March 2014 – Dollars and Sense Radio Show



Montreal, Quebec – March 20, 2014

On the March 20th episode of Dollars and Sense on CJAD 800 AM, David A. Altro, Managing Partner, Florida Attorney & Canadian Legal Advisor, was joined by Matt C. Altro, Cross Border Financial Planner, Partner & COO at Altro Levy LLP and Principal & CEO at MCA Cross Border Advisors Inc.

The show focused on cross border issues that are changing or important timely matters for Canadians and Americans living in Canada to be aware of. The topics discussed included: the information flow between Canada & the US, cross border planning for same-sex couples, green cards & the US, income tax filings for Americans living in Canada & Canadians with US rental properties, and the return of the Snowbirds. David and Matt also answered several caller questions during their monthly show. Read the rest of this entry »

Le Journal de Montréal – “Not many selected for work visas”



Shlomi Steve Levy, Partner at Altro Levy LLP, was recently interviewed by Michel Munger from the French newspaper Le Journal de Montréal. The article is about the visa lottery which takes place during the first week of April for work visas to the US, and the other options available for Canadians. The article can be viewed online by clicking here, and is also below in French. Read the rest of this entry »

The Future of FATCA in Canada: Pros and Cons of the IGA



The U.S. Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, more commonly known as FATCA, was passed in 2010. FATCA requires foreign financial institutions (“FI”s) to report on the account information of U.S. citizens and residents (including dual citizens) to the IRS starting in July 2014.

Although the requirement to report directly to the IRS violated Canadian privacy laws, there were withholding tax consequences for non-compliance with FATCA. The uproar in Canada over the privacy issue and the financial costs of implementing FATCA led to the signing of an intergovernmental agreement [“IGA”] between Canada and the U.S. on February 5, 2014. Read the rest of this entry »

Financial Post – The warm and fuzzy feeling of an estate freeze



David A. Altro was recently interviewed by Drew Hasselback for an article which appeared in the Financial Post section of the National Post. In the article, Drew asks David about the benefits of an estate freeze for family owned businesses, and what special considerations may be required when owners of a Canadian company, or those who will inherit it, are American. The article can be found below or at this link. Read the rest of this entry »

What is Mine Might Not be Yours: Estate Planning for Blended Families



Post-divorce, many Canadians are lucky enough to find second relationships, whether it is cohabiting leading to a common law partnership or another trip down the aisle. According to a 2011 census data release by Statistics Canada, blended families (where one or both spouses have children from previous relationships) have become a national norm, representing about one in eight couples’ families with children. This blog takes a closer look at the type of estate planning issues that blended families can face.

As new relationships are formed with the new spouse’s family, estate planning becomes more complicated and steps must be taken to ensure that your intentions to protect your children from the prior marriage and/or for your new spouse to be protected upon your death, and that your estate will ultimately be distributed to the intended beneficiaries. Read the rest of this entry »

Your Secret is Out – How Many Days Have You Spent in the US?



We have written a number of blogs on the topic of how many days you can spend in the US, but come June 30, 2014 a new initiative will be kicked into high gear in order to track your movement across the Canada/US border.

Snowbirds have tried to get around this issue by pleading ignorance or simply believing that the US had no way of actually knowing how many days they were present within their borders, and maybe they were right. Under today’s system, both Canada and the US keep track of the day you enter the country, but not when you leave and neither country is in the habit of sharing this information with each other. However, none of this actually means that snowbirds are exempt from the rules. In fact, the implications of surpassing the number of days allowed in the US comes with dyer tax, estate, immigration and medical coverage issues. These issues have all been discussed in great detail in the past, however it is worth taking a brief moment to recap the rules. Read the rest of this entry »

Financial Post – Border shakeup could have tax consequences for snowbirds

Matt C. Altro was recently interviewed by Julius Melnitzer for an article which appeared in the Financial Post section of the National Post. In the article, Matt addresses the changes that will allow Canada and the US to accurately track the number of days spent by Canadians in each country, to ensure that the tax and immigration laws are being respected. The article can be found below or at this link and includes information on the number of days Canadians may spend in the US. Read the rest of this entry »

February 2014 – Dollars and Sense Radio Show



Montreal, Quebec – February 27, 2014

On the February 27th episode of Dollars and Sense on CJAD 800 AM, David A. Altro, Managing Partner, Florida Attorney & Canadian Legal Advisor, was joined by Jonah Z. Spiegelman, Partner at Altro Levy and British Columbia, Alberta & California Attorney.

The show focused on key client profiles that David and Jonah meet with regularly, which include: Canadians with US assets, Canadians with US resident children, Americans living in Canada and American dual citizens. While taking live caller questions, David and Jonah discussed considerations when purchasing US property, US estate tax, gifting strategies, various trusts, Canadian planning techniques that often don’t work for dual citizens, FBAR and FATCA. Read the rest of this entry »

Advisor.ca – Tax benefits of an estate freeze



David A. Altro and Jonah Z. Spiegelman recently co-authored an article which appeared on Advisor.ca and is scheduled to appear in the March or April 2014 edition of Advisor’s Edge magazine. In the article, David and Jonah explain the tax benefits of an estate freeze, which is a follow up piece on David’s recent article titled The complicated landscape of US estate tax, already published in Advisor’s Edge. Click here to view the article online or scroll down to read the piece on our blog. Read the rest of this entry »

Advisor’s Edge – The complicated landscape of US estate tax

David A. Altro recently wrote an article which appeared on Advisor.ca and in the Advisor’s Edge magazine. In the article, David explains what is considered a US asset and the US estate tax implications for Canadians who have certain US assets. Click here to view the article online or scroll down to read the piece on our blog. Read the rest of this entry »