother and son and threw them into the notorious Phoenix Immigration hell with some 300 other illegals. To rub salt into the widow's wounds, the property manager ended up with the property because she was a second mortgage holder on the property and the property fell into default because of the widow's cash flow troubles, largely because she could not go to Phoenix to hire another property manager.

For instance, for 'you', this kind of arrest could result in imprisonment for a usual five days in a US immigration jail until you posted $5,000 bail each and then being banished from the US for five to ten years. 

It does not stop there.  This type of conviction would stop you getting on an airplane which stopped in the USA on the way to Mexico.  AND,  under new US laws that have been proposed but not yet actually put in place, the arrest and banning would stop your Nov 6 trip to Cancun because people in this position will not even be allowed on commercial airliners that are flying over any part of the US. To get to Cancun, you would have to fly from Calgary or Vancouver to London England and then back to Mexico City and 'then' to Cancun and reverse it to get home.

This may be overkill but 'You' are / were lucky that the inspector gave you the correct advice BEFORE you put your foot in it.

By the way, for income tax You ALSO HAVE TO FILE A 1040NR US TAX RETURN WITH A SCHEDULE E AND A SCHEDULE 4562  EACH.  Then the same income gets put on Schedule T776 of your Canadian return.  If you have paid tax to the US, you will claim it as a credit on Canadian forms T2209 and T2036.

 

David Ingram's US/Canada Services
US/Canada/Mexico Tax Immigration & working Visa Specialists
US / Canada Real Estate Specialists
4466 Prospect Road
North Vancouver,  BC, CANADA, V7N 3L7
Calls accepted from 10 AM to 10 PM 7 days a week
Res (604) 980-3578 Cell (604) 657-8451
Bus (604) 980-0321 Fax (604) 980-0325
davidingram@shaw.ca
www.centa.com www.david-ingram.com

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The second dealt with making your personal mortgage interest in Canada deductible and the Overs, Evans, Lipson and Singleton tax cases and GAAR

David Ingram's US/Canada Services

Mortgage Interest as a Deduction in 2008 – dealing with GAAR

 

I first conceived of this method in 1975/76 when a client of mine had a rental duplex and had a tenant who was injured in a car accident.  It was at the time of the changeover from private insurance to ICBC and the injured single mother tenant was waiting for an insurance settlement. 

 

My client allowed his tenant to stay in the half duplex for more than a year and to stay afloat him self, he borrowed money to pay the duplex bills. When doing his 1975 tax return, we deducted the interest paid on the loan because the purpose of the loan was clearly to fund the rental duplex.   

 

When he finally got his cheque for more than $5,000 from the tenant, it would have been all over if he had just paid the loan off and we had not thought about it. But my client, bless his soul, phoned and asked if he had to pay off the loan (which was deductible) or could he use the money for another non-deductible purpose.

 

My answer, after thinking about it for a day or so, was that he could us e the $5,000+ for any purpose he could think of.  At the same time, I said this, I was also writing something for the North Shore Credit Union and put my ‘new’ method of making the mortgage interest deductible in this report which they then published as part of an advertisement in the North shore News in (I think) November, 1976. 

 

I expanded it and it was next published by Hancock House Publishers in my Investment Guide in 1979, 1980 and 1985 and 1991 and BC Business magazine in 1979. Sometime in there, the Ontario Dental Association also ran it in their magazine. It then became part of the Internet and can be found in the March 1997 and November 2001 newsletters.

 

I was pretty heavily involved in the Federal  Conservative Party (ran for the North Shore Nomination in 19780 and am proud to say that we got mortgage interest as a tax deduction on the 1979 federal Income tax return. 

 

Unfortunately, Joe Clark, the Prime Minister at the time, did not count the number of yes votes and lost a non-confidence motion on Dec 12, 1979, and on Feb 18, 1980, Pierre Trudeau was re-elected as Prime Minister and even though there was a 4-page form and a line on the T-1 General that year, the deduction was killed retroactively by the liberal government and we no longer had this benefit for all without manipulating the paperwork.

 

In 1981, Fred Snyder was running a series of seminars and teaching my method to a lot of different groups.  In one seminar, he taught it to Realtors, McCauley, Nicolls, Maitland and Company and the manager Fraser Smith wrote Fred a letter thanking him for explaining the methods.  In 1985, Fraser Smith than published the SMITH MANOUVRE which explains the method in great detail and at the time, VANCITY Savings Credit Union was featured in the book and was very good at setting up the method.

 

Then on Oct 27, 1988 John Singleton had approximately $300,000 in his lawyer’s capital account.  He got permission to take the $300,000 out (it was his but was being used as security in his law practice).  He used it to buy a house and then used the house as security to borrow $300,000 which he then put into his capital account; this was all done in one day.  Of course, since the money in the account was now borrowed for business purposes, he deducted the interest on his 1988 and 1989 returns and the Tax Department turned him down.  He appealed and lost in the Tax Court of Canada but won in the Federal court of Appeals.  The CRA appealed to the Supreme Court and in October 2001, the Supreme Court of Canada found in favour of John Singleton in a 5 to 2 decision.

 

This case has now been quoted and cited in many other cases.  In OVERS 2006 TCC 26, Mr Overs paid back a shareholder-loan, which would have been included in his income.  By doing what he did, co-incidentally, the interest expense was made deductible. 

 

Mrs Overs borrowed funds to purchase shares of his holding company at their fair market value.  However, Mr Overs did NOT use a 73(1) rollover as Lipson did.  Therefore, no capital gain was realized but the attribution rules in section 74(1) worked to transfer the interest expense on the wife’s borrowed funds -- back to him.

 

Judge Little turned down the CRA’s claim that tax benefits arose from this series of transactions.  The taxpayer followed the Income Tax Act in repaying his loan and transferring the shares to his wife. Justice Little ruled that the transactions were NOT avoidance transactions and therefore GAAR did not apply. Judge Little ruled that none of the transactions could be considered “abusive tax avoidance”.

 

And Judge Bowman ruled in favour of Evans (2005 TCC 684).  Judge Bowman found there were no avoidance transactions in what could only be described as a super complicated and very sophisticated series of business restructurings that ended up with a former shareholder receiving cash by using  specific rules in the Act, including sections 85

(rollovers), 110.6 (capital gains exemption), 112 (tax free inter-corporate dividends), 74.5 (attribution) and ss. 84(3) (deemed dividends).

Judge Bowman assumed that there ‘were’ avoidance transactions.  He then dealt with them on an individual basis to decide whether the avoidance transactions were ‘abusive’.  His final decision was that provisions of the Income Tax Act operated as intended and there could not be any abuse.

 

However, he was not of the same opinion with the LIPSON Family who lost in Lipson v. The Queen, 2006 TCC 148 

 

Mr Lipson owned a profitable business and:

  1. The Lipsons contracted to buy a home in Forest Hills in Toronto
  2. Mrs Lipson took out a demand loan to buy share in the family business from her husband.
  3. The shares were transferred to Mrs Lipson as a section 73(1)  rollover
  4. Mr Lipson used the funds to buy the house
  5. They “both” took out a mortgage on the house to repay the demand loan

 

 Judge Bowman used the Section 245 GAAR provisions to rule that the Lipson family was guilty of Gross Abuse of the Tax system.  Perhaps, if they had a business reason for the loan or had not used the Section 73(1) tax free rollover, he would have found in their favour as he did with the EVANS 2005 DTC 1762 case.  In the LIPSON case the wife’s borrowing did not put income in her hands and it was unclear who had paid the interest.

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MY SUGGESTED PRICE GUIDELINES - May 17, 2008

david ingram's US / Canada Services
US / Canada / Mexico tax, Immigration and working Visa Specialists
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 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  service help.
pert  US Canada Canadian American  Mexican Income Tax  service and help.
David Ingram gives expert income tax service & 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 $450 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. ($472.50 with GST for in person or if you are on the telephone in Canada) expert  US Canada Canadian American  Mexican Income Tax  service and help.
This is not intended to be definitive but in general I am quoting $900 to $3,000 for a dual country tax return.

$900 would be one T4 slip one W2 slip one or two interest slips and you lived in one country only (but were filing both countries) - no self employment or rentals or capital gains - you did not move into or out of the country in this year.
 
$1,200 would be the same with one rental
 
$1,300 would be the same with one business no rental
 
$1,300 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.
 
$1,600 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

$1,700 would be for two people with income from two countries

$3,000 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 $200.00 up. However, if you have a stack of 1099, or T3 or T4A or T5 or K1 reporting forms, expect to pay an average of $10.00 each with up to $50.00 for a K1 or T5013 or T5008 or T101 --- Income trusts with amounts in box 42 are an even larger problem and will be more expensive. - i.e. 20 information slips will be at least $350.00
 
With a Rental for $400, two or three rentals for $550 to $700 (i.e. $150 per rental) First year Rental - plus $250.
 
A Business for $400 - Rental and business likely $550 to $700
 
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 $900 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.

Catch - up returns for the US where we use the Canadian return as a guide for seven years at a time will be from $150 to $600.00 per year depending upon numbers of bank accounts, RRSP's, existence of rental houses, self employment, etc. Note that these returns tend to be informational rather than taxable.  In fact, if there are children involved, we usually get refunds of $1,000 per child per year for 3 years.  We have done several catch-ups where the client has received as much as $6,000 back for an $1,800 bill and one recently with 6 children is resulting in over $12,000 refund. 

Email and Faxed information is convenient for the sender but very time consuming and hard to keep track of when they come in multiple files.  As of May 1, 2008, we will charge or be charging a surcharge for information that comes in more than two files.  It can take us a valuable hour or more  to try and put together the file when someone sends 10 emails or 15 attachments, etc. We had one return with over 50 faxes and emails for instance. 

This is a guideline not etched in stone.  If you do your own TDF-90 forms, it is to your advantage. However, if we put them in the first year, the computer carries them forward beautifully.
 







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