Westmark Tax

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Westmark Tax is a tax firm focused on providing consulting and compliance services to individuals and companies that have cross-border tax needs.


About Westmark Tax
Westmark Tax is a tax firm focused on providing consulting and compliance services to individuals and companies that have cross-border tax needs.  In the complex world of international tax, the team at Westmark tax is able to simplify concepts for clients to provide practical solutions and guidance. 

The primary focus is to develop a tax strategy to optimize your global tax picture – ensuring that you are paying the least amount of tax globally and that all disclosure requirements are met.  The professional team at Westmark Tax has a real passion for cross-border tax issues with over 75 years of combined experience with offices located in the US and in Canada.
 
Westmark Tax provides the following types of services:

  • Individual Cross-Border Tax Planning - assisting individuals that move across borders or US citizens that have cross-border tax needs.  This includes a move to/from any jurisdiction in Asia, Europe or Middle East among others.
  • Corporate Cross-Border Tax Planning - assisting companies with cross-border tax issues to expand to new locations outside their existing operations.  This includes assistance for employees that are required to move to a new jurisdiction. For instance, a Canadian company which wants to expand into the United States or vice versa.  Alternatively, a company currently located in the United States wanting to expand to China.  Westmark Tax is able to assist in developing a cross-border tax strategy and to complete any tax returns required in the foreign jurisdiction.

All of the above situations requires an in-depth understanding of the tax rules in each respective jurisdiction.  The team at Westmark Tax provides the expertise required to successfully navigate the complexities of the cross-border tax world.
 
Cross-border Individual Tax Planning
 
When an individual makes a decision to move to a new country there are a lot of things to think about.  One issue that immediately comes to mind is to consider what to do on the tax front.  The complexities involved in moving from one tax jurisdiction to another will usually mean that professional assistance is required even for someone that is fairly astute on financial issues. 

For instance, when someone moves out of Canada they will need to consider exactly what date they become a non-resident of Canada.  This will drive various considerations such as immigration needs, health care coverage, switching driver’s licences, etc.  They will need to consider the impact of a ‘deemed disposition’ of their investment assets. 

The treatment of various retirement and pension plans is also important – what happens to your retirement plan at home and how do you set up a new retirement plan in the new country. 

The other important consideration is what to do with your home.  If you own your home, what are the tax implications in selling your home before or after you become a non-resident.  Or, is it better to rent out the home while living abroad. 

All of these issues require expertise from a Canadian perspective as well as the new country’s tax rules.  If the individual is moving to the United States, then they will also need to consider which state they are moving to….the tax rules in California are very different to the rules in Washington State. 
 
Westmark Tax is able to provide tax consulting to individuals prior to the move and long-term financial planning after their move.  They are able to assist in preparing the U.S. and Canadian tax returns for the year of the move including obtaining Clearance Certificates for sale of real estate.  If it hasn’t been done right, the individual may need to prepare amended tax returns which can usually be done through a voluntary disclosure process to minimize penalties and interest.  Westmark Tax acts as the single source of international tax.  
 
Cross-border Corporate Tax Planning

Companies that operate successfully in our global business environment are having to navigate the complex world of tax rules and other legal requirements.  This is especially the case when they are looking to expand operations to a new country.  Sometimes the move is prompted by the need to attract key talent or to capitalize on a new market opportunity.  Whatever the reason, the complexities for the company can be overwhelming.  The company will need to consider whether to establish a new entity in the foreign location or to have the existing entity operate as a ‘branch’ operation.  They will need to set up a bank account which can be very cumbersome and time consuming in some locations.  They will need to consider whether they send existing employees or do they hire locally.  Usually some existing employees will be sent and the company will need to consider immigration issues, impact to current compensation plans, impact to local retirement plans and whether the individuals need to be ‘tax equalized’.  Also, there will be payroll tax withholding and reporting obligations in the new country.  All of these issues require a integrated approach from lawyers, accountants, bankers, etc.  to coordinate the various impacts. 
 
Westmark Tax has the experience to provide assistance and coordinate the various areas required to resolve the  complexities involved.  They are able to coordinate immigration and legal support in various locations with trusted partner firms.  They are able to assist with bookkeeping, payroll and corporate tax filing requirements in various locations including the U.S. and Canada. 
 
For more information on Westmark Tax please contact Mo Ahmad at mo.ahmad@westmarktax.com or visit their website at www.westmarktax.com.