How Long Can Canadian Snowbirds Stay In America Before Having To Pay USA Taxes?

What Is a Snowbird?

Human snowbirds from Canada share at least one important trait with their avian counterparts: they both migrate south for the winter.

What Is a Snowbird?

Well, some of them actually take a road trip. But, the beauty of being a snowbird is that after enjoying the warmer months in Canada, 

What Is a Snowbird?

they escape to either a rental, time-share or second home, typically in a warmer state like Florida or Arizona, to wait out the winter.

What Is a Snowbird?

It’s easy to see why it’s an enticing idea, given that Canadian winters are brutally cold and snowy.

Do You Still Have to Pay U.S. Taxes in the First Six Months of Your Stay?

Canadians traveling stateside can generally enter the USA for up to six months without needing a visa. 

Do You Still Have to Pay U.S. Taxes in the First Six Months of Your Stay?

However, just because you can stay in the country without a visa for those months, doesn’t mean the IRS won’t deem you a USA resident for tax purposes. 

Do You Still Have to Pay U.S. Taxes in the First Six Months of Your Stay?

It might seem odd, but you can stay in the U.S. long enough to owe taxes without ever changing your immigration status to resident. 

How Long Can You Stay in the U.S. Before You Have to Pay Taxes?

Regardless of your intent or immigration status, you are deemed a USA resident for the purposes of taxation if you meet the IRS’s Substantial Presence Test.

How Long Can You Stay in the U.S. Before You Have to Pay Taxes?

In order to know how many days you can stay in the U.S. before owing taxes,

How Long Can You Stay in the U.S. Before You Have to Pay Taxes?

you will have to determine how many days you have spent in the U.S. in the current calendar year, the previous calendar year and two calendar years ago.

How to Calculate Whether a Snowbird Owes Tax to the IRS

Still, to avoid doing the complicated math altogether, follow this simple general rule: make sure to spend less than 121 days a year in the USA

You’ve Met the IRS’s Substantial Presence Test – Now What?

If you’re among the unlucky Canadian snowbirds who met the Substantial Presence Test, you’re not alone.

You’ve Met the IRS’s Substantial Presence Test – Now What?

Luckily, even if you meet the Substantial Presence Test, you have options.

You’ve Met the IRS’s Substantial Presence Test – Now What?

According to the IRS, you could still be treated as a non-resident for tax purposes if you did not apply for permanent residence, 

Defining a “Closer Connection”

Having a closer connection to Canada isn’t about where you feel like home, but rather, where you can actually prove is your home.

The Canada-U.S. Income Tax Treaty

If you find yourself in a situation where you may be deemed a U.S. resident for tax purposes, you can always turn to the Canada-U.S. Tax Treaty for help. 

The Canada-U.S. Income Tax Treaty

The treaty’s aim is to clarify how Canadians and Americans living in each other’s respective countries should be treated. 

The Canada-U.S. Income Tax Treaty

Thanks to the treaty, even if you’ve spent more than 182 days in the U.S., you may still be considered a Canadian Tax Resident and avoid double taxation.

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