In my spare time these days, I’ve been sitting in the back yard and reading about cross border taxation issues, specifically between Canada and the U.S.

Don’t I sound cool?

So many of the people that I know and work with have lives that stretch beyond the Canadian border. And as soon as you put a toe across, things with your finances get a bit more complicated.

This is never more true than when looking at U.S. citizens living in Canada (yes, that includes all you dual citizens out there).

If you’re a U.S. citizen living in Canada and you aren’t filing U.S. taxes… you should get yourself to an accountant post haste. It doesn’t matter if you’re making money in the U.S. or not, you NEED TO BE FILING A U.S. TAX RETURN EVERY YEAR.

You also may have to file a bunch of other forms based on what kind of assets you have kicking around.

The most famous non-tax-return IRS filing is called the FBAR.

If the sum total of the highest balances in your accounts is more than $10,000, you have to file this form. If you think that’s you and you have more questions, feel free to shoot me (or your accountant) an email.

The FBAR is filed electronically, and isn’t all that hard to file yourself. But if you don’t file it, there can be penalties of as much as $10,000 per account not filed. So… better to get on it.