David A. Altro featured in the Montreal Gazette Monday, August 22nd, 2011

I do. But what about my taxes?

David A. Altro is a frequent contributor to Paul Delean’s business column in the Montreal Gazette. Click here to view the article online or scroll down to read David’s answer to the first question, about cross border marriage and taxes.

PAUL DELEAN
The Gazette
Monday, August 22, 2011


Relocating to the U.S. and cancelling a life-insurance policy were among the subjects raised in the latest batch of reader letters. Here’s what they wanted to know.

Q: “I am a Canadian living in Quebec, in a relationship with a Vermont resident. Should we marry and reside in Vermont, can I continue to work in Canada? Who do I owe taxes to? Should we not marry, can I reside in Vermont and continue to work in Canada? Anything else I should consider?”

A: Local attorney David Altro, who works in both countries, says that if you don’t marry, you won’t have the right to live in the U.S. without a work visa or Green card.

If you do marry a U.S. resident, that person can sponsor you to obtain a Green card. “You will always have the right to work in Canada as you will always be a Canadian citizen,” Altro said. If you reside in the U.S. and work in Canada, you will pay income tax to the Canada Revenue Agency for your Canadian-sourced income and also file U.S. income-tax return Form 1040 declaring your worldwide income. Under the Canada-U.S. Tax Treaty, you’ll be entitled to a foreign credit on your U.S. return for taxes paid in Canada. If you leave Canada, there may also be departure tax issues to look into, Altro noted. Read the rest of this entry »

David A. Altro featured in the Montreal Gazette, Monday, August 8th, 2011

How to avoid estate-tax issues in U.S

David A. Altro is a frequent contributor to Paul Delean’s business column in the Montreal Gazette. Click here to view the article online or scroll down to read David’s answer to the first question, about policy ownership.

PAUL DELEAN
The Gazette
Monday, August 8, 2011


A cross-border insurance question and potential reduction in Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) payments were among the topics raised in the latest batch of reader questions. Here’s what they wanted to know.

Q: “I have a life-insurance policy with my daughter as beneficiary. She’s a U.S. citizen and lives and works in the U.S., I reside in Quebec. Can I transfer ownership of this universal-life policy to her, or would this pose a problem since it’s a Canadian policy? And would there be any tax consequences, now or later, in either country?” Read the rest of this entry »

There’s no time like the present!


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The United States housing market crash of 2008 brought on heavy heartache, discouragement and depression to property owners throughout the country. If you are a Canadian resident who owns U.S. real estate in a corporation, there is an opportunity for you to benefit from this unfortunate crisis.

One major disadvantage of holding U.S. property in a corporation is the extremely high capital gain tax rate. The U.S. capital gain tax rate is 35%, plus an additional 5.5% if the property is in Florida. (This additional rate varies from state to state.) Capital gain tax will be triggered the moment you sell your property out of the corporation and into a new structure. Generally, the fair market value of real estate has been at a standstill since the 2008 crash. Property values have not yet begun to rise, but we suspect that they will over the next few years. It is up to you to take advantage of this opportunity while property values are still low. In order to save the high U.S. corporate capital gain tax of a future sale with profit, you may want to consider selling your property into a more tax efficient structure sooner rather than later in order to benefit from lower capital gain tax expenses. Read the rest of this entry »