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Cross-Border Advice Helps Expats Sleep Better at Night

November 30, 2009

Above: From left to right: Paul Bains (Pacifica Partners – Vancouver, BC); Gail Kruk (Larson Gross PLLC – Blaine, WA), Charles Rendina (Boughton Law – Vancouver, BC), Ann Huang, Gary Tober (Lane Powell PC – Seattle, WA)

By Shengjun Huang

Shengjun (Ann) Huang, co-leader of the 2010 Canada Study Tour to Vancouver, is a third year evening MBA candidate focusing on International Business and Marketing at the Foster School of Business. She was recently an attendee of the 2009 Canadian Leadership Orientation Program.

On September 17, a four-person panel of financial and legal professionals from Vancouver, Blaine, and Seattle convened to hold a case-based discussion of the intricacies of cross-border transactions called “Sleep Better at Night.” The audience had the opportunity to work through three posed scenarios and ask questions about how to deal with their own situations. From investment questions dealing with Canada’s Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs) to the tax status of children attending school in America to cross-border consulting businesses, the panel addressed the differences in US and Canadian tax laws with regards to a variety of potential issues.Are you considering a move from America to Canada? Or perhaps a move from Canada to America? Before you act, take heed of many financial and legal issues that drastically change your situation when you decide to cross the border!

With the economic turmoil of the past year, the “Sleep Better at Night” panel made clear that it is well worth the time to investigate how changing residency may affect you financially. Despite the ease of crossing the border, residency can affect everything from the tax on gifts that you give your children to the liabilities associated with starting your own company. The “Sleep Better at Night” discussion was held at the downtown Seattle office of Lane Powell and presented by the Canadian Studies Center, the Canada-America Society of Washington, Lane Powell PC, Boughton Law Corporation, Larson Gross PLLC, and Pacifica Partners Capital Management.

This project was supported, in part, by funding from the Center’s Program Enhancement Grant, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada.