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Hey there community!

So first and foremost, any Canadian who's reading this out of curiosity that has a TFSA-- CLOSE THAT SUCKER DOWN ASAP! From what I've read around the web, it's going to be a total nightmare to stay in compliance; there are other U.S. tax-free alternatives to consider as well. Since I haven't closed it yet this year, I'll have to do this whole process again next year too, ugh. I went to the Serbinski forums first, but not getting the answers I need, so really hoping someone here can offer some guidance.


Situation: Arrived to US from Canada in February 2014 on a K1 Visa, got married and filed for Permanent Residency (pending). I had no Canadian/US income for the year 2014, but made $300 in interest from my Canadian Tax-Free Savings account which at its highest point had $25,500 in it for 2014. My wife and I made multiple withdrawals throughout the year to help pay for a few things (car, honeymoon, etc).


US Side

My wife and I will be filing a 1040 jointly. Do we need anything more than the following forms???

1 - 1040 Schedule B (Reporting the $300 in interest from TFSA?)
2 - Form 3520 & Form 3520A (If my TFSA was set up as a “trust”— which I’m not yet sure if it was)
3 - Form 8621 (Or is this only if my TFSA had mutual funds or other PFIC's?)
4 - FinCEN Report 114 | FBAR (Since exceeding 10K during calendar year) **Not to be filed with 1040**

Canada Side

1 - T1 (Stating departed date on 1st page)


Is this correct, or are am I missing some things? Much appreciated! :)


K-1 Visa

01/26/13 -- I-129F Sent
02/05/13 -- I-129F NOA1
08/28/13 -- I-129F NOA2 (204 days from NOA1 date)
01/21/14 -- Montreal Interview (350 days from NOA1 date)
01/27/14 -- K-1 Visa Received
02/01/14 -- POE at Canada-USA Border Peace Bridge (Buffalo, NY)
02/24/14 -- Private Courthouse Marriage
02/26/14 -- Private 2 Week Honeymoon
04/13/14 -- Wedding with Friends/Family


AOS

04/08/14 -- Filed for AOS/EAD/AP
04/11/14 -- NOA
05/12/14 -- Biometrics Appointment

07/02/14 -- EAD/AP Card Received (84 days from NOA date)
07/10/14 -- NPIW Letter
02/24/15 -- Service Request Filed
03/05/15 -- Filed for EAD/AP Renewal

03/10/15 -- Received email acceptance notification for EAD/AP Renewal
03/20/15 -- Filed for Ombudsman Case Assistance (DHS-7001)
04/03/15 -- Biometrics Appointment (Round 2)
04/08/15 -- RFE (Expired Medical)

04/21/15 -- Medical Appointment (Round 2)
04/24/15 -- RFE Response Sent
04/30/15 -- GC Approved (Card In Production)
05/08/15 -- GC & Welcome Notice Received

Hasta la vista, USCIS B-)

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Hi, I see no one replied which sucks. I am going through the same thing now. What did you ended up doing?

I tried to go through Serbinski .. and that is a headache as there is soooo much old stuff out there and it is hard to keep track of what is what.

My husband has a tax guy but he is not an international tax person as far as I know. US gets their tax receipts early while Canada is 1 mth later.

Background: Worked in Canada Jan/Feb 2015. Left Canada Apr 1 2015. Got married end of Apr 2015. GC Oct 2015. I left my RRSPs in Canada. I have a TFSA which I too am using as money in the US. Man, I just read about TFSA and how it should be closed out as it could be taxed by the US?!! I don't want to bring all of it over at once. I bank with TD and I have yet to see any tax receipts from them. They said that if any account does not make more than 50$, no receipt is sent out.

My TFSA was like yours and I don't believe I ever got a tax receipt for that.

This year for CDN taxes, I will be doing a departure tax return as tax return was done before I left.. I understand I will claim jan/feb 2015 for Cdn taxes and that is about it. I checked with CRA and they said this was ok/ I file as a regular tax form and that I also need to enter my exit date. As I am not making contributions to RRSPs, I was told that there is no tax receipts .

For US taxes .. I am not sure what needs to be claimed on my husband's tax form.

1)Since we became a married couple half way, we should be able to claim as a married couple ,right?

2)I am collecting EI ( as of oct 2015) and that needs to be claimed as foreign/other income, right?

3)Do I need to send in my RRSPs? I heard that unless I have a US income, only(?) then RRSPs needs to be told about or is that incorrect?

4)If RRSPs needs to be declared, I presume you will have to do the same with TFSA and your regular savings/chequing accounts????

5) for #3/4, just send in statements or printouts of the amounts? I did read that I won't be taxed on these .. US wants to ONLY know of them?!

Would appreciate any information that you can provide. Thanks.


I-129F Sent : 2014-09-15
I-129F NOA1 : 2014-09-24
I-129F NOA2 : 2014-10-20
NVC Left : 2014-11-05
Packet 3 Received : 2014-11-13
Packet 4 Received : 2014-12-05
Medical : 2014-12-19
Interview Date : 2015-01-23 Montreal
Interview Result : Approved 2015-01-23
Loomis picked up passport from Montreal: 2015-01-27
Passport/visa in hand:2015-01-30

POE'd at Toronto Pearson Airport: 2015-04-01

SSN received: 2015-04-08 or so

Married : 2015-04-23

AOS/EAD/AP submitted as one : 2015-05-19

Biometrics AOS: 2015-06-15

EAD approved : 2015 July but did not receive until 2015-09-30

AOS interview: 2015-09-25

AOS approved: 2015-09-25

GC received: 2015-10-02

 

ROC I751 package mailed 7/19
uscis received package 7/21 as per USPS
check cashed 7/25/2017
noa i797 dated 7/21/2107/ WAC17293xxx
noa i797 received 7/27/2017

Biometrics not needed; used what was on file

Infopass i551 stamp ( 12months) done 8/17/2018

 

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Hi, I see no one replied which sucks. I am going through the same thing now. What did you ended up doing?

I tried to go through Serbinski .. and that is a headache as there is soooo much old stuff out there and it is hard to keep track of what is what.

My husband has a tax guy but he is not an international tax person as far as I know. US gets their tax receipts early while Canada is 1 mth later.

Background: Worked in Canada Jan/Feb 2015. Left Canada Apr 1 2015. Got married end of Apr 2015. GC Oct 2015. I left my RRSPs in Canada. I have a TFSA which I too am using as money in the US. Man, I just read about TFSA and how it should be closed out as it could be taxed by the US?!! I don't want to bring all of it over at once. I bank with TD and I have yet to see any tax receipts from them. They said that if any account does not make more than 50$, no receipt is sent out.

My TFSA was like yours and I don't believe I ever got a tax receipt for that.

This year for CDN taxes, I will be doing a departure tax return as tax return was done before I left.. I understand I will claim jan/feb 2015 for Cdn taxes and that is about it. I checked with CRA and they said this was ok/ I file as a regular tax form and that I also need to enter my exit date. As I am not making contributions to RRSPs, I was told that there is no tax receipts .

For US taxes .. I am not sure what needs to be claimed on my husband's tax form.

1)Since we became a married couple half way, we should be able to claim as a married couple ,right?

2)I am collecting EI ( as of oct 2015) and that needs to be claimed as foreign/other income, right?

3)Do I need to send in my RRSPs? I heard that unless I have a US income, only(?) then RRSPs needs to be told about or is that incorrect?

4)If RRSPs needs to be declared, I presume you will have to do the same with TFSA and your regular savings/chequing accounts????

5) for #3/4, just send in statements or printouts of the amounts? I did read that I won't be taxed on these .. US wants to ONLY know of them?!

Would appreciate any information that you can provide. Thanks.

Hey there tdotca!

First and foremost, I know the frustration-- as I spent countless hours on IRS/CRA websites and international tax forums trying to find my answers. Eventually I came across a debate on LinkedIn between a few international tax experts regarding the proper way to handle Canadian TFSA's. I contacted the lady by phone and she REALLY knew her stuff regarding the matter; she probably spent nearly an hour answering all of my questions. I would highly recommend her services, as she's very reasonably priced for her expertise (not much more than what a tax preparer charges). Her name is Mary Beth Lougen, of Amexpattax (first thing to come up in Google). I seriously can't recommend her enough.

As far as what I did, we determined that in my personal circumstance my TFSA was not classified as a "trust", so there was no need to file Forms 3520 & 3520-A. Basically from what I understand, if you're unable to purchase mutual funds within the TFSA then it isn't considered a trust-- but if you are able to, then it is. A simple call to the bank solved that issue for me.

So for me all I needed to file was:

- Joint 1040 w/ a schedule B to report TFSA interest earned

- Canada T1 Departure Return

- FinCen Report 114 - FBAR (filed separately with department of treasury)

I'll be perfectly honest, I have no idea about RRSP's or EI-- but give Mary Beth a call, I PROMISE you won't regret it.


K-1 Visa

01/26/13 -- I-129F Sent
02/05/13 -- I-129F NOA1
08/28/13 -- I-129F NOA2 (204 days from NOA1 date)
01/21/14 -- Montreal Interview (350 days from NOA1 date)
01/27/14 -- K-1 Visa Received
02/01/14 -- POE at Canada-USA Border Peace Bridge (Buffalo, NY)
02/24/14 -- Private Courthouse Marriage
02/26/14 -- Private 2 Week Honeymoon
04/13/14 -- Wedding with Friends/Family


AOS

04/08/14 -- Filed for AOS/EAD/AP
04/11/14 -- NOA
05/12/14 -- Biometrics Appointment

07/02/14 -- EAD/AP Card Received (84 days from NOA date)
07/10/14 -- NPIW Letter
02/24/15 -- Service Request Filed
03/05/15 -- Filed for EAD/AP Renewal

03/10/15 -- Received email acceptance notification for EAD/AP Renewal
03/20/15 -- Filed for Ombudsman Case Assistance (DHS-7001)
04/03/15 -- Biometrics Appointment (Round 2)
04/08/15 -- RFE (Expired Medical)

04/21/15 -- Medical Appointment (Round 2)
04/24/15 -- RFE Response Sent
04/30/15 -- GC Approved (Card In Production)
05/08/15 -- GC & Welcome Notice Received

Hasta la vista, USCIS B-)

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After I posted this, I did more research as well as placed a call to the IRS. The International 'line' (267 941 1000/opt 4/opt 4) is not that familiar with the form 8938 that needs to be filled in for RRSPs, however that is what I was told in regards to RRSPs. I also found abit more info on Serbinski about this form 8938. (I was going to register on Serbinski to ask questions but was afraid of getting user nelson something. User sounds like he is very familiar with all of this however he is a bit of a jerk in his responses. Wonder if he thinks reading through thousands of posts would really be helpful in getting the right answers.) . Anyways, IRS wants to know about the RRSPs but supposedly we won't be taxed, unless you took money out of it.

As part of the 'green card test', a resident needs to report all worldly(aka foreign) income which would include any interest generated from Savings account/ TFSAs/ EI.

Yea, I sent an email to the last TD banker I dealt with to find out what my TFSA is about . All I know is that it is called High Interest TFSA. Hopefully she will reply soon. Tried to call the TD line but after being on hold for a long time, I hung up.

This Canada T1 Departure Return.. is that for US filing or for Canada?

I read about FBAR filing. I will have to pass this along to my husband's tax accountant.

I will keep that lady's name in mind as well.

Thanks for your reply.

ps: I like your 'hasta la vista, USCIS' however we are not done with them until after ROC. Like my interviewer said, our GC is like a 2yr probation.HA


I-129F Sent : 2014-09-15
I-129F NOA1 : 2014-09-24
I-129F NOA2 : 2014-10-20
NVC Left : 2014-11-05
Packet 3 Received : 2014-11-13
Packet 4 Received : 2014-12-05
Medical : 2014-12-19
Interview Date : 2015-01-23 Montreal
Interview Result : Approved 2015-01-23
Loomis picked up passport from Montreal: 2015-01-27
Passport/visa in hand:2015-01-30

POE'd at Toronto Pearson Airport: 2015-04-01

SSN received: 2015-04-08 or so

Married : 2015-04-23

AOS/EAD/AP submitted as one : 2015-05-19

Biometrics AOS: 2015-06-15

EAD approved : 2015 July but did not receive until 2015-09-30

AOS interview: 2015-09-25

AOS approved: 2015-09-25

GC received: 2015-10-02

 

ROC I751 package mailed 7/19
uscis received package 7/21 as per USPS
check cashed 7/25/2017
noa i797 dated 7/21/2107/ WAC17293xxx
noa i797 received 7/27/2017

Biometrics not needed; used what was on file

Infopass i551 stamp ( 12months) done 8/17/2018

 

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After I posted this, I did more research as well as placed a call to the IRS. The International 'line' (267 941 1000/opt 4/opt 4) is not that familiar with the form 8938 that needs to be filled in for RRSPs, however that is what I was told in regards to RRSPs. I also found abit more info on Serbinski about this form 8938. (I was going to register on Serbinski to ask questions but was afraid of getting user nelson something. User sounds like he is very familiar with all of this however he is a bit of a jerk in his responses. Wonder if he thinks reading through thousands of posts would really be helpful in getting the right answers.) . Anyways, IRS wants to know about the RRSPs but supposedly we won't be taxed, unless you took money out of it.

As part of the 'green card test', a resident needs to report all worldly(aka foreign) income which would include any interest generated from Savings account/ TFSAs/ EI.

Yea, I sent an email to the last TD banker I dealt with to find out what my TFSA is about . All I know is that it is called High Interest TFSA. Hopefully she will reply soon. Tried to call the TD line but after being on hold for a long time, I hung up.

This Canada T1 Departure Return.. is that for US filing or for Canada?

I read about FBAR filing. I will have to pass this along to my husband's tax accountant.

I will keep that lady's name in mind as well.

Thanks for your reply.

ps: I like your 'hasta la vista, USCIS' however we are not done with them until after ROC. Like my interviewer said, our GC is like a 2yr probation.HA

The T1 Departure Return was for Canadian filing.

Haha yeah, exactly why I said "hasta la vista" (until the next sighting), though I can't wait for the day I'm done with them for good! :D


K-1 Visa

01/26/13 -- I-129F Sent
02/05/13 -- I-129F NOA1
08/28/13 -- I-129F NOA2 (204 days from NOA1 date)
01/21/14 -- Montreal Interview (350 days from NOA1 date)
01/27/14 -- K-1 Visa Received
02/01/14 -- POE at Canada-USA Border Peace Bridge (Buffalo, NY)
02/24/14 -- Private Courthouse Marriage
02/26/14 -- Private 2 Week Honeymoon
04/13/14 -- Wedding with Friends/Family


AOS

04/08/14 -- Filed for AOS/EAD/AP
04/11/14 -- NOA
05/12/14 -- Biometrics Appointment

07/02/14 -- EAD/AP Card Received (84 days from NOA date)
07/10/14 -- NPIW Letter
02/24/15 -- Service Request Filed
03/05/15 -- Filed for EAD/AP Renewal

03/10/15 -- Received email acceptance notification for EAD/AP Renewal
03/20/15 -- Filed for Ombudsman Case Assistance (DHS-7001)
04/03/15 -- Biometrics Appointment (Round 2)
04/08/15 -- RFE (Expired Medical)

04/21/15 -- Medical Appointment (Round 2)
04/24/15 -- RFE Response Sent
04/30/15 -- GC Approved (Card In Production)
05/08/15 -- GC & Welcome Notice Received

Hasta la vista, USCIS B-)

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Hey there tdotca!

First and foremost, I know the frustration-- as I spent countless hours on IRS/CRA websites and international tax forums trying to find my answers. Eventually I came across a debate on LinkedIn between a few international tax experts regarding the proper way to handle Canadian TFSA's. I contacted the lady by phone and she REALLY knew her stuff regarding the matter; she probably spent nearly an hour answering all of my questions. I would highly recommend her services, as she's very reasonably priced for her expertise (not much more than what a tax preparer charges). Her name is Mary Beth Lougen, of Amexpattax (first thing to come up in Google). I seriously can't recommend her enough.

As far as what I did, we determined that in my personal circumstance my TFSA was not classified as a "trust", so there was no need to file Forms 3520 & 3520-A. Basically from what I understand, if you're unable to purchase mutual funds within the TFSA then it isn't considered a trust-- but if you are able to, then it is. A simple call to the bank solved that issue for me.

So for me all I needed to file was:

- Joint 1040 w/ a schedule B to report TFSA interest earned

- Canada T1 Departure Return

- FinCen Report 114 - FBAR (filed separately with department of treasury)

I'll be perfectly honest, I have no idea about RRSP's or EI-- but give Mary Beth a call, I PROMISE you won't regret it.

Hi there,

I am in a similar situation as yourself. When you said your TFSA is not a trust because you cannot purchase mutual funds, is your TFSA simply a savings account (and not a brokerage account)? What about ETFs, as I read those may also be considered PIFCs?

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