Important information for Canadians in Florida
Table of Contents:
Click on an item below to see detail.
The so called 30 day rule revisited (Nov 2018)
Extended Stays For Snowbirds? (Feb 2017)
Calgary Herald article/overview of rules
pertaining to Candians in the US
and link to the 8840 Form
New Tracking System Implementation (Jan 2014)
Cross Border Tracking system Expansion (Jan 2014)
I-94 and Admission of Canadians as visitors (Oct 2013)
Aware of the '30 Day Rule' (July 2013)
Repeal of IDP Requirements (Apr 2013)
Snowbird Travel Insurance Acceptance
(May 20 2012)
The 30 Day Rule
Common believe has been that you must be absent for more that
30 days before the days in the U.S. counter stops. This not true. Any
full day that
you are not in the U.S. will not be
counted as you being present in the U.S. The source for this information
may be found
HERE. Take a look and draw your own conclusions. Disclaimer (of
course). I am only passing this info along and take no responsibility for
Extended Stays For Snowbirds?
Introduced in House
Promoting Tourism to Enhance our Economy Act of 2017
This bill authorizes the Department of Homeland Security to
admit into the United States as a visitor for pleasure a qualifying
Canadian citizen over 55 years old and his or her spouse (who is not
required to be over 55 years old) for a period not to exceed 240 days if
the person: (1) maintains a Canadian residence and owns a U.S. residence
or has rented a U.S. accommodation for the duration of such stay, and (2)
is not inadmissible or described in any ground of deportability.
Such person may not: (1) engage in employment or labor for
hire in the United States, or (2) seek any form of assistance or benefit
under the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act
It has been referred to a subcommittee -
lets hope they act on it and not just sit on it like previous attempts
to get a bill like this passed.
can be found in a Globe & Mail article - click
You can follow the progress of this bill
by clicking HERE
H.R.979 in the search box.
(JA note - The following is ancient history & never came to pass -
similarly see the 'JOLT' act)
Canadians may soon be able to spend more than half of each year
south of the border. This pending congressional measure could help you get
more use out of your U.S. property.
Canadians may soon be able to spend more than half of each year south of the
border. This pending congressional measure could help you get more use out
of your U.S. property.
Gannett News Service, February 13, 2015
By Brian Tumulty, USA TODAY
WASHINGTON -- Canadian snowbirds, an integral part of the Florida economy,
hope Congress eventually will let them visit the U.S. for longer periods,
even though many Republican lawmakers are more focused on tighter border
"We're optimistic because the ground work is done," Bob Slack, a Florida
resident and head of the Canadian Snowbird Association, said by phone from
Mesa, Ariz., where his 90,000-member organization held a two-day Canadian
Snowbird Extravaganza Celebration this week.
Slack was referring to the JOLT (Jobs Originated through Launching Travel)
Act. The legislation would establish a new Canadian Retiree Visa allowing
Canadians 50 and older to stay up to eight months in the U.S. each year if
they own a second home here or have a rental agreement or hotel reservation.
Current U.S. law limits Canadians to stays of 182 days -- about six months
-- every year.
Florida already is the top destination for Canadian snowbirds. Realtors,
tourism officials and lawmakers say the change could provide a tremendous
boost to the Florida economy still recovering from the Great Recession.
Canadians make 4 million visits to Florida every year, according to the
Canadian embassy in Washington. The embassy estimates Canadians account for
about one-third of all foreign visitors and contribute more than $4 billion
to the state's economy.
Florida tourism officials say passage of the JOLT Act would boost that by as
much as 30 percent. And spending on items such as accommodations, dining and
recreation has a ripple effect that benefits the regional economy, they say.
More than 500,000 Canadians own property in Florida, according to the
Canadian Snowbird Association. Tens of thousands more rent. State and local
real estate officials believe both those numbers would rise if the JOLT Act
The measure also would allow tourists from Poland, Israel and Brazil to
visit the U.S. without needing travel visas, joining the list of 38
countries with visa waivers. Backers of the JOLT Act estimate the average
overseas tourist spends $4,500.
Some of that tourism money is spent at "extravaganzas" like the one Slack's
group organized in Arizona. Similar events took place earlier this winter in
Lakeland, Fla., and McAllen, Texas, featuring popular Canadian musicians and
exhibitors ranging from amusement park owners to health service vendors.
The celebrations promote a retirement lifestyle much like the one enjoyed by
Slack, a retired elementary school principal from Ontario, and his wife,
Lois, a retired teacher. The couple spends winters at their second home in
Winter Haven, Fla.
In the last Congress, the JOLT Act proposal was packaged as part of a
comprehensive immigration bill that passed the Senate. This year, such
comprehensive reform is considered a non-starter, and JOLT Act supporters
are working to keep the proposal separate from the debate over security at
the U.S.-Mexico border.
In addition, lawmakers from states along the Canadian border vow to oppose
any legislation that would impede the economic benefits of other Canadian
tourism, including day trips to shopping malls and sporting events in the
"The Canadians are welcome to our country," said Republican Rep. Chris
Collins, whose western New York district lies between Buffalo and Rochester.
"We want them to eat in our restaurants and shop in our stores."
Collins led a group of northern-border Republicans in helping to block floor
consideration late last month of the Secure Our Borders First Act. The
measure would require the airports, seaports and land ports with the most
international travelers to begin using, within two years, biometric devices
to scan travelers. The devices measure unique identifiers such as
fingerprints and iris scans.
Authors of the legislation note that biometric identification was
recommended by the 9/11 Commission and was required by the Intelligence
Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004.
Conservative Republicans considered the Secure Our Borders First bill too
soft, but northern border Republicans joined Democrats in objecting that it
would impede commerce.
About 71 million people crossed the U.S.-Canada border in the 12 months that
ended Sept. 30, according to U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.
Joyce Murray, a member of Canada's Parliament who represent part of
Vancouver along the country's west coast, spoke about the issue during a
recent visit to Washington.
"We have an interest in having a thin border between ourselves and the
United States for many reasons," said Murray, a member of the Liberal Party.
"I think we have to work together to have security measures that allow us to
not have a lot of barriers at the border. In Canada we are working toward to
having increased security within our country, but we need to be thinking
about the check and balances as well."
Contributing: Ledyard King, USA TODAY
Contact Brian Tumulty at email@example.com Twitter: @NYinDC
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Reproduced with permission - from
Calgary Herald article/overview of rules pertaining
to Candians in the US
Click here for Brian Burton's article summarizing the rules
governing Canadian Snowbirds entering the US. However a query was raised by
one of our members regarding subject of Canadian residency for tax purposes.
The correspondence, his question and an answer from the Canadian Snowbirds
In June Calgary Herald reporter Brian Burton wrote an article on what
Canadians need to be aware of when traveling into the US. The article
covered most of the stuff written in CSA newsletters..8840 forms, number of
days allowed the the States, Substantial Presence formula etc. In the
article Roy Berg, a lawyer and tax specialist of the Calgary firm Moody
Gartner said, "If you exceed 182 days in a calendar year outside Canada,
Canadian tax law says you are no longer a resident, you are deemed to have
disposed of all your worldwide assets and you become subject to capital
gains on everything you own".
If this is truly the law, then wouldn't those who take advantage of the
Seniors Retiree Visa, if it ever comes into being, be faced with devastating
Despite the information provided in the article, even if you are
outside of Canada for longer than six months, as long as you maintain your
residential ties to Canada, you will be considered a factual resident of
Canada for tax purposes.
The CRA takes a fairly comprehensive approach to determining residency for
tax purposes. Under Canada's tax system, your liability for income tax in
Canada is based on your status as a resident or non-resident of Canada. Your
residence status must be established before your tax liability to Canada can
be determined. A determination of residence status can only be made after
all the factors have been considered. Your circumstances have to be reviewed
in their entirety to get an accurate picture of your residence status. The
residential ties you have or establish in Canada are a major factor in
determining residence status. Residential ties to Canada include a home in
Canada, a spouse or common-law partner or dependants in Canada, personal
property in Canada, such as a car or furniture, social ties in Canada; and
economic ties in Canada. Other ties that may be relevant include: a Canadian
driver's licence, Canadian bank accounts or credit cards; and health
insurance with a Canadian province or territory.
If you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact me
Evan Rachkovsky, Director of Research and Communications Canadian Snowbird
Canadian SnowBirds Beware! 2014 Border Crossing Rules Increase Stakes For
Published on November 25, 2013 at 14:39, by Roy A Berg JD,
Moodys Gartner lawyers and Chartered Accountants who provide strategic
tax advice to individual and corporate clients that have interests in
Canada, the US or both.
Virtually all Canadian snowbirds know they must keep track of how many days
they are in the US and outside of Canada because “bad” tax and non-tax
surprises await those who are in or out of either country too long. Given
the importance of “day count,” why do so few travellers (relatively
speaking) trigger an examination based on the amount of time they have spent
in either country?
The answer may come as a shock to most (and I would guess nearly all)
snowbirds. Prior to 2014 neither the US nor Canada knew how many days
someone had been within its borders. That will change in 2014 as new rules
go into effect. All snowbirds need to know how this change will affect them.
The “Entry/Exit Initiative:” Changes
in 2014 every Canadian snowbird needs to know.
Beginning June 30, 2014, both Canada and the US will
implement the final phase of the Entry/Exit Initiative of the Perimeter
Security and Economic Competitiveness Action Plan in which both countries
will share information on people entering and leaving the respective
In other words both countries will, for the first time, be able to
independently determine the number of days spent in each country. What this
means for Canadian snowbirds is that they must be much more vigilant than
they have in the past about counting and reporting their days in and out of
each country. Starting next year, both Canada and the US will both know, in
real time, which country snowbirds have been in and for how long.
The Entry/Exit Initiative and the Perimeter Security and Economic
Competitiveness Action Plan is part of a larger cooperative effort between
Canada and the US called
Border: A shared Vision for Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness
announced on February 4, 2011. The stated purpose of the effort is to
promote security and economic competitiveness through various means. A full
description of the action plan can be found here.
The “good old days” of lax enforcement of “day count” will end in 2014.
Before the implementation of Phase IV of the Entry/Exit Initiative, each
country counted individuals’ day presence only when they entered the
country, and not when they left the country. Further, this information was
rarely shared between the two countries. Consequently, typically neither
country knew how long someone had been present within its borders.
In the good old days, if an individual wanted to obtain an accurate
accounting of the days in (or out) of both countries, he would have to
contact both the US Customs and Border Protection (“USCBP”) and the Canadian
Border Services Agency (“CBSA”) and request border entry data (click
here for a
day count request form from the US and
here for a day count request form for Canada). Only after receiving both
reports and cross-referencing such data could an individual be sure of how
many days they were present in Canada or the US.
When requesting the entry report from either USCBP or CBSA, it is best to
plan ahead – far ahead. It typically takes thirty days to receive the report
from CBSA and two months for USCBP. This can cause a substantial hardship
when trying to comply with IRS and CRA filing deadlines.
“Bad” tax and non-tax surprises
that can result from being in or out of the country for too long
There are generally five bad surprises that can result from being in the US
or out of Canada for too long. We’ve discussed these consequences in several
other articles (a more complete analysis of the following may be found
here), so I will not address them in detail.
All of the following “bad” tax and non-tax surprises hinge on whether an
individual is “resident” or not. Those who expect consistency and logic in
law (whether it be tax, immigration, or health services) will be
disappointed, though probably not surprised, to learn the definition of
“resident” is different in each of the following examples.
The following are the highlights (or “lowlights” as it were):
1) Banned from travel to US if unlawfully present. Perhaps the most
draconian consequence to spending too much time in the US is to fall into
the “unlawful presence” rules. Canadians who remain in the US for more than
180 days in a rolling twelve month period risk being deemed unlawfully
present, the consequences of which are: a) a 3-year travel ban if unlawfully
present for between 180 and 365 days; and b) a 10-year travel ban if
unlawfully present for more than 365 days.
Liability for US income tax on worldwide income. The US taxes US citizens
and “US residents” on their worldwide income. If the snowbird is present in
the US for too many days he risks becoming deemed a US resident and
therefore subject to tax on his worldwide income.
Liability for US estate tax on fair market value of worldwide assets. The US
also taxes US citizens and “US residents” on the fair market value of their
worldwide assets at death. Unfortunately the definition of “US resident” for
estate tax is fundamentally different than the definition for US income tax
purposes (see the prior link for a more complete analysis). The result is
that the heirs of the uninformed snowbird can find their inheritance subject
to the US estate tax.
Liability for Canadian departure tax. Canada taxes its residents on their
worldwide income. Once a Canadian resident is no longer resident he is
deemed to have disposed all of his assets (subject to exceptions), recognize
the gain on those assets, and pay tax on that gain. Whether an individual is
no longer resident is a facts and circumstances test; however, a big factor
in that analysis is day count. Therefore, the snowbird who spends too much
time in the US risks a nasty Canadian tax surprise.
Loss of provincial health care. Canadian residents are entitled to
participate in provincial health services. Once an individual is no longer
resident of the particular province, he loses this entitlement. Of course,
the rules for “residency” in the health care context are different than
those discussed above.
In light of the fact that neither the US nor Canada has historically known
an individual’s day count, it is not surprising that day count has not
usually been a triggered IRS or CRA examination. We have all been required
to self-report our days and residence status to the appropriate authorities.
It is as though we have all been lulled into the quotidian task of grading
our own homework and have been generously giving ourselves high marks,
regardless of whether we deserve them or even completed the assignment at
all. In 2014, the teacher will begin to grade our homework… and she knows
Moodys Gartner Tax Law is only about tax. It is not an add-on service, it is
our singular focus. Our Canadian and US lawyers and Chartered Accountants
work together to develop effective tax strategies that get results, for
individuals and corporate clients with interests in Canada, the US or both.
Our strengths lie in Canadian and US cross-border tax advisory services,
estateplanning, and tax litigation/dispute resolution. We identify areas of
risk and opportunity, and create plans that yield the right balance of
protection, optimization and compliance for each of our clients’ special
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the
Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.
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border-tracking system raises privacy concerns.
BY DANIEL PROUSSALIDIS, PARLIAMENTARY BUREAU
FIRST POSTED: FRIDAY, JANUARY 17, 2014 04:10 PM EST | UPDATED: FRIDAY,
JANUARY 17, 2014 04:18 PM EST
(JEAN-FRANCOIS VILLENEUVE/QMI Agency Files)
OTTAWA - Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is working on one of the final
steps before a massive expansion of a system that tracks everyone's Canada-U.S.
border crossings and automatically informs both governments.
"The CBSA is in the process of completing a privacy impact assessment to
ensure an appropriate balance between the privacy rights of Canadians and
the need to secure the integrity of our borders," a spokesman for Public
Safety Minister Steven Blaney said in an email. There's no word on when that
assessment of the more expansive monitoring system will be finished.
Canada and the U.S. already have a system of sharing the names, ages,
nationalities and other biographical information of all permanent residents
and visitors crossing the common land border. As QMI Agency first
reported Thursday, the CBSA will enlarge the system - first, to include even
Canadian and American citizens at land borders, and later to cover all
airline passengers aboard international flights.
The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada warned the government in
2011 that this kind of system can raise privacy concerns. Commissioner
spokesman Scott Hutchinson said officials are waiting for more information
about the CBSA's latest plans.
"We look forward to gaining further details and making recommendations to
CBSA following our receipt and review of its (privacy impact assessment),"
he said. "One of the key questions will be with whom Canadians' exit-entry
information will be shared and for what purposes."
The exit-entry system is part of the Canada-U.S. Beyond the Border plan to
create a North American security perimeter.
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There have been some
interesting developments in border crossing regulations of which you should
be aware. These are outlined in a second article by Bradford Flecke and is
reproduced below. His first article may be viewed by
clicking here (you'll need
a PDF reader such as 'Adobe' or like to view the document) .
Canadian snowbirds continue to show keen interest in proposed new US
retiree-visa and extended-stay options currently under consideration by the U.S.
House. But there is an imminent change now being implemented that could have
serious consequences for Canadians planning for the 2013-14 southbound season.
Equipment now being installed at U.S. ports-of-entry will enable U.S.
authorities to keep track of the comings and goings of all nonimmigrants,
including visitors. The equipment may not be operational at all ports-of-entry
until late 2014.
With the new technology comes a new policy regarding the admission of Canadians
as visitors. Six Months Minus A Day Canadians entering as visitors without a
visa will be issued an 1-94 admission card like the ones issued to other
nonimmigrants. For most snowbirds, the period of admission indicated on the 1-94
will be six months minus a day. Frequent visitors may be granted shorter periods
The infamous "unlawful presence" rules that apply to most other nonimmigrants
are now being applied (inconsistently, so far) to Canadian visitors. Canadians
who remain in the U.S. six months beyond the period allowed on the 1-94 card
will only be able to re-enter the U.S. after 36 months abroad. Canadians who
remain in the U.S. for 12 months or more beyond the 1-94 admission period will
be able to reenter the U.S. after 120 months abroad. Canadians facing the 36-
and 120-month bars do have options: applying for waivers of inadmissibility or
appearing before a U.S. immigration judge. Neither option is a slam dunk.
Waivers are not routinely granted and immigration proceedings often take longer
than 36 months.
Snowbirds need to take these 1-94 cards seriously. Once the data equipment is up
and running at the ports-of-entry, no one is going to talk her way out of
3/10-year bar at the border. The analysis will be painfully simple. If a
snowbird overstays the 1-94 expiration date, she is barred.
Though the three-year bar does not kick in until 181 days of unlawful presence,
shorter overstays may prompt Customs and Border Protection to restrict future
stays. So avoid making plans that bump up against the 1-94 expiration date. Plan
for the unexpected. Plan to leave a week or more before your 1-94 expiration
date. Waivers are available - but do not bet the next three or 10 years of your
life on getting one!
A snowbird who leaves the U.S. for less than 30 days will be treated as if she
never left. The time on the previously issued 1-94 card will continue to run.
How long does a snowbird have to remain out-side the U.S. to ensure that a new
1-94 card will be for the full six months-minus-a-day? Short answer: the border
officer has complete discretion. Remaining outside the U.S. for six months
probably will reset the calendar. Will four months outside the U.S. reset the
calendar' Probably. Three months? Maybe. Two months? No.
A snowbird who enters as a visitor and later during the same stay, decides to
pursue Adjustment of Status for a green card has a limited window of time in
which to file and (for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to receive) the
Adjustment application packet: the 61st day from entry through the 1-94
expiration date. After filing, that snowbird can then ignore the 1-94 expiration
date; the snowbird has a new status, Adjustment Applicant, that will allow her
to remain in the US until the green card process is completed.
Why 61 days? According to Immigration Service guidelines,
immigration-application examiners are supposed to avoid arguments about
immigration fraud and an applicant's intent at the time of entry if the
applicant filed for adjustment of status at least 60 days after entry. But these
are government internal guidelines, not laws (how lucky do you feel?).
If the same snowbird is in danger of missing the adjustment-filing window, she
should heed the 1-94 card expiration date and leave the United States or risk a
3/10-year bar. Whether she can re-enter at a later date, wait the 61 days, and
then apply for adjustment is unclear. Consult an experienced US immigration
attorney on this issue. If the current proposal for a 240-day extended stay for
Canadians becomes law, expect the same 3/10-year bar to apply.
For many Canadians, the snowbird-as-visitor lifestyle is going to become a
hassle. Explore other immigration options with a cross-border financial planner
and a U.S. immigration attorney (hint: neither one is going to have the complete
picture on this).
Bradford Flecke is an immigration consultant for the crossborder law firm
KeatsConnelly. He writes a blog on crossborder immigration - visit
Brad's Blog .
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Brief Absence(s) from U.S. during your Winter Stay in the U.S.
Some of you may not be aware of a 30 day 'rule' concerning your 182 day stay
in the U.S. Apparently if you leave the U.S. for less than 30 days,
say to return to Canada for Christmas, then that time is NOT
deducted from the calculated length of your stay in the U.S., i.e. the
182 day clock keeps running. The source for this info is Bradford Flecke of
KeatsConnelly and you can see the source article by clicking
HERE . Although there is a lot of supposition and opinion in this
article by the author, we feel that, given that Keats Connelly is a well
known source of information when it comes to Cross Border rules and
regulations, this article can be considered as a good source of info for our
members. CBP stands for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Again, you can review his article by clicking
HERE . (Use your browser's back button to return here from the article)
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JOLT Act Update
We also double checked with Wallace Weylie, legal council for the Canadian
Snowbird Association, regarding the JOLT Act which contains the provision for
retired Canadians who either own or rent property in the United States to apply
for a Retiree Visa which would allow us to stay in the United States up to 240
days in a calendar year. It has passed through the US Senate and is now in the
US House of Representatives. CSA representatives will be in Washington this
upcoming week trying to lobby congressmen and women to push it along so it can
go to presidential approval and become law in future, fingers crossed.
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After the concerns, confusion and furor caused the past few months regarding
The Villages Hospital and Leesburg Hospital members of the Central Florida
Health Alliance (CFHA) we have what we
feel is good news.
Don McDonald, Health Committee Chairman and Dave Horsman, Canadian Loonies
&Toonies President, recently met with Ms. Courtney Badman, System Director
of Patient Registration Department - CFHA at The Villages Hospital after
references from Jeff Zimmerman, Sales Manager of Property of the Villages
and Amy Wixsted , Program Director USF Health Services here in The Villages
[the folks who ran the health Survey that we overwhelmingly participated
Ms. Badman was extremely open with us and explained that after having
endured unpaid claims by foreign insurance companies due to patients
receiving services that were not covered or approved by the insurance
company the CFHA had a somewhat knee jerk reaction and tried to implement a
policy where travelers were asked to pay up front for services and then have
the patient recover the funds from their insurance company.
After getting a lot of negative feedback [maybe some from the survey ?] the
CFHA thankfully has reverted back to their original policy of accepting all
travelers insurance with the caveat that the patient will asked to pay a $
2000.00 refundable deposit if the care provider can not get approval from
the insurance company in a timely manner. We have attached a memo we
received from Ms. Badman following our meeting at the end of this email
There exists a
list of providers
that have been pre-approved by CFHA but, for example, three of the most
popular insurance companies our members use, Medipac, RBC and Securiglobe
are not on it.
We have had instances in the past few weeks where members who were covered
by Medipac and RBC went to the Villages Hospital and received full treatment
and were not required to pay as the hospital was able to get the approvals
from the insurance companies quickly.
Our suggestion is that before you seek any treatment at a Florida hospital
that you or your spouse/partner contact your insurance company and get the
ball rolling on getting the hospital the approval they need. You may also
want to confer with your insurance company before buying insurance for next
season and get their take on the situation so you'll know exactly what
procedure to follow in case of a medical emergency.
We were also advised by Ms. Badman of the EMTALA Law which requires
hospitals to provide care to anyone needing emergency healthcare treatment
regardless of citizenship, legal status or ability to pay. There are no
reimbursement provisions. Participating hospitals may only transfer or
discharge patients needing emergency treatment under their own informed
consent, after stabilization, or when their condition requires transfer to a
hospital better equipped to administer the treatment.
Ms. Badman has also accepted out invitation to be one of our guest speakers
next season and will be with us November 14 2012 along with a clinical
List of all insurance
and travel insurance plans the Alliance will work with on behalf
* Allianz Global Assistance (PO Box 71987 Richmond,
* Automated Group Administration (AGA)
* Complete Claims Management Professionals
* Desjardin Financial Security (Quebec)
* Employer Benefit Underwriters, Inc. (EBU)
* Global Response (UK)
* Group Health Cooperative (USA)
* Healix Group of Companies (UK)
* ING -Reinsurance
* Mennonite Mutual Aid
* Mondial Assistance (PO Box 71987 Richmond, Virginia
* NetCare Life & Health Ins (Guam)
* Old Republic/Reliable Life Ins. Co
* One World Assistance (OWA)
* Pottruff & Smith Travel Insurance
* Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI)
* Sigma Assistel (Quebec)
* Specialty Assist (UK)
* TravelGuard - AIG (TG - AIG)
* Travel Medical Claims Administrators (TMCA-New York)
* Travel Underwriters Group (Canada)
* Tour+Med (Quebec and Florida)
* World Travel Protection (WTP)
* Zurich Canada
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Form 8840 - What's it About?
Disclaimer - The purpose of this article is simply to make you aware of
this form. The accuracy of this information has not been officially
verified and should not be construed as a recommendation for or against any
activity in regard to the completion of Form 8840.
You may have heard talk about a U.S. (Department of the
Treasury Internal Revenue Service) form 8840 known officially as "Closer
Connection Exception Statement for Aliens".
We, as Canadians, making the annual trek to the U.S. for the winter and
staying for less than 184 days, will generally meet the
Presence Test and as such would be considered "Resident Aliens"
with the tax consequences that this implies. However, the 8840 form allows
an Alien (you in this case) to declare that you have closer ties to another
country (Canada in this case) than you do to the U.S. thus establishing a
closer connection to a foreign country (Canada) and maintain a nonresident
alien status, even though you may own property here.
Any questions should be addressed to the US government or Canadian Snowbird
You may find the following links helpful. Use your browser's "Back"
button to return here after going to some of these screens (links).
HERE get a blank 8840 form which will
immediately download a blank PDF form (f8840.pdf) to your default download
folder (in chrome that would be 'user.your user name.Downloads') without
much indication that it happened.
General Information regarding the 8840 form may be found
The form is a PDFs documents that may viewed on line or downloaded to
your computer. Either way you will need a copy of Adobe Reader (or similar)
obtainable free by clicking
The completed form should be mailed to:
Department of the Treasury
Internal Revenue Service Center
For additional items pertaining to your stay in the U.S. Return to Top
to see the index.
Substantial Presence Test
You will be considered a U.S. resident for tax purposes if you meet the
substantial presence test for the calendar year.
To meet this test, you must be physically present in the United States on at
least 31 days during the current year, and 183 days during the 3-year period
that includes the current year and the 2 years immediately before that,
calculated as follows:
1) All the days you were present in the current year, and
2) 1/3 of the days you were present in the first year before the current
3) 1/6 of the days you were present in the second year before the current
For complete details click
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FISCAL CLIFF UPDATE
Finders of Canada strives to update our registrants from time to
time about any issues in Florida or beyond that may affect the
purchase of your second home or rental income generating
property in Florida. Please read below the Florida Home Finders
of Canada's tax summary of the effects of the latest agreement
between the various levels of Government in the U.S. In this
Newsletter we will outline the major cross border tax
implications on Canadians. If you have specific questions
pertaining to your individual situation, please ask us for a
referral to a U.S. Tax accountant or U.S. Real estate (cross
The US Senate
has worked out a tentative deal to avoid sending the country
over the "Fiscal Cliff". The Republican-controlled Congress has
also agreed to the plan, which affects numerous tax issues.
The "Fiscal Cliff" refers to the cumulative effect of spending
cuts and tax increases, which were scheduled to occur January 1,
2013 as a result of the expiry of several pieces of legislation.
This issue has received a great amount of press in recent
months, as a failure of the White House, Congress and the Senate
to compromise and work out agreements would have potentially
sent the U.S. Economy back into recession.
Federal Estate (death) Tax
with Holdings in the US, a major concern was changes to the
current Estate tax structure. The Canada - U.S. Tax Treaty
allows Canadian residents the same estate tax exemptions that
are available to most U.S. residents. Specifically, in 2012,
there was a $5.12 million exemption from estate tax which also
applies to Canadians. This means that only estates worth greater
than $5.12 Million would end up paying the Federal estate taxes,
and the maximum rate was capped at 35%. It is important to Note
that this is not a capital gains tax on death, as we have in
Canada. This tax applies to the fair market value of assets at
the time of death. For 2013, this threshold did not change.
If a Canadian owns U.S. Assets and/or securities worth more than
$60,000, and passes away with a worldwide estate valued in
excess of $5 million, U.S. estate tax will apply. It is
important to note that the worldwide estate value includes all
worldwide assets such as; real estate, investment accounts,
RRSPs, investments, the proceeds of life insurance etc. It is
important to note that the tax is only applied against the value
of the U.S. situated assets. High-net worth Canadians should
continue to evaluate their estate tax exposure and hold U.S.
assets in a Cross Border structure that minimizes or eliminates
the potential for U.S. estate tax liabilities.
Much of the
press on the Fiscal Cliff has been on the increases in income
tax rates in the U.S.(expiry of income tax breaks). This issue
is not likely to affect Canadian residents. Canadian residents
pay Canadian tax on their world wide income. Any U.S. sourced
income earned by a Canadian will be added on top of their
Canadian income, such that it will be taxed at a relatively
higher marginal rate. U.S. sourced income will be taxed in the
U.S. at lower rates and Canada will give a credit for any U.S.
taxes paid. As long as the marginal rate in the U.S. is lower
than the marginal rate in Canada on the same income, increases
in US income tax rates will not affect Canadians.
The one expiring tax cut that was not renewed under the new deal
is to the long-term capital gains tax rate on the disposition of
capital assets. This is the one tax increase that will be felt
by some Canadians. In Canada, we pay regular income tax on half
of the capital gain. The top marginal capital gains rate in
Canada ranges from approximately 19.5% in Alberta to almost 25%
in Quebec. Ontario is currently at 23%. In 2012, the U.S.
federal capital gains tax for individuals who had held an asset
for longer than one year was capped at 15% on the capital gain.
For 2013 that rate has now increased to 20%. Please remember
that these are all federal taxes and that Florida has no Capital
gains taxes on individuals, limited partnerships and trusts.
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