Investment Planning

Investing through a global lens

Canada, to use the old (pejorative) adage, is the country known as “hewers of wood and drawers of water,” historically reflecting our economy’s reliance on natural resources. While we may chuckle at this antiquated notion, many investors continue to adhere to an analog of this concept where a strong reliance or preference exists for investments within Canada. As the global economy has blossomed over the past few decades, the investment opportunity set outside of Canada, and the ease with which it can be accessed, has increased. By embracing leading companies outside of Canada, in both developed and emerging markets, your […]

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Currency risk management for Canadian retirement accounts

Canadians are in the full swing of retirement savings plan (RSP) season, and to build on Jeremy and Matt’s January 31, 2017 blog entry related to cross border taxation of RSPs, which you can view here, I will highlight a couple of issues related to foreign exchange risks faced by retirement accounts within a cross border context. Registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs/RSPs) and registered retirement income funds (RRIFs/RIFs) are tax-deferred savings and income vehicles respectively, available to Canadian residents for the purposes of accumulating funds or providing income for retirement. Contributions to an RSP, as well as investment growth on […]

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Bigger Opportunity or Bigger Trap? The TFSA Budget Change and the Impact on Your Cross Border Situation

The 2015 budget changes that the Conservative government in Canada recently announced included some goodies aimed at casting the Conservatives in a favourable light with middle-class Canadians come election time later this year. In addition to a welcome change to the Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF) withdrawal formula which aims to help senior citizens over 71 years old reduce the risk of outliving their capital, another government “gift” was the not-entirely-unexpected increase to Canadians’ Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA) contribution room, almost doubling the $5,500 limit to the new amount of $10,000, which the Finance Minister and the Canada Revenue […]

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PFIC: Beware of this four-letter word

The IRS certainly has a far reach and no other rule exemplifies this more than that of the Passive Foreign Investment Corporations (PFICs). The PFIC rules are complex, misunderstood, and often ignored. However, PFICs are a real cross border tax issue for U.S. persons living in Canada and not understanding or addressing the issue can prove to be highly costly. A Cross Border Tax Nightmare A PFIC is a foreign (i.e. Non-US) corporation that generates the majority of its income from passive investment sources. The technical definition is essentially a non-US corporation with at least 75% of its gross income […]

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November 2014 – Dollars and Sense Radio Show on CJAD

November 2014 MCA-Radio Dollar & Sense CJAD

Montreal, Quebec – November 4, 2014 On the November 4th 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 President & CEO at MCA Cross Border Advisors Inc. The show reviewed real life client situations which focus on cross border issues.

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Northern Migration: U.S. Employees Relocating to Canada

When employers relocate employees from the U.S. to Canada, they aim to service corporate interests by getting human resources where they need to go, ensuring efficiency and profitability. U.S. citizens relocating to Canada must address the differences between the American and Canadian tax and legal systems to ensure that their financial affairs remain sound north of the border. Tax Distinctions Between Canada and the U.S. As I outlined in a previous blog regarding expatriate tax issues for Canadian employees relocating to the U.S., Canadian income tax is based on residency while the U.S. generally taxes its citizens on their worldwide […]

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