Part-time Employment in the US

Winter 2005 CSANews Issue 57  |  Posted date : May 25, 2007.Back to list

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. We the Board of Directors as of this date have not been able to fill this position from the owners of this 29 unit complex.

It was a past practice that the treasurer was paid $50 monthly for this service, which we have continued to pay. No other member of the board receives any kind of remuneration in our not for profit corporation.

I was just recently informed by one of the owners that this was improper conduct and illegal. The reason given is, that I am not a US citizen or a permanent resident, and am therefore breaking current US laws.

I always understood that this position was not considered employment and under article XV paragraph 2(a) of the Canada US tax treaty is legal, as long as the amount does not exceed $3,100.

Are you able to help and inform me of what my legal position is? I will appreciate it very much to receive a reply.

Sincerely, Heinz Herbertz Utterson, ON.

Response:
The tax treaty provisions re the taxation of funds received from employment presupposes that the employment is legal. This is where a problem arises.

Mr. Herbertz is in the United States as a visitor, and has presumably entered under a verbal visa. One of the conditions of being granted this "visitor visa" is that a person is not allowed to work. In order to perform any work he would have to have a visa which permitted work, or he would require an "employment authorization" from immigration. He is not in a position to obtain such an authorization.

What he is proposing to do, as treasurer, is considered "work" if he receives any remuneration. The owner who informed him that his proposal was improper conduct and illegal was unfortunately correct.