Popular Cross-Border Misconceptions

There are many misconceptions Canadians who live a cross-border lifestyle have about living, visiting, and investing in the United States. In his best-selling book, The Border Guide. The Ultimate Guide to Living, Working, and investing across the Border, Robert Keats aims at dispelling some of the more common cross-border misconceptions:

You lose money changing Canadian dollars to US dollars! No, there is no loss in exchanging one currency for another, other than the commissions you pay as a transaction cost. You don’t make a profit changing US dollars to Canadian dollars either. Another misconception dealing with currency exchange is that banks are the best places do a currency exchange. Chapter 3 of The Border Guide outlines best methods to obtain the best possible exchange rates changing Canadian funds to US funds or vice versa possibly saving you hundreds or thousands of dollars.

Canada has no estate or inheritance taxes! Wrong: Canada’s deemed disposition tax on RRSPs or RRIFs and appreciated property can be as high as 60 percent. Many provinces also levy significant probate or estate administration fees. For a combined husband and wife estate of less than $16 million, Canadian estate taxes are most often much higher than those in the US. Less than 1 percent of the population in either Canada or the US would have estates greater than this amount.

The Canada/US Tax Treaty eliminates the US non-resident estate taxes! No; some high-net-worth Canadians are actually worse off under this new treaty, but many are unaffected by the new rules. These rules are much more complex than the old rules, so a new level of understanding is required to determine if you are any better off.

The Border GuideThese are probably some of the most popular ones but Robert Keats lists more examples – and more solutions – in the 11th edition of The Border Guide. If you’re a short- or long-term visitor to the US, or you’ve moved there permanently, The Border Guide is a must read for you! You can order it on our website, or find it in better bookstores.

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