Posted date : May 14, 2019.
You obviously receive a lot of inquiries regarding the maximum time Canadians can stay in the U.S. I’ve read many of them, but I am still unclear on a couple of points: If you file Form 8840 but the IRS is unresponsive, do you just have to hope that they’ve accepted your claim to a closer connection? And, if you are on a relatively moderate pension, as most snowbirds are, is there any evidence that the IRS will still take much of an interest?
Ed.: Hi Kelly; I thought that you should receive a direct answer. Cast in stone is the fact that you can stay in the United States for six months in any 12-month period, if the U.S. immigration official says that it is OK when crossing the border. (Don’t say 183 days – say six months.)
The taxation officials are the ones who deal with your Form 8840 and mostly, they just don’t care. They search for people who overstay their six-month period because some of them are really U.S. residents. We are aware of several IRS taxation cases related to “supposed” Canadian snowbirds who were really U.S. residents. The tax bills involved were in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Some Canadians pretend that they are still Canadian citizens so that they can retain their Canadian medical benefits – those are some of the people whom the IRS wants to find.
As a Canadian senior on a moderate pension, and abiding by U.S. laws, I believe that you have zero risk of the IRS trying to tax you. But, if they do, make sure you keep a copy of your filed Form 8840 to fall back on and we will help you. The IRS does not send out a confirmation of receipt, but you can send it via registered mail or request an “international advice of receipt” which will prove that the form was sent and received at the Internal Revenue Service Center in Austin, Texas.