Snowbirds and the Substantial Presence Test

Substantial Presence Test


As the cold winds of winter sweep across Canada, many Canadians embark on a migration southward, seeking refuge from the snow and ice. These intrepid travellers, affectionately known as “snowbirds,” flock to the warm and sunny shores of Florida, turning cities like Tampa, St. Petersburg, Orlando, Clearwater, Miami, and Ft. Lauderdale into their winter havens. While the allure of Florida’s sunshine is undeniable, it’s crucial for these snowbirds to consider the implications of the Substantial Presence Test on their tax obligations. In this blog post, we’ll explore the tax responsibilities that Canadians may face during their extended stays in the Sunshine State.

SDG Accountant LLC: Your Cross-Border Tax Experts:

Before delving into the intricacies of the Substantial Presence Test, let us introduce ourselves. We are SDG Accountant LLC, a team of cross-border tax experts with offices strategically located in St. Petersburg, Miami, and Toronto. With years of experience, our firm specializes in helping clients navigate the complexities of taxation across international borders. We understand the unique challenges faced by snowbirds and aim to provide tailored solutions to ensure compliance with tax regulations on both sides of the border.

The Substantial Presence Test:

The Substantial Presence Test is a crucial factor for Canadians spending an extended period in the United States. This test helps determine whether an individual is considered a U.S. resident for tax purposes, leading to potential tax obligations. Snowbirds must be aware of the following key aspects:

Counting Days —

The Substantial Presence Test is based on the number of days an individual spends in the United States over a three-year period. This calculation involves counting all the days present in the current year, one-third of the days in the preceding year, and one-sixth of the days in the second preceding year.

183-Day Threshold —

To be considered a resident for tax purposes, an individual must meet the 183-day threshold. This means spending at least 183 days in the U.S. within the three-year period calculated under the Substantial Presence Test.

Potential Tax Implications —

If a snowbird meets the criteria of the Substantial Presence Test, they may be subject to U.S. taxation on their worldwide income. This includes income earned both in the U.S. and abroad.

Substantial Presence Test

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Navigating Tax Obligations:

SDG Accountant LLC is here to guide snowbirds through the maze of tax obligations. Our experts can help you:

We will assess your situation to determine whether you meet the criteria for U.S. residency and guide you on the potential tax implications.
Our team will develop personalized tax strategies to minimize your tax liabilities and ensure compliance with both U.S. and Canadian tax laws.
We assist snowbirds in fulfilling necessary reporting requirements, including the filing of relevant tax forms to avoid penalties and ensure a smooth tax-filing process.


As Canadians bask in the Florida sun, SDG Accountant LLC stands ready to assist snowbirds in navigating the intricacies of the Substantial Presence Test and addressing their cross-border tax obligations. With offices in St. Petersburg, Miami, and Toronto, our team is dedicated to providing expert guidance to ensure a seamless and tax-efficient winter sojourn. Enjoy your stay in the Sunshine State while we take care of your tax concerns!