Wondering what information I need to prepare your personal tax return?

While I do prepare US returns apart from Canadian returns to bring someone’s compliance up to date, on an ongoing basis I only do US returns together with the requisite Canadian returns, due to the interaction between returns. You have to do the one to complete the other. The same applies to returns for spouses. If I do the one, I will do the other.

US Return checklist, also available as a PDF

If you are not an American citizen or green card holder, but spend a lot of time in the USA, you can be considered a non-resident alien required to file a US tax return. To establish a closer connection to Canada, and as such be exempt from US taxation, you should file form 8840. You can read more about this here.

For US tax returns, some additional information is required, such as a listing with the maximum value in all your bank and financial accounts during the year, including RRSP’s and TFSA’s.

Also, if you are delinquent in filing your American returns, and want to use the streamlined filing procedure, please find the procedure here:

While it is true, as you can find on the CRA website:

“Canada’s tax system is based on self-assessment. This means that individuals voluntarily complete an income tax return to report their annual income and claim all deductions or credits that apply to their situation. In this way, you are able to calculate the amount owing or the refund to be received.” (also, see taxpayer bill of rights below)

It is also true that, under the Canadian tax system, we may so arrange our affairs to pay the least amount of tax legally possible. That means, in a positive sense, that we may use every provision under the Income Tax Act to lower our tax bill.

It is even more true what we find recorded in Luke 20:25, where Christ says: “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar’s, and unto God the things which be God’s.”

Which means, that we have to be obedient to the government, and not reduce our tax return by illegal means, such as Tax Evasion.

This is CRA’s policy on tax evasion:

As an accountant, I am obliged, under our Code of Ethical Principles and Rules of Conduct, to not associate myself with any false and misleading statements. And even more importantly, it is against God’s law.

Taxpayer Bill of Rights

Personal Information Protection Policy

Bert Mulder PC is committed to safeguarding the personal information entrusted to us by our clients. We manage your personal information in accordance with Alberta’s Personal Information Protection Act and other applicable laws. This policy outlines the principles and practices we follow in protecting your personal information. – See our complete policy here.