Bird Talk / Dollars & Sense


Bird talk - Le Jaseur
 



IRS Form 8840
Posted date : Jun 14, 2017.
We have filed 8840 forms for a number of years now, having no U.S. income to declare. In Dec. 2016, my lucky wife won a jackpot in a Nevada casino and, of course, they withheld 30%.   Read more...

Home Telephone Service – Canada & U.S.
Posted date : Mar 14, 2017.
From time to time, I see articles in Bird Talk regarding questions on telephone services between Canada & U.S. Prior to departing Canada in 2016, I signed up with a company called Comwave which was advertising a six-month promotional deal for unlimited Canada & U.S.   Read more...

Receipts for Dances?
Posted date : Dec 12, 2016.
Our mobile park dance committee would like to charge $10 admission for our dances. Someone mentioned that receipts had to be given to the Canadians if they were to charge $10. I would like to know what kind of receipts should be given, or if it is even necessary to give any kind of receipts.   Read more...

Tax/Capital Gains/Death in Family
Posted date : Dec 12, 2016.
Our mom passed away and dad’s been gone for 13 years. Mom did change the deed of her duplex in Florida into her three children's names and removed her name from the deed three years ago.   Read more...

Rental Income
Posted date : Dec 12, 2016.
If you rent out your home in Florida and your rental income is less than your costs to maintain your home, do you pay tax on this income in the U.S.   Read more...

Form 8840
Posted date : Jul 20, 2016.
Would it be possible to file Form 8840 only after the IRS has noticed that you have gone above the 183-day threshold?   Read more...

Form 8840 Deadline
Posted date : Jul 20, 2016.
Wondering if someone could confirm the due date necessary to file a Form 8840.   Read more...

Four-month Stay in the U.S.
Posted date : Jul 20, 2016.
Any further information about a rumour that Canadians who have property in the U.S. and stay for longer than four months in a calendar year are deemed to pay income tax, the same as an American citizen would?   Read more...

Canadian Credit cards in U.S. restaurants
Posted date : Jul 15, 2016.
This does not occur in Canada, as we have chip/pin identification on our credit cards and we enter the tip amounts ourselves, usually on hand-held devices...just thought I should share this information with your readers.   Read more...

What does Revenue Canada accept as an allowable expense?
Posted date : Sep 29, 2015.
I have been told that I can claim my out-of-country medical insurance premium as a medical expense when I file my Canadian income tax. However, when I talked to Revenue Canada, they told me the premium is only an allowable expense if it covers exclusively what would be normal medical expenses.   Read more...

Trial and error with cellular phone plans
Posted date : Sep 29, 2015.
I see there has been a lot of discussion about many different cellular plans, and I thought I might weigh in a little with my personal experiences. I have a secondary property in Las Vegas and travel there occasionally throughout the year.   Read more...

Cost-effectiveness of removing driving coverages
Posted date : Jun 16, 2015.
This may be old hat to experienced snowbirds, but it was news to us. We are newbie snowbirds planning to spend February through April in South Carolina.   Read more...

Cost of heating a pool with propane
Posted date : Jun 16, 2015.
Snowbirds who are looking at renting a house in Florida that uses propane for heating a pool should be very careful.   Read more...

Canadian homeowners in Florida having to pay more
Posted date : Jun 16, 2015.
The statements made in the Government Relations report of Issue 93 of CSANews are misleading. I quote the following from the Saint Lucie County Property Appraisers' website:   Read more...

Capital Gains Tax and manufactured homes
Posted date : Jun 16, 2015.
I believe that a manufactured home is classified as personal property, not real property. Does the capital gains tax apply to manufactured homes?   Read more...

Having a power of attorney in Arizona
Posted date : Jan 09, 2015.
I have powers of attorney for both my estate and personal care written in Ontario by a lawyer. Should I have a power of attorney certified in Arizona as well?   Read more...

Estate tax and wills in the U.S.
Posted date : Jan 09, 2015.
My wife and I own a home in Arizona. Can you give guidance concerning the estate tax?   Read more...

Paying taxes when selling home in the U.S.
Posted date : Jan 09, 2015.
We are Canadian with a vacation home in Arizona. Our AZ builder offers a trade-in program, so we are using this and building a larger home.   Read more...

Is this considered “working” in the U.S.?
Posted date : Jan 09, 2015.
My question is about defining working in the U.S. I could ask at the border, but I'm afraid that asking will bring attention to my situation with potential negative fallout.   Read more...

Document your requests to any large company
Posted date : Jan 09, 2015.
I think it important to warn other snowbirds about my unfortunate experience with Bell Canada.   Read more...

Watch the expiration dates of your cards !
Posted date : Oct 14, 2014.
According to the bank, a new replacement card had been mailed to our home. To authorize it, we had a choice of either phoning the bank's 1-800 authorization number from our home telephone number of record...   Read more...

Banking in the United States
Posted date : Oct 14, 2014.
Is it necessary to set up a bank account in the U.S.   Read more...

Repercussions from not filing the 8840 form
Posted date : Aug 06, 2014.
Will there be any repercussions from the previous years when we did not fill out this form?   Read more...

Claim your insurance premium on your income tax
Posted date : Aug 06, 2014.
I have paid premiums for three years now and didn't realize that we could claim them. Also, can I claim out-of-pocket medical expenses for dentist bills which we incurred while in Florida?   Read more...

Form 8840 question
Posted date : Aug 06, 2014.
When we fill in the 8840 form, what risks do we run with the IRS by saying that we have a "closer association" with the U.S. because our only personally owned home is in Nevada?   Read more...

Newspaper Bills
Posted date : May 12, 2014.
I checked my Star bill for the last two months and, sure enough, they charged me for the paper during my vacation stop.   Read more...

Registry of Arizona Contractors
Posted date : May 12, 2014.
So we have no recourse for delinquent, licensed trades, even though we pay higher taxes and spend a lot of money here in good times and bad. Buyer beware!   Read more...

IRS Tax Form 8840
Posted date : May 12, 2014.
Do we have to fill out the 8840 for 2013?   Read more...

Preferred US Bank?
Posted date : May 12, 2014.
Is there a U.S. bank that is a better choice for Canadians?   Read more...

Toronto Star doesn’t allow an account credit for time away
Posted date : Jan 07, 2014.
Dear Bird Talk, Please advise all our members of a very dishonest policy the Toronto Star has installed without any notice to their readers. No credit will be permitted to your account when you leave for your annual trip (meaning, do not pay in advance or better still, CANCEL prior to new billing that would cover your time away).   Read more...

Making speeches or leading a workshop: is this considered working in the U.S.?
Posted date : Jan 07, 2014.
Dear Bird Talk, In your always informative Editor’s notes in the Summer 2013 issue, you mentioned that snowbird visitors are not allowed to work in the U.S. Is this different than for any other Canadian?   Read more...

Selling Mobile Homes in the US
Posted date : Oct 10, 2013.
We recently bought a manufactured home in Florida. We have heard that if we sell this unit down the road, we will be taxed by the U.S. government. There are many different opinions on this. Can you advise us of the drawbacks of a Canadian selling mobile homes in Florida?   Read more...

8840 Form - Advice of Receipt Registered International
Posted date : Oct 10, 2013.
I receive acknowledgement for my annual filings (of Form 8840) by making sure my filing is done with an AR “Advice of Receipt Registered International”...   Read more...

Get an IRS-ITIN Number
Posted date : Jul 29, 2013.
Per page 37 from Border Guide, and confirmed by Regional Consultant, Investigative Services, Belleville, Ont., it is illegal for Canadians to give their SIN # to any U.S. entity. But get an IRS-ITIN # to use when you have to pay tax or do banking in the U.S. Go to a U.S. library or go online to get a W-7 form and complete it to get this IRS-ITIN #.   Read more...

Do not use your SIN as identification in the United States
Posted date : Jul 29, 2013.
I always enjoy the articles and timely tips, but must admit that one article in the recent Bird Talk section raised huge red flags. I refer specifically to the one from V.C. in Lloydminster, AB, where he suggested how to adapt your SIN to facilitate a U.S. credit card application.   Read more...

USD Credit Card
Posted date : May 01, 2013.
I have read with interest your previous exchanges on the difficulty of obtaining a U.S. $ bank credit card. Last summer, the solution seemed to be to get a U.S. tax ID number. That option won't work anymore, as the IRS will not issue one unless you will be filing a U.S. Tax Return.   Read more...

8840 Form Calculations
Posted date : Jan 10, 2013.
When calculating days spent in the U.S. on the form 8840, if a person returns to Canada for two weeks at Christmastime and then returns to the U.S., or if a person is going on a cruise for two weeks on the Panama Canal while they are staying in the U.S., are these days used as part of the total days' calculation on the 8840 form?   Read more...

Issues in trying to acquire U.S. credit cards at major shopping stores.
Posted date : Jul 05, 2012.
As snowbirds, we have a home in an adult community in henderson, Nevada and this is what has worked for me when applying for a card with Macy’s, dillards, Kohls, etc. Once you have their card, you will enjoy better discounts....   Read more...

Cheques issued on Canadian banks will be subject to a handling fee
Posted date : May 05, 2012.
Effective January 1, 2012, all cheques issued on Canadian banks will be subject to a handling fee of $20   Read more...

Unable to complete an application to get a Wal-Mart credit card
Posted date : May 05, 2012.
I have been unable to complete an application to get a Wal-Mart credit card because the computer insists on a Social Security Number and, of course, I only have a Canadian social insurance number. two weeks of trying to find some way around the computer and talking to senior staff at the local store have been useless...   Read more...

Credit Card Fees
Posted date : Sep 02, 2011.
Dear Bird Talk, Today, I spoke to a different person at Belk customer service regarding the bill with penalties which I received. This person agreed to drop $30.00 in penalties bringing my bill down to $42.00.   Read more...

Social Security Numbers and US Credit Cards
Posted date : Jul 20, 2010.
Dear Bird Talk, Like many snowbirds, I often get asked for my social security number (SSN) for financial purposes, such as applying for credit cards.   Read more...

Form 8840
Posted date : May 27, 2010.
Dear Bird Talk, Re: Form 8840 Is this form mandatory or a nice-to-do thing?   Read more...

Cross Border Car Purchasing
Posted date : May 27, 2010.
Since I have a condo in Florida, I wonder if I can buy a car there and use it in Canada as my normal car, without having to make any transfer. This means that I would have to immatriculate my car in Florida and get insurance there. Would that be correct for the Canadian authorities? If it's possible, that would be great because the price of used cars in the U.S. is a whole lot cheaper than in Canada.   Read more...

Credit Card ZIP Code Tip
Posted date : May 27, 2010.
Like many other people, I had the problem of not being able to use my credit card at the gas pumps in Florida because I did not have a U.S. zip code to punch into the pump. My solution was to phone MasterCard and temporarily change my billing address to my U.S. address...   Read more...

Banking Fees
Posted date : Sep 22, 2009.
Dear Bird Talk, I have run into banking fees regarding U.S.$ deposits from Canadian banks.   Read more...

Credit Cards in the US - and the real solution is...ATMs?!
Posted date : Jul 21, 2009.
Dear Bird Talk, I would like to warn CSA members about using ATMs in the USA, based on my personal experience.   Read more...

Using Credit Cards in the US - and even more...
Posted date : Jul 21, 2009.
Dear Bird Talk, We use a credit card – an American $ Visa this year, to avoid paying exchange every time we buy something – and you can punch in the three digits from your actual postal code followed by two zeros. We assume any five digits would work as well.   Read more...

Using Credit Cards in the US - and more...
Posted date : Jul 21, 2009.
Dear Bird Talk, I contacted both MasterCard and American Express (the cards I use); they entered my American address with the zip code on the cards and the problem was solved.   Read more...

Using Credit Cards in the US - more...
Posted date : Jul 21, 2009.
Dear Bird Talk, Here is another suggestion. We obtained a Discover credit card in Florida using our winter address, which was completely acceptable. Discover is good in the U.S. only, as far as we know. If you have a U.S. winter address, then you have a zip code and we use it when buying gas.   Read more...

Using Credit Cards in the US
Posted date : Jul 21, 2009.
Dear Bird Talk, I just read in the spring magazine about the problems experienced in Nevada, Arizona and California when using a credit card at service station pumps. We, too, ran into similar problems this past winter season all along the I-75 and throughout Florida.   Read more...

Banking Overdraft Fees in the U.S.
Posted date : Apr 30, 2009.
Dear Bird Talk, Recently, I decided to remove the money I had remaining in my U.S. Royal Bank chequing account because I was returning to Canada within two weeks and I thought I would take the cash and just spend whatever money I had.   Read more...

Driving Trips in California, Nevada, Arizona
Posted date : Apr 30, 2009.
Dear Bird Talk, Just a word of caution to those of us who travel to Nevada, Arizona and California and use Shell, Chevron, Valero or Diamond Shamrock service stations. If you use a Visa or MasterCard, these cards are not accepted at their gas pumps without a U.S. zip code. These pumps are programmed to accept credit cards using a U.S. zip code only.   Read more...

Homestead Tax Exemption
Posted date : Apr 30, 2009.
Dear Bird Talk, I am a Florida homeowner. Are Canadians eligible to apply for a Homestead Tax Exemption ($25,000) on their property taxes in Florida?   Read more...

Changes Necessary to RRIF Payments for 2008
Posted date : Apr 30, 2009.
Dear Bird Talk, I have been asked by several senior friends as an original CSA member to write to you of our concern regarding what is happening to our savings in this period of economic downturn, in particular as it applies to our RRIFs and the amounts we must withdraw.   Read more...

Frequent Flyer Credit Card
Posted date : Dec 23, 2008.
Dear Bird Talk, Re: your info in CSANews, would you please tell me how to obtain a frequent flyer credit card.   Read more...

Air Conditioning Costs
Posted date : Sep 19, 2008.
Dear Bird Talk, I am paying almost $200 a month hydro for my 1,400 sq. ft in Lakeland; the only thing running is the AC, set at 85.   Read more...

British Pensioners
Posted date : May 24, 2008.
Hello Bird Talk! One of your members has suggested that many other "snowbirds" would be extremely interested to learn about a pension that is available to most people who worked in the U.K. at some point in their lives. I am attaching a brief info piece for possible reprint in your excellent magazine, CSANews, and would be pleased to supply additional information upon request.   Read more...

Right of Survivorship
Posted date : May 22, 2008.
Dear Bird Talk, Perhaps you think that when a couple has a joint bank account with right of survivorship that no changes will be made after the death of one partner. When my husband passed away, I found out that this is not so with our account at the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.   Read more...

Property Taxes
Posted date : Oct 17, 2007.
Dear Bird Talk, I have just read Peter Benedek's column and, being a property-owning snowbird who keeps up to date with such issues, I am well aware of this matter. It is sad indeed.   Read more...

Florida Homesteaders Exemption
Posted date : Jun 06, 2007.
Dear Bird Talk: I’m one of the many snowbirds that own a small one-bedroom condo (600 sq. ft.) in Pinellas County, Treasure Island Florida. In the year 2005 our taxes were increased by a staggering 142 % or $1622.12.   Read more...

Money Transfer Issue in the US
Posted date : Jun 01, 2007.
Dear Bird Talk, Please check the following information and alert our fellow Snowbirds of the following problems. I have been trying to transfer money from my Canadian bank U.S. Dollar account into my account in the Chase Bank in Arizona.   Read more...

Currency Exchange and Transfer
Posted date : May 28, 2007.
Dear Bird Talk, I am writing with respect to the Bird Talk on p. 7 of the latest CSANews Spring 2006, Issue 58, about a cash in dispute with an American bank.   Read more...

Foreign Bank Drafts
Posted date : May 28, 2007.
Dear Bird Talk, Re: Mr. Gardner's Experience with Bankof America I was very surprised to read Mr. Gardner's letter in the recent issue, since we banked with B of A in Florida and now in Rancho Mirage, California.   Read more...

Keep Your Receipts
Posted date : May 28, 2007.
Dear Bird Talk, In February, a friend drove me to Orlando and then flew down to drive me home at the end of the month. I booked our accommodations at Best Western using my credit card, but paid in cash when we arrived at the motel.   Read more...

Warning! Unjust Bank Charges
Posted date : May 27, 2007.
Dear Sirs: I recently had a disturbing banking experience with Bank of America in Fort Myers, Florida.   Read more...

Travellers' Cheques
Posted date : May 27, 2007.
Dear Bird Talk: I wonder how many Snowbirds who have bank accounts in Florida realize that the tellers are NOT responsible for cheques??? I have a receipt for $400 deposited on December 7, 2005 in the form of 4 x $50, 10 x $20 and am in dispute with the bank regarding the amount of the deposit.   Read more...

Sign Your Cheques
Posted date : May 25, 2007.
Dear Bird Talk, The mail is in so I am now reading everything, cover to cover, with great interest in the CSANews Fall Issue 56. Donna Wilson's tip and story on the top of page 9 really did catch my eye regarding the blank cheque being cashed with no signature on it.   Read more...

Part-time Employment in the US
Posted date : May 25, 2007.
Dear Bird Talk, Here are some facts about my current circumstance. I am the president of our co-op condo association. I have also volunteered to hold the position of secretary treasurer on a temporary basis since the past Treasurer resigned in 2003.   Read more...

Blank Cheques
Posted date : May 23, 2007.
Dear Bird Talk, I have just finished reading your CSANews summer 2005 issue. I enjoy reading all issues. In regards to "Tips to avoid identity theft", I would like to share with you an experience I had.   Read more...

US Social Security Number
Posted date : May 15, 2007.
Dear Bird Talk, Our friends got a U.S. Social Security number. When I asked them what the advantages of having a U.S. number were, they simply said they thought it was a good idea.   Read more...

Foreign Investment in Real Property
Posted date : May 05, 2007.
Dear Bird Talk, In your last publication you published an article entitled "Changes in Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act" and stated that if a Canadian citizen is selling U.S. property over $300,000 U.S. they must get an ITIN from the IRS.   Read more...

Tax Breaks
Posted date : May 02, 2007.
Dear Bird Talk, I read your article about Ontario leading the way for TAX BREAKS FOR SENIORS.   Read more...

Snowbird Rule: Trading Stocks from the US
Posted date : Apr 15, 2007.
Dear Bird Talk, I'm finding out much to my chagrin, that it is illegal for Value Line, an arm of the RBC and with whom I have my portfolio, to allow me to trade whilst I am in Florida, which is for six months.   Read more...

Fraud Safety Precaution
Posted date : Apr 05, 2007.
Dear Bird Talk, A SAFETY PRECAUTION Place the contents of your wallet on a photocopy machine, do both sides of each licence, credit card, etc.   Read more...

10% Withholding Tax on Property Sales
Posted date : Mar 07, 2007.
Dear Bird Talk; In reference to the letter from R.A. Jobber in Issue 35, we have been through this procedure, so we would like to offer the following information:   Read more...

8840 Form
Posted date : Mar 05, 2007.
Dear Birdtalk, In our Park in Mesa, Arizona, there are several Canadians who do not complete form 8840, the "Closer Connection Exception Statement for Aliens" form.   Read more...

Selling Property in the US
Posted date : Mar 05, 2007.
Dear Birdtalk, Do you have information regarding taxes (both U.S. & Canadian) when a Canadian sells a condo in Florida?   Read more...

68 Cents US
Posted date : Mar 04, 2007.
Dear Bird Talk, Dave Hunter says the Canadian dollar is valued between 65 and 68 cents U.S. - that surely is the value we see on TV.   Read more...

Money Orders
Posted date : Mar 03, 2007.
Dear Bird Talk, I also had the same problems as Kenneth Ramsay. A teller in St. Pete's, Florida told me, a Canadian money order could bounce like a cheque.   Read more...