First time filing question - Canadian/US taxes

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Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2013 6:43 pm

First time filing question - Canadian/US taxes

Post by UCCF » Fri Jan 11, 2013 6:58 pm

Hi -

My friend lives in the US as a US citizen, and her Canadian parents applied for and were granted lawful permanent resident alien status (green cards) in the spring of 2012. Her parents come here temporarily during the year to visit their daughter, but do not have a permanent place of residence and have not taken any employment in the US. They continue to live and work in Canada. Her father also draws from the RRSP and has a Canadian pension as well. (They have both applied for and received SSNs here in the US.)

They're unsure as to what needs to be done re: taxes in the US. We believe that they need to file a US tax form of some sort, but beyond that untangling the quagmire of regulations and guidances has been difficult. We've reached out to a couple of tax professionals here (California), but no one seems sure of what the Canadian/US law is for people who don't actually work in the US.


(1) Are they required to file taxes in the US? If so, is there a specific form to use beyond the 1040?

(2) Is the income earned in Canada subject to US taxes? I believe the answer to this question is yes, and that any taxes they pay in the US can be credited back to them when they file their Canadian taxes, but I'd like some confirmation.

(3) (more generally) Has anyone on this board worked with someone in the SF Bay Area who could help provide local guidance on this? I know we should seek out a tax pro to help with this stuff, but the process of randomly calling around to places like HR Block hasn't borne much fruit.

TIA for any advice.

Phil Hogan, CA
Posts: 27
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 12:11 pm
Location: Victoria BC

Post by Phil Hogan, CA » Sat Jan 12, 2013 7:11 pm

If I understand this correctly....

1) As green card holders they are required to file US tax returns

2) Yes, they can claim a foreign tax credit on their US tax return via form 1116

3) It's hard to find US CPAs that deal with cross border tax matters
Phil Hogan, CA, CPA (Colorado)
Canadian and US Income Tax
Victoria BC

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