FIRPTA – New Withholding Tax Requirements for Non-Residents

Blog by Jason S. Ansel

Currency Opportunity for Canadians

The current value of the Canadian dollar has presented many Canadians with an opportunity to realize significant capital gains when selling their US real estate. These types of profits would have otherwise been unattainable had the dollar kept its value in the global market. This opportunity is not one that is likely to be seen again for a long time, which is why so many Canadians are cashing out and listing their US properties. Read the rest of this entry »

Playing the Currency Game with US Dollars & US Real Estate

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Is it a good time to buy real estate? This is a question you can hear most days, in most cities. However, for Canadian snowbirds this is a big question as they venture south to spend the winter months in the sun of Florida and other sunbelt states. This begs the question: is it a good time for Canadians to buy US real estate?

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The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act (“PATH”): Changes to the Treatment of Real Estate Investment Trusts (“REITs”)

Blog by David A. Altro

Last week, I blogged about PATH and the changes the legislation makes to the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act (“FIRPTA”). One of the most important changes is that certain foreign pension funds are now exempt from FIRPTA when they dispose of U.S. real property. It was predicted that the exemption would increase the amount of foreign investment in U.S. real estate, and Canadian pension funds are already capitalizing on the change in the law: Canada’s largest pension fund, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, recently announced its joint purchase of a $1.4 billion U.S. university student-housing portfolio with Scion Group LLC and Singapore’s GIC Private Ltd. Read the rest of this entry »

The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act: New U.S. Law Paves Pathway for Important Changes to FIRPTA

Blog by David A. Altro

U.S. Congress was busy at the end of the year. There was much debate about several key pieces of legislation that have the potential to affect Canadians in 2016, including the popular EB-5 investment-for-visa program, which I most recently blogged about here. Amid the flurry of activity, President Obama signed a key piece of legislation into place: the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (“PATH”).

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EB-5 Program Extended in Current Form until September 30, 2016

Blog by David A. Altro

Altro Levy has been closely following the progress of legislative changes proposed to the U.S’s popular EB-5 investment-for-visa program, which allows foreign investors to fund U.S.-based projects with a minimum investment of $500,000 in exchange for Green Cards. (See my post from Monday here, as well as an earlier, more detailed blog explaining the program’s history here).
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EB-5 Program Gets another Five Days; Congress to Finalize New Bill December 16

Blog by David A. Altro

I recently wrote about the popular EB-5 Regional Center program, which allows foreign investors to fund U.S.-based projects with a minimum investment of $500,000 in exchange for Green Cards. The program was originally set to sunset on December 11, 2015, but has received a short extension until December 16, when it will likely be renewed with improved reforms in place.
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The State of the EB-5 Program: Sunset Date of December 11, 2015 on the Horizon

Blog by David A. Altro

The U.S.’s popular EB-5 investment-for-Green Card program is set to sunset on December 11, 2015; Congress, however, is currently considering proposed legislation that would extend the life of the program beyond December 11. I’ve prepared a short explanation of the EB-5 program, its legislative history and the most important pieces of legislation circulating in Congress right now.
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May 2015 edition of the STEP Journal – Right place, right time

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In the May 2015 edition of the STEP Journal, David A. Altro, Managing Partner and Florida Attorney & Canadian Legal Advisor at Altro Levy LLP, and Heela Donsky, Associate and Ontario Lawyer at Altro Levy LLP, published an article featured in the “US and Canada” section of the journal. In the article they explain when a Canadian resident can defer capital gains tax on the sale of US property.
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Expatriate Tax Issues and Strategies: The IRS Eases Reporting Requirements for RRSPs

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Canadians move to the U.S. for a variety of reasons. Some Canadians are drawn to states like California, Florida and Arizona, which offer the promise of year-round warmth and sunshine; others may want to be close to family members who live in the U.S.; and others might be permanently relocated south of the border by their employers, a move which can have significant tax consequences for employees, such as being subject to departure tax or U.S. estate tax.

While moving to the U.S. is appealing to many Canadians, Canadian expats must consider their cross-border tax obligations once they are on the other side of the border. Navigating the rough terrain of expatriation tax and other cross-border taxes can be a challenge, but there is some new relief for expats who maintain RRSPs in Canada. Read the rest of this entry »

The Expatriation Trap

Blog by Jonah Z. Spiegelman
 
There is no doubt that US citizens living abroad are feeling the brunt of recent efforts to enforce tax rules around foreign assets and income. Unlike any other developed nation, the US continues to impose income tax filing requirements on its citizens, regardless of where in the world they make their homes.
 
For most Americans in Canada, tax compliance stateside has long been little more than an exercise in paperwork. High Canadian tax rates, combined with relatively generous rules around excluding foreign income and a Treaty-supported foreign tax credit regime, has meant that actually having to pay tax to the US was a rarity. This likely contributed to the situation that many find themselves in – US citizens resident in Canada for decades and have never filed returns in the US. Read the rest of this entry »