Raymond James: Our dedicated partner

If you're a Canadian moving to the U.S. or an American moving to Canada, our cross-border wealth planning team can help you plan for a smooth transition.

We specialize in handling the complex investment and tax planning issues that can arise when you have financial interests on each side of the border, with licensing in both countries that allows us to provide advice and ongoing management of Canadian and U.S. investments – a truly holistic and efficient approach.

This type of licensing is noteworthy. As of 2020, only 25 percent of advisors at Raymond James Ltd. were licensed for cross-border services, firm statistics show.

Below we offer general information about the services we provide. Because of the complex nature of cross-border services and financial planning, we recommend scheduling a comprehensive analysis of your situation to allow our team to tailor a specific course of action. Understanding how the laws in each country will apply to you, and how they interact, is key.

Q: I'm a Canadian moving to the U.S. Do I have to close my Canadian accounts?

A: When a Canadian moves to the U.S., their Canada-based investment advisors do not always have the proper registrations to continue servicing their accounts. A Canadian investment firm cannot open an IRA, for example, as these are U.S.-domiciled retirement accounts. This presents a challenge and leaves most investors thinking they don't have a choice other than the often less than ideal one of collapsing their Canadian retirement plan and bringing the value of the account into taxable income.

As a cross-border firm, Raymond James (USA) Ltd. was created to handle these types of issues. As an affiliate of this Canadian-based, U.S.-registered investment firm, we offer specialized advice to Americans living in Canada and Canadians living in the U.S. for their cross-border investment needs. In the situation outlined above, we would use our infrastructure to open new U.S. retirement accounts and, through our dual registration, continue to manage assets in Canada, such as an RRSP. This offers all-in-one convenience as we incorporate these accounts into an overall wealth management and investment strategy customized to your needs.

Q: I'm moving from the U.S. to Canada – how can your wealth management team help?

A: Transitioning from one country to another can often bring with it financial complexity. When it comes to the financial aspects of moving from the U.S. to Canada, there are many rules to understand and decisions that need to be made concerning tax considerations and your overall wealth, retirement and investment planning.

Most Americans moving to Canada keep their U.S. citizenship. In this situation, you will face the complexities of having tax obligations on both sides of the border – complexities that only a minority of professionals have experience in managing.

Before your move, we would thoroughly analyze your overall situation and offer personalized guidance. We would collaborate with a cross-border tax professional at the home office as well as with external professionals in the field to help you prepare for relocation, providing you with "Moving to Canada" checklists and action items for each type of asset you hold. Once we've gathered this data, our team prepares a cross-border financial plan that informs a coordinated investment strategy specific to your cross-border status (e.g., all assets, on either side of the border, can be managed in one place by one advisor, and are managed with consideration to the unique ongoing tax exposure on both sides of the border).

Q:I'm moving from Canada to the U.S. – how can your wealth management team help?

A: The financial aspects of moving from Canada to the U.S. can be complex, with tax considerations and overall wealth, retirement and investment planning decisions to handle.

When a Canadian citizen leaves Canada to work in the U.S. (or an American who has been living in Canada moves back), it's often the case that they want to ensure they are seen by the CRA in Canada (equivalent to the IRS) as a non-resident of Canada, as Canada does not tax based on residency – i.e., once a Canadian leaves Canada to work elsewhere, they do not have a tax obligation in Canada. That requires some specific planning. This is important as the Canadian does not want to find out a few years from now that the CRA still considers them a resident/taxpayer in Canada and that they owe CRA taxes and penalties.

It's also often the case that this person has roots in and plans to return to Canada, and so they want to maintain some of their investments in Canadian dollars and in the Canadian market. This is difficult for most advisors in Canada, as they are not licensed in the U.S. under FINRA/SEC, and cannot continue to manage the existing accounts. In turn, if they sit down with a new U.S. advisor in the location they move to, that advisor will be licensed to look after their U.S. investments but does not have the infrastructure in place to open and maintain Canadian dollar investment accounts or Canadian retirement accounts.

Before your move, we would thoroughly analyze your overall situation and offer personalized guidance. We would collaborate with a cross-border tax professional at the home office as well as external professionals in the field to help you prepare for relocation, providing you with "Moving to the U.S." checklists and action items for each type of asset you hold. Once we've gathered this data, our team would prepare either a cross-border financial plan or a U.S.-focused financial plan that informs a coordinated investment strategy specific to you (e.g., all assets, on either side of the border, can be managed in one place by one advisor and are managed with consideration to the new tax residency of the client and the potential renewed tax residency in Canada if they plan to return).

Q: I'm a U.S. resident who inherited Canadian dollars. How can I maintain the assets in Canadian currency while living in the U.S.?

A: With advisors licensed both in the U.S. and Canada, and who have the ability to set up multi-currency investment accounts, our team can assist with this situation. If you don't want to exchange your Canadian dollars for U.S. dollars, we will design an investment strategy in Canadian dollars based on your goals and needs. If, in the future, you need to move the money into U.S. dollars, we will be able to handle the foreign exchange conversion.