Physical move process

We have one month to physically move from Bay Area to Toronto. I have a number of questions for the folks in the forum - so even if you can answer some of these, please do so:

  1. Did you dispose off your furniture and other belongings? (or) did you ship them? If you shipped, how much did it cost (we live in a 3BR house and will have adequate stuff to load onto a big truck)? Any recommendations on a good and reasonably priced movers in the bay area?
  2. Did you ship your car(s) or drive over?
  3. Is it better to rent or sell the house (1960s house) in the bay area. If you rented it initially and decided after a year to sell it, do you have to pay taxes on profits?
  4. For daycare services, is it easy to find a daycare or is there a waitlist like in the bay area? How much does it cost for a 2-year old toddler per month?

We moved from the bay area (near Cupertino) to Toronto late last year. So the moving experience is still pretty fresh in our memory :slight_smile:

  1. Disposed off all furniture, tv etc. We sold some on craigslist, gave some stuff to neighbours and put the rest in trash. The stuff we moved was mostly clothes, books, kitchen stuff, etc we packed that in several Fedex boxes and mailed it over. As for movers we didn’t use any but some of our friends who moved from Palo Alto did I can check with them tomorrow.

  2. I has a auto moving company transport my car over. I was still making payments on the car so that needed a bit of paper work. Happy to provide further details if you plan to go this route.

  3. Thats a very hard question to answer. Since its the bay area I’m assuming you would at the least not make a loss. But would possibly require you to pay US taxes. When moving to Canada as far I understand the CRA assumes you have sold everything you own and bought it back on the day you arrive so all capital gains are only against the price movement from the day you arrived everything before is not taxed. I’m not an accountant or a lawyer so please do your own research about this. Personally I would just rent it.

  4. There are many options here for child care. You can try and get on government subsidized childcare, private childcare or get a nanny all these options are pretty affordable if your used to paying bay area prices.

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Thanks ! Great suggestions - super-helpful. The biggest asset that we have to take care of is the house where we have lived for more than 2 years, so technically we should not be taxed on capital gains if we sell it now. However, if we had to rent it now (due to lack of time to sell) and then come back to US on say, visitor visa after 1 year and then sell it, I was not sure if we will be taxed by US as we may not be considered ‘residents’ of US then. Will check with accountant as well. :slight_smile:

I am planning on moving furniture and my TV. I live in North Carolina. Will moving furniture and TV be a problem ?

Hello! Just came across your post, thanks to knighthood83 for replying to this chain. I’m in a similar boat and it can be quite distress when it comes to taking care of a property when planning to move out of the country. How did it go with your decision on selling/keeping the house?

Hi there, it will not be a problem if you have declared some of them in form BSF186 (I think) when you landed the first time. Did you already land and did you mention that you will be moving some items? I did not see an issue getting furniture items (sold my TV) although they did not match what we had mentioned in BSF186. I used Mayflower movers and they were able to handle customs in Toronto (Mississauga) without any issues

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@Fan, we sold our property and personally think it was a good decision as we had stayed there for 2+ years (but <3 years) and would not be taxed on capital gains in US. We hear now that the current US administration might change rules that you will be taxed on gains if you have not stayed for 3+ years (currently it is 2+ years). Additionally, you will be taxed on foreign income by Canada if you rent it and if you sell once you establish residency (settle) in Canada, you will have to pay tax to Canada on the difference in value of property from when you entered Canada to when you sold. Of course, your choice if you plan on going back to US and if your rent will cover the mortgage (& remember to factor in the tax on rent income).

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Hello, this is great info; thanks for sharing! If I choose to keep the house and rent it out, in addition to paying Canada tax on the rental income, will I have to pay US on the same rental income as well? That could add up very quickly. When paying tax to either country, will they factor in the rent that I need to pay for where I stay in Canada and offset that from the rental income? I’m not planning on buying a house in Canada right away.

You can get tax credits for the taxes you pay to the US and claim those on your Canadian taxes. It’s pretty common for Canadians to have rental or other property in the US especially in Florida. When it comes to taxes for something as big as a house I would consult an expert to get the finer points. Look for a “US Canada Tax Expert” there a lot of them out there.

Thanks! It seems there are lots of resources out there like you said, but overall expensive and would involve a lot of paperwork if renting out the property. Will have to make a decision on selling/keeping it when the time comes.

I’m only advising you to talk to a tax expert to ensure it does not cost you much more than what the expert would charge.

Tax laws are very nuanced and if there is a way you can keep the house rented and save on tax at the same time due to some tiny clause in Canadian or US laws then it might be useful.

Capital gained are taxes very differently in Canada so not sure if it makes sense to sell it only after you are a Canadian Tax resident and not a US one (according to presence test) as US does not tax capital gains for non-resident aliens. Again I have no expertise here just my 2 cents :slight_smile: