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Reporting ACBs on Foreign Currency *Cash* Transactions


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Hello World!

I have found lots of information on how to report gains and losses on foreign stocks, bonds, CDs, GICs, property, and other assets where it is easy to determine the ACB (adjusted cost basis). 

However, nowhere can I find information on how to determine a gain/loss on currency conversion from a active cash account. 

For example, I have had an money market account with a US bank for over ten years. I have deposited money in US dollars many times.

This year, I transferred a lot of money in one transaction to use as a downpayment on a home. It's too large to ignore. I must report it. But what is the adjusted cost basis on money that has been in an account with a constantly fluctuating balance?

One accountant privately told me to just use the previous year's average exchange rate as an ACB. However, that sounds suspicious.

Can someone help me?

Thank you.

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Hello Inspace000,

Report your net gain or loss in Canadian dollars. Use the exchange rate that was in effect on the day of the transaction. If there were transactions at various times throughout the year, you can use the Exchange Rates or Annual Average Exchange Rates (1997 to 2018).




BoC Annual Exchange Rates:



FYI - Foreign exchange gains or losses from capital transactions of foreign currencies (that is, money) are considered to be capital gains or losses. However, you only have to report the amount of your net gain or loss for the year that is more than $200. If the net amount is $200 or less, there is no capital gain or loss and you do not have to report it on your income tax and benefit return.

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Hello Geo123, and thank you for the reply! However, I don't know what to put down as an adjusted cost basis. For example, if I transferred $10K US to Canadian throughout the 2021 year from an account I've had for many years, how do I calculate the gain or loss? Is it were a GIC or CD, I would use the date that I bought the GIC/CD as the ACB. However, how do I report the original value of 10,000 that comes from an account with a fluctuating balance for many years?

Does that make sense? Thank you again.

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Hello Inspace000,

Please clarify, typically a CD/GIC is interest bearing with no adjusted cost base and therefore no Capital Gains.  Your bank should issue appropriate statements / tax slips reporting this interest, where you can then apply the appropriate FX rate (as mentioned above).

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Hello and thank you for your replies!

GEO123: I am sorry if my post was confusing. I am not referring to liquidating a GIC or CD, but cash from an interesting-bearing account I've had for over ten years. I withdrew a large amount of cash for a downpayment on a Condo in Canada. The account has been open for about 10 years although most of the money in it was deposited in 2017. 

Curmudgeon:  I withdrew it when the exchange rate was pretty low this year (the trough in June). It's actually about the same or a bit less than when I deposited the largest amount in 2017, thus it seems illogical that I would have to pay gains.

I'm completely confused. 

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