USA Do NOT hide that Income- It is very dangerous - Canadian-US-Global Income tax help - david ingram expert US CANADA cross bor


I am continuously asked - How are they going to find out?  "They" is the IRS or the CRA or even the Mexican or New Zealand or Portuguese Governments.
Haven't got a good Mexican story right now but have a couple of good US and Canada stories.
California, New York and Illinois, and the province of Quebec are all really good at catching people who are working illegally in their jurisdictions.  They check Conference registrations, trade shows, and follow up on payments to others by businesses claiming a deduction.
Just today, I had a client who did his 2006 return but did not report $39,000 of subcontract fees that he had received from two other businesses who had paid him.  The CRA caught him because of audits of other businesses in the same businees and followed up by looking at the returns of people had been paid for subcontracts.  One of the payments was for $32,000 and the other was for $7,500 and it was easy for the CRA to determine that he had not reported the earnings becaus ehe had only reported $25,000 form a single employer.  Not only does the CRA want $24,000 in tax and CPP but they want a $6,000 penalty for wilfull failure to report and they want another $3,500 because he should have been collection GST because his business was over $30,000 and obviously so.  Of course, the GST is a flow through and it would not have cost the businesses who paid him a single cent if he had billed them for GST.  However, the big $32,000 payer is now out of business so he can not even go back and ask for it now.  He has to absorb it.
Another one was an exhibitor at a California Fair TWO years in a row.
Of course, not only did he not report the booth to California, he did not put that booth on his Federal Return.  Big penalties, big tax.
And yet another Canadian was also an exhibitor at a Canadian fair for two years and did not report.  In fact, he claims that he has NEVER filed a Canadian return.  Thankfully, for him, Canada only wants returns back to 2003.
Another client comes next week for 7 years of US returns.  Hassled at the border because he was travelling to a conference in Washington, where he was going to speak, he pointed out to the border guard that he was born in the US and had been told he was still a US citizen even though he had not lived in the US since he was two years old.  Well, sir, of course you are a US citizen, and by the way have you been filing your US income tax returns?
He is lucky, they could have asked for returns back to 1967.


Gillian, who has been here for over five years now, told me she had never seen so many catch-up returns coming in the door.  She actually (I understand) thanked one of the CRA reps today for pushing so much business out way.
Well, it is NOT just the CRA.  It is every political jurisdictioon with a tax return.  And, it gets worse.
Yesterday, as well, a US lady client with a $2,000,000 corporation in Canada brought her US return in to be done.  Owning a Canadian or French or German or any other foreign corporation means that the US citizen has to file form 5471.  Even though the Canadian CA advertises themselves as US Canadian Specialists, the one 8891 prepared was wrong, they missed the second 8891 although they did do a TDF-90 for it, they failed to prepare a TDF-90 for her Corporate Bank account, they checked off NO to question 8 on schedule B even though they did the 8891 which is a substitute for the 3520 asked for in question 8.  But the most serious was that they failed to prepare form 5471 for the foreign (Canadian) Corporation which can carry a fine of $60,000 per year along with a fine of $10,000 for failure to report the bank account for the Corp bank account AND a fine of up to 35% of the money in the second RRSP plus 5% per month up to a maximum of 60%.  They KNEW about the Canadian Corporation because her T4 slip was issued from the Canadian Corporation which bore her last name.
Do not get me wrong.  I have missed things because I had did not ask hard enough or illustrate the problems well enough.  But, this one was extreme because ALL of the information was there.
And i am pleased to say that I feel that when we file the 5471 back to cover the years since she inherited the business and file the missing TDF 90 and 8891 forms, there will be no penalties.  So far, knock on wood, the IRS is kind to their out of country citizens  when they come forward voluntarily. 
And obviously, if you see something here in your own life that you need to fix, you know where we are.
If you go to you wil find a better explanation on the US side.
The following is today's News Release from the CRA.  Take a look at the number prosecuted etc.  It will surprize you because the Canadian media rarely ever prints or publicizes Tax evasion convictions.
Symbol of the
Government of Canada

News release

The CRA takes action to enforce tax laws

Ottawa, Ontario, May 20, 2010... The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) uses a variety of tools and methods to identify non-compliance and take action to address tax cheating, as well as to correct honest mistakes.

The CRA is committed to promoting the integrity of the tax system through a wide range of compliance activities. In 2008-2009, the CRA:

  • obtained more than 787,000 tax returns from individuals and corporations who had failed to file, which resulted in a fiscal impact of more than $2.3 billion;
  • Conducted close to 374,000 audit and review actions, including 12,800 underground economy audits, and close to 1,200 audits of taxpayers suspected of earning income from illegal activities;
  • Detected almost $1.4 billion of unreported income for small- and medium?sized businesses;
  • Audit programs detected a fiscal impact of $5.2 billion identified through international and large business audits, and $2.2 billion resulting from audits and examinations of small- and medium-sized businesses (includes the fiscal impact of the $1.4 billion of unreported income noted above);
  • Reviewed the books and records of 4,371 businesses to ensure they were properly maintained;
  • Identified over 17,000 participants claiming donations of $484 million in tax shelter arrangements;
  • started legal actions that resulted in the conviction of over 1,100 taxpayers who failed to file their income tax returns;
  • resolved over 17 billion dollars of debt through various collection activities at Tax Services Offices.

In 2008-2009, CRA referrals of criminal investigations to the Public Prosecution Service of Canada resulted in:

  • Courts across Canada imposing fines of close to $29.2 million and offenders sentenced to more than 81 years in prison.
  • Convictions in 323 cases for tax evasion or fraud and convictions obtained in 98% of cases prosecuted.  

The CRA reminds all taxpayers when they file their returns, to be sure to report their income, deductions, and credits accurately. 

More information on the compliance activities the CRA undertook in the past year can be found in the Canada Revenue Agency Annual Report to Parliament 2008 - 2009 at

The CRA's Web site contains information on programs such as the Voluntary Disclosures Program ( This program allows taxpayers to come forward and correct their tax affairs without penalty and prosecution. 

This document is also available for download in PDF format.

To get notification by email when news releases, fact sheets, tax tips, and tax alerts are added to our Web site, subscribe to our electronic mailing list. You can also subscribe to the Media room RSS feed.

the following is a list of a few people prosecuted in the US for failure to report out of country financial accounts.


The following from the IRS site will give you a bit of an idea.  Notice the jail sentences. Jerome Schneider of Vancouver got 6 months and a $100,000  fine for his dealings which had nothing to do with UBS.

The IRS continues to uncover abusive tax-avoidance schemes involving offshore activity. Find information here pertaining to Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS).

Aug. 19, 2009 Announcement and Documents

IRS to Receive Unprecedented Amount of Information in UBS Agreement (News Release 2009-75)

Excerpts from IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman's Press Remarks

U.S.-Swiss Government Agreement | Declarations |  Bank Agreement

UBS Clients

Feb. 4, 2010 — Jack Barouh of Golden Beach, Fla., pleaded guilty to filing a false tax return. Barouh admitted to filing a false tax return for 2007 in which he failed to report a foreign bank account.

Oct. 5, 2009 — Roberto Cittadini of Bellevue, Wash., pleaded guilty to filing a false tax return and admitted to concealing nearly $2 million in Swiss bank accounts. Cittadini, a retired sales manager for Boeing, failed to file a Report Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts for 2001 through 2003. Cittadini was sentenced on Jan. 8, 2010, to six months home detention and one year supervised release and was ordered to pay a $10,000 fee and $17,985 in restitution.

Sept. 25, 2009 —
Juergen Homann of Saddle River, N. J., pleaded guilty to failure to file a Report of Foreign Bank or Financial Accounts and accepted responsibility for concealing more than $5 million in Swiss bank accounts. Homann was sentenced on Jan. 6, 2010, to five years probation and was ordered to pay a $60,000 fine.

Aug. 14, 2009 —
John McCarthy of Malibu, Calif., pleaded guilty to failing to inform the government of a Swiss bank account as part of a scheme to move at least $1 million from the United States into Swiss bank accounts with the goal of avoiding the payment of federal income taxes.

July 28, 2009 —
Jeffrey P. Chernick of Stanfordville, N.Y., pleaded guilty to charges of filing a false tax return. Chernick, who owns a corporation which represents toy manufacturers in China and Hong Kong, accepted responsibility for concealing more than $8 million in Swiss bank accounts. Chernick was sentenced on Oct. 30, 2009, to three months in prison and one year of supervised release with six months served in home detention.

June 25, 2009 — UBS client
Steven Michael Rubinstein of Boca Raton, Fla., pleaded guilty to filing a false tax return for tax year 2004. On April 1, 2009, Rubinstein was charged with filing a false tax return that intentionally failed to disclose the existence of a Swiss bank account maintained by UBS of which he was the beneficial owner and failed to report any income earned on that account. Rubinstein was sentenced on Oct. 28, 2009, to three years probation, of which 12 months will be served in home detention.
April 14, 2009 —
Robert Moran of Lighthouse Point, Fla., pleaded guilty to a criminal information charging him with filing a false income tax return. Moran accepted responsibility for concealing more than $3 million in assets in a secret bank account at UBS in Switzerland. Moran was sentenced on Nov. 6, 2009, to two months in prison and one year of supervised release with five months in home confinement.

Legal Actions to Date

Aug. 21, 2009 — Former UBS banker Bradley Birkenfeld was sentenced to 40 months in prison. Birkenfeld worked as a private banker for UBS AG and assisted an American billionaire real estate developer evade paying $7.2 million in taxes.

Aug. 20, 2009 — Hansruedi Schumacher and Matthias Rickenbach were indicted for conspiring to assist wealthy American clients conceal their assets by establishing sham offshore entities. Schumacher was an executive manager at Neue Zuercher Bank (NZB), a private Swiss bank. Rickenbach was a Swiss attorney who advised U.S. clients.

Aug. 19, 2009 —  The Justice Department and the IRS today announced that
an agreement has been reached with the Swiss government regarding the John Doe summons filed against UBS on June 30, 2008. 

Feb. 18, 2009 — UBS AG, Switzerland’s largest bank, entered into a deferred prosecution agreement on charges of conspiring to defraud the United States by impeding the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Nov. 12, 2008 —
Raoul Weil, a senior executive of a large Swiss bank, was charged with conspiring with other executives, managers, private bankers and clients of the banking firm to defraud the United States.
June 30, 2008 — The Justice Department filed papers seeking an order from a federal court in Miami, Fla., authorizing the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to use a
John Doe summons to request information from Zurich, Switzerland-based UBS AG about U.S. taxpayers who may be using Swiss bank accounts to evade federal income taxes.
May 13, 2008 — Banker
Mario Staggl was indicted for conspiring with banker Bradley Birkenfeld to assist an American billionaire real estate developer evade paying $7.2 million in taxes by assisting in concealing $200 million of assets in Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

Dec. 12, 2007 — Igor Olenicoff, president and owner of Olen Properties Corporation, pleaded guilty to filing a false tax return for tax year 2002 related to foreign bank accounts he failed to disclose to the IRS. According to Olenicoff’s plea agreement, during the years 1992 through 2004, Olenicoff owned, controlled and had signatory authority over financial accounts outside of the United States.

Since we can NOT even begin to deal with everyone in North America, there is really only FOUR of us., the following is a list of other competent US Canada Tax consultants I recommend you might want to deal with.
Of course, i would prefer that you phone us first, but if one of these people is just down the street in Vicotria or Halifax or Dallas, Texas, sending it to us in North Vancouver does not make a lot of sense.  You will notice that there are not a lot of US names.  The reason is simple.  There just is not enough business for this in the US for most people in the US to develop a competent profile.  The exception is Gary Gauvin who was my partner in Ottawa and moved to the Dallas Area.  He has developed a major mail in service for US Canada situations.

Hi David:

I am in need of an accountant. I have interviewed several accountants thus far and haven't been impressed with the customer service. I
 am looking for someone who will work with me to understand my tax situation and let me know if they have the expertise to organize 
my taxes.  

I am a Sales Associate for a Direct Selling company (Multi-Level-Marketing) in XXXXXXXXX, XXXXXX.
I have a home based business (not a hobby).  This is my main stream of income.  I am responsible for marketing and distributing their 
health, nutrition, and personal care products.  They have been approved to do business in x countries including Canada. I reside in Columbus, Ohio.  
I have gotten paid by the xxx branch since March of 2004.  I made $xx,xxx USD in 2007.  So on xxx 28, 2007, I decided to incorporate 
in Vancouver, Canada.  
Why Vancouver you ask? because my company's office in Canada will pay me 1.43 CAD.  As you know the CAD and the USD are basically
 a 1 to 1 ratio.  This will boost my income about 43%.  

So my current situation is that I incorporated in Vancouver, Canada on xxx 28, 2007 and my first CAD check was deposited in my TD Canada Trust
 account on xxxxxxx,   I live in Columbus, Ohio.  This will be my main residence.  I will travel around the world but will stay in Ohio.  I anticipate 
making about $xx,xxx CAD in 2008.  I deduct all my business expenses such as a percentage of rent, some meals, miles, airfare, hotels, tools, etc.

So here comes my question, can you help me and where do I go from here?


david ingram replies:

You are obviously an interesting person.  I just followed your adventures through Malaysia, KL, Singapore and Australia.

I also spent a summer in Columbus back in 1958 (before you were born) and got to be shown around a B-47 Bomber at Lockbourne (now Rickenbacker since 1974) Air Force Base.  I also saw a F-86 Sabre Jet that was visiting the base at the time. Real thrills for a Canadian kid from Winnipeg, Manitoba. 

I am afraid that you have complicated your life by putting your situation outside of the comfort zone of 997 3/4's out of 1000 accountants.  That means that you will have to interview 400 or so more accountants before you come up with one or you can follow my suggestions below.

I have no interest in your business although I could do it.  Why no interest?  I can look after another 20 or 30 clients at an average of $1,200 in the time that it takes me to deal with your cross border corporate details.  I am not set up with corporate preparation people.  And, you will not want to pay me the $15,000+ a year that the cross border accounting and advice a year will / would be worth whether you do $10,000 worth of business or $100,000.  I am NOT a good hand holder. I do not follow up worth a damm.  I hardly ever return phone calls.  BUT, I accept phone calls from 10 AM to 9 PM seven days a week so if you phone at 1 and I have not called back by 6 PM, you can call me back up to 9 PM.  Even in July, you are welcome to call me at 5 PM on a Sunday.  I would rather that every one phones when they think about something than 15 people try calling at 10 AM on Monday. I also take calls when clients are with me.  Rude?  Maybe, but it means that that person also gets the ability to interrupt me with someone else and what goes around comes around.  I think every client I have met in person has been interrupted
during their 'private' consultation.  And I bet that 16 out of 20 of them have had the courtesy of being able to interrupt me with someone else when they have that burning question that came up while they are sitting in their bank manager's office or being questioned at the border. It works for me and my clients although it is unusual.

Now, 'Anyone' good enough in a major accounting office to deal with your stated objectives is going to be looking at $400 to $500 an hour for the  advice you are looking for.  The  US and Canadian Tax returns should be a minimum of  $5,000 with $10,000 not out of sight by the time you fill in your US 5471 forms and prepare your Canadian Corporate T2 return. 

HINT one.

You should only use a December 31 year end for the Canadian company because the US 5471 forms will be much cheaper if you are set up as a Dec 31st year end.  By the way, failure to file the 5471 forms is a minimum penalty of $10,000 for the first 90 days and $10,000 every 30 days thereafter to a maximum of $50,000 a year per shareholder of the Canadian company.

In addition the Canadian Company will also likely end up with more than $10,000 in its account at some time and that necessitates the filing of form TDF 90-22.1 which has a minimum fine of $10,000 to a maximum fine of $500,000 plus up to 5 years in jail for failure to file.

Hint two.

When you are trying to find an accountant on either side of the border, start off by asking them what the rules are for when a 5471 and a TDF 90-22.1 have to be filed.  If they can not answer immediately, then you do not want to be their guinea pig. Now, it will be likely that the person who answers the phone does not know so do not ask them so that they can write it down, say no one is available and then have someone else phone you back after getting a chance to look up the answers.
Save the questions for the actual tax person.

Hint three.  

I would forget about the corporation unless you know it is going to make you a fortune.  It 'reallllly' complicates your life!  there is no way that being the president of a non-resident CANADIAN corporation is worth the hassles unless it is making you $100,000 a year or more in my opinion.

But you still have the corporation.

Some hints to get them done. Who could look after you?

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 person office.  Advantage - You will always get to talk to Gary.

Gary likes corporations.  I  and my three associates do not like them. I like dealing with individuals who deal cross-border withOUT corporations.

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     Sonja Clarke in West Vancouver, BC at (604) 913-3376
OR     Brad Howland in Victoria, BC 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 inthe fall of 2005, I ended  up with $16,000 to $18,000 of dental bills, 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 exceopt that I was not flossing.  Which one did i appreciate more?

Well both - the first time was expensive buit dealt with years of neglect.  The second said I am on the right track.

Good luck.

If your question was not answered fully or you wish to go further, I am available for individual consultations by phone or email or in person for $450 per professional hour. 

Please also note that we prepare Canadian, US, Australian, UK and New Zealand returns on a mail in, email, fax, snail mail or couriered basis. At any time, our clients are in 40 countries or more.  They have every occupation from nuclear Submarine captains to FedEx pilots to Major Bank officers to Politicians, Diplomats and border patrol officers.  My favourite, however, is a penguin catcher in Antarctica among others there..

If you 'really' only have a single question requiring a 'couple' of minutes, you can try phoning me for free as part of the following.

- For a quick free question

You might try calling Fred Snyder's radio program for an answer on a Sunday Morning.. 

Fred Snyder's  "IT'S YOUR MONEY" radio show. on CISL,  650 AM on the dial in Vancouver from 9 to 11:00 AM every Sunday  (604) 280-0650 or (877) 280-0650 - You can listen live from anywhere in the world at from anywhere in the world. click on the button in the top left hand corner.
You might try calling Fred Snyder's weekly radio programs for an answer. 
    • Circular 230 Disclosure: Pursuant to recently-enacted US Treasury Dept. regulations, we are now required to advise you that, unless otherwise expressly indicated, any federal tax advice contained in this communication, including attachments and enclosures, is not intended or written to be used, and may not be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding tax-related penalties under the internal revenue code or (ii) promoting, marketing, or recommending to another party any tax-related matters addressed herein.

    • Privileged and Confidentiality Notice: This electronic transmission (and/or the documents accompanying it) may contain confidential information belonging to the sender. The information is intended only for the use of the individual or entity to which it is addressed. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any disclosure, copying, distribution, electronic storing, or the taking of any action in reliance on the contents of this information is strictly prohibited. If you have received this transmission in error, please immediately notify the sender by reply e-mail and immediately delete this record from your computer system.

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 or  If you forward this message, this disclaimer must be included."

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:
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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.


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