For several years now, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has been engaged in a vigorous campaign against international tax fraud and failure to declare bank accounts outside the U.S., including Canada.

As a U.S. citizen or tax resident (including green card holders) residing in Canada, what are your U.S. tax obligations and what solutions are available to you? To answer your questions, we have called upon the contribution of tax experts from the Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton network.

Q: What are the income tax compliance requirements for U.S. citizens living in Canada?

A: U.S. citizens and resident aliens residing outside the United States are required to annually file a U.S. income tax return and declare worldwide income to the IRS, insofar as this income is equal to or greater than the personal exclusion amount and the applicable basic deduction.

Q: In addition to filing a tax return, are there any other requirements to meet?

A: In addition to filing an income tax return annually, U.S. citizens and resident aliens are required to file form FinCEN 114 (Report of Foreign Bank Accounts) to disclose their interest in certain financial accounts held outside the U.S., if such interest exceeds US $10,000 at any given time during the year.

Furthermore, U.S. citizens and tax residents must also report certain information to the URS on their registered education saving plans, tax-free savings account, foreign trusts, and may need to file form if they hold an interest in a foreign corporation.

Q: What are the applicable penalties if these requirements are not met?

A: U.S. citizens and tax residents who have not or have only partially met their tax obligations become exposed to significant penalties and the risk of legal proceedings. For example, if you omit to file a U.S. income tax return, the IRS can tax you up to 25% of the amount due.

Additionally, if you omit to file the FinCEN 114 report without a valid reason, you may be subject to a civil penalty up to $10,000 per unintentional violation. For intentional violations, penalties may amount to the higher of $100,000 and 50% of the value of the foreign account.

Q: What can I do to adjust my situation?

A: To encourage taxpayers to take action and adjust their tax file, the IRS introduced a voluntary disclosure program in September 2012. This program, named Streamlined Foreign Offshore Procedures for Taxpayers Outside the U.S., applies to U.S. taxpayers residing outside the U.S. who have omitted to file income tax returns or information forms, as well to those who omitted to declare certain income.

The disclosure consists in performing all of the following:

  • Filing income tax returns (including all information forms) for the last three years;
  • Filing the FinCEN 114 bank account reports for the last six years;
  • Paying taxes due plus interest (all penalties are withdrawn under this program).

We can help lighten your burden!

The rules surrounding tax obligations for U.S. citizens and resident aliens are numerous and complex. If you are a U.S. citizen or resident alien and have not met your tax reporting or other obligations with the U.S. tax authorities, consult a Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton specialist who will help you find the best solution for your situation.

Do you have questions relating to U.S. tax issues? The tax experts of Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton can help you!

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Pierre Larouche
Lead Senior Director | Eng. | Tax

In 2008, the Ministère des Finances du Québec (MFQ) created the tax credit for the development of e-business (CDAE) program.

The CDAE is to support information technology (IT) providers offering services to improve the productivity of management and manufacturing operations (based on an excerpt from the 2008-4 bulletin *Page 2, paragraph 5, FRENCH ONLY ).

Consistently vague and restrictive definition

Since the program was introduced, several amendments have been made to better adapt it to the reality of IT businesses which, in the eyes of the MFQ, met this goal. In 2015, the MFQ added new, more restrictive rules for IT businesses developing software integrated into equipment in connection with their solution delivered to clients. These new rules are raising questions in the industry and several cases are being very actively discussed with various Investissement Québec (IQ) representatives with regard to the interpretation of software concepts such as “ results of such activities are incorporated into a product intended for sale” (based on the 2015 budget document).

The definition is becoming more specific and the trend leads us to believe that these changes will most likely result in excluding IT businesses from the program that mainly target the manufacturing market – a sector that requires an array of IT solutions to automate procedures.

Two markets, two realities

The rules of the CDAE program are based on a detailed analysis of a corporation’s revenues. In fact, businesses must prove that the different activities included in revenue relate mainly to IT services (system design, software edit, etc.). The MFQ relaxed the rules on several occasions, at the start of the program, to take into account the reality of businesses and their service delivery to clients.

Businesses proposing a computer application to improve operations management are often equipped with different computer equipment and related services, which the MFQ has taken into account when reforming the program. Currently, for a business targeting the services sector (insurance, financial institutions and others), the rules are quite appropriate. But what about those relating to manufacturing businesses where procedures need to be automated? This is the issue. Let’s take a closer look.

It goes without saying that the same IT service delivery provided to a manufacturing business that wants to improve its productivity requires more than just computer equipment. An IT solution is implemented in a hostile environment that requires industrial facilities, better adapted electric systems for improved insulation, etc.

Furthermore, special accessories are also required for reading data in the manufacturing process, which is not the case for implementing IT in a service organization since data to feed an information system is added by users (i.e., a keyboard) and not by data acquisition! Before the introduction of the new rules for software integrated into equipment, this type of automation was already penalized. Diversifying products and services to provide the solution is often no longer considered in the program as an IT activity and excludes the service provider from the program.

With the implementation of the new rules in 2015, a restriction applies to embedded software which undermines the expansion of certain businesses. It should not be forgotten that software incorporated into equipment is becoming increasingly more necessary in the automation of processes and is now specifically excluded from revenues to determine whether a business is eligible for the program. As such, if the MFQ wanted to improve productivity in management and manufacturing operations, as stipulated in the 2008 bulletin when the CDAE was created, it is not doing so but rather, with this course of action, it is cutting out the manufacturing aspect that was part of the program’s initial objective.

The solution

At a time when the Quebec government is currently focussing on innovative manufacturers, it would be very wise, in our opinion, to make the CDAE as accessible as possible to IT providers targetting manufacturers specifically, such that Quebec businesses can benefit more from innovative, high-performance products in keeping with their ambitions.

To do this, we believe that the approach should be reviewed so it is more global and based on the CDAE’s fundamental objective, instead of simply removing the rule for integrated software, which hinders innovation. Does the IT solution contribute to improving a manufacturing business’s productivity? Yes, it fully contributes and we believe that this is what should be guiding the eligibility analysis for Quebec IT providers.

30 May 2017  |  Written by :

Mr. Larouche is your expert in taxation for the Québec office. Contact him today!

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Mathieu Leblanc
Senior Manager | Ing., M. Ing., MBB | Tax

There is not a day goes by that you don’t hear about additive manufacturing, or 3D printing as it is more commonly known.

While the technology may have been around for more than 20 years and some patents have already expired, its rapid adoption in a number of fields such as aeronautics and medicine has created unprecedented interest, particularly with investors. But it’s not easy for local manufacturing SMEs to see how they can benefit from this technology nor how it could change their business model. Where should they start?

I find this field fascinating and I met with Martin Lavoie, Executive Director of Canada Makes, a national organization dedicated to promoting the adoption and development of advanced and additive manufacturing, to demystify the topic.

Myths and realities about additive manufacturing (3D printing)

Myth no. 1: Everybody will have a 3D printer at home.

Not really. It’s a bit unrealistic to think that 3D printing will be as common in our homes as a microwave oven or personal computer. This idea brought some companies, such as Stratasys to extraordinary heights only to have them drop back to earth. However, the industrial market, in particular for rapid prototyping and tool manufacturing, quickly adopted the 3D printer and service centre business model.

Myth no. 2: 3D printers can only be used for plastic toys.

If that’s what you think, you haven’t Googled 3D printing in a long time! 3D printers can print a wide array of materials, from thermoplastics and composite materials to the most exotic metals, such as titanium. A Montreal entrepreneur has even developed a printer that can print nanomaterials. It’s expected that machines capable of printing conductive materials will soon be marketed, which will revolutionize the electronic products market.

Myth no. 3: Only large businesses can afford these expensive printers.

This market diversified extensively and quickly. While some industrial metal printers may cost over $500,000, industrial plastic printers sell for under $100,000. There is something to suit all tastes and budgets. For example, at the RAPID conference in the U.S. this month, one business introduced a metal printer costing $120,000.

Myth no. 4: In the future, everything will be printed.

Obviously not! It will always be more cost effective to machine many goods, parts and industrial components. It is true though that some complex parts could not be machined and will have to be produced on a 3D printer in the future. It’s important to understand the advantages and disadvantages of 3D printing on the basis of what you manufacture. Get advice from an expert who can help you develop a 3D printing business plan.

Myth no. 5: The technology is too recent, it’s not worth investing in it yet.

Reality could catch up with you sooner than you think. Consider companies such as General Electric, Siemens, Ford, United Technologies Corporation to name but a few that are using 3D printing technology for their parts and components. If you are in these companies’ supply chain, no matter how distantly, or in the same industry, you would be wise to look into this now. You could hire a coop student who has a bit of additive manufacturing experience to prepare a feasibility study. Now is the time when you should determine where adopting this technology could make sense for you. If the feasibility study seems positive, take the plunge, work with a service centre. After all, you’re an entrepreneur and a good entrepreneur never passes up a growth opportunity.

 

If you haven’t seen remarkable examples in aeronautics, I invite you to view some GE videos, which can be found here:

http://www.engineering.com/3DPrinting/3DPrintingArticles/ArticleID/14434/GEs-Greg-Morris-Discusses-the-Formation-of-GE-Additive.aspx

Another example is the Norsk (Rapid Plasma Deposition) part for the Boeing 787 (which is finished by Mecachrome in Mirabel!):

https://www.aero-mag.com/norsk-titanium-aerospace-grade-additive-manufactured-structural-components-boeing-787-dreamliner/

30 May 2017  |  Written by :

Mathieu Leblanc is a senior director at Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton. He is your expert in taxation...

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Pierre Bourgeois
Partner | CPA, CA | Tax

Below is an update for certain items discussed during the Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton international tax seminar held on April 18 and 19, and resulting from the April 26, 2017 Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and Finance Canada (Finance) round tables of the Canadian chapter of the International Fiscal Association (2017 IFA round table). We also outline other items of interest from the 2017 IFA round table.

Unless otherwise noted, legislative references in this document are to the Income Tax Act, RSC, c.1 (5th Supp.) and its regulation.

18 May 2017  |  Written by :

Mr. Bourgeois is a partner at Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton. He is your expert in taxation for the...

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