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Giving Renewed Thought to Your Offshore Property Investments

Any Canadian that has done, is doing, or thinking about offshore investments and incomes, has no doubt been following the news in the recent months. Nobody wants to give a thought to their name showing up on some file that is listing those with offshore investments that may be questionable.

The CRA has been moving rather quickly to tighten the controls, and one of the latest and most significant steps it has taken is the new T1135. This is the Foreign Income Verification Statement. You will now have to provide more details in respect to this form than what was required in the past. If you happen to own foreign property in excess of $100,000, be prepared for some additional paperwork by way of providing information. You would be much better off to use the services of a Toronto accountant when it comes to filing this information, because you want to be sure to get it right.

You need to file this information return as soon as the costs of your foreign property goes beyond $100,000 Canadian although there are some entities that do not have to conform to this, as well as some other circumstances.

There are many facets of this regulation that you need to be aware of. You need to know what type of foreign property has to be reported. There are exemptions to the rule.
With these new reporting requirements in place it is important to get a hold of your Toronto accountant as soon as possible to see what your status is. You will need to provide him with the information of the required cost, the location of the property and all income data.

With all the news media exposure regarding offshore accounts and property investments, many investors whether amateur or seasoned in this financial area have become a little nervous. This doesn’t mean that they have done anything wrong, it just means they weren’t too sure what type of approach the Canadian government was going to take for future investors.

We are soon to be in the last quarter of the taxation year already and it takes time to get foreign securities portfolios sorted out to see where they fit in with the regulations. For example, the T3/T5 will be excluded from the new extensive reporting regulations. You may have difficulty now knowing just where you stand with your investment portfolio, and your tax accountant in Toronto can help sort this out for you and take away some of the confusion regarding your particular foreign investments.

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Sam Seidman, CPA, CA, LPA
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Chartered Professional Accountant, Chartered Accountant, Licensed Public Accountant

Email: sam@torontoaccountant.ca

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