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Telefile Publication 597 - Main Content Table of Contents Application of Treaty Personal Services Pensions, Annuities, Social Security, and AlimonyRoth IRAs. Telefile Tax-deferred plans. Telefile Investment Income From Canadian Sources Other Income Charitable ContributionsQualified charities. Telefile Income Tax Credits Competent Authority Assistance How To Get Tax HelpText of Treaty U. Telefile S. Telefile Taxation Canadian Taxation Application of Treaty The benefits of the income tax treaty are generally provided on the basis of residence for income tax purposes. Telefile That is, a person who is recognized as a resident of the United States who has income from Canada, will often pay less income tax to Canada on that income than if no treaty was in effect. Telefile Article IV provides definitions of residents of Canada and the United States, and provides specific criteria for applying the treaty in cases where a taxpayer is considered by both countries to be a resident. Telefile Saving clause. Telefile   In most instances, a treaty does not affect the right of a country to tax its own residents (including those who are U. Telefile S. Telefile citizens) or of the United States to tax its residents or citizens (including U. Telefile S. Telefile citizens who are residents of the foreign country). Telefile This provision is known as the “saving clause. Telefile ”   For example, an individual who is a U. Telefile S. Telefile citizen and a resident of Canada may have dividend income from a U. Telefile S. Telefile corporation. Telefile The treaty provides a maximum rate of 15% on dividends received by a resident of Canada from sources in the United States. Telefile Even though a resident of Canada, the individual is a U. Telefile S. Telefile citizen and the saving clause overrides the treaty article that limits the U. Telefile S. Telefile tax to 15%. Telefile    Exceptions to the saving clause can be found in Article XXIX, paragraph 3. Telefile Treaty-based position. Telefile   If you take the position that any U. Telefile S. Telefile tax is overruled or otherwise reduced by a U. Telefile S. Telefile treaty (a treaty-based position), you generally must disclose that position on Form 8833, Treaty-Based Return Position Disclosure Under Section 6114 or 7701(b), and attach it to your return. Telefile Personal Services A U. Telefile S. Telefile citizen or resident who is temporarily present in Canada during the tax year is exempt from Canadian income taxes on pay for services performed, or remittances received from the United States, if the citizen or resident qualifies under one of the treaty exemption provisions set out below. Telefile Income from employment (Article XV). Telefile   Income U. Telefile S. Telefile residents receive for the performance of dependent personal services in Canada (except as public entertainers) is exempt from Canadian tax if it is not more than $10,000 in Canadian currency for the year. Telefile If it is more than $10,000 for the year, it is exempt only if: The residents are present in Canada for no more than 183 days in any 12-month period beginning or ending in the year concerned, and The income is not paid by, or on behalf of, a Canadian resident and is not borne by a permanent establishment in Canada. Telefile    Whether there is a permanent establishment in Canada is determined by the rules set forth in Article V. Telefile Example. Telefile You are a U. Telefile S. Telefile resident employed under an 8-month contract with a Canadian firm to install equipment in their Montreal plant. Telefile During the calendar year you were physically present in Canada for 179 days and were paid $16,500 (Canadian) for your services. Telefile Although you were in Canada for not more than 183 days during the year, your income is not exempt from Canadian income tax because it was paid by a Canadian resident and was more than $10,000 (Canadian) for the year. Telefile Pay received by a U. Telefile S. Telefile resident for work regularly done in more than one country as an employee on a ship, aircraft, motor vehicle, or train operated by a U. Telefile S. Telefile resident is exempt from Canadian tax. Telefile Income from self-employment (Article VII). Telefile   Income from services performed (other than those performed as an employee) are taxed in Canada if they are attributable to a permanent establishment in Canada. Telefile This income is treated as business profits, and deductions similar to those allowed under U. Telefile S. Telefile law are allowable. Telefile   If you carry on (or have carried on) business in both Canada and the United States, the business profits are attributable to each country based on the profits that the permanent establishment might be expected to make if it were a distinct and separate person engaged in the same or similar activities. Telefile The business profits attributable to the permanent establishment include only those profits derived from assets used, risks assumed, and activities performed by the permanent establishment. Telefile   You may be considered to have a permanent establishment if you meet certain conditions. Telefile For more information, see Article V (Permanent Establishment) and Article VII (Business Profits). Telefile Public entertainers (Article XVI). Telefile   The provisions under income from employment or income from self-employment do not apply to public entertainers (such as theater, motion picture, radio, or television artistes, musicians, or athletes) from the United States who receive more than $15,000 in gross receipts in Canadian currency, including reimbursed expenses, from their entertainment activities in Canada during the calendar year. Telefile However, this provision for public entertainers does not apply (and the other provisions will apply) to athletes participating in team sports in leagues with regularly scheduled games in both the United States and Canada. Telefile Compensation paid by the U. Telefile S. Telefile Government (Article XIX). Telefile   Wages, salaries, and similar income (other than pensions) paid to a U. Telefile S. Telefile citizen by the United States or any of its agencies, instrumentalities, or political subdivisions for discharging governmental functions are exempt from Canadian income tax. Telefile   The exemption does not apply to pay for services performed in connection with any trade or business carried on for profit by the United States, or any of its agencies, instrumentalities, or political subdivisions. Telefile Students and apprentices (Article XX). Telefile   A full-time student, apprentice, or business trainee who is in Canada to study or acquire business experience is exempt from Canadian income tax on remittances received from any source outside Canada for maintenance, education, or training. Telefile The recipient must be or must have been a U. Telefile S. Telefile resident immediately before visiting Canada. Telefile   An apprentice or business trainee can claim this exemption only for a period of one year from the date the individual first arrived in Canada for the purpose of training. Telefile Pensions, Annuities, Social Security, and Alimony Under Article XVIII, pensions and annuities from Canadian sources paid to U. Telefile S. Telefile residents are subject to tax by Canada, but the tax is limited to 15% of the gross amount (if a periodic pension payment) or of the taxable amount (if an annuity). Telefile Canadian pensions and annuities paid to U. Telefile S. Telefile residents may be taxed by the United States, but the amount of any pension included in income for U. Telefile S. Telefile tax purposes may not be more than the amount that would be included in income in Canada if the recipient were a Canadian resident. Telefile Pensions. Telefile   A pension includes any payment under a pension or other retirement arrangement, Armed Forces retirement pay, war veterans pensions and allowances, and payments under a sickness, accident, or disability plan. Telefile It includes pensions paid by private employers and the government for services rendered. Telefile   Pensions also include payments from individual retirement arrangements (IRAs) in the United States, registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs) and registered retirement income funds (RRIFs) in Canada. Telefile   Pensions do not include social security benefits. Telefile Roth IRAs. Telefile   A distribution from a Roth IRA is exempt from Canadian tax to the extent it would be exempt from U. Telefile S. Telefile tax if paid to a U. Telefile S. Telefile resident. Telefile In addition, you may elect to defer any tax in Canada on income accrued within the Roth IRA but not distributed by the Roth IRA. Telefile However, you cannot defer tax on any accruals due to contributions made after you become a Canadian resident. Telefile Tax-deferred plans. Telefile   Generally, income that accrues in a Canadian RRSP or RRIF is subject to U. Telefile S. Telefile tax, even if it is not distributed. Telefile However, a U. Telefile S. Telefile citizen or resident can elect to defer U. Telefile S. Telefile tax on income from the plan until the income is distributed. Telefile Form 8891 is used to make the election. Telefile Annuities. Telefile    An annuity is a stated sum payable periodically at stated times, during life, or during a specified number of years, under an obligation to make the payments in return for adequate and full consideration (other than services rendered). Telefile Annuities do not include: Non-periodic payments, or An annuity the cost of which was deductible for tax purposes. Telefile Special rules. Telefile    Special rules apply to pensions and annuities with respect to: Short-term assignments, Cross-border commuters, and Individuals who participate in a Canadian qualifying plan. Telefile Generally, distributions in such cases are deemed to be earned in the country in which the plan is established, without regard to where the services were rendered. Telefile Social security benefits. Telefile   U. Telefile S. Telefile social security benefits paid to a resident of Canada are taxed in Canada as if they were benefits under the Canada Pension Plan, except that 15% of the amount of the benefit is exempt from Canadian tax. Telefile Alimony. Telefile   Alimony and similar amounts (including child support payments) from Canadian sources paid to U. Telefile S. Telefile residents are exempt from Canadian tax. Telefile For purposes of U. Telefile S. Telefile tax, these amounts are excluded from income to the same extent they would be excluded from income in Canada if the recipient was a Canadian resident. Telefile Investment Income From Canadian Sources The treaty provides beneficial treatment for certain items of Canadian source income that result from an investment of capital. Telefile Dividends (Article X). Telefile   For Canadian source dividends received by U. Telefile S. Telefile residents, the Canadian income tax generally may not be more than 15%. Telefile   A 5% rate applies to intercorporate dividends paid from a subsidiary to a parent corporation owning at least 10% of the subsidiary's voting stock. Telefile However, a 10% rate applies if the payer of the dividend is a nonresident-owned Canadian investment corporation. Telefile   These rates do not apply if the owner of the dividends carries on, or has carried on, a business in Canada through a permanent establishment and the holding on which the income is paid is effectively connected with that permanent establishment. Telefile Interest (Article XI). Telefile   Generally, Canadian source interest received by U. Telefile S. Telefile residents is exempt from Canadian income tax. Telefile   The exemption does not apply if the owner of the interest carries on, or has carried on, a business in Canada through a permanent establishment and the debt on which the income is paid is effectively connected with that permanent establishment. Telefile Gains from the sale of property (Article XIII). Telefile   Generally, gains from the sale of personal property by a U. Telefile S. Telefile resident having no permanent establishment in Canada are exempt from Canadian income tax. Telefile However, the exemption from Canadian tax does not apply to gains realized by U. Telefile S. Telefile residents on Canadian real property, and on personal property belonging to a permanent establishment in Canada. Telefile   If the property subject to Canadian tax is a capital asset and was owned by the U. Telefile S. Telefile resident on September 26, 1980, not as part of the business property of a permanent establishment in Canada, generally the taxable gain is limited to the appreciation after 1984. Telefile Royalties (Article XII). Telefile   The following are exempt from Canadian tax: Copyright royalties and other like payments for the production or reproduction of any literary, dramatic, musical, or artistic work (other than payments for motion pictures and works on film, videotape, or other means of reproduction for use in connection with television, which may be taxed at 10%), Payments for the use of, or the right to use, computer software, Payments for the use of, or the right to use, any patent or any information concerning industrial, commercial, or scientific experience (but not within a rental or franchise agreement), and Payments for broadcasting as agreed to in an exchange of notes between the countries. Telefile   This rate or exemption does not apply if the owner of the royalties carries on, or has carried on, a business in Canada through a permanent establishment and the right or property on which the income is paid is effectively connected with that permanent establishment. Telefile   This exemption (or lower rate) does not apply to royalties to explore for or to exploit mineral deposits, timber, and other natural resources. Telefile Other Income Generally, Canadian source income that is not specifically mentioned in the treaty, may be taxed by Canada. Telefile Gambling losses. Telefile   Canadian residents may deduct gambling losses in the U. Telefile S. Telefile against gambling winnings in the U. Telefile S. Telefile in the same manner as a U. Telefile S. Telefile resident. Telefile Charitable Contributions United States income tax return. Telefile   Under Article XXI, you may deduct contributions to certain qualified Canadian charitable organizations on your United States income tax return. Telefile Besides being subject to the overall limits applicable to all your charitable contributions under U. Telefile S. Telefile tax law, your charitable contributions to Canadian organizations (other than contributions to a college or university at which you or a member of your family is or was enrolled) are subject to the U. Telefile S. Telefile percentage limits on charitable contributions, applied to your Canadian source income. Telefile If your return does not include gross income from Canadian sources, charitable contributions to Canadian organizations are generally not deductible. Telefile Example. Telefile You are a U. Telefile S. Telefile citizen living in Canada. Telefile You have both U. Telefile S. Telefile and Canadian source income. Telefile During your tax year, you contribute to Canadian organizations that would qualify as charitable organizations under U. Telefile S. Telefile tax law if they were U. Telefile S. Telefile organizations. Telefile To figure the maximum amount of the contribution to Canadian organizations that you can deduct on your U. Telefile S. Telefile income tax return, multiply your adjusted gross income from Canadian sources by the percentage limit that applies to contributions under U. Telefile S. Telefile income tax law. Telefile Then include this amount on your return along with all your domestic charitable contributions, subject to the appropriate percentage limit required for contributions under U. Telefile S. Telefile income tax law. Telefile The appropriate percentage limit for U. Telefile S. Telefile tax purposes is applied to your total adjusted gross income from all sources. Telefile Qualified charities. Telefile   These Canadian organizations must meet the qualifications that a U. Telefile S. Telefile charitable organization must meet under U. Telefile S. Telefile tax law. Telefile Usually an organization will notify you if it qualifies. Telefile For further information on charitable contributions and the U. Telefile S. Telefile percentage limits, see Publication 526, Charitable Contributions. Telefile Canadian income tax return. Telefile   Under certain conditions, contributions to qualified U. Telefile S. Telefile charitable organizations may also be claimed on your Canadian income tax return if you are a Canadian resident. Telefile Income Tax Credits The treaty contains a credit provision (Article XXIV) for the elimination of double taxation. Telefile In general, the United States and Canada both allow a credit against their income tax for the income tax paid to the other country on income from sources in that other country. Telefile For detailed discussions of the U. Telefile S. Telefile income tax treatment of tax paid to foreign countries, see Publication 514, Foreign Tax Credit for Individuals. Telefile See paragraphs (4) and (5) of Article XXIV for certain provisions that affect the computation of the credit allowed by the United States for Canadian income taxes paid by U. Telefile S. Telefile citizens residing in Canada. Telefile Competent Authority Assistance Under Article XXVI, a U. Telefile S. Telefile citizen or resident may request assistance from the U. Telefile S. Telefile competent authority when the actions of Canada, the United States, or both, potentially result in double taxation or taxation contrary to the treaty. Telefile The U. Telefile S. Telefile competent authority may then consult with the Canadian competent authority to determine if the double taxation or denial of treaty benefits in question can be avoided. Telefile If the competent authorities are not able to reach agreement in a case, binding arbitration proceedings may apply. Telefile It is important that your request for competent authority assistance be made as soon as you have been notified by either Canada or the United States of proposed adjustments that would result in denial of treaty benefits or in double taxation. Telefile This is so that implementation of any agreement reached by the competent authorities is not barred by administrative, legal, or procedural barriers. Telefile For information that you should include with your request for competent authority assistance, see Revenue Procedure 2006-54, 2006-49 IRB 1035, available at www. Telefile irs. Telefile gov/irb/2006-49_IRB/ar13. Telefile html. Telefile The request should be addressed to:  Deputy Commissioner (International) Large Business and International Division Attn: Office of Tax Treaty  Internal Revenue Service 1111 Constitution Ave. Telefile , NW Routing: MA3-322A Washington, D. Telefile C. Telefile 20024 In addition to a timely request for assistance, you should take the following measures: File a timely protective claim for credit or refund of U. Telefile S. Telefile taxes on Form 1040X, Form 1120X, or amended Form 1041, whichever is appropriate. Telefile This will, among other things, give you the benefit of a foreign tax credit in case you do not qualify for the treaty benefit in question. Telefile For figuring this credit, attach either Form 1116, Foreign Tax Credit (Individual, Estate, or Trust), or Form 1118, Foreign Tax Credit — Corporations, as appropriate. Telefile Attach your protective claim to your request for competent authority assistance. Telefile Take appropriate action under Canadian procedures to avoid the lapse or termination of your right of appeal under Canadian income tax law. Telefile How To Get Tax Help You can get help with unresolved tax issues, order free publications and forms, ask tax questions, and get information from the IRS and the Canada Revenue Agency in several ways. Telefile Text of Treaty You can get the text of the U. Telefile S. Telefile —Canada income tax treaty from: Superintendent of Documents U. Telefile S. Telefile Government Printing Office P. Telefile O. Telefile Box 371954 Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7954 The treaty can also be found on the Internet at IRS. Telefile gov. Telefile U. Telefile S. Telefile Taxation During the filing season, the IRS conducts a taxpayer assistance program in Canada. Telefile To find out if IRS personnel will be in your area, you should contact the consular office at the nearest U. Telefile S. Telefile Embassy or consulate. Telefile Mail. Telefile For answers to technical or account questions, you can write to:   Internal Revenue Service International Section Philadelphia, PA 19255-0525 Phone. Telefile You can call the IRS for help at (267) 941-1000 (not a toll-free call). Telefile Canadian Taxation You can get information on Canadian taxation from the Canada Revenue Agency. Telefile The International Tax Services Office can be contacted on 1-800-267-5177 (from anywhere in Canada and the U. Telefile S. Telefile ) or on the Internet at www. Telefile cra-arc. Telefile gc. Telefile ca. 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Federal Legislative Branch

The legislative branch is the law making branch of government made up of the Senate, the House of Representatives, and agencies that support Congress.

U.S. Congress

Legislative Process Overview

Learn how the US Congress works to create laws.

Show Video Transcript

Article I of the U.S. Constitution grants all legislative powers to a bicameral Congress: a House of Representatives and a Senate that are the result of a “Great Compromise” seeking to balance the effects of popular majorities with the interests of the states. Our system currently provides for a two-year term of office for House members from the 435 population-based districts. In the Senate, voters of each state elect two Senators, who serve 6-year terms that overlap (such that only one-third of the chamber is up for election in any given election cycle).

The two chambers are fundamentally equal in their legislative roles and functions. Only the House can originate revenue legislation, and only the Senate confirms presidential nominations and approves treaties, but the enactment of law always requires both chambers to separately agree to the same bill in the same form before presenting it to the President.

Because each chamber has the constitutional authority to make its own rules, the House and Senate have developed some very different ways of processing legislation, perhaps partially flowing from their constitutional differences. In general, House rules and practices allow a numerical majority to process legislation relatively quickly. Senate rules and procedures, on the other hand, favor deliberation over quick action, as they provide significant procedural leverage to individual Senators.

Congressional action is typically planned and coordinated by party leaders in each chamber, who have been chosen by members of their own caucus or conference – that is, the group of members in a chamber who share a party affiliation. Majority party leaders in the House have important powers and prerogatives to effectively set the policy agenda and decide which proposals will receive floor consideration. In the Senate, the leader of the majority party is generally expected to propose items for consideration, but formal tools that allow a numerical majority to take action are few. Instead, majority party leadership typically must negotiate with minority party leaders (and often all Senators) to effectively conduct Senate floor action.

In both chambers, much of the policy expertise resides in the standing committees – panels of members from both parties that typically take the lead in developing and assessing legislation. Members typically serve on a small number of committees, often for many years, allowing them to become highly knowledgeable in certain policy areas. All committees are chaired by a member of the majority party, though chairs often work closely with the committee’s ranking member, the most senior member of the minority party on the committee. In almost all cases, the ratio of majority party to minority party members on a committee roughly reflects the overall partisan ratio in the congressional chamber.

Committee members and staff focus much of their time on drafting and considering legislative proposals, but committees engage in other activities, as well. Once law is enacted, Congress has the prerogative and responsibility to provide oversight of policy implementation, and its committees take the lead in this effort. Both chambers provide their committees with significant powers and latitude for oversight and investigations into questions of public policy and its effects.

While the engine of legislative ideas and action is Congress itself, the President has influence in the legislative process, as well. The President recommends an annual budget for federal agencies and often suggests legislation. Perhaps more significantly, the power to veto legislation can affect the content of bills passed by Congress. Since it is quite unusual for law to be enacted over a presidential veto, Congress typically must accommodate the president’s position on proposed policies.

The process by which a bill becomes law is rarely predictable and can vary significantly from bill to bill. In fact, for many bills, the process will not follow the sequence of congressional stages that are often understood to make up the legislative process. The presentations on specific topics that follow present a more detailed look at each of the common stages through which a bill may move, but keep in mind that complications and variations abound in practice.

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