Author Topic: Late US tax returns for Canadian  (Read 2589 times)


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Late US tax returns for Canadian
« on: January 05, 2019, 10:11:25 AM »

I'm in quite a mess and need some advise. I moved to Canada over 10 years ago from California and haven't filed my US taxes since that last year leaving. My wife is Canadian only and doesn't need to file US returns. I need to catch up on my late US tax returns for a few reasons.

I'll be receiving a rather large inheritance from my parents in the coming years and need to ensure I have planned properly and will not pay too much tax, or make any bad decisions with the transfer.

I also have investment accounts in the US that I need to transfer up to Canada. Those being 401k, ROTH IRA and regular IRA accounts, all with fidelity. my questions follow:

how to i get fully caught up on my US tax returns? I read the amnesty program has expired.

should i transfer my US accounts to Canada? Can I transfer them to my existing RRSP?

Do my parents need to know anything before I receive my inheritance? some of the money is also in IRA accounts.

Is there anything else I'm missing?


Phil Hogan, CPA, CA, CPA (Colorado)

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Re: Late US tax returns for Canadian
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2019, 08:49:27 AM »
Hi J

You have quite a bit going on here so let me try and work through some of your questions:

In order to catch up on your late US returns you'll likely want to take advantage of the IRS streamlined tax filing program. This program, if you meet the eligibility criteria will allow you to catch up by filing the last 3 years of 1040 returns (including all related forms and disclosures) as well as 6 years of FBAR forms (foreign financial reporting forms).

You'll certainly want to plan for the money you intend on receiving. If you are the executor of your parent's estate it could result in a fairly complex final estate transition. Having a Canadian executor of a US estate may change the residency of the estate to a Canadian estate, thus requiring Canadian trust filings. This is something you'll likely want to avoid.

Considering you also have 401k and IRA accounts in the US you'll want to start consolidating your accounts. In most cases, especially considering US brokers either cannot legally manage the funds and that they have very little concept of Canadian investment and tax planning moving the accounts up to Canada is important. Give me a call at the number below and we can discuss your options for transferring the amounts up to Canada.

We do have the ability to transfer some of the IRA and/or 401k money to an RRSP, however in many cases this is unnecessary and you'll only be able to transfer up an amount close to your annual Canadian income.

As discussed above your parents should recognize the implication of having a Canadian executor of their estate. If this is the case they may want to change it to a US resident.

Please give me a call at the number below and we can chat more about your situation.



Phil Hogan, CPA, CA, CPA (Colorado)
* The information contained in these posts should not be construed as professional advice and is for informational purposes onl