American working for Canadian company - Ask a

Subject: American working for Canadian company
This is a multi-tiered question.
I am an American living in Atlanta, and I have been offered a position to
work with a small business in Toronto.   Everything about the nature of the
job and structure of the position is flexible, so I want to plan ahead to
minimize my tax liabilities to either country.
For example, my primary responsibility in this new job offer will be
Managerial and Adminstrative.  Would I be better served to form a single
member LLC here in the States (or the equivalent in Canada)?   How can I
structure my travel, office, residences to minimize total taxes?
The other question is what documents do I need to prepare to be able to work
in Canada in any capacity (either as an employee, or as a "business" that is
essentially hired as a Management Consultant)?
Please reply at your earliest convenience as this is a fairly complicated
issue to navigate.
- Ask a cross-border International real estate rental mutual funds
immigration non-resident income tax expert - David Ingram 's CEN-TA Services
in North Vancouver BC Canada on It's Your Money CKBD 600AM Fred Snyder 's
Radio Show
david ingram replies:
Under NAFTA an American Citizen can be hired as a management consultant but
you have not described a management consultant position.  You have described
a manager's position and there is no qualification under NAFTA for managers
unless they are members of 63 different defined professional classes.
Are you intending to live in Canada?
Are you bringing a family to Canada?
Do you have a university degree and if so, what is it.
I am enclosing NAFTA rules following this.
If you do not qualify under NAFTA which is a one day visa, it could take 3
to 18 months for a working visa (same as my wanting to work in the US which
right now could not possibly be processed until next October).
Goto and click on the [US/Canada Taxation] link in the second
box down on the right hand side  for most of the income tax information.
You cannot be self employed under the terms you have suggested.  Other
possibilities involve coming as an entrepreneur, business investor or self
employed person  and would require significant investment and the hiring of
at least one Canadian in your new business venture.
The following are the NAFTA rules written for a Canadian to go to the  USA.
They are identical to come to Canada.  For some reason or other I could not
locate my "come to Canada" set and think they have been erased from this
TN - NAFTA Professional - (North America Free Trade Agreement) PROFESSIONAL
A professional is defined as a person with a minimum of a bachelor's degree,
who applies for a position, which requires a degree as its minimum
entry-level requirement unless otherwise specified.
This is the one we heard about in the news. To meet this classification
which is unique to Canadians, you must have a bone fide job offer and all
licenses and degrees in place for your profession.
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CHECK LIST for the TN Visa
    * An applicant for admission must establish Canadian citizenship
    * The applicant must be entering the United States to engage in a
profession or occupation at a professional level under NAFTA
    * The applicant must be in possession of an offer or contract of
employment from a United States employer stating:
        1)     The professional activity to be engaged in
        2)     Purpose of entry
        3)     Remuneration
        4)     That the position is temporary in nature and will not exceed
one  year  (although it can be renewed)
* The applicant must provide documentation of his or her educational degree
or professional qualifications
* The applicant must meet all licensing requirements
* Employment need not be full-time
* Permanent residence abroad is not a prerequisite
* Maximum period of admission of a TN is one year
* TN dependants accompanying the principal TN will be admitted under the
"TD" classification for the same amount of time as the principal
* A $56 U.S. fee is required ($85.00 for renewal by mail)
* TN applicants are not permitted to enter as a professional to participate
in any way to circumvent a strike
The following is a partial list of some who qualify under a TN Visa. Please
note that extensive experience can equal a degree in many cases. All need a
Bachelor or Baccalaureate degree unless otherwise noted. In some cases, 3 or
4  years of practical work in a discipline can count for one year of a
University degree.  Therefore if the University BA requires 3 years, you
need 9 or 12 years of work experience to qualify.
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* Accountants - RIA or SIA or CPA or CGA or CMA or CA
** Actuaries (this is one of two classifications added since 1989)
* Agriculturalists
* Agronomists
* Animal Breeders
* Animal Scientists
* Apiculturist
* Architects - BA or state / provincial license
* Astronomers
* Biochemists
* Biologists
* Botanists
* Chemists
* Computer Systems Analyst - BA or Post-secondary Diploma or Post-secondary
certificate and three years of practical experience. This does not get you
to the USA, if your job is programming a computer.  An Analyst might spend a
day a month working on some modifications (in a testing mode for instance),
but they better not be thought of as a "programmer" within the company.
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**** Computer Software Engineer *** This is NOT here as an approved
occupation.  However, Jackie Bednarz (US head of the NAFTA Section 16
Working group in Washington stated specifically that if a recognized
University was to offer the degree, she would consider computer software
engineers under the ENGINEER classification when a recognized University
granted the degree.  My understanding is that SFU and McGill are now
granting such degrees and that the Professional Engineers of British
Columbia have recognized graduates as members of their professional society.
Note that TC and TN's were being granted for this category on a sporadic
basis until the INS realized that no such "official" degree existed.
Jackie Bednarz also pointed out (She was part of the original negotiating
team when the original FTA (Free Trade Agreement) was being negotiated in
1985, 86, 87 and 88, there was no such thing as the INTERNET, "web masters"
and "web sites". When negotiating the job titles, no thought was given to
the computer revolution, other than the computer system analyst designation,
which at the time meant a main frame analyst for a $1,000,000 computer.
(Thanks to Stuart Lynne and Richard Pitt) (, the CEN-TA
Group was an official member of the internet as far back as 1986 and thanks
to Bill Gates himself (he told me to use Microsoft Xenix as my operating
system) and Radio Shack Model 16 computers, CEN-TA was using "email" between
offices in Toronto, Ottawa and Vancouver as early as 1983.
As another aside, Stuart Lynne and Richard Pitt went on to found WIMSEY, the
FIRST ISP in CANADA. Bill Gates became quite famous as well.
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* Dairy Scientists
* Dentists - DDS, DMD, or state / provincial license
* Dental Technicians
* Dietician
* Disaster Relief Insurance Claim Specialists - (claims adjuster employed by
an insurance company located in the territory of a party or an independent
claims adjuster) - BA and successful completion of training in the
appropriate areas of insurance adjustment pertaining to disaster relief
claims; or, three years experience in claims adjustment and successful
completion of training in the appropriate areas of insurance adjustment
pertaining to disaster relief claims
* Doctors - (see physician further on)
* Economists
* Engineers - BA or state / provincial licensing
* Entomologists
* Epidemiologists
* Forester - BA or state / provincial licensing
* Geneticists
* Geochemist
* Geologist
* Geophysicists  (including Oceanographer in the United States)
* Graphic Designer - BA or post-secondary diploma and three years
* Hotel Managers - BA in hotel / restaurant management; or,
post-secondary diploma or post-secondary certificate in hotel / restaurant
management and three years experience in hotel / restaurant management
* Horticulturist
* Industrial Designer - BA or post-secondary diploma or post-secondary
certificate and three years experience
* Interior Designer - BA or post-secondary diploma or post-secondary
certificate and three years experience
* Journalist BA plus three years experience - (This category is no longer
valid and has been left in to explain the circumstances. As I understand it,
journalists in general took it as an insult that they had to have a BA
degree, because, "most, if not all," of the best known journalists do not
have a BA degree.)
* Land Surveyor - BA or state / provincial licenses
* Landscape Architect
* Lawyer (including notary in the Province of Quebec) - LLB, JD, LLL, BCL
degree (five years); or membership in a state or provincial bar
* Librarians - MLS or BLS (for which another BA was a prerequisite)
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* Management Consultants - BA; or equivalent professional experience as
established by statement or professional credential attesting to five years
experience as a management consultant, or five years experience in a field
of specialty relating to the consulting agreement.  I must make it clear
here.  A Management Consultant is NOT a manager.  The surest way to lose
your management consultant renewal is to show up at the border with a
business card with the title General Manager, Western Region, or Human
Resources Manager, or, or, or.  A management consultant could consult with
the actual sales manager about sales techniques or about selling into
Canada.  A management consultant could be advising the actual human
resources manager in hiring techniques or even suggesting that one candidate
is a better fit than another one.  A management consultant can do market
research, gather and assemble data and write a report to give to the
manager. This is likely the hardest TN visa to get but is also a very
important one when it comes to serving the needs of the US company.
Note that the management consultant does NOT need a degree, just five years
experience.  This is the perfect job description for the person with 23
years of job experience who has never gone through the formal process of
getting a university degree in the discipline.
* Mathematician (including statistician)
* Medical Laboratory Technologist (Canada) / Medical Technologist (U.S.) -
BA; or post-secondary diploma or post-secondary certificate and three years
* Meteorologist
* Nutritionist
* Occupational Therapist - BA; or state / provincial license
* Organic Chemist
* Pharmacologist (Pharmacist) - BA; or state / provincial license
* Physician - (teaching or research only), MD or state /provincial license.
To work as MD, a doctor must pass his MLE (medical licensing exam), which
has three, parts written over a year.  After passing, he or she would enter
the U.S. under an H-1A.
* Physicist (including oceanographer in Canada)
* Physiotherapist/Physical Therapist - BA; or state     /provincial license
* Plant Breeder
** Plant Pathologists (This is one of two professions added since 1989)
* Poultry Scientist
* Professional (most recognized professions)
* Psychologists - state / provincial license
* Range Conservationist
* Recreational Therapist
* Registered Nurse - state / provincial license
* Research Assistant (working in  post-secondary educational institution)
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- * Scientific Technician - Possession of: (a) theoretical knowledge of any
of the disciplines: agricultural sciences, astronomy, biology, chemistry,
engineering, forestry, geology, geophysics, meteorology, or physics; and (b)
the ability to solve practical problems in any of those disciplines, or the
ability to apply principles of any of those disciplines to basic or applied
* Social Worker
* Soil Scientist
* Sylviculturist
* Teacher (College, Seminary, or University) (Post Secondary level only)
* Technical Publication Writer - BA, or post-secondary diploma or
post-secondary certificate, and three years experience
* Urban Planner (including geographer)
* Veterinarian
* Vocational Counsellor
* Zoologist
Answers to this and other similar  questions can be obtained free on Air
every Sunday morning.
Every Sunday at 9:00 AM on 600AM in Vancouver, Fred Snyder of Dundee Wealth
Management and I, David Ingram  will be hosting an INFOMERCIAL but LIVE talk
show called "ITS YOUR MONEY"
Those outside of the Lower Mainland will be able to listen on the internet
at <>
Local calls are taken at (604) 280-0600 and Long Distance calls are taken at
1( 866) 778-0600
I do not know how far the LD line reaches.
This from "ask an income tax and immigration expert" from
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David Ingram's US/Canada Services
US / Canada / Mexico tax, Immigration and working Visa Specialists
US / Canada Real Estate Specialists
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North Vancouver,  BC, CANADA, V7N 3L7
Res (604) 980-3578 Cell (604) 657-8451
(604) 980-0321 Fax (604) 980-0325
Email to taxman at <mailto:taxman at> <>
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