RRSP and non US accounts

Hello Mr. Ingram:

I understand your rates.  I wish to find out if you have any experience in dealing with the following issue. 

A first-time filer, US citizen by birth only, 42 years old, trying to determine what non US accounts need to be reported to the Treasury Department and what the possibility is of leniency in the case of penalties on RRSP and such accounts, which were never before reported.

As background, I am a dutiful tax payer on the Canadian front, totally by the book.  I was ignorant of the full impact of delaying my US tax returns (I thought real estate would be my only issue).  I intend to renounce my US citizen (and have an appointment to do so) on July 27.  I cannot get an appointment any sooner.

I have a tax preparer in the US who deals with Ex Pat issues, but is not terribly familiar with Canadian situations.  He has prepared ten years' worth of returns for me but when preparing the Treasury Forms and looking into the background, and at Form 8891, he became concerned that I should seek advice from someone more familiar with actual practice in this area.

If you have experience of feel you can substantially guide me, I wiould like to call you and engage your services for the 15-50 minute time period.  I live in Vancouver and will of course provide more of my particulars.

david ingram replies:

With your occupation as a XXXXXXXXXXXX, I can NOT even begin to understand why you  would renounce your US citizenship.

If you ever intend to visit the US again, do NOT renounce your US citizenship.  If you are doing so to avoid having to file Income tax returns, you are banned from entering the US for life AND are still liable to file US tax returns for ten more years PLUS are subject to capital gains tax on your assets as everything is deemed sold upon your relinguishing your citizenship.

The most common and most important ex-pat forms atre the TDF 90-22.1 Treasury forms and the rules for their preparation are the same,  no matter which of the 265 countries you may be living in.  In addition, the rules are the same for any US resident who may have an account in antother country.

If your US preparere has 'any' question about the treasury forms, he or she is NOT an experienced preparer of EX-PAT tax returns.

The form 8891 is a substitute for form 3520 which applies to ex-Pats who live in any other country other than Canada.  An EX-PAT preparer would know how to fill in the 8 page 3520 which applies to retirement accounts in any country.  If he or she has any problem with the one page 8891, the same situation applies.  In my opinion, the person has NO credible ex-pat experience.

We provide the services you require.  If you have not done so already, You should read my Oct 95 newsletter (nothing new) which deals with just what you need to do as a US citizen in Canada (top ;eft hand box at www.cetna.com).

Then you should read the US/Canada Taxation section in the second box down on the right hand side.

Then you should read the Oct 93 newsletter on dual citizenship.

If you would like to talk to me, call Gillian Bryan at (604) 980-0321 Monday to Friday between 10 AM and 4 PM.  If you come to see me, bring in the Dec 31 2005 and Dec 31 2006 year end statements for any RRSP accounts you have and bring in a list of all of your Canadian financial accounts including life insurance poliices, trust company accounts, Credit Union accounts, Bank Accounts, Securities accounts, RRSP accounts and even a girl guide, church, brownie or company account you have signing authority over  I will need the highest balance in 2006 (to the nearest $10,000 or so). 

Rather than just talk, we can likely get the reporting done in the hour.