Global warming is still a theory to many Canadians, stuck as they are for many months in the snow and cold. So, the attractions of much warmer weather in the Southern United States remains a major draw for those “snowbirds”. Immigration and visa requirements are fairly relaxed for snowbirds, but there are tax issues that could cause problems for the unwary.
U.S. residents, like Canadian residents, are subject to tax on their worldwide income. But did you know that if you, as a Canadian resident, spend 183 days or more in the U.S. in any twelve month period (and not just in a calendar year) you would be considered a U.S. resident for tax purposes too? This would make you subject to tax on your worldwide income in both Canada and the U.S., and although there is a tax treaty between Canada and the U.S. to eliminate double-taxation, the result would lead to problems. And not just tax: extended residence in the U.S. can jeopardize or complicate your medical insurance coverage, immigration status, and estate tax exposure.