The strong U.S. dollar has created new challenges for those moving to the United States from Canada—but understanding these challenges, and your options, can help you to navigate the financial transition as smoothly as possible.
Here’s the background. The Canadian dollar is currently valued around 0.80 versus the U.S. dollar, a big departure of 0.90 to 0.95 seen in the summer of 2014. With the currencies so closely valued in the past, many individuals elected to convert their bank and non-registered (taxable) investment-account funds to U.S. dollars, and move them to a U.S. bank or custodian.
After all, if you live in the United States and your living expenses are denominated in U.S. dollars, having much of your liquid net-worth in the local currency makes sense. Furthermore, converting and moving Canadian non-registered accounts to the United States simplifies tax and foreign-account reporting requirements. It also provides for better investment opportunities, including those that are more tax efficient. And it helps to simplify your financial and estate planning.
A Canadian dollar at 0.80 complicates things, however, as most clients naturally do not wish to convert funds at a 20% discount. So let’s look at the options available to individuals or families who do not want to convert their non-registered accounts to U.S. dollars.