immigration tax planning -

Subject:        Pre immigration tax planning
Expert:         [email protected]
Date:           Wednesday June 06, 2007
Time:           08:20 PM -0400


Hello David

I have been granted permanent residence and will be immigrating to Canada from the UK in mid July 2007.

I am wondering whether there is any point in looking into establishing a Canadian Immigrant Trust before I arrive in Canada - the theory sounds good, sheltering income generated outside Canada from Canadian income tax for the first 5 years as a Canadian resident. However all of the information I seem to come across appears aimed at high net worth individuals (ie over 1m canadian dollars).  I unfortunately am not in this category. I do consultancy work in the UK through a limited company, and do have a decent sum sitting in the UK limited company that I have not yet dividended to myself. My original thought was to transfer the company into an immigrant trust and then dividend the money into the immigrant trust. However, I want to use this money to put toward purchasing a residence in Canada - if the trust pays me money after I become Canadian resident, am I liable to Canadian income tax on this because it is counted as income? If this is so, then I might as well dividend the
money to myself before I leave the UK, pay UK tax on it, and then just transfer the money over? I cannot seem to find any information on the set up and administration cost of such a Canadian Immigrant trust.

I also require some advise on the timing of sale of my UK residence if I decide to sell after becoming settled in Canada. I am not planning to sell in the UK at present, and aim to go cheap and cheerful on Canada property for the first few years. I may, however, after becoming settled, decide to sell in the UK and use the proceeds to buy a princial Canadian residence. Do I have to pay UK or Canadian capital gains tax on the property? The UK house will be rented while I am settling in Canada. Is there any point considering transfering the UK property into a Canadian Immigrant Trust?

Getting the visa seemed straightforward compared to looking into tax planning issues.

Thanks for any advice you may have

david ingram replies:

The Furthest I have biked is 350 miles from Winnipeg to Regina in 1960, five years before you were born. Your experience, training and amazing fortitude indicate to me that 'you' should likley beocme the world expert on Immigrant Trusts.

You have not said where you were moving to in Canada and the differences from Signal Hill to Victoria are immense as you know.

If I were you, I would make every effort to buy when you get here if you are coming to Alberta or BC.

If you are going anywhere else, i would hold back before buying.

Your house becomes revalued for Canadian Tax purposes when you enter Canada.  From that point, any gains are potentially taxable but because it was your principal residence, you 'do' have the right / ability to claim any capital gains to be tax free for the first 4 years 'if' you file an election to claim it as your principal residence under section 45(2) when you file your first Canadian Income Tax with the UK rent reported on form T776.

Canada taxes on mind and control. Therefore, your UK corporation must file a Canadian Tax return in Canda because its mind and control will be in Canada.  However, its value for Canadian tax purposes will be its worth the day you enter Canada as a PR.

I do not know what is going to happen in the future.  When you were here in 2003, the American dollar was worth $1.50 Canadian.  Today, it is worth about $1.04 Canadian.  At the same time, a house in Edmonton, Calcary, Victoria or Vancovuer has doubled in value.  Winnipeg, Regina, Saskatoon and most other cities in Canda have increased 50%.

I have no guarantee that it will happen again but i would be inclined to dissolve your UK corporation (less trouble), pay the tax on the dividends, and bring what is left to Canada and buy your accomodation.  If the property continues to increase in value, you will be a way better off.  If it stays level it does not matter and if it goes down in value for a while, it still does not matter because it is bound to increase again.

However, if you do not buy and property goes up $80,000, you have to earn $130,000 and pay $50,000 in taxes to make it up without paying any interest. 

Barring a nuclear holocaust (Chernobyl ??), Real estate in Western Canada is not likely to collapse in teh near future, and yes, I am aware that you feel you are a Chernobyl victim. Can it hit twice?

The following will give a slight indication of my feeling about immigrant trusts in general. 

Since any money you take out 'is' taxable in Canada and you will likely need funds out of the trust, you have to have close to a million in my opinion to make it worthwhile.  sorry, I did not mention PW in the following.  It was not on purpose, just did not name EVERYONE.

Immigrant Trusts, KPMG, Deloitte Touche, ask international income tax & immigration expert consultant david ingram from North Vancouver, BC, Canada experts on RRSP RESP IRA 401(K) radio CKBD 600AM 9 AM Sunday mornings on Fred Snyder's IT's YOUR MONEY

centapede at
Wed Aug 10 11:46:49 PDT 2005

QUESTION: We have just received our permanent residency to move to Canada from England.I would like to put 90,000 pounds into a guernsey offshore account.This is because the interest rate is 5.10 percent.When living in Canada when i send my tax forms in would i have to mention the ineterest i made on my tax form.Whether i bring the money into Canada or leave it still in the account. The interest would be equivalent to 10,000 Canadian dollars.And if i was taxed on this,what would be the percentage. Thankyou --------------------------------------------------------------------------- david ingram replies: New Immigrants to Canada are allowed to set up a five year immigrant trust which allows them to accumulate money within the trust tax free for that five year period. However, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has a bad habit of breaking the trusts. In the last two years I have had two South Africans with $400,000 and $1,000,000 tax bills because the CRA deemed that their immigrant trusts did not qualify. I doubt that it is worth your effort for 90,000 pounds as the setting up and management fees would be equal to the amount of tax you would save. The tax on $10,000 Canadian split between two spouses will depend upon what other income they have. Our marginal tax rates are approximately 25% on amounts under $35,000 30% from $35,000 to $60,000 35% from $60,000 to $100,000 40% from $100,000 to $120,000 44% over $120,000. Every province and territory (13) has a different local tax rate so there are likely 60 different figures. The foregoing is very approximate but is sufficient for you to figure out an approximate tax on $10,000. If you are going to deal with the concept of an Immigrant Trust, do NOT deal with someone you find with an Immigrant Trust website. My suggestion would be to consult with one of the BIG International Accounting Firms such as KPMG, Deloitte, etc. 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, I, david ingram am a permanent guest on Fred Snyder of Dundee Wealth Managers' LIVE talk show called "ITS YOUR MONEY" Those outside of the Lower Mainland will be able to listen on the internet at <> Call (604) 280-0600 to have your question answered. BC listeners can also call 1-866-778-0600. Callers to the show and questioners on this board can also attend the Thursday Night seminars on finance and making your Canadian Mortgage Interest deductible. David Ingram's US/Canada Services US / Canada / Mexico tax, Immigration and working Visa Specialists US / Canada Real Estate Specialists Home office at: 4466 Prospect Road North Vancouver, BC, CANADA, V7N 3L7 Cell (604) 657-8451 - (604) 980-0321 Fax (604) 980-0325 Calls welcomed from 9 AM to 9 PM 7 days a week (please do not fax or phone outside of those hours as this is a home office) email to taxman at <mailto:taxman at> <> <> 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 in connection with personal or business affairs such as at <> . If you forward this message, this disclaimer must be included." Be ALERT, the world needs more "lerts" This from "ask an income tax and immigration expert" from <> or <> or <> . David Ingram deals on a daily basis with expatriate tax returns with: multi jurisdictional cross and trans border expatriate problems for the United States, Canada, Mexico, Great Britain, the United Kingdom, Kuwait, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Indonesia, Japan, China, New Zealand, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Russia, Georgia, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Scotland, Ireland, Hawaii, Florida, Montana, Morocco, Israel, Iraq, Iran, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Mali, Bangkok, Greenland, Iceland, Cuba, Bahamas, Bermuda, Barbados, St Vincent, Grenada,, Virgin Islands, US, UK, GB, and any of the 43 states with state tax returns, etc. Rockwall, Dallas, San Antonio and Houston Texas Denmark, Finland, Sweden Norway Bulgaria Croatia Income Tax and Immigration Tips, Income Tax and Immigration Wizard Income Tax and Immigration Guru Income Tax and Immigration Consultant Income Tax and Immigration Specialist Section 216(4) 216(1) NR6 NR-6 NR 6 Non-Resident Real Estate tax specialist expert preparer consultant expatriate anti money laundering money seasoning FINTRAC E677 E667 105 106 TDF-90 Reporting $10,000 cross border transactions Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Garland, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon. 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