Archive for Estate Planning Tax

Canadians With US Rental Property – What Are The Cross-Border Tax Implications?

Canadians earning income from US rental property can be fraught with unexpected tax problems, which could severely hurt their after-tax return on investment. It is important to consult a cross-border tax professional before the purchase to understand all the US and Canadian tax implications of owning US rental property and to make the best decision for their situation on the right structure to own and finance the purchase of US rental property.

This is the first of a series of articles on the cross-border tax considerations of investing in US rental property. If you are planning to purchase US rental property, you need to have some basic understanding of the following US and Canadian tax law before you can make a sound decision on how you should own and finance the purchase of US rental property. Read more

IRC 1014 And The Significance of Stepped Up Basis In Estate Planning

According to Internal Revenue Code Section 1014 the basis of property acquired from a decedent is the fair market value of the property at the date of the decedent’s death. This is often referred to as stepped up basis and it is profoundly significant for US taxpayers dealing with the myriad of issues surrounding estate planning or tax preferential transfer of assets.

For those of you not used to the term ‘basis’ it generally is defined as the cost or value of an investment, asset or something that is owned, given or inherited at the time it was acquired. It also refers to any investment in improvements made to the asset while you owned it. Read more

Special Rules In The Canada-US Tax Treaty Apply To Cross-Border Death Tax Issues

Canada and the United States have very different regimes for imposing taxes on death. The United States imposes a Federal Estate Tax; however, Canada has not imposed any Estate Tax since 1971. Rather, Canada taxes accrued, but unrealized, capital gains on death, as part of its income tax system.

Most tax practitioners are not aware of the fact that there special rules found in Article XXIX-B of the Canada-United Tax Convention (“the Treaty”) that are aimed at providing relief in connection with certain cross-border death taxes issues.

Some of these are summarized below:

Read more

How Wealthy Immigrants To Canada Can Use A Holding Company To Create A Tax-Free “Pipeline”

There is a little-known method by which wealthy immigrants to Canada can use a holding company (“Holdco”), either in Canada or offshore, to receive, otherwise taxable, money tax-free in Canada.

This will be applicable in situations where that immigrant holds a significant interest in foreign a corporation (“Forco”), either alone, or with family members.

This technique will be even more attractive now that “immigrant trusts” will no longer be available as a tax planning tool for wealthy immigrants (see my blog posting A Sudden Death For The Canadian “Immigrant Trust”!). Read more

Distributions From Canadian Trusts Or Estates To Foreign Beneficiaries Can Entail Tax Notification And Clearance Requirements

In certain cases, a distribution of capital by a trust(1) to a non-resident beneficiary will bring into play certain notification and tax clearance requirements found in subsection 116.

As a general rule, a distribution of capital by a trust to a beneficiary is considered a “disposition” by that beneficiary of all or a portion of that beneficiary’s capital interest in the trust(2).

If the interest of the beneficiary is “taxable Canadian property” (“TCP”), the beneficiary will be required to send a notification of such disposition to the Canada Revenue Agency (“CRA”) within 10 days after the disposition(3). In addition, the CRA takes the position that the trust itself can be liable for tax, in such circumstances, if a tax clearance is not Read more

U.S. Taxation of Entities, Associations, and Partnerships: What’s Your “Situs” Roger?

In the U.S. tax system, there is no characteristic of associations or entities (partnerships, corporations, and trusts) that corresponds exactly to the “nationality” or “residence” of individuals. For most organizations, however, there is a place – or at least a distinct legal environment – that establishes their existence and identity. This place, sometimes referred to as an entity’s “situs”, bears heavily on its taxation.


The situs of a corporation is inextricably tied to the country of its incorporation. To that end, two simple words define the tax treatment of a corporation: “domestic” and “foreign.” A “domestic” entity (including a partnership or a corporation) is one “organized in the United States under the laws of the United States or of any State.” § 7701(a)(4). Colloquially, Read more

40% of Big Firm Partners Retiring Within Decade

High Net Wealth Partners Retiring

On April 28, 2014 The American Lawyer published its annual (2014) Big Law report in which it found that 16% of partners in the US’ largest 200 law firms by revenue are 60 years old or older, with at least 8% 65 or older.  These 16% of big firm partners will be retiring over the next five years.  Moreover, right behind this retiring group are 28% more partners that have reached at least 50 years of age.

While these thousands of retiring partners leading up to retirement may have been earning between $750,000 and $3 million annually, most also have lifestyles that correspond to spending this level of income.  These retiring partners are now asking Read more

Foreign Trusts and Installment Sales


A United States Settlor of an irrevocable Foreign Trust having a United States beneficiary is deemed to be the owner of the Foreign Trust. Subject to statutory exceptions, the Settlor is the taxable party regardless of whether the Settlor has released all dominion and control of the trust assets by an irrevocable transfer and the right to alter, amend, or modify the trust document. This is the income tax treatment of a United States Settlor by Section 679 of the Code. (1) Because the Settlor is treated as the owner of the trust assets, the transfer of appreciated assets to a Foreign Trust does not occasion a taxable event as contemplated by Section 684 of the Code. Read more

Estate Tax Planning for Cross-Border Families and Foreign Nationals

Multi-national families have numerous issues associated with Nonresident Alien Parents who are considering transferring their wealth to their U.S.-resident children. The Nonresident Alien Parents’ goal is to pass the assets to the children when the surviving parent dies, and ensure that successive wealth transfers to future generations are made without U.S. estate tax, or generation-skipping transfer tax while minimizing U.S. income tax on investment income.

Residence of a Trust

A trust will be considered domestic if:

(i) a U.S. court can exercise primary supervision over trust administration (the “Court Read more

Non-Statutory Asset Protection Trusts


In the United States, there has been a malpractice crisis for the medical profession for a number of years. It has at its roots the American Trial Lawyers who advocate a position that the medical profession is not adequately regulated for physicians whose practice causes harm to their clients. Its associations vigorously contend that victims of malpractice by physicians are inadequately compensated from injury and demand that no limits can be imposed as to the amounts mandated by the jury. The insurance underwriters of medical professionals assert that large verdicts have caused them to raise premiums where they depart from economic reality. When a physician factors in the cost of insurance in terms of doing business, the risk-reward analysis in specific Read more

Simplified Method for Estate Tax Portability Provided in Rev. Proc. 2014-18

The IRS has released a revenue procedure this week allowing taxpayers who fall below the threshold for having to file an estate tax return, but who want to claim the portability exclusion, a simplified method for getting an automatic extension of time to file.

Revenue Procedure 2014-18  provides an automatic extension of time for certain estates without a filing requirement to elect portability of the decedent’s unused exclusion amount for the benefit of the decedent’s surviving spouse. Those eligible must be decedents who were United States citizens, or residents who died after 2010 and before 2014, among other requirements.

The relief comes in response to many requests from taxpayers who may have been Read more

Meet Tax Experts At TaxConnections...