Author Topic: US-Canada Cross Border CPA and/or CFP recommendations  (Read 2857 times)

exit_strategy

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 2
US-Canada Cross Border CPA and/or CFP recommendations
« on: May 25, 2020, 01:48:55 PM »
TLDR: Seeking a dynamo Canada-US cross-border tax expert who can advise/suggest advanced FIRE strategies for dual citizens splitting time between the US and Quebec.

Any recommendations for FIRE-friendly experts specializing in Canada-US cross border tax and planning?  I know most of us are DIY-ers, but the laws and filing requirements for US persons like myself get complicated quickly and its challenging to find information that fits my situation exactly.  So Im willing to pay a reasonable amount for value-added guidance.

My situation is as follows in case that helps.  Mainly looking for guidance and strategy assistance avoiding pitfalls (PFICs, etc), optimizing what weve already earned as we start drawing assets down, and taking advantage of any opportunities if worthwhile (i.e. it seems Id qualify for OAS if we live in Canada long enough).

   Wife and I are early 40s residing in the US.  Wife is a dual US-Canadian citizen and Im a US citizen. No kids.
   Considering moving to Quebec and Id likely become a dual citizen at some point.
   Were currently working W2 jobs and are considering stopping work soon, though not opposed to getting a job later to generate income if needed.  We should have enough resources to live comfortably (not luxuriously) if we stop working now.
   We do not own a home and nearly all of our investments are in the US.  Around half of our assets are in pre-tax vehicles.  Wife has some small Canadian funds that are almost negligible, though shes already qualified for QPP and OAS from her work in Quebec before moving to the US. 
   After we are both dual citizens well have the ability to live where we want, so may spend some years in the US and others in Canada depending, for example, on if an aging parent needed assistance. 
   To whatever extent possible wed like to control in which country we are considered residents in any given year.  Hoping this allows us to do Roth conversions while in the US, but I get the impression its not that easy.

Ive briefly worked with a CPA that specializes in expats (though not focused on US-Can situaitons), but Im not convinced he can provide they type of strategic advice Im seeking.  I have an initial meeting with a CFP who seems to check a bunch of the boxes Im looking for, though cant find many reviews and not clear if he has strategies for FIRE-minded folks.  I found the following possible resources, but dont have any first-hand reviews:
   Cardinal Point Wealth
   MCA Cross Border Advisors
   RetireMitten
   Fuller Landau
   Citizen Abroad

If anyone has had experience with these or other firms, I would love to hear about it.  Thanks for reading this novel 😊

FLBiker

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1535
  • Age: 45
  • Location: Canada
    • Chop Wood Carry FIRE
Re: US-Canada Cross Border CPA and/or CFP recommendations
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2020, 07:02:10 AM »
Hi!  I'm in a similar boat -- DW and I are US citizens but new Canadian permanent residents, planning to move in the next few months to Nova Scotia.

I've had a couple of conversations with Jeremy @ Unbordered (https://unbordered.ca/) and have found him to be very helpful.  His focus is on taxes, not financial planning, but he's been knowledgeable about different investment types (even kind of weird ones like 457s).  And he's been good at both big picture and detail stuff, which I appreciate.  I'm planning to have him do our taxes for the first couple of years, at least, and then I may switch back to DIY.  And it's been very helpful having someone I can go to with questions -- we've had a couple of ~30 minute phone calls, and I feel like his rates are fair.  I don't know how FIRE-friendly he is specifically, but he seems to know his stuff.

I also had a guy recommended to me in BC (Trevor at Kotler van den Brink & Company; trevor@kvdb.com).  I wanted someone "local" though (Unbordered is based in Nova Scotia), and the price I was quoted for tax prep by Unbordered was a bit cheaper.  He also seemed very knowledgeable, though.

As far as the Roth backdoor conversion, I suspect that could be tricky.  My understanding of how Roth's work in Canada is basically you need to stop contributing to them before you move, and then declare them to the CRA.  If you do that, Canada will recognize them as tax-free, but if you make any contributions after moving it'll pollute the whole thing and they'll be regarded as taxable.  We converted our traditional IRAs to Roth last year and don't intend to touch them again until we start making withdrawals.

exit_strategy

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 2
Re: US-Canada Cross Border CPA and/or CFP recommendations
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2020, 07:58:43 PM »
Thanks FLBiker!  Ill look into those options.

Id heard of the Roth issue you mentioned and was trying to get around it by moving back to the US later for a year or so every once in a while, but no idea if thats permissible and its easier said that done.

Mighty Eyebrows

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 203
  • Location: Vancouver Island, Canada
Re: US-Canada Cross Border CPA and/or CFP recommendations
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2020, 09:47:09 PM »
It is the wrong side of the country, but I have heard people speak very highly of Gail Kruk at Larson-Gross. She works between BC and Washington state.

https://larsongross.com/about-us/our-team/g/

(Just in case other people find this thread.)

sylb

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 3
  • Location: San Francisco
Re: US-Canada Cross Border CPA and/or CFP recommendations
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2020, 01:54:34 AM »
I'm in a similar boat as well (not a dual citizen yet though) and will chat with some of the ones that people have pointed out! Thanks everyone for listing them.

kenmoremmm

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 682
Re: US-Canada Cross Border CPA and/or CFP recommendations
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2020, 10:25:57 PM »
bumping this thread to see if there was any other input as i'm in the same boat as the OP.

cross border CPA

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 1
Re: US-Canada Cross Border CPA and/or CFP recommendations
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2021, 02:11:15 PM »
Hi everyone

I thought I would reply to this post given someone was asking to bump it for the group.

I definitely feel your frustration in finding qualified professionals to help. I run a cross border tax advisory firm and I'm currently difficult to even take on new clients given the huge demand for services and lack of capacity.

The fact still remains however that proper planning before actually entering Canada from the US is imperative. I speak to a lot of Americans that have moved to Canada without proper planning and it can be quite frustrating to help as retroactive tax planning is not very possible.

For example, not properly reviewing or transferring your investment accounts to Canada can result in significant T1135 filing requirements and possible double tax. Also, those with investments in US revocable trusts can find out quickly that filing Canadian trust returns is a real pain and quite costly.

Most investment firms can help with your cross-border investments, however their tax planning and compliance knowledge can be quite narrow.

I work a lot with Beacon Hill a cross-border wealth management firm that I continue to get great feedback on. The team at Cardinal is also good.

I have some decent cross-border articles on my site here, however like I said above I'm not a the point where I can take on new clients.

Hope that helps a little.

Cheers