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Canadian Pension question for US resident - Dan Walkow can handle Pensions, RRSPs, IRAs and 401(K)s on both sides of border - Ca

XXXX XXXX wrote:

I transferred from Canada to US in 1998 and continued working for the same company. I have a Canadian pension from my employer based on 15 years working in Canada and also one in the US based on 11 years here.  I was just laid off making me eligible to access the commuted value of my Canadian pension.  I can roll ~3/4 of it into a LIRA, but the overflow is subject to 25% withholding tax.

As I want to keep that money separate for my retirement in 10+ years, is there any tax sheltered or tax deferred program available to put the overflow funds in either Canada or the US?

david ingram replies:

You likely have some RRSP room left which would roll it over tax free but your problem is that few people in Canada are licenced to deal with a non-resident to open an RRSP for them.  I you have an existing RRSP, you might sneak some in it but not if the holder knows you are in the USA.  And if you do have an RRSP, I hope you are filing your TDF 90-22.1 and 8891 forms with your 1040.

I attended a CFA meeting in Vancouver today and talked to at least two dozen of them, none of whom could look after you and none of whom even knew of someone who can.

Fortunately, i know two who can look after the US and Canadian side of your pensions under the circumstances you describe.

If yo go to, you will find interviews with Dan Walkow of  You can see more in the following older questions.

If you are on the east coast, Darrell  Thompson of Blackmont Securities can also look after your situation


My_question_is: US-specific

question: I understand that form 8891 has replaced form 3520 and 3520-A for US citizens to report their RRSPs. I am wondering if US citizens who are Canadian residents and who hold mutual funds in open, non-registered accounts must still file forms 3520 and 3520-A for each of those accounts? I am also wondering if US citizen resident in Canada or dual citizens should/must inform the Canadian mutual fund companies that they are US citizens? 

Many thanks!

david ingram replies:

With the exception of one year, an RRSP has not required a 3520 since 1989. 

US REV-PROC 89-45 was the first of three to cancel the need to file a 3520.

I have never heard of and can not see any reason to file a 3520 for a commercial Mutual fund.  Although it may be a trust, it is not a trust of the kind asked about in question 8 on schedule B of the 1040.

Because of the newer reporting rules for a TDF 90-22.1, I think it behooves every US citizen. green card holder or holder of a US visa which allows them to live in the US to make sure that their Canadian financial institution knows that they are a US citizen and will require more information for their RRSP, RRIF and other accounts.

Because of this heavier reporting, we are finding that some people are reporting their earning twice.  Some Canadian institutions are reporting earnings for US residents twice.  They will provide a NR4 to the client in Canadian Currency and then for some unknown reason provide a 1099-DIV or 1099-MISC reporting the same income again in US Currency.

There are very few Canadian financial advisors who have taken the time to recognize these facts.

The following will help and you can see some archived interviews with Dan Walkow at - You have to use Googlechrome or Internet explorer to view these at the moment and they will not view with a Mac.

Good on Dan Walkow.  He intercepted what could have been a problem.  There is a stipulation regarding payment of a RRIF to a non-resident that ends up requiring a 25% tax withholding in any payments made from a RRIF to a non-resident in the first year of the RRIF's existence.  Even if they are clearly periodic payments.  So in order to get the normal 15% holdback on my first disbursements in 2008, I have to roll my RRSP into a RRIF before calender year end 2007.
Just in case you weren't aware of this odd stipulation, I thought I'd pass it on.  It could cost non-residents a year of taxation at 25% instead of 15% if they don't get that RRIF in place during the calender year prior to the one in which they intend to draw.  And the US will never give a 25% offset tax credit, unless you are in a much higher tax bracket than most retirees.


david ingram replies:

Thanks for the heads up FH

I have never heard of this but will pass it on just in case there are other US residents intending to roll over into a RRIF at the start of 2008 (or any other for that matter).

I qualified for OAS and CPP in September but decided to leave it until 2008 for instance,.

For those who need someone who can handle your RRIF, RRSP, IRA, 401(K) 403, other retirement plans and any open cash account on both sides of the US / Canada border, I give you the following:



Is Stansberry & Associates a legitimate firm?

david ingram replies:
So far as i know.

One person on the list wrote to say that they had satisfactory dealings with them after I wrote the following:

If the problem is dealing with cross border investments, I usually recommend Dan Walkow and / or Darrell Thompson

as in this older question about the same firm

QUESTION: 1. have been trying to find ethical investment firm to go with in Canada and can not seem to get any unbiased answers We live in Red Lake Ontario (landed immigrants), but are also US citizens

2. Is this Stansberry & Associates legit, as they seem to have many different opportunities claiming great returns
Pinchot Retirement Plan,  Master Limited Partnership, Market Index Target Term Security , Oakmark Select Funds
Thanks greatly looking forward to your email


david ingram replies:
I have no good or bad knowledge about Stansbery and Associates. None of my clients deal with them to my knowledge.

>From looking at their website, they seem to be a newsletter operation as much as anything.  I have about 15 interviews with newsletter writers on gold (John Embry), oil, uranium (Martin Kafusa), silver (Sean Rahkimov) real estate (Ozzie Jurock), futures and commodities (Victor Adai), Resources in General (Elsworth Dickson, Publisher of Resource World)  etc at - mostly in the third column.

Two ethical people who are properly licenced to seal with the sale of securities, IRA's 403B,  RRSPs, RRIFs, etc., to US citizens in Canada or Canadians in the US  are:

Dan Walkow
Seabank Financial
White Rock
Local     (604) 541-9952
L D        (866) 541-9952


Darrell Thompson
Blackmont Securities
Local    (416) 874-8007
LD        (866) 775-7704

These two individuals and their companies have gone to the effort to get themselves registered and properly licenced  just about everywhere so they can deal with a Canadian in Florida or California or Nevada, etc.

Note that because of their specialty, they tend to deal with accounts in excess of $200,000

However, I know that both parties would welcome an exploratory call. Small accounts do grow into larger ones and of course, you do not have to have a cross border problem to deal with them.

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  service help.
pert  US Canada Canadian American  Mexican Income Tax  service and help.
David Ingram gives expert income tax service & 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 $450 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. ($472.50 with GST for in person or if you are on the telephone in Canada) expert  US Canada Canadian American  Mexican Income Tax  service and help.
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.

IRS Circular 230 Disclosure:  To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the IRS, please be advised that any U.S. tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended or written to be used or relied upon, and cannot be used or relied upon, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code, or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein.--

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 or  If you forward this message, this disclaimer must be included." -


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