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married to an American and moving to the USA

Hi, I am married to an American Lady. We are moving to Portland Oregon in a month.

Will I be able to work immediately?

david ingram replies:

As described, if you show up at the border with an American citizen wife and your furniture, the border people will NOT allow you into the US.

You need your Green card first and that has to be done through the Montreal US Consulate because you are already married.

You need to contact a good US Immigration attorney immediately.  Make sure your attorney is a member of the AILA.  A good start would be to check with Joe Grasmick at or Greg Siskind at  Greg has offices in both the US and Canada and both can arrange for a phone consultation for you. �
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per diem working in USA and living in Canada

I am permanent resident of Canada. I am working on h1b in USA and commuting 4 days a week to USA from Canada. My work palce is 51 miles away one side. I travel 102 miles back and forth.
Question: Am I eligible for "per diem"
          If yes how I will handle income taxes.
Will this have any effect on my future Canadian Citizenship.
Thanks and Regards

david ingram replies:

You are not eligible for a per diem or back and forth expenses any more than if you commuted from Portage la Prairie to Winnipeg, Olds to Calgary or Red Deer, Abbotsford to Vancouver (or Vancouver to Bellingham) or Trois Riviere to Quebec City  ( okay okay, Amherst to Moncton, Peggy's Cove to Halifax, Davidson to Saskatoon, Summerside to Charlottown, Stephensville to Corner Brook, Behchoko to Yellowknife or Jakes Corner to Whitehorse)  and yes, I have been to all those places. 

Back and forth expenses are not deductible in Canada or the US. 

The good news is that you are sleeping in Canada and therefore qualify for full provincial medical and you will qualify for Canadian citizenship after three years.  If you were here on a working visa before getting your PR cards, you  can use half of the time (up to 1 year credit) towards the three years of residence necesary to qualify.  Therefore two years on a worker's visa qualifies for one year and two years after the issuance of your PR card, you qualify for Canadian Citizenship.

You will pay tax to the US (and maybe the State of New York or Michigan, etc.) and then report the same income in Canada on your T1 on line 104.

You will report the same income again on line 433 of your Schedule 1 and put the Fed and State tax plus FICA (social security) and Medicare payments on line 431 after filling out T2209.

You should get credit for every cent of tax paid to the US by filling out form T2209 for the feds and T2036 if you have an excess which you need to claim against the provincial tax.

One more thing.  If you are telecomuiting on a fifth day so that 20% of your income is actually earned in Canada, that income is taxable in Canada first. �
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Using Your Home for Day Care


I am babysitting at home. I would like to know what I can all claim for this. The kids are here from 7:30am-5:00pm. Getting antsy about tax time as I have been doing this for almost a year now. Please advise.

david ingram replies:

Rather than try and reinvent the wheel, I am simply sending you the CRA's Pamphlet, P134 which you can find at:

This is what you will find there.  It covers everything from how to break your expenses down by the number of hours you use your living room to how to claim the car and then issue a receipt to the people you are child-minding for.  Good luck. 
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Is it income? Joint Venture - an LLP or a Corporation

My question is: Canadian-specific


I live in Alberta. I was wondering if I need to pay tax on this money paid to me. I invested $10000 with a construction company that is doing a joint venture with a housing company. They bought some land and are developing it. I bought shares in this project. They have since borrowed some money to pay out to us. I received $2500. It's not really capital gain nor is it a distribution. I haven't recouped my original investment yet...this is just a partial payment. Do I have to pay tax this money this year? If so, would it be classified as capital gain or personal income?



david ingram replies:

Sorry, I can NOT help yuo with the information provided which shows that you have to
know what is happening when you make an investment.

If you invested as a Limited liability partner, the money you received could be a return
of capital, interest on the amount loaned to the LLP, or even a share of earnings if
they have sold some finished earnings.

If you invested as a shareholder with a loan to the joint venture, it could be a
partial return of the loan, interest on the loan or a dividend which is taxed quite
differently than the LLP share of profit.

What will / should happen is that an LLP will issue you a T5013 slip with all the
information and instructions as to what goes on what line and / or the Company will
issue you a T5 showing either interest, dividends, capital gains or all three or any two.

And, you might have something that is both shares of a corporation and a member of an
LLP and get one of everything. Go back to the person who sold it to you and get them
to explain it to you againb. Take a friend or financial advisor with you for both
moral support and as a ack up when you want tot know the answer again.

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Rental House might have been in company name and now a personal residence.

Hi,..My question is:   I had a sales business in BC for many 1999 I bought a rental house in Alberta that my accountant put into my company...even though everything to do with the house is in my personal name....line of credit, etc....I quit working for the company that I was sales rep for in 2004.....hence, I moved from BC into my rental house in Alberta in June of 2005.....My company only has a shareholder loan due to me and this rental property which I am currently living in .....I want to close my company....This rental house has become my personal residence as of June 2005.....Can you please advise as to the procedure for closing my company & the removal of this rental house from the company books to my personal residence as of June 2005 & can this be done retroactive?   Your help is appreciated.   Thank you. -------------------------------------------------
david ingram replies:

This is a very late reply and was picked randomly out of about 700 unanswered emails.

Your question points out one of the best reasons to "not" put  a house into a corporation.

It seems to me that the house was not in the company from your question.  The compny may have been handling the paperwork for the rental; but your accountant could not put a house you bought into the company.  The lawyer or notary would have registered it in the comapny name in the first place. If you bought it with a line of credit in your name and it was registered in your name, than it is likely yours already and the error was putting any of the rentals through the company.

It could also be that the company was holding it for you. 

A lot depends upon whether you have already filed the corporate 2005 and 2006 tax returns.  If you have not, you should investigate the possibility that the house was not in the company name OR if it was, maybe the company was only holding it in trust for you. 

The other problem is that when you moved into the rental house in 2005, you triggered a capital gain if it was in your name.  If it was in your name and you never claimed CCA (depreciation) you could have filed an election under Sectin 45(3) to delay paying the tax on the capital gain from the price you paid for it and the deemed sale when you moved in.  Technically, you are too late to file that election.  However, the CRA has been known to acept a late filed exemption form.

If you did claim CCA, and it was in your name, you owe tax on the recaptured CCA and the capital gains with your 2005  tax return.

If it 'was' in the company name, you owe tax on the personal benefit bestowed on you by the company since you moved in. �
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Canadian citizen non-resident return


An individual has been a non-resident for 5 years, resident in Switzerland, teaching at an international school. He has paid Swiss taxes. He filed a return for 2006 as a non-resident, covering income earned in Canada in 2006 from teaching a summer course at a Can. university.   Employment in Switz. ended July 2007.  He returned to Canada end of June as a visitor. A plan to return to work in Europe has not progressed.  The question is:  does he need to leave Canada and re-enter  to resume residency?  Or, can he use the June date as his date of return?  There is also a small pension involved .  And a Swiss bank account with savings. He wants to resume residency in the correct manner so your comments will be very much appreciated.
david ingram replies

If the individual does not leave the couintry, his or her date of return will be the day he or she reentered Canada.

The only paperwork necessary is to fill in a return date on the top of the  front page of the 2007 T1 General.

His income up to the date of  re-entry does not go on the Canadian return.  Only any interest or earnings after his return in June.

The only exception about paperwork is if he left a lot of goods in Switzerland and now ants to bring his goods home as returning settler's effects.  In that case, he should make up a list as soon as possible and stop at a CRA Customs office and tell them he has decided to stay in Canada and is bringing his goods back. After five years away, he gets to bring a lot of stuff back with little problem. �
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Capital Gains tax on sale of Real Estate holding - Rollover - Not likely

My question is: Canadian-specific

QUESTION: Hi this question is regarding capital gains tax.
My wife and I formed a numbered company with my parents and bought a holding property a few years back for $800,000. We sold it this summer for $1,600,000. We used the sale amount and re-invested it in a 1/3 share of a franchise hotel just being built.
My question is can we re-invest the capital gains and principal into a new entity without being taxed?
If not, what is the best route to go so that we get taxed the least?
My wife and I also just sold a condo(personal and not part of the company) we had bought a couple years ago for a $116,000 profit.
We are looking at about $516,000 in gains this tax year. please advise on how we can avoid paying as much tax as possible thanks.

david ingram replies:

The company owes capital gains tax.  There is no rollover provision in Canada at this time unless the property is expropriated for the public good by a level of government for a road, hospital, parking lot for a library or even a park.  

The $116,000 gain on he house is not taxable as described.

The only easy method of cancelling tax for your gains within the company would be to buy flow through shares or a mutual fund of flow through shares. 

Talk to a senior financial advisor like Fred Snyder (604) 731-8900 or Dan Walkow (604) 541-9952

You can listen to Fred (and get answers to your financial questions) every Sunday morning from 9:00 to 10:30 AM on CHBD radio in Vancouver  600 on the AM dial -  If you are not in the Lower Mainland of BC, you can listen live on the internet at -- (the last four Sunday shows are archived on the site and available to listen to 24 hours a day so you can replay that answer to a question until you do get it).
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Canadian living/working in US om TN


I moved to the US to work under a visa (working at getting green card).  Currently my visa is a TN, my company will apply for E1 or 3 in April 2008.  How do I best handle taxes in Canada for the salary I earn in the US?  I may return to Canada in 10 or 20 years, but don't want to pay Canadian taxes on top of the US taxes!

david ingram replies:

If you have moved to the USA and not left a husband and three kids behind that you visit every weekend, you are only taxable in the USA.

You must file a departing Canada return and show the date that you left Canada on the front of the return.  You then prorate your exemption amounts on schedule 1 and schedule 428 based upon the number of days you were in Canada. 

If you left any assets of value behind like a summer cabin or mutual funds, you have to be prepared to fill in forms 1161, 1243 AND 1244.  FILING A LATE 1161 INCURRS A PENALTY OF $25.00 A DAY TO A MAXIMUM OF $2,500.

THESE OLDER QUESTIONS WILL HELP AS WELL.  If you need help, you know where we are.
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Sponsoring spouse - Immigration/taxation to - Border Book


My girlfriend and I are pondering marriage if it will help
allow me to be in Canada with her sooner. The problem is
that I know it will take a while to get papers either way,
and so I'm looking at getting a job near the border in the
meantime. (also because Immigration Canada does not
seem to want to let me visit without having a job in the
states to pull me back) Although I qualify for a skilled
worker visa, I understand that Immigration Canada won't
want me to reside in Canada and still work in the states
after granting me a work visa. Still, working in the states
might make more sense for me even after I get papers for
various reasons, at least until I can find a job as good in
Canada. So the question is this: Will it be any easier with a
spouse visa to work in the states and live in Canada?
Taxation? Upside is that it will get me the visa several
months quicker I believe...Really just need to figure how
to get Canada to let me live with my girlfriend or spouse
(whichever, we're open to doing whatever we need to do)
and work in the states. Sooner the better! I am truly
desperate, trying to play by the rules, and getting nothing
but scorn from Immigration Canada. They're making me
feel like a criminal for wanting for stay with her for any
significant period of time. I never know if I'll get accross
the border for the next visit or not, and they seem to
demand different paperwork from me each time I arrive.
Please help!

david ingram replies:

If you get married for legitimate love reasons, your spouse can sponsor you to live in Canada with a PR (Permanent resident) card.

With a PR card, you wopul dqualify to live and work in Canda or live in Canada and work in the US and you would qualify for the provincial medical plan where you live.

The alternative is to get yourself a legitimate resdince in the US and a job in the US.  Then you would qualify to come and stay with your lady three or four nights in Canada and she could stay with you two or three nights a week in the US or not.

If you chose that method, then you would each produce a 'border' kit.  This would include a letter from your employer saying where you are working, a copy of your US lease, a copy of your US driver's licence, a copy of your US car registration, a copy of your US telephone bill, a copy of your US electrical bill and anything else American. 

If you chose to marry, or are already a common law couple because you have been living together illegally for a year or more, then she can sponsor you for your PR card.

These older Questions will give you some other insight into the situation. 
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Work in Canada, live in US, tax question

Hi, there. My husband has worked in Winnipeg for just under three years as an engineer. 
He also does contract work in the US that accounts for roughly 33% of his income. We
lived in a house in Winnipeg for the first 2 years of his employment there, but last
winter (about 11 mos ago) we moved just across the border, so he has a 1 hour commute
three times per week to work. The purpose of the move was to easily facilitate his pursuit
of a US passport, as he is currently only a greencard holder. We do not plan on applying
for permanent residence in Candada. Four days out of the week he in the US all day, and
the rest of hte family is in the US nearly all the time. Our ties to Canada are as follows:
work permits for both of us, mine open and unused, one bank account (not non-resident,
although that can be changed), one investment property that is currently vacant, but
which we hope to rent, and my husband's place of employment. Our Canadian-born son has
a US passport.

We have US driver's licenses, have registered for homestead in Minnesota, have our cars
registered and insured in Minnesota, and have three US bank accounts, including one
credit card, in the US. We have no Canadian credit cards. Our social ties in Canada
are minimal, as we keep in loose contact with a few friends that result in us spending
maybe a couple of days per month in Winnipeg, but always returning to our own home at
nighttime. We do extensive traveling in the summer, and spend almost no time in Candada
between April-September, as my husband can work from home when he's not teaching.
Our son attends school and karate in Minnesota, and we only do occasional shopping
in Winnipeg.
We have continued to pay taxes this past year as residents, and also to use Manitoba
Health for health coverage. We also pay for benefits through the University - Blue
Cross for dental, etc. Having coverage in Winnipeg is beginning to create a significant
inconvenience, and we would like to switch to private health care in the States, but
it would only be affordable if we can manage to pay fewer taxes in Canada, maybe as
non-residents. What steps should we take (ties to break, changes to make) in order
to be able to pay less tax in Canada? Would this result in any sort of significant
increase in our net income? (Our current gross in Canada is $78k and in the US it's
about $30k).
I've been looking everywhere for this information, and you look like the best hope
I have found for having my questions answered.
Thanks so much!

david ingram replies:

This is the third similar Manitoba - Minnesota question I have had in a week.  Usually, this type of question involves Detroit - Windsor or Vancouver - Bellingham.

The GOOD news is that although, your husband IS taxable in Canada on his earnings in Canada from that date, Canada has no right to tax him on his US earnings. You have not been a  worldwide income taxable resident of Canada since the day you moved to the US. 

The BAD news is that you are NOT covered by the Manitoba Medical System and the extended benefits plan issued by your Canadian employer even if you do have Manitoba Medical and Manitoba Blue Corss cards, nu,mbers and other identification.

To be covered by the Manitoba Medical system each covered member of your family must be physically sleeping in Manitoba MORE than 183 days a year.  None of you are doing that at this time. Everything you have said about vacations, schooling and commuting home each and every night absolutely - without any doubt - disqualifies you from Manitoba Medical.  Another way to look at is that you were absolutely disqualified the day you took out Minnesota driver's licences and registered your car in Minnesota.  Since your Blue  Cross extended benefits depwnd upon your being a primary ember of the Public Health plan first, your Blue Cross is also kaput.  I will compare it to your having a bunch of blank cheques with no money in your account. 

You can be billed retroactively by the Manitoba system for any medical expenses paid for you by the Manitoba system since 90 days after the day the family left Manitoba to live in Minnesota. And, this would be true whether you went to another Canadian province.  You might be covered by the other province's system, but you would lose Manitoba's coverage after 90 days. By the way, I have been there only a little more extreme.  I attended the University of Saskatchewan (Regina Campus) and St John's College at the University of Manitoba at the same time.

For the rental, you should be filling out Canadian form NR-6 BEFORE you collect the first month's rent.  YOu should notify the bank that you are a non-resident so that the bank deducts the required 10% under Article X o fthe US Canada treaty.

If you moved at the end of November last year, there is not much tax lost but you likely did not have to pay tax to Canada on the one month's consulting income earned in the US.

You should likely buy an hour of my time and you and your husband should be on the phone at the same time and you should record the conversation.

Consultation details can be found further on after the disclaimer.

These other older questions may help as well. �