Planning on trading the pollution, overcrowding and humidity of Hong Kong for a slice of the Canadian lifestyle? Great weather, food, and scenery - shame about the taxes. Those with assets of more than a million Canadian dollars (HK$5.3 million) are, however, opting for offshore trusts to combat the tax dilemma, according to the Royal Bank of Canada Trust Co's Ivy Suen. Ms Suen, executive director of business development (North Asia) at the bank, dubs the five-year pre- immigration trust the perfect tax- planning vehicle for people migrating to Canada. The trust is funded by a non-resident of Canada prior to his or her arrival, and is effectively an offshore trust. 'Once you become a Canadian resident, you're subject to worldwide tax. No matter where the money is, once you become a resident, you have to report all your worldwide income,' she said. Even if your money remains in a Hong Kong bank account, the interest generated will be subject to Canadian tax if you have resident status. The rate in Canada can be as high as 51 per cent, depending where exactly in the country you decide to live. A trust will capitalise all accumulated income investment for five years - in which time it will be exempt from Canadian taxes. The trust only needs to be set up a few months in advance of your departure, and it only starts counting from the day you land in Canada. All your liquid assets, investment portfolio, deposits and cash and property can be included in the trust, although Ms Suen advises clients to use assets they will not be needing for the next five years. Once the assets go into the trust, you cannot access them until it is terminated. Clients should confer with a tax lawyer before taking the trust plunge, then have the trust deed drafted. This can be quite specific - catering for individuals and families. The tax lawyer and bank will propose a few jurisdictions to the client where the trust could be situated. She suggests that clients might want to consider the time difference of the jurisdiction, i.e., which would be most convenient for the individual. Once the trust deed has been discussed with the client, they will have to make sure it fits into the law of the jurisdiction.