Even to this day, I remember my first visit to Canada as a young teenager with my parents. We loaded up the station wagon and drove up the coast from San Francisco, through Portland and on to Seattle. From Seattle we drove onto the ferry and arrived shortly thereafter in Victoria, BC. The beauty of the city and the majesty of the Parliament building and and the Empress hotel made a lasting impression.
Fast forward many years and as a 25 year resident of Scottsdale I noticed that many Canadians had second homes in Arizona. These folks were always seemingly in a good mood and enjoying getting out of the cold weather in the winter to experience the golf, baseball, hiking, dining and entertainment amenities in Scottsdale. As a real estate agent I helped several Canadians buy homes and they were always so pleasant to work with and many became friends.
Since then I have become the go-to real estate agent for Canadians in Scottsdale. I'm happy to help them find their dream home and make sure that the transactions always go smoothly and without problems. As a non-resident property owner, there are several items that Canadians need to be aware of when buying or selling a home in the U.S.. My team and I are intimately knowledgeable of all the FIRPTA and tax issues and help steer our clients around common pitfalls while eliminating any unnecessary tax payments or penalties.
Here are a few things to consider:
1) When buying property in the U.S., Canadians do not need to obtain a U.S. tax ID number.
2) Since most Canadians are part-time residents we can help finding a caretaker to check on our clients' property when they are gone.
3) When it comes time to sell, make sure to use an agent who has experience representing foreign sellers.
4) All sales paperwork can now be done electronically and there's no need to return to the U.S. for closing.
5) There is no double taxation (U.S. and Canada) on the capital gains.
6) If the property sells for under $300,000 there will be no FIRPTA withholding taxes if the transaction is structured properly.
7) Sales over $300,000 may be subject to an automatic 15% tax withholding on the sales price unless a withholding certificate is properly obtained and filed with the IRS.
8) An experienced real estate agent, escrow company and CPA will work as a team to ensure that all tax laws are followed, forms filed, and taxes minimized and paid in accordance with IRS guidelines.
It may seem complicated to buy or sell a property in the U.S., but working with an experienced agent can make the transaction a smooth and enjoyable experience. 100,000's of Canadians have purchased property in the U.S. to enjoy as a second home. With over 25 years experience working with Canadian clients I am confident that you'll appreciate my expertise and guidance in your home buying or selling process.
Questions or comments? Please contact me anytime for more information!
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