Problem - US green Card and citizenship and or PR status and Canadian citizenship or both. -

QUESTION: Hello sir,
I have a querry and would be glad if you can give your opinion about the following.
Me and my wife both became Canadian PR in may 2008. My wife was the primary applicant. My wife also has a US green card. She is only 1 year away from her citizenship in US. 
Will there be any problem for my PR in canada if my wife decides to submit (return) her PR back to Canadian Authorities?
Will she able to travel still back and forth from usa to canada on her US green card?
If she keeps both PR and US green card will she have problems while crossing the border?
Please help.
with regards,
david ingram replies:
No one can guarantee you will not have a problem.
Over the years i can think of a dozen couples who have had something similar happen.   My first was from Brazil and today 20 years later, they are still a married couple but he lives in one country and she lives in the other to run two businesses they started while 
getting their respective citizenships.
You have until May 2011 to take up residence in Canada. That is because to keep it alive, you have to live and physically be in Canada for a full 24 months out of the sixty months following the day you received your PR cards.
Therefore, there is plenty of time for your wife to stay in the US and get her US citizenship while you live in the US or Canada..  Sometime in late 2010 or early 2011, she can join you in Canada.   
If you get your Canadian citizenship sometime in 2011, she can then sponsor you to go back to the US with your own green card and work at anything you want to do or  she can just come to live with you in Canada and get her Canadian citizenship three years later.
If she does sponsor you to go back to the US with your own green card and you are living together in the US, her PR card remains alive and active while she is living with you because you are a Canadian citizen..
Good luck. 
I have to be a little commercial here. While this is going on, we or someone like us should be doing your US Canadian returns to make sure they fit your immigration paperwork.  The typical tax consultant will not have a clue about what to do in your circumstances.
I just recently became a Canadian resident but I am presently living and working in the USA.
Do I need to file tax in Canada (considering the fact that I do not earn any income there and that I will file tax in the USA)?
I think what you mean to say is that you just became the holder of a Canadian PR (permanent residence) card but have not yet moved to Canada.  If you are single or married with your family in the US, there is no necessity to file a Canadian return although you might want to do so by reporting all the US income on line 104 and other relevant lines and then deducting it all on line 256 under Article IV of the US / Canada income tax treaty.
On the other hand, if you have a spouse and children and they are living in Canada and you are visiting them every weekend, you need to file a Canadian tax return and may or may not be taxable in Canada depending upon what else is going on in your life.  For instance, if you are also trying for a US green card and really intend to live in the US, even with the spouse and children in Canada and a PR card, under US law you are a taxable resident of the US and although you would report the income to Canada, you would then deduct it all on Line 256 of the Canadian return and pay no tax to Canada.
Under the PR card rules, to keep it alive, you must be able to prove that you have been physically present for 24 out of any 60 month period OR be living outside of Canadian citizen OR be working outside of Canada for a Canadian company.  For the record, you can NOT own or be a controlling shareholder of that Canadian company.
. Hi David,
You didn't address the whether living outside Canada with a Canadian would allow his wife's immigration status to continue.
david ingram forgot to reply:
Once your wife has officially landed in Canada and has her PR (permanent resident) card, it will remain valid as long as she is living with you in or out of Canada.  If the two of you separated, she would have to live in Canada for 24 months (not necessarily consecutive) out of any 60 month period.
This means that under Article IV of  the US and another 100 international tax treaties, it is possible to live in Ontario for 5 months (153 days) a year and qualify for Ontario Medical but not be taxable in Canada on your world income because you are in your other country for more than the 183 days.  Ontario is the only province or territory that does not require your presence for 6 months or six months plus a day to qualify for your medical which means that in every other province, to qualify for medical, you make yourself taxable in Canada on your world income.
At 12:57 AM 5/24/2007, you wrote:
 Please see bottom of message if you wish to unsubscribe.
Time:           03:01 PM -0400
Hello Tax Experts
I am a Canadian going down from Vancouver to Seattle to work on an L1. I have been transfered to the company's head office.
I am also brining my wife with me whom I met on a cruise ship. She is xxxxxxxxx and has her Canadian immigration papers in process.
I have been told that to claim non residency would cancel my wife's application so our intention is to keep our residency status which I imagine would be easy as the visa is really only for 3 years anyway.
We will rent out our apartment via a management company but I'm wondering how much difference there would be in taxes by doing things this way. If I was making a nice round number like 100K per year US... is it easy to say what the difference would be remaining a resident vs becoming non-resident? 
I was always told that if I was in a 30% bracket in the states and a 33% bracket in Canada, I would owe Canada 3% at the end of the year by remaining a Canadian resident.
Is that correct?
Thanks for any information you can give me!
david ingram replies:
Without paying any attention to the rental or cost of living, as a resident, you would owe Canada $6,600 or so more if you earned $100,000 in Seattle and this was converted to $110,000 Canadian.
This assumes a full year of employment and that you earned all of the income and your wife earned nothing.
The advantage of being a factual resident is that you could avoid capital gains tax on your apartment.
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This is not intended to be definitive but in general I am quoting $900 to $3,000 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.
$1,200 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
$3,000 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 $200.00 up. However, if you have a stack of 1099, or T3 or T4A or T5 or K1 reporting forms, expect to pay an average of $10.00 each with up to $50.00 for a K1 or T5013 or T5008 or T101 --- Income trusts with amounts in box 42 are an even larger problem and will be more expensive. - i.e. 20 information slips will be at least $350.00 
With a Rental for $400, two or three rentals for $550 to $700 (i.e. $150 per rental) First year Rental - plus $250.
A Business for $400 - Rental and business likely $550 to $700
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 $900 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 for seven years at a time will be from $150 to $600.00 per year depending upon numbers of bank accounts, RRSP's, existence of rental houses, self employment, etc. Note that these returns tend to be informational rather than taxable.  In fact, if there are children involved, we usually get refunds of $1,000 per child per year for 3 years.  We have done several catch-ups where the client has received as much as $6,000 back for an $1,800 bill and one recently with 6 children is resulting in over $12,000 refund.  
Email and Faxed information is convenient for the sender but very time consuming and hard to keep track of when they come in multiple files.  As of May 1, 2008, we will charge or be charging a surcharge for information that comes in more than two files.  It can take us a valuable hour or more  to try and put together the file when someone sends 10 emails or 15 attachments, etc. We had one return with over 50 faxes and emails for instance.  
This is 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.
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