This post appeared on the RenounceUScitizenship blog.
— U.S. Citizen Abroad (@USCitizenAbroad) November 22, 2013
The article referenced in the above tweet, written by Guelph freelance writer Kira Vermond, is a decent well researched article. It would be good to get an article from her on the citizenship-based taxation, FATCA and the renunciation of U.S. citizenship.
First, the bad news from the American IRS:
The primary problem?
“The tax laws are not lined up with the immigration laws,” says Abby Kassar, vice-president of high-net-worth planning services at RBC Wealth Management in Toronto.
In other words, just because from an immigration standpoint, you’re allowed to stay in the United States for up to eight months, it doesn’t necessarily mean the taxman will turn a blind eye. Just the opposite, Mr. Berg says. In fact, he goes so far as to call the snowbird visa “a trap” and even a “tax bomb” for the unwary because it can automatically turn a Canadian into a U.S. resident, subject to tax on worldwide income.
Second, the bad news from the Canada Revenue Agency:
And don’t forget Canadian departure taxes, which are also based on residency. If you are no longer considered a resident in Canada, you’re deemed to have sold all of your assets and you must pay taxes on your capital gains. In effect, the Canada Revenue Agency treats you as though you’ve died.
“So you get a snowbird visa, you’re fat and happy living down in the U.S. for 240 days – and then you get a knock on the door from the CRA that says, ‘Hey, where’s our money?’ ” Mr. Berg says. “That’s a super nasty surprise.”