Canadian oweing rental property in the United States -

We just purchased property in Spokane washington( a 4 plex apartments)
We plan on renting out 3 of the units and keeping one.  I was told by the border crossing inspector,
that I have to hire a rental agency in order to rent out the apartments.
and I also  have to have a property manger full time..
We will be at our apartment approx 2 times a month..
So we do not need a property manager.
Do you know if this true,, or please direct me to the correct person that would be able to help me.
Thanks for your time.
david ingram replies:
You need a property manager if you do not want the strong possibility of going to jail for a few days before being deported and then not allowed back in the USA. For a story about US Immigrations hell for a Holiday Inn Manager, try;_husband_fights_for_her_return.shtml
or how about a married woman's ordeal in Georgia for a traffic violation  at
Crossing the border when you have an ad running to show the premises and saying you are going down to spend the weekend in your holiday home (i.e lying to the HOMELAND Security official) could result in seizure of your vehicle and a ban for up to 10 years under their ER (Expedited Removal) process.  In other words, it is more serious to lie to the guard at the border than it is to do the work.
You 'could' actually show the property for rent,  but you can NOT write out a contract for rent or collect a single rent cheque (check) or cash for rent in the United States. There is nothing new about this.  The first time I ran into it was in 1972 or 1973.
If you are physically there, you can NOT cut the grass, shovel the sidewalk, paint or decorate or repair or fix or remodel or improve or take out the garbage for any part of the rental property.
You can paint and clean your own unit if it is NEVER rented or intended to be rented. You can not paint and clean up getting the property ready for rent so DO NOT make the mistake of thinking you can live in one, clean it up and remodel it and then rent it out and do the same for another one and then another one and another one. If you do this and one of your tenants (who maybe doesn't like you because you evicted them or told them to turn their strereo down when you happen to be in town or for any other reason) read my website, (or the uscis website) he or she would find out that you can NOT do this stuff and could phone the Homeland Security office or write an anonymous letter and you could be arrested in November 2008 for something you did in December 2007.  
This may seem unreal, but in US terms, working without a visa is just as serious in law as the spontaneous robbing of a convenience store and the penalties can be worse.  Think of those nightly news shows with 28 illegal Mexican or Guatamelan citizens being stuffed into Paddy wagons on the Arizona border. This is not a racist comment but with the Mexican illegal immigrants, bing rounded up and shipped back across the border is a way of life with no social stigma.  For a nice clean living Canadian, being thown into an immigration detention cell for taking money for rent is a devestating experience. In one case, a mother and her son were thrown into jail for 5 days in Phoenix when she went to Phoenix from White Rock BC.  Her husband owned 18 units and HAD a property manager.  Unfortunately, he also died in the arms of that female property manager and his widow then fired the property manager and she and her 20 year old son went to Phoenix to collect the rent and hire another property manager.
The property manager (who knew the law as everyone in Arizona does) phoned Homeland Security who showed up and arrested mother and son and threw them into the notorious Phoenix Immigration hell with some 300 other illegals. To rub salt into the widow's wounds, the property manager ended up with the property because she was a second mortgage holder on the property and the property fell into default because of the widow's cash flow troubles, largely becasue she could not go to phoenix to hire another property manager.
For instance, for 'you', this kind of arrest could result in imprisonment for a usual five days in a US immigration jail until you posted $5,000 bail each and then being banished from the US for five to ten years.  
It does not stop there.  This type of conviction would stop you getting on an airplane which stopped in the USA on the way to Mexico.  AND,  under new US laws that have been proposed but not yet actually put in place, the arrest and banning would stop your Nov 6 trip to Cancun because people in this position will not even be allowed on commercial airliners that are flying over any part of the US. To get to cancun, you would have to fly from Calgary or Vancouver to London England and then back to Mexico City and 'then' to Cancun and reverse it to get home. 
This may be overkill but 'You' are / were lucky that the inspector gave you the correct advice BEFORE you put your foot in it. 
By the way, for income tax You ALSO HAVE TO FILE A 1040NR US TAX RETURN WITH A SCHEDULE E AND A SCHEDULE 4562  EACH.  Then the same income gets put on Schedule T776 of your Canadian return.  If you have paid tax to the US, you will claim it as a credit on Canadian forms T2209 and T2036.
These older questions will help you AS WELL.
QUESTION: Hello David,
I'm living in Vancouver, finally paid off the student debt but don't see myself getting into the expensive Vancouver market. I do however like to ski and was thinking of buying an inexpensive trailer (25k Cdn) in Maple Falls Washington.  However I'm not sure what other expensives I should expect given that it's in the US. I'm not trying to make this an investment with a high return, but I would like to do some handy work to it to increase the value. If I add about 10k worth of value, how would that affect my taxes in the long term?
Thanks for the advice.
david ingram replies:
One of my favourite weekends ever was in 1973 at the Chandelier (think it has a different name now) when marooned at SnowLine  because of the gas shortage when one could only buy gas on odd days if your licence plate ende dwith an odd number and even days when it was an even number.
Strangely, it was that weekend 34 years ago that lets me answer you question now.
The cabin I was staying in was not a rental but was built by the fellow who owned it.  When he was building it, buddies would come down and help him and one weekend, the INS raided the spot and deported a bunch of his friends for working in the US .
He was fine building it because he owned it but no one else can hammer a nail, paint a board, install a sink, or carry a shingle if they are not either an owner or a legal US citizen or US resident with a green card.
If your buddy is working and living inthe US with a TN, H1, O1, P1, L1 or any other visa but a green card, they cam NOT help you either.
And, if you are intending to rent the trailer out 'EVER', 'you' can NOT hammer a nail, sweep the front steps or clean the toilet.
Assuming you are buying this trailer on its own lot, when you go to sell, you will owe the US income tax on the profit.
If it is your only pioece of real estate at that time, you will not owe Canada any tax because you can claim it as your personal residence if you have not bought another place.
However, I would far prefer that you stretched your resources to buy something in Canada to live in and combine your present rent and the payments you would have to make for the trailer to buy your home in Canada. If you can't afford a one bedroom, buy a studio.  Go down to Ikea onteh Lougheed highway and look at how much they can put into a small space.  
Interestingly, I read the other day that Ikea has now sold enough furniture in North america that 10% of all children are conceived in an Ikea Bed.  Now that is information worth knowing.
Good luck
If a Canadian citizen purchases real property in the U.S. are they required to have a U.S. Social Security Number?  Am I correct that my tax liability will be to the U.S., whilst reporting my income to the CRA but with offsetting foreign tax credits due to paying U.S. income tax?  For liability purposes, would it be more beneficial tax-wise to hold the U.S. properties under a Canadian or U.S. corporation?  Thank you.
david ingram replies:
Assuming that you are going to rent the property out, you will need an ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number).   Fill in a W-7 and submit it with your first tax return or try and get it at the bank where you get your mortgage.  
I do not suggest a corporation in either country unless you want to spend a couple of thousand dollars a year extra on accounting.  As a foreigner with a US corporation, you will need to fill in form 5472 with your 1120 corporation tax return.  Then, becasue the mind and control of the coproration is in teh hands of a Canadian resident, you will need to file again in Canada.
 This older Q & A may help
My wife and I are Canadian citizens and own a rental property (house) in Arizona. Do I need to file income tax in the USA? Can we deduct the mortgage interest and any expenses associated with the rental on our Canadian income tax return?
Thanks and regards,
david ingram replies
If you do not file a US 1040NR with Schedule E and Arizona 140PY or 140NR return, you face the likely Federal penalties of a $1,000 to $10,000 fine each per year for failure to report rental income as a non-resident plus 30% of the gross rent with no expenses allowed.  
That is for each of you if you both own the property.  And, I  have never seen a $10,000 penalty.
Then, you will EACH be assesed 30% of the gross rent with no expenses allowed.
(Canada's penalty of  just 25% of the gross rent with no expenses in reverse seems mild in comparison.)
FILE the US returns for every year you have missed.
THEN - There is NO responsibility for you to claim any rental expenses on your Canadian return.  You can claim them if you wish on form T776.  HOWEVER, you MUST report the gross rent on line 126 of your T1 if you do not claim expenses and the net rent if you do,.If there is a legitimate rental loss which has not been created by your using the unit personally, you can use the loss to reduce your other taxable income.
A Warning.  There is ample evidence that the IRS and CRA are pro-actively sharing information about these.  And, if you are in a complex and using the unit personally NEVER talk about the fact you have not filed a US tax return and don't ask a local.  I personally know of two people who make their living turning in Canadians who are not filing their US returns.  There is a 10% to 30% reward for turning you in by filing US form 211. See it at - click on forms, etc.
If you need help with this, you now know where we are.
We have a rental property in the US.  Can I claim the property taxes paid on my condominium as a rental expense deduction on my Canadian taxes?  Form T776 mentions only Canadian property taxes however, the general guide states that all expenses can be deducted.
david ingram replies:
that can be claimed on schedule E of the US return can be claimed on form 
You need to do your Schedule E 1040NR first and then convert the US 
figures to the T776 on  your Canadian return.  If the condo is in 
Arizona, you would do a 140NR or if in Califormnia, a 540NR.
There is no 
state tax in Florida, Texas or Nevada, the other three popular places for a 
Canadian to have a rental US condo.
The difference between the two 
counties is the method of claiming depreciation.  In the US, you MUST 
calculate thedepreciation and include it even if it creates a loss.  The 
good news is that the operating loss caries forward as a future deduction 
agaisnt rent OR Capital Gains as opposed to non-resident losses in Canada which 
unfairly disappear into the ether.
In Canada, you do NOT have to claim it 
and if you do, can only claim enough to create a zero rental. Depreciation or 
CCA (capital cost allowance) as we call it can NOT be used to create or increase 
a loss.
Make sure that you do theUS returns, particularly if you are 
losing money.  The penalty can be a minimum of $1,000 to $10,000 PLUS 30% 
of the gross rent for failure to file a US rental return by a 
We, of course, are ideally suited to look after these for 
you by fax, snail mail, email or courier.
My wife and I are looking at possibly purchasing a condo in Palm Springs for our retirement. We are both 50 years old and plan on working for the next 7 or 8 years. Our plan is to purchase and use it a few times a year and rent/lease it out for the remainder of the year until we reach retirement at which time we would spend 4 or 5 months a years there. Looking for some advice on what we should be looking out for and what would be a better choice mortgage wise, U.S. or Canadian funding. Or is it a good idea at all to purchase U.S. real estate as a Canadian? Any advice or literature that's out there that you could direct us to would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
xxxxx xxxxxxxx
david ingram replies:
If your intention is to start spending significant time there, buying now is extemely sensible because you are buying it at today's price which will logically go up in the futre.  You 'are' of course, also dealing with exchange.
Since your earnings are in Canadian dollars, borrowing the money in Canada and paying cash in palm Springs means that you wil be paying in a known currency.
To explain that statement, persons who bought in 1991 with a US mortgage paymnet of $1,000 needed $1,145.87 Canadian dollars to make the payment.  By 2001, they needed $1,548.62 to stay even.
However, in reverse, if you bought in 2002, you needed 1,570.36 and only need about $1,060 to stay even today.
Currency exchange does go both ways.
You might want to borrow half in Canada and take out a mortgage for half in Palm Springs.
If you are renting the property, you will both need to file a US Federal 1040NR with Shedule E and California 540NR return and then change the currency  to Canadian and file form T776 with your Canadian T1 returns.  Failure to file the form 1040NR can have penalties of $1,000 to $10,000 per year per return per person even if you lose money.  A very real problem is that all sorts of Canadians approach a US accountant and ask about filing and are told they do not need to file a return because they are losing money.  Not so.  When it comes time to file, hunt down a specialist in dual country tax returns like Gary Gauvin in Dallas,, Steve Peters in Halifax, Kevyn Nightingale in Toronto, Brad Howland in Victoria or myself in Good Olde North Vancouver.
Whatever you do, do NOT buy it in a corporate name. You will not save anything and end up with another $2 or $3,000 of accounting fees.
You will also need to file personal US tax returns if you are there more than an average  of 120 days a year.
The following is from my April 1994 newsletter which you can find at in the top left hand box.  Note that it was written in 1994 and still appropos today.
                  Business Cross-Border Questions Answered 
     April 1994        Pages 35-43 
      the CEN-TA PEDE 
      david ingram's US/Canadian Newsletter 
      I recently received a copy of a newsletter from a Canadian enclave in the State of Washington. The newsletter dealt with the possible requirement to file a US tax return by Canadians who have recreational property in the US. In this particular case, there are some 2,000 Canadian members of this one enclave and there are another 30 to 40,000 estimated Canadian owned recreational properties in the US within a three hour drive of Vancouver.
      The newsletter was very accurate in explaining the "rules" but bothered me because it dealt mainly with fear of filing rather than with the logical solutions.
      Let me explain
      There is nothing new about the requirement of a Canadian Snowbird to file a US tax return if they are in the US too many days. 
      Many of you will remember when Howard Hughes came to live at the BAYSHORE INN. For six months we were titillated with Howard Hughes stories and the speculative question among tax consultants was: "Would he stay more than 183 days?"
      The answer was "NO". He left Vancouver (and Canada) on the 181st or 182nd day because if he had stayed just one more day, he would have become taxable in Canada on his WORLD INCOME.
      The United States had and has the same 183 day rule as does Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, etc. The difference is found in how the United States has calculated the 183 days since 1984. That's right, these supposedly new rules are now just about 10 years old. What has changed is the stepped up enforcement of ten year old existing tax laws.
      If you are in the US more than 183 days this year, you are taxable on your world income. But it can also sneak up on you in the following way.
      The United States calculates the 183 days for THIS year by counting some of the days for the preceding two years if you have been in the US for more than 30 days in the current year.
      So, if you have been in the US for 126 days a year for this year and the last two years, the calculation is:
      1993 126 days
      1992 (1/3 of 126 days) 42 days
      1991 (1/6 of 126 days) 21 days
      For a total of 189 days
      and you are taxable on your world income unless you can prove you have a closer connection to another country.
      You might want to and even be able to prove you have a closer connection to Canada by filing a form 8840 but "why bother" when filling out the tax return itself is easier and leaves you free to "live your life".
      On the other hand, filling out the 8840 just leaves a list of people for the IRS to look at and will leave you paranoid. Filling out the tax form is usually relatively painless (if you deal with my office, that is), and leaves you free to join a golf club and be in (and out of) the US for 189, 210 or maybe even 300 (under these extended rules) days as long as you have a full blown home waiting for you in Canada or any other country.
      US "IMMIGRATION" laws say that a Canadian can be a visitor for up to six months. That literally means that you can go across the border to your cabin, chalet, trailer pad, ranchette, condo or sailboat in Elliott Bay, stay there for 180 days, come back to your home in Canada for a day or a week or two, and go back for another 180 days.
      US "INCOME TAX" law says that if you do that, you have to file an American Tax Return. So what! 150,000,000 other people file a US tax return every year and they have to "PAY" tax to the US. If you have already paid full tax to Canada and if all your income comes from Canada, the US rules allow a foreign tax credit for the tax paid to Canada. There is usually zero tax for the Canadian to pay to the US.
      At "up to $40,000 US" for a couple, there is usually no tax payable to the US. After $40,000 per couple, an Alternative Minimum Tax can creep in. But do not worry. At $80,000 US, it will not be over $600.00. And, if you do not mind me saying so, if you are in the US for half the year, and you made over $80,000 US (about $105,000 Canadian), you can afford to pay $600.00 to the US. 
      If you do not want to pay the Alternative Minimum Tax of $600, there is another simple solution which you should have done anyway. Make sure you have some investment income from the US. Say about $6,000 to $10,000. This will generate a tax liability to the US First (don't worry, Canada will give you credit for every cent paid to the US and reduce your Canadian tax accordingly). Alternative Minimum Tax usually only kicks in when you aren't paying the US any tax.
      What are the advantages of the david ingram method of dealing with these regulations?
      A. You are free to come and go without worrying about the "tax man".
      B. By having some of your wealth in the US, you are hedging your retirement dollar.
      C. You can join the library, golf club, ski club, buy all the furniture you want, buy a golf cart, and just plain enjoy your surroundings.
      D. You will be forced to deal with your medical insurance. At the moment, all sorts of SNOWBIRDS believe they have coverage under the Canadian Medical Services plans while they are spending most of their time in the US. LET ME WARN YOU HERE. POSSESSION of a BC MEDICAL CARD does NOT mean you are covered. BC MEDICAL routinely cancels medical insurance RETROACTIVELY when their investigators find a person sleeping in the United States more than 183 days a year. BC Medical, OHIP, New Brunswick and every other provincial medical plan all insist that you "SLEEP" in that PROVINCE more than 183 nights to qualify for their medical plans.
      E. You will not have to come up with detailed answers for the 8840 which has questions like:
      19. Where were your personal belongings, furniture, etc. located? 
      20. List social, cultural, religious, and political organizations you currently participate in and the location of each:
      a __________________________ Location ___________________________________
      b __________________________ Location ___________________________________
      c __________________________ Location ___________________________________
      d __________________________ Location ___________________________________
      e __________________________ Location ___________________________________
      >>>>>>>>>(10 other questions>
      31 List any charitable organizations to which you made contributions and their location.
      a __________________________ Location ___________________________________
      b __________________________ Location ___________________________________
      c __________________________ Location ___________________________________
      d __________________________ Location ___________________________________
      F. By filing as a "resident for tax purposes" of the United States, you should escape inheritance tax on amounts of over $60,000. (changing with new treaty)
      A. You have to file an extra tax return. But so do residents of Quebec and you are getting cheaper gas, eggs, milk and turkeys.
      B. No others that I can think of.
      The following is a copy of a "SNOWBIRD" article I wrote back in 1992 and which seems appropriate about here.
      The US government is starting to enforce long standing rules against Canadian SNOWBIRDS, and, to be sure, anyone else who spends a lot of time in the US. It can more easily apply to someone who has a cabin in the San Juan Islands or a summer (winter) cabin at Birch Bay, Point Roberts or Mount Baker as it can someone with the place in Palm Springs or Arizona.
      In particular, if you rent that cabin out during the year, you MUST file a tax return as well. Failure to report even $600 rent can result in an automatic tax of 30% of the gross with no expenses allowed AND penalties plus a fine of (are you ready for this?), up to $10,000 for failing to file the tax return "EVEN THOUGH YOU LOST MONEY IN THE RENTAL PROCESS".
      But back to SNOWBIRDS (or summer visitors who go back and forth a lot to shop, etc.).
      Take the days present this year - let's say 130 days
      add 1/3 of the days in the previous year
      and if that was 120 we get another 40 days
      plus 1/6 of the days present two years previous
      and if that was another 120 we get 20 days
      for a total of: 190 days
      and we are now taxable in the US on our "WORLD" income. i.e., the person must report his or her Canadian Pensions, interest, dividends, rents, farming and capital gains income to the US as well as Canada.
      The person is taxable in other words, even if no income is coming from the US simply because of physical presence. Canadians will remember back in 1977 when Howard Hughes was ensconced in the Bayshore INN. He left town on his 182nd day because Canada would have taxed Howard on his world income if he had stayed 2 more days.
      It is possible to avoid this by filing a "DECLARATION OF CLOSER CONNECTION TO CANADA" with the IRS Service Centre, Philadelphia, PA, 19255. This Declaration would state that your family, belongings, permanent residence, social and business ties are all in Canada.
      The problem is that with time, these ties "move south". The SNOWBIRD has bought a nicer place in Arizona than they have in Nanaimo or Lethbridge. The Snowbird has bought a cheaper US car in Arizona. The Snowbird has rented out their house in Campbell River and is living in a motorhome in Arizona and California in the Winter and travels through Canada in the Summer. The Canadian has taken out a US Visa card and Mastercard. In other words, their centre of influence has moved south and their closer ties are not "definitively" in Canada anymore.
      And, if it is half and half or even close to, the US will quite properly want a tax return.
      But fear not. File the Canadian tax return first and then file the US tax return and claim foreign tax credits for the tax paid to Canada. Unless the income is over $40,000 US, the tax paid to Canada is usually enough to wipe out any US tax.
      If the income is over $40,000 US, there may be a small amount of Alternative Minimum Tax to pay. The problem is US Immigration Department's crackdown on Canadian Snowbirds or "border livers" in motorhomes and other semi-permanent Canadians spending a lot of time in the U.S.
      Let me use a few examples:
      Situation 1
      72 year old woman with a condominium in Phoenix, Arizona. Has been spending every winter in Phoenix for the past ten years. Owns a $400,000 house in Vancouver. She rents the house out every winter and has no phone number in Vancouver "in the book" because her number is disconnected when the phone book closes in January every year.
      She is driving down to Phoenix after renting out her house and the INS person at the U.S. Border questions her closely. He decides that she "might" be trying to live in the U.S. and turns her back at the border. He asks for such things as "phone bills", to prove that she lives in Canada and is only "visiting" in the U.S.
      Of course, she is in a tough spot. She finds it easy to rent out her Vancouver House for a nominal rent every winter but it is impossible to rent out her Phoenix condominium in the summer when she is not using it.
      The question is: "where is she LIVING" and where is she VISITING?
      INS has decided that she is now "living" in the U.S. and "visiting" Canada and that is not legal without going through a lengthy immigration process. Banned from the US under these circumstances.
      Situation 2:
      A 70 year old man who with his wife has had US resident alien cards for some 20 years and has been working in the U.S. for the same twenty years and still is. Owns a house in Vancouver that his mother lives in and a condominium in Los Angeles that he and his wife have lived in for that twenty years.
      He has a phone number in Vancouver in the house that his mother lives in and he owns.
      His wife is in Vancouver for an extended period looking after his mother. He comes up for a weekend. On the way back through Vancouver Airport, he is questioned by INS. He innocently tells the story to the INS officer who decides that with a phone number in Vancouver and his wife in Vancouver for 19 months, and because he has a BC Medical Card, the person has likely given up his residence in the U.S. and starts to take away his resident alien card. Calmer heads prevail and he is allowed to keep it but told he better straighten out his act. He has made the mistake of having all sorts of Canadian Identification including a B.C. medical Card. There is a "theory" that he is not allowed to have a B.C. Medical card if he is a resident of California. U.S. INS officer reports him to B.C. Medical.
      Situation 3
      A couple sell their house and buy an expensive Canadian Registered (that is the key to me - if they were not intending to be Canadians, the motorhome would have been $80,000 U.S. cheaper in the U.S.) Beaver motorhome. They spend some time in the U.S. and come home for Xmas and then start off to tour some more. They have been told by a 100 people that they can be in the U.S. as visitors for up to 183 days legally.
      After Xmas, they leave to go south at Huntington Crossing and are told that they cannot enter as they cannot prove that they "LIVE" in Canada. Their mailing address is their daughter's house and they have no phone number, etc. Their vacation - retirement - snowbirding is ruined as they are not allowed in the US as visitors.
      Situation 4
      This is out of the Vancouver Sun, I have not met the people.
      Another couple sell their home and buy a truck and trailer. They spend some time in the U.S. and come back up to Vancouver to visit. They leave the trailer in Redmond, Washington, and when they go to go back to the U.S. after their Vancouver visit, an INS person at Huntington / Sumas crossing denies them entry on the grounds that they do not have a home in Canada. He is allowed 3 days compassionate leave to get his trailer and return to Canada (again, please note that the truck and trailer are registered in Canada).
      Situation 5
      A Couple sell their condo in Vancouver and rent another apartment in the same building. They keep the same phone number. They buy a house in Whatcom County and check with an INS officer at the Huntington crossing as to whether they can take some of their furniture down (this book says they can). When they go to visit their house at Xmas, 1991 (two weeks after talking to the INS officer) with a U-Haul trailer full of their excess furniture, they are questioned at the same Huntington Border Crossing by the same INS officer and denied entry. The INS officer asks for such things as address, phone number, etc., and of course, the address in the phone book is different. The house in the U.S. is far nicer than the rented apartment. The house in the U.S. is within commuting distance to the husband's employment.
      The INS officer decides they are going to "LIVE" in the U.S. and spend occasional time in Vancouver "if" they even really have a place in Vancouver. They are denied entry to the US with their excess furniture.
      Situation 6
      A couple with a house in Greater Vancouver and a cabin at Point Roberts are denied access to their cabin before Xmas. They are told by the INS officer that they have been in the U.S. too much in 1991 and to come back in 1992.
      Situation 7
      A young lady with a boy friend in Seattle whom she visits on a regular basis with no problems is denied entry to the U.S. when she arrives at the border driving a rental car. She shares an apartment in Vancouver with someone and there is no phone in her name. She has stuff in her luggage that indicates she spends a lot of time in Seattle and also has a picture in the car which she is talking down as a present. It "LOOKS LIKE" maybe she lives in Seattle and visits Vancouver.
      Situation 8
      Same situation, different cities. A young lady with a fiancee working in Chicago for two years flies down to visit him almost every weekend from Toronto. She works for an airline and it costs her virtually nothing do fly down. She shares an apartment in Toronto and has no phone, and little Toronto ID. Even her car is a company car so she doesn't have a car, phone, or apartment in her name even though she has a full time job in Toronto and that is obvious from her business identification and a call to her employer.
      The INS officer is not satisfied. he feels she is living with her boyfriend in Chicago and commuting to work in Toronto. She is banned from the U.S. but invited to get proof of her Canadian Residence.
      Situation 9
      I do not know this couple either. It comes from CTV National News. Couple in Maple Ridge are going to U.S. through the same Huntington crossing. They have been down dozens of times. They are asked if they have ever been arrested. He says no because he has a Canadian pardon. For some reason, the INS people check. He was arrested and charged and convicted 18 years before for the possession of a single marijuana cigarette. HER car is seized. At last word, the car was not being returned and will not be.
      Situation 10
      Same Crossing. A Vancouver City Policeman who has a criminal charge against him and is under suspension is going across the border with his wife and one other person. His truck is seized for trying to get into the U.S. while under a charge. It also turns out his wife has a criminal record.
      You see; it does not matter whether you are asked or not, it is illegal to enter the U.S. if you have a criminal record or have been arrested unless you have a waiver from the U.S. Department of Justice. And, if you are taking someone else across with your car or they borrow your car and drive across the US border without mentioning the charge (even with a waiver form), you lose your car.
      Situation 11
      Osooyos Crossing, Aug 19, 1992. A couple and their two children and 8 friends are crossing to the U.S. for Mexican Food at Oroville, Washington. They are in a 33 foot motorhome and INS decides to question all people asking where born, what citizenship, where they live, and have you ever been arrested. Driver says yes but not convicted. INS officer takes information and comes back a few minutes later and bans driver from U.S.
      INS officer warns all other members of party that they are not to assist driver across U.S. border or they can be arrested themselves. Tells driver "I am sure glad you said YES, or I would have had this motorhome". It took "david ingram" 4 months to get an official waiver to go back to U.S.
      You see, an arrest in Canada and either a "Stay of proceedings", or an "Absolute Discharge", or a "Conditional Discharge" is treated by the U.S. as if you were convicted, even if the offense is minor. Getting charged with stealing a loaf of bread can have you banned from the U.S. for life.
      The solution is to get a "Canadian Non-Resident Alien Border Crossing Card" and waiver. This costs $80.00 U.S. and requires fingerprinting by the RCMP and FBI but is a relatively painless experience. If you wish more information on this topic, we would be glad to assist. There are also regular advertisements for "Pardons" and "U S Waivers" in the Vancouver Sun and Province. Write for more information to: David Ingram, 201-935 Marine Drive, North Vancouver, B.C., V7P 1S3 or fax to (604) 649-4759 or call (604) 657-8451.
      Situation 12
      A "highly placed" lady from Ottawa decides to sneak into a class at a University in the U.S. for a semester. She does not bother with the formality of a Student "F-1" visa but just "goes south". She has student cards, library cards, etc. Then she comes up to Canada for a weekend with a fellow lady student from the University (these are not kids, these are 30 year old women). When going back to the U.S. in the U.S. student's car, she is questioned and the U.S. student I.D. is found. She is banned from the U.S.
      She has been identified and should know that an INS officer might check later at the U.S. University to see if she has snuck in, BUT she just isn't thinking.
      She calls a Canadian Friend and tells her what happened. the Canadian says, don't worry, I'll take you down, we'll just say we are going shopping". The Canadian picks up the Canadian Student and they arrange to meet the American student on the other side of the border. They make it across but the U.S. Border people follow the American car which now is short a Canadian Student.
      When they meet at a U.S. Shopping centre to transfer baggage, etc., they are surrounded by U.S. Border patrol cars. All three are arrested and spend 8 hours in jail. $51,000 worth of cars are impounded. The two Canadians are deposited back at the Canadian Side of the border and spend $70.00 on a taxi to get home.
      The Canadian car is a lease car with hefty payments. Finally, with the payment of a $2,000 "penalty", the leasing company gets the car back but is told that they may not give it back to the Canadian, nor may they make any special financial arrangements with her on another car. i.e. she is to get no benefit and she is expected to make up any shortfall to the leasing company. I do not know what happened to the American's car. Stay tuned.
      U.S. to CANADA
      Please note that the Canadian Customs are getting tougher every day. In 1989, the borders south of Vancouver seized some 1,000 cars. In 1991, they seized 10,000 cars from returning Canadians and U.S. visitors.
      In fact, a drunk driving charge in the U.S. bans a U.S. citizen from Canada for life. The U.S. is far more sophisticated when it comes to waivers and entry of people with problems. Smuggling, particularly cigarettes, firearms, and alcohol will get you severe penalties. It isn't worth it.
It is very unlikely that blind or unexpected email to me will be answered.  I receive anywhere from 100 to 700  unsolicited emails a day and usually answer anywhere from 2 to 20 if they are not from existing clients.  Existing clients are advised to put their 'name and PAYING CUSTOMER' in the subject and get answered first.  I also refuse to be a slave to email and do not look at it every day and have never ever looked at it when I am out of town.  expert  US Canada Canadian American  Mexican Income Tax help
However, I regularly search for the words"PAYING CUSTOMER" and always answer them first if they did not get spammed out. As an example, as I write this on Oct 18, 2007 since June 16th (124 days), my 'spammed out' box has 34,939 unread messages, my deleted box has 11854 I have actually looked at and deleted and I answerd 1078 email questions for clients and strangers.  I have also put aside 622 messages that I am maybe going to try and answer because they look interesting. -expert  US Canada Canadian American  Mexican Income Tax help
Therefore, if an email is not answered in 24 to 36 hours, it is lost in space.  You can try and resend it but if important AND YOU TRULY WANT OR NEED AN ANSWER, you will have to phone to make an appointment.  Gillian Bryan generally accepts appointment requests for me between 10:30 AM and 4:00 PM Monday to Friday VANCOUVER (Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles) time at (604) 980-0321. expert  US Canada Canadian American  Mexican Income Tax help.
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:
4466 Prospect Road
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 help.
 email to 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 for expert help, assistance, preparation, or consultation  in connection with personal or business affairs such as at If you forward this message, this disclaimer must be included." expert  US Canada Canadian American  Mexican Income Tax help.
David Ingram gives expert income tax & 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.
Phone consultations are $400 for 15 minutes to 50 minutes (professional hour). Please note that GST is added if product remains in Canada or is to be returned to Canada or a phone consultation is in Canada. expert  US Canada Canadian American  Mexican Income Tax help.
This is not intended to be definitive but in general I am quoting $900 to $2,900 for a dual country tax return.
$900 would be one T4 slip one W2 slip one or two interest slips and you lived in one country only (but were filing both countries) - no self employment or rentals or capital gains - you did not move into or out of the country in this year.
$1,100 would be the same with one rental 
$1,300 would be the same with one business no rental
$1,300 would be the minimum with a move in or out of the country. These are complicated because of the back and forth foreign tax credits. - The IRS says a foreign tax credit takes 1 hour and 53 minutes.
$1,600 would be the minimum with a rental or two in the country you do not live in or a rental and a business and foreign tax credits  no move in or out 
$1,700 would be for two people with income from two countries
$2,900 would be all of the above and you moved in and out of the country.
This is just a guideline for US / Canadian returns
We will still prepare Canadian only (lives in Canada, no US connection period) with two or three slips and no capital gains, etc. for $175.00 up.
With a Rental for $375
A Business for $375 - Rental and business likely $500
And an American only (lives in the US with no Canadian income or filing period) with about the same things in the same range with a little bit more if there is a state return.
Moving in or out of the country or part year earnings in the US will ALWAYS be $800 and up.
TDF 90-22.1 forms are $50 for the first and $25.00 each after that when part of a tax return.
8891 forms are generally $50.00 to $100.00 each.
18 RRSPs would be $900.00 - (maybe amalgamate a couple)
Capital gains *sales)  are likely $50.00 for the first and $20.00 each after that.
Catch - up returns for the US where we use the Canadian return as a guide will be $150 to $500.00 depending upon numbers of bank accounts, RRSP's, existence of rental houses, etc.
Just a guideline not etched in stone. 
This from "ask an income trusts 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, 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 Houston, Denmark, Finland, Sweden Norway Bulgaria Croatia Income Tax and Immigration Tips, Income Tax  Immigration Wizard Antarctica Rwanda Guru  Consultant Specialist Section 216(4) 216(1) NR6 NR-6 NR 6 Non-Resident Real Estate tax specialist expert preparer expatriate anti money laundering money seasoning FINTRAC E677 E667 105 106 TDF-90 Reporting $10,000 cross border transactions Grand Cayman Aruba Zimbabwe South Africa Namibia help USA US Income Tax Convention. expert  US Canada Canadian American  Mexican Income Tax help. 
David Ingram expert income tax and immigration help and preparation of US Canada Mexico non-resident and cross border returns with rental dividend wages self-employed and royalty foreign tax credits family estate trust trusts income tax convention treaty
New York, Boston, Sacramento, Minneapolis, Salem, Wheeling, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Pensacola, Miami, St Petersburg, Naples, Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Orlando, Atlanta, Arlington, Washington, Hudson, Green Bay, Minot, Portland, Seattle, St John, St John's, Fredericton, Quebec, Moncton, Truro, Atlanta, Charleston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Sacramento, Taos, Grand Canyon, Reno, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Sun City, Tulsa, Monteray, Carmel, Morgantown, Bemidji, Sandpointe, Pocatello, Bellingham, Custer, Grand Forks, Lead, Rapid City, Mitchell, Kansas City, Lawrence, Houston, Albany, Framingham, Cambridge, London, Paris, Prince George, Prince Rupert, Whitehorse, Anchorage, Fairbanks, Frankfurt, The Hague, Lisbon, Madrid, Atlanta, Myrtle Beach, Key West, Cape Coral, Fort Meyers,   Berlin, Hamburg,  Warsaw, Auckland, Wellington, Honolulu, Maui, Kuwait, Molokai, Beijing, Shanghai, Tokyo, Manilla, Kent, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Regina, Red Deer, Olds, Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, Moose Jaw, Brandon, Portage La Prairie, Davidson, Craik, Edmonton, Calgary, Victoria, Vancouver, Burnaby, Surrey, Edinburgh, Dublin, Belfast, Glasgow, Copenhagen, Oslo, Munich, Sydney, Nanaimo, Brisbane, Melbourne, Darwin, Perth, Athens, Rome, Berne, Zurich, Kyoto, Nanking, Rio De Janeiro, Brasilia, Colombo, Buenos Aries, Squamish, Churchill, Lima, Santiago, Abbotsford, Cologne, Yorkshire, Hope, Penticton, Kelowna, Vernon, Fort MacLeod, Deer Lodge, Springfield, St Louis, Centralia, Bradford, Stratford on Avon, Niagara Falls, Atlin, Fort Nelson, Fort St James, Red Deer, Drumheller, Fortune, Red Bank, Marystown, Cape Spears, Truro, Charlottetown, Summerside, Niagara Falls, income trust, Income Tax Treaty Convention. - expert  US Canada Canadian American  Mexican Income Tax help.
 david ingram International non-resident cross border expert income tax & immigration help estate family trust assistance expert preparation & immigration consultant, income trusts experts on rentals mutual funds RRSP RESP IRA 401(K) & divorce preparer preparers consultants Income Tax Convention Treaty.  expert  US Canada Canadian American  Mexican Income Tax help.
Be ALERT,  the world needs more "lerts".  expert  US Canada Canadian American  Mexican Income Tax help.  - 
 expert us canada canadian Mexico income tax help
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: not available
Type: image/gif
Size: 828 bytes
Desc: not available
Url : 
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: not available
Type: image/gif
Size: 43 bytes
Desc: not available
Url : 


Trackback URL for this entry:

No trackback comments for this entry.