Canadian Buyers

Currently, the Canadian dollar is worth around 95 cents US. If you intend to live in the United States less than 180 days per year, you do not require a Visa to enter the country. You also do not have to file any annual income tax reporting with the US IRS.

Internal Revenue Service

A Section (3i) of the standard Arizona Association of Realtors Purchase Contract states:

“IRS and FIRPTA Reporting: Seller agrees to comply with IRS reporting requirements. If applicable, Seller agrees to complete, sign and deliver to Escrow Company a certificate indicating whether Seller is a foreign person o or a non-resident alien pursuant to the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act (“FIRPTA”). Buyer and Seller acknowledge that if the Seller is a foreign person, the Buyer must withhold a tax equal to 10% of the purchase price, unless an exemption applies.”

Unfortunately, many title companies have placed the burden on the Buyer to “sign off” on the Seller’s exemption. This is not what is required by the IRS. Of course, Buyers are reluctant to do this because they are not tax accountants.

Whether you are buying or selling property in Arizona, it is important to work with a company that is fully aware and knowledgeable of FIRPTA. As both a real estate Broker and Certified Public Accountant, Stephen can help you navigate this and other issues that arise in the real estate transaction.

Cash: Proof of Funds

Proof of Fund Statement is a document created by a third party stating you have the funds available on hand to complete a transaction. If you plan on paying cash for your US home, make sure all the money is in a single account for at least 90 days before closing. Also, when you arrive in the US with a large amount of cash, it will be reported and investigated under US money laundering and anti-terrorist laws.

Opening a USA Bank Account

Most USA banks require that you apply in person. It is advisable to contact the branch manager before you go in to determine their familiarity with the process. Proof of citizenship and one other piece of government issued id, such as a driver’s license, is required.