Canadian Working in the US for 6 mo to one Year on TN-1 -

Hi David,

I am in the US for a 6 month contract making $72/h in Boston, MA.

I understand that for CCRA I am a "resident" even if I stay here for more
than 6 mo (I own a house in Toronto, have an RRSP).

I am here on a 1099. How can I minimize the amount of tax paid in the US
and Canada? A co-worker told me that I have to pay tax quarterly in the US
and I want to deduct my rent and utilities.

What is your fee for filing my taxes at the end of the year?


david ingram replies:

The # 1 rule for a TN is that you can NOT be self-employed for the purposes of US Immigration.

Income Tax Does allow you to deduct necessary expenses but from your description, your rent and utilities would not be deductible because it seems that you moved to Boston to take the job.  If you were already working in New York and your New York Employer sent you to Boston for six months and you kept your home in New York, then temporary expenses for up to a year are dedcutible. 

However, in the case you describe, You may be living in Toronto but you took a job in Boston working for whomever obtained your TN for you.  By paying you on a 1099, that employer has saved themselves about 10% in payroll expenses becasue they are not paying FICA, Medicare, Employment Insurance and other benefits.

You are actually "BY LAW"  an employee without benefits.  If you chose to be paid on a 1099 basis, you have likley cost yourself a lot of money unless your employer grossed up your pay by whatthey would usually have to pay for payroll benefits.

Remember, your TN visa only allows you to work for 'that' employer.

If you wanted to do something for someone else, yuo woul dhave to get another TN visa for that company.  It is possible to have half a dozen TN visas at the same time but you ARE an EMPLOYEE of each one.

This will NOT be what you want to hear. 

In the meantime, you will have to file a 1040 DUAL Status return with a schedule C and pay both halves of the FICA as well as Federal Tax and MA state tax and Boston.
At the moment, I am quoting $900 to $3,000 - You can find a better understanding of my pricing further down.

Are you sure you are not the person who wrote this other question?


I have been working for a US employer with TN visa for more than a year. Now I just registered my only small business in Boston area and will have my first customer for consulting service.

1. --Am I illegal to work as self employed while keeping my TN status by working with my employer?
2. --Do I need a work authorization for me to work for myself since I know I have to have a specific TN visa for every and each employer.
3. --If the aboves do not work, do I have an alternative way to continue my business while working and living in US under TN status, such as doing the self employed business using my company registered in Ontario Canada?

Your answers are appreciated.

david ingram replies;

1.    What you have set up is totally illegal and will provide Homeland Secuirity with wonderful documentary evidence that you were working illegally when someone complains and Homeland Security is arresting you prior to deporting you.

2.    Yes, you need an E2 or E5 visa if you want to work for yourself.  The E-5 requires a $500,000 to $1,000,000 investmentand you have to create jobs for and hire 10 full time employees who are NOT related to you.  Its advantage is that it gives you an instant green card.  The E-2 requires a much smaller investment (maybe as low as $35,000) but has the disadvantage that one of the terms is that you can NOT get a green card with it.

3.   Not with a Canadian company if you are working in the US. AND, if you have a Canadian corporation, be aware that you need to file US form 5471 when a taxable resident of the US with 10% or more ownership of a froeign company in any country, Canada, China, India, Pakistan, Spain, etc, etc.  Look up the form AND instructions at  read the penalty for failure to file in the instructions.

4.   However, all is not lost.  You CAN have MORE than one TN as you seem to realize.  I have seen eight issued in the same year for the same person for eight different US employers for consulting and or engineering jobs.  However, you MUST be an employee (part time is fine) of each person  paying you because one of the terms of the TN visa is that you can NOT be self employed.  And, a;though it seems a contradiction, you can be paid on a 1099 basis whioch just means that you are an employee without benefits.

Answers to this and other similar  questions can be obtained 'FREE' on Air on the last Sunday morning of each month
On the last Sunday at 9:00 AM on 600AM in Vancouver, david ingram will be  a  guest on Fred Snyder of Dundee Wealth Management's Radio Program, "It's YOUR Money". If you are not in the Vancouver Area, you can still hear it live (or in archives for four weeks) at
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Phone (604) 731-8900 to register and there is usually a Noon hour seminar as well.

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David Ingram's US / Canada Services

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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."

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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 a phone consultation is in Canada.
This is not intended to be definitive but in general I am quoting $800 to $2,800 for a dual country tax return.
$800 would be one T4 slip one W2 slip one or two interest slips and you lived in one country only - no self employment or rentals or capital gains - you did not move into or out of the country in this year.
$1,000 would be the same with one rental
$1,200 would be the same with one business no rental
$1,200 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.
$1,500 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

$1,600 would be for income from two countries  for two  people

$2,800 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 $150.00 up.
With a Rental for $350
A Business for $350 - Rental and business likely $450

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.
Just a guideline not etched in stone.

If you do your own TDF-90 forms, it is to your advantage. However, if we put them in the first year, the computer carries them forward beautifully.
This from "ask an income trusts tax service 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. Advice on bankruptcy  e bankruptcy expert  US Canada Canadian American  Mexican Income Tax service and help .

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