What We Don’t Do
There is a broad spectrum of services that fall into Canada/US tax and financial planning. However, we have developed a firm-wide conviction over the years that understanding your overall personal and financial situation leads to better recommendations for you (see more information on our comprehensive financial planning approach here). As a result, here is a list of things we don’t do:
We won’t just prepare your tax returns – We will prepare them but only if we are getting involved in helping you with your overall tax, financial and investment planning. With the compliance demands of the IRS and CRA from taxpayers with international holdings, it is not a simple undertaking and we do much more than just prepare tax returns. We are financial planners first, tax preparers second. Call us if you need a referral for tax preparation work only.
2nd Home titling/tax matters – With the real estate decline in the US, as well as the favorable currency exchange rates Canadians had for several years, many Canadians used this opportunity to purchase a second home in the US. The bulk of our calls come a day or two before closing to ask us how to title the property because the title agency needs to know how to close the sale. This usually leads to questions about estate and income taxes as well. Unfortunately, these are simple questions but with answers that require a bigger understanding of your situation and more time to develop. For example, we need to know your net worth, how your assets are titled, the citizenship and marital status of each party owning the property, where your assets are located as well as if you plan on renting the property out for part of the year. As a result, we just don’t feel right providing “emergency advice” on the tax or titling implications of your second home as it is just not in your best interest.
Investment properties titling/tax matters – In the same vein as 2nd homes, we get many “emergency” calls from landlords surprised they had taxes withheld from the sale of their property, or they received hate mail from the IRS demanding they file a tax return for rental income. Unfortunately, we avoid these type of crisis situations as the only advice we could render can not take all things into account and result in the wrong advice, which can be costly. We would prefer you call us before you make the decision to purchase a rental property in a foreign tax jurisdiction so we can give you a complete analysis of the situation and allow you to make a fully informed decision.
Estate Planning/Immigration Applications – We are not attorneys and therefore, cannot draft your estate plan or undertake the practice of law when it comes to your immigration application. We do provide Canada/US estate plan design ideas and can talk high level immigration strategies, and we have a bevy of experts in Canada and the US that we can bring to the table to serve you.