Firm Announcement



In celebrating the firm’s 25th year anniversary the partners of Altro & Associates, LLP are very pleased to announce that, due to his exceptional service to our firm and clients throughout Canada and the U.S., our partner Shlomi Steve Levy, an outstanding cross-border tax and estate planning lawyer, has been appointed a name partner in the Firm which shall be henceforth known as Altro Levy LLP.

Our industry leading law firm continues to provide sophisticated cross-border and domestic tax, estate planning and real estate legal services to high net-worth individuals.

Please note that our website and email addresses have been updated to reflect the new firm name. All email addresses for the team can be found on Our Team page on our website, which is now www.altrolevy.com. Alternatively, you can contact us by telephone at 1-800-370-4860 where we will direct you to one of our offices: Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver, Florida or Arizona.

Congratulations, Shlomi.

David A. Altro Featured in the Montreal Gazette Wednesday, March 20, 2103

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 second question. Read the rest of this entry »

David A. Altro Featured in the Montreal Gazette Monday, January 21, 2013

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 second question. Read the rest of this entry »

David A. Altro featured in the Montreal Gazette Monday, January 7, 2013

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 second question. Read the rest of this entry »

David A. Altro and Matt Altro published in STEP Journal – June 2012


Canadian departure tax: obstacle or opportunity?

By David A. Altro, B.A., LL.L, J.D, D.D.N, Fin. Pl., TEP and Matt Altro, B.Comm., CFP®, F. PL.

Canadians move to the US for a variety of reasons. Proximity to family, lifestyle, sunny weather, employment, health issues and lower income tax rates are some of the more popular reasons. If tax is the main driver for a client to hang up their hockey skates in favour of a golf club, they will probably choose to live in a state with little or no state income tax, such as Florida.

The highest marginal rate for a resident of Quebec is 48.2 per cent (Ontario is 46.4 per cent). The highest marginal rate for a Florida resident is only 35 per cent. The tax savings are more pronounced when you take into account that a Quebec resident reaches the highest marginal rate at just CAD132,000 of income, while a Florida resident reaches the highest marginal rate only at income above USD379,000.

But before recommending a one-way ticket to West Palm Beach, it is important to understand the tax impact of becoming a non-resident of Canada. When a Canadian moves to another country and gives up tax residency in Canada this may give rise to a tax commonly referred to as departure tax. To better understand how this departure tax is calculated, a key concept of the Canadian tax system should be reviewed. Canadian residents are taxed on their worldwide income only while they are considered tax residents of Canada. Unlike the US, which taxes based on citizenship, when Canadians depart Canada they are no longer obliged to pay tax to Canada unless they continue to earn Canadian-source income. Canadians who depart Canada need to complete their final personal tax return (also known as an ‘exit return’) by 30 April of the year following their departure. Read the rest of this entry »

David A. Altro interviewed by CBC Radio Maritime Noon

On Monday, May 28, 2012 David A. Altro was interviewed by Jean Laroche for the CBC Radio show Maritime Noon. David discusses how to get the best deals in the U.S. right now, the issues Canadians need to know about when purchasing property in the U.S. and answers many caller questions concerning holding title, probate, health insurance, U.S. estate tax and much more.

Listen to David’s interview on the show below and click here to see all Maritime Noon Podcasts.

How Should Canadian Snowbirds Take Title to Arizona Real Estate? It Depends!



Canadians have long sought to escape harsh winters by spending time in the American Sunbelt. In recent years, with the dollar near parity, the depressed US real estate values, and a relatively strong Canadian economy, Snowbirds have shown stronger interest than ever in purchasing that winter get-away. The perennial question remains, however: what is the best way to own US real estate?

As usual, the answer is rarely straightforward. Each prospective buyer has a unique set of facts and different objectives to consider. Furthermore, the US real property laws, probate and incapacity are all governed at the State level, which means that the same strategy may not be appropriate in different States. This article focuses on Arizona law, and describes some of the options available to Canadian buyers of personal use properties, with a consideration of the advantages and disadvantages of each. Read the rest of this entry »

David A. Altro Published in STEP Journal – February 2012



Frozen Over
By David A. Altro and Ben Jeske


Estate freezes have been in Canada since the introduction of federal capital gains taxation 40 years ago. Along with the capital gains tax (CGT) on properties sold by taxpayers, the so-called death tax was also brought in. Essentially, when a taxpayer dies, they are deemed to have sold all their assets at fair market value, and will be assessed for CGT on all accrued gains. The estate freeze, in essence, is an attempt to cap the value of the assets owned by a taxpayer that would be subject to the death tax. Therefore, the estate freeze generally involves the conversion or exchange of assets susceptible to capital appreciation for assets that retain a fixed monetary value. Read the rest of this entry »

David A. Altro interviewed by the Toronto Sun


U.S. property investment pitfalls easy to overcome

SHARON SINGLETON, QMI Agency
The Toronto Sun
November 10, 2011


A growing number of Canadians are tempted by property bargains in the U.S., but are being put off by bad information about the possible tax pitfalls, according to David Altro, a lawyer and author of a book on the subject.

The baby boomer generation is looking for a warm place to retire and being lured by property at bargain-basement levels, making Canadians the biggest foreign investors in U.S. real estate.

“I wrote this book because there is a lot of mis-information out there for Canadians wanting to buy or move to the U.S.,” Altro said, whose Owning U.S. Property The Canadian Way is now into its second edition.

Much of it revolves around the potential tax bill and bureaucratic headaches for family members trying to sort out the estate upon the death of the property owner. Read the rest of this entry »

David A. Altro featured on Droit Inc.


Investissements immobiliers aux USA: la bonne méthode, selon un avocat

www.droitinc.com
Par Agence QMI
Le 14 novembre 2011


C’est le point de vue de David Altro, avocat et auteur d’un livre sur le sujet. L’ouvrage, intitulé Owning U.S. Property – The Canadian Way, en est à sa deuxième édition.

« J’ai écrit ce livre parce que les Canadiens qui veulent acheter aux États-Unis ou s’y installer sont confrontés à trop d’informations erronées », a-t-il dit.

Selon M. Altro, c’est surtout au sujet des comptes de taxes et des démarches à effectuer dans le cas d’une succession que les informations pertinentes manquent. Read the rest of this entry »