Featuring the letters &
concerns of our members
SEND YOUR LETTERS TO
Bird Talk, c/o CSANews
180 Lesmill Road
Toronto, Ontario M3B 2T5
or by e-mail:email@example.com
Dear Bird Talk,
Confused; friends go out of country for
just under six months each and every year.
How is this possible with calculating back
two years prior. Is there something I am not
understanding, as a lot of people I know do
five to six months every year.
Port Colborne, ON
Ed.: Your friends are allowed to visit the U.S.
for six months, every year, as indicated in the
above answer. Your confusion is mixing up the
U.S. tax man and the U.S. immigration man.
If you regularly go for three months or longer,
I recommend that you file a Form 8840 with
the IRS (the tax man). This will tell the IRS that
you have a closer connection to Canada and
are taxed in Canada. Also, to avoid additional
confusion, the IRS works on a calendar year for
tax purposes. The Form 8840 is available from
the CSA on their website atwww.snowbirds.org .
Dear Bird Talk,
I have faithfully submittedmy IRS 8840 Form
for quite a few years now.
My question is, can I stay past the 182-day
limit by filling out the form? Or am I not
protected by the friendly country alliance
after the 182 days is up?
Ed.: Congratulations on regularly completing
the Form 8840 for the Internal Revenue Ser-
vice known as the IRS (the tax man). This will
very likely prevent you from being taxed in the
United States on your worldwide income. If you
stay in the U.S. for longer than the six-month
period allowed in any calendar year, the IRS
will consider you to be a resident, and tax you.
They will tax you on what you earn in Canada
AND anywhere else, for that matter. The rare
exception is when you have received special
permission to extend your stay beyond six
months, in writing, and this is rarely granted.
Now, to answer your question. Filling out the
Form 8840 has nothing to do with your length of
stay – it has to do with taxes. The U.S. Customs
and Border Protection Agency, which forms
part of the Department of Homeland Security,
monitors and enforces your length of stay. If you
stay for longer than six months in any 12-month
period, you are breaking the law in the U.S. and
are violating the verbal visa which you received
when entering the U.S. This is not a good idea!!
Being barred from the U.S. for five to 10 years
is a common punishment.
Dear Bird Talk,
We simply forgot to file our Form 8840 in
June and filed in November – are there any
Ed.: I believe that, as long as you filed the form,
you will be fine. This is not something which you
should worry about.
Dear Bird Talk,
As a result of a recent medical trauma, I
have discovered a disturbing aspect of the
use of top-up insurance. In the event of a
medical incident occurring late on the last
day of primary insurance, it will probably
not be covered by the primary insurer if
treatment is not sought until the next day.
On the other hand, Medipac insurance will
not cover the incident based upon the fact
that it occurred before midnight on the last
day prior to the top-up period. In my case,
the situation was resolved favourably as it was
minor and actually occurred after midnight,
but I would like to hear your comments on
this issue. What would happen, for example,
in the event of a major automobile accident
that occurred at 11:30 p.m.
Ed.: A great question! So let’s read the Medipac
“This policy covers Reasonable and Customary
Charges incurred by You outside Your province or
territory of principal residence; that result from a
Medical Emergency occurring during the period
of coverage (as explained below); and that You
incur for Medically Necessary Medical Treatment.
Your insurance begins at 12:01 a.m. on Your
Effective Date of Insurance and ends on the
earlier of: (a) 11:59 p.m. on the scheduled return
date set out in Your Application for insurance; (b)
the date You return to Canada for any medical
reason. Once treatment ends You may apply to
Medipac Assist to have Your policy reinstated.”
This clearly states that the medical emergency
must “occur” during your policy coverage period
for expenses to qualify. So, in your example, the
accident at 11:30 p.m. would be the responsibil-
ity of the primary insurer. If your primary insurer
refuses coverage in this situation, Medipac
would undoubtedly pay your claim and seek
restitution from the offenders. This has actually
happened to Medipac several times and is very
unfair to policyholders; the insurers do always
pay us back…eventually.
Just as an aside.What happens at exactly 12:00
midnight? Since most policies are written in this
manner, I would suggest that the bills be split
evenly between the two insurers.