The problems of crossing the border while waiting for the resident alien / green card - expatriate - transborder immigration

here is my question

dear taxman
I am a Canadian living in bc and will be moving to Florida in 2 years for a corporate sponsored greencard(xxxxxxxxxxxxx).the requirement is that I stay for at least a year to receive the green is not a scam as many of my old co-workers have gone thru the system and received their green noted,I wish to do the same.I do not wish to sell any of my properties here in Canada,nor my house.I have a wife and 2 children who may wish to stay in Canada for about 6 months per year or less depending on the tax I need to give up my house in bc,or can I work and continue to work in the US,while my family stays here for a fair bit of time?likewise does this change my residency status?
Is it possible to have a family that spends most of its time in Canada and for me to live and work most of my time in the US and still maintain my green card?Ideally,after receiving the greencard,I would like to continue working in the US,and still have my house here.Is there a way of doing this?thanks for your the time gets closer,I will be needing to hire a good taxman.
david ingram replies:

Your question was by-passed because of the shear number of questions. Your name was added to the list because that way, your question will get answered eventually but I am about 200 questions behind right now. However, by asking twice and seeing that the question has an intereting twist to it.

Interestingly, the question I answeredd before this also quoted Article IV of the US / Canada tax treaty which will govern your taxes.

I am going to repeat ARTICLE IV here again. and then comment after it:


Article IV - Fiscal Domicile - (it is the same number in most treaties)

For the purposes of this Convention, the term "resident of a Contracting State" means any person who, under the law of that State, is liable to taxation therein by reason of that person's domicile, residence, citizenship, place of management, place of incorporation or any other criterion of a similar nature, but in the case of an estate or trust, only to the extent that income derived by the estate or trust is liable to tax in that State, either in its hands or in the hands of its beneficiaries. For the purposes of this paragraph, a person who is not a resident of Canada under this paragraph and who is a United States citizen or alien admitted to the United States for permanent residence (a "green card" holder) is a resident of the United States only if the individual has a substantial presence, permanent home or habitual abode in the United states and that individual's personal and economic relations are closer to the United states than any other third State. The term "resident" of a Contracting State is understood to include:

(a) the Government of that State or a political subdivision or local authority thereof or any agency or instrumentality of any such government, subdivision or authority, and

(b) (i) A trust, organization or other arrangement that is operated exclusively to administer or provide pension, retirement or employee benefits, and

(ii) A not-for-profit organization that was constituted in that State, and that is, by reason of its nature as such, generally exempt from income taxation in that State.

2. Where by reason of the provisions of paragraph 1 an individual is a resident of both Contracting States, then his status shall be determined as follows:

(a) he shall be deemed to be a resident of the Contracting State in which he has a permanent home available to him. If he has a permanent home available to him in both Contracting States, he shall be deemed to be a resident of the Contracting State with which his personal and economic relations are closer (centre of vital interests);

(b) if the Contracting State in which he has his centre of vital interests cannot be determined, or if he has not a permanent home available to him in either Contracting State, he shall be deemed to be a resident of the Contracting State in which he has an habitual abode;

(c) if he has an habitual abode in both Contracting States or in neither of them, he shall be deemed to be a resident of the Contracting State of which he is a national;

(d) if he is a national of both Contracting States or of neither of them, the competent authorities of the Contracting States shall settle the question by mutual agreement.

In your case, because you will have a green card and be spending significant tiome in the US, you will be considered a residnet of the US for tax purposes. However, because you are also spending time in Canada and your wife and children and properties are here, Canada will want to tax you as well.

Presumably, you will rent or buy a place in Florida.

Article 2 a) will note that you have a permanent home available to you in both places. It wil lthen look at your personal and economic interests. Becvause you have significant asets in Canada and your family is here, that will settle it. The US will tax you on your American Income and Canada will tax you on your World incoem including the Florida income. Canada will allow you a foreign tax credit fo rthe taxes you have paid to the US so there will NOT be double taxation but there will be Canadian taxation.

On the other hand, if you rented (not sold) all your Canadian Properties on a long term basis, and took your wife and children with you, you would only be taxed in Canada on your Canadian rents and on your world income in the US, AND, your wife and children would get green cards and you could all get US citizenship which could / would be a tremendous asset to your children in the future..

Goto and read the US / Canada Taxation section in total.

Before you do any of this, you ned to sit down with someone like myself. Your spouse should be part of the meeting as well.

I do phone consultations as well. The kind of consultation you need for thjis would run from $350 to $700 in person or by phone.

And the answer is that if you sp[end enough time in the US and make your home there more than six months of the year, you can maintain your green card and your Canadian residence as well. However, you will not qualify for BC medical becaus eyou have to sleep in BC for more than 183 days a year to qualify for BC medical and you have to be in teh US for more than 183 days in a year to maintain your green card.