Can you help?


I am an American citizen married to a Canadian citizen with a permanent residence in the US (green card). We live in Vermont and I work here. He works on a ship on the Great Lakes for a Canadian Shipping company ( has worked there since before we were married). We own 3 properties in New York State, none in Canada. We have been filing US and Canadian taxes for 8 years (since marriage). He is divorced from his first wife who lives in Canada with their 2 children and pays child support and alimony (never missed a payment). They have joint custody of their children although they only reside with her in Canada. I have many questions about our taxes. He claims a world income from our rental properties in New York even though we have been losing money for the two years we have had all three because of repairs. His only source of income is Canadian employment. Does he have to claim world income? Can we claim any of the child support since they have joint custody? Is there anyone near us that can help with our situation? (perhaps Buffalo, NY?) I really feel we pay more than we need to but the tax offices in Canada are no help and the US tax people seem lost about the situation. Help!

david ingram replies:

1.   He is taxable on his great lakes shipping income for the time he spends in Canadian waters.  If he is doing Toronto - Chicago for instance, half of his income is not taxable in Canada.  As a Green card holder married to and living  with an American in the US, he is taxble on his world income  in the US. 

Under Article IV of the US / Canada Income Tax Convention, he is only taxalbe on world income in his country of residence. 

Child support is not deductible in either country most of the time.  The exception would be if support agreement was signed prior to May, 1987 and has not been amended since. In that case, child support would be deductible in Caanda but not the USA.Any agreement since May, 1987 does not allow child support to be deducted in either country.

His alimony is deductible in both countries if the agreement is drawn up properly.

I do not know of anyone who deals with these matters in your area.  

The following are good.  I do not know their figures but about half of my major clients do not live in Canada and send in their material to us by fax, email, snbail mail or courier.

Hi – I came across your fine website. I’m looking for similar services in Montreal, QC and wondered if you could recommend someone out here.  Regards,

 R -------


david ingram replies:

I have no recommendation for Montreal.  My old office in Ottawa had a marvellous US/Canada Tax consultant, Gary Gauvin,  but he has moved to Texas and I no longer have any ownership or anything else to do with the Ottawa office which bears my name.  If you type - income tax expert - into Google, Gary and I usually come up in the top three or four. (

Steve Peters with KPMG in Halifax knows his stuff.  (902) 492-6011

Brad Howland in Victoria is good.  (250) 598-6258

Steve Katz in Vancouver is really good with pension matters. (604) 732-1515

In Toronto, Kevin Nightingale is one of the best that exists.  The National Post's Jonathon Chevreau regularly recognizes Kevin and I in his columns.

The following from an older Q & A sort of states my position


Sent: Tuesday, January 03, 2006 6:02 AM
To: [email protected]
Subject: accountant in Toronto

A friend of mine suggested that I contact you. I am an American who
moved to Canada in 2005 and am looking for an accountant in Toronto
who can help me with my U.S. and Canadian individual tax returns, and
who can provide me with advice about what to do with my 403(b)
retirement account. Thank you for your help.
david ingram replies:

I will start off by saying that you should mail or courier it to us as half
of our clients do.

However, although I have never met him, Kevyn Nightingale and I have been
quoted in many articles in the National Post.

Kevyn Nightingale,
Suite 302 - 5001 Yonge Street
North York, Ontario, M2N 6P6
Tel: 416-733-9595 / Fax: 416-733-4725

And it was a good question.  I just looked at his fee structure and think I
will raise mine.