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BrianInMexico

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Posts posted by BrianInMexico

  1. You are correct.  I inadvertently used the term OAS because GIS is an income subsidy program administered within OAS by Service Canada and I should have stuck with the term GIS to avoid this confusion.  The question was about GIS and avoiding the record collection by immigration..  I repeat, Canadians legally collect OAS & CPP wherever they live and whatever their residency status.  GIS is dependent on residency in Canada of 6 months per year and those trying to skirt these GIS rules are taking a chance of being caught.

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  2. Flying directly from Canada to Mexico and vice-versa is not a problem.  The context was that people were doing this rather than transiting thru the US and leaving a US Immigration record that is shared with Canada, allowing Service Canada to compare arrival dates.  At this time, I do not believe that Canada and Mexico are sharing immigration records and this MAY allow people to collect OAS when not eligible without yet getting caught.  None of these countries has an immigration record of when you exit, only when you arrive.

  3. On 4/19/2021 at 12:39 PM, Natasha said:

    What the passport stamp CAN do is be your proof of sufficient years (or not) of Canadian residence  when you apply for OAS.  It's complicated and not going into detail here, but even tho' I was born there I had to settle for 39/40th of OAS... OR go back and live one more year in Canada. NOT!!   I'm guessing perhaps you failed to meet that same criteria that would have kicked in on the date you left Canada for Ecuador?  (Remaining in Canada and the criteria would not have applied.) The year 1972 sticks in my mind.... maybe the year they changed the formula?

    It also catches people (I know 2)   getting Canadian Medical even though they don't meet the days in the country requirements of home province. You get snagged for those costs as well.......

    There is a fair bit of questions, misinformation, and speculation in all of the above thread, but let's keep it to the facts.

    First fact, for Cdn born citizens OAS is based on the number of years, up to 40, that you were resident in Canada after the age of 18.  So anyone who is a resident until age 58 gets full OAS, no matter where you live.  Those that have less than 40 years get a proration of 1/40th per resident year.  Immigrants have different rules and are not not pertinent to this discussion.

    Second fact, GIS, Guaranteed Income Supplement, is based on family income and is a non-taxable payment designed to supplement low income seniors who are collecting OAS.  To be eligible for this payment, you MUST be resident physically in Canada for 6 months a year.  This is somewhat similar to the Provincial medical plans that require you to be physically present in the province for 5 to 6 months, depending on the province.  This eliminates you if you live in Mexico, or anywhere outside of Canada, for 6months or more in a year.  This info is clearly spelled out in the govt info regarding OAS and  the 6 months each year is NOT flexible and Canadian non-residents do not fit the definition of 6 months residency, though I am not aware of that being tested in court.

    As to administration, Service Canada in the last several years has become quite aggressive in catching GIS cheaters since the agreement was made with the US to cross-share border crossing info on Canadian and US citizens.  When you enter Canada, there is an immigration record.  When you enter the US, there is an immigration record.  When they scrub their files and find a GIS recipient who entered the US on one date and then their first return entry to Canada was more than 6 months later, they may begin an enquiry.  They then send a letter to the individual at the OAS address of record requesting them to sign an affidavit (read jail time if you lie) and your passport to back it up.  If you are found to be a cheat, you have to repay all the funds for the non-eligible years.  I know of people that were caught.  Some people attempt to fly into the Canada from Mexico or Europe without a transit stop in the US, but not sure if this will continue to work.  As a side note, I believe that at least one province is doing the same to catch Provincial Medical cheaters who used the medical system but didn't spend sufficient time in the province to be eligible, but this is not provable yet.

    This is not a Canada Customs issue but is solely a Service Canada program.

     

     

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  4. Darryl:  You have a lot of bad info here.  Equivalent to people saying that they drove 200KM an hour on the highway and didn't get a ticket, so that must be the new speed limit!  There are indeed advantages and disadvantages to both Cdn residency and Non-residency and the list for both is quite detailed.  CRA only provides general info and they really don't have full knowledge if you call the "Help" desk.  The only way to be sure is to run both scenarios and decide based on facts.  Also, do not confuse residency/non-residency issues with Provincial Medical.  The Provincial rules apply (eg 153 days in the province) even if you remain a "resident" for tax purposes.  There are also substantial penalties if you become a non-resident and do not correctly complete the "Emigration" return in the year that you officially depart.  If you want a comparison of the pros & cons of each, and your 2020 taxes completed correctly in either case, contact Brian @ Mex cell 333-451-8139.

  5. Currency relationships are not always simple but if you use the $US as a base and compare to it, you can often make some sense of the current currency situation.  One of the most important overriding factors is fear, or lack of it.  If traders are nervous, even if the USA is the cause, there is a flight to the $US.  This is because the US Treasury bill is probably the most secure and readily available instrument worldwide.  You must buy $US to buy US Treasuries and, if there are more buyers than sellers, the value (in this example the $US) goes up.  The opposite is generally true.  When everyone is complacent, the opposite generally happens, and the $US goes down because people are willing to take additional risk in other investments, causing US Treasury bills to be less attractive.  The $US has been in a gradual decline for a number of months on the expectation and belief that a vaccine would soon be available and major economies would be back to work by mid 2021.  The world right now is feeling hopefull and believe that they see the light at the end of the tunnel (no train jokes please), so the $US deteriorates against most currencies (more sellers than buyers).  This is a GROSS oversimplification of currency movement, but helps to understand the base case for $US currency fluctuation.  All major govts have had to overspend because of the pandemic, so the US's big deficit is not really causing any fear right now (apples to apples between countries).  Canada and Mexico have very similar economic drivers (oil. mining, large trade with US and Canada is somewhat more efficient than Mexico (less waste and graft0, resulting in the $Cdn on average tracking slightly better than the $MXN peso over time, but both can be occasionally skewed relative to the $US because of the high % of their economies based on oil and mining.  In 2001, the $MXN peso was 9.33 to the $US and 6.03 to the $Cdn,  Compare that to today's rates of approx 20 and 15 to understand the long term depreciation of the peso against both and the relative lockstep of the $Cdn with the $US.  Bear in mind that there have been times during this period where particular events have caused anomalies (the super-peso and $Cdn above par when oil went over $100/barrel) but the 20 year trend is likely to continue over time.

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  6. I have received notes from a number of people that got my name from friends about the problem that they are having now that some/all of the tax preparers for Canadian Income Tax have headed back north as requested by the govt.  I am not soliciting new business BUT I am indeed still doing both Canadian Tax Returns for Lakeside residents, both Canadian Residents and Canadian Non-Residents.  I also complete US Tax Returns, but I understand that there is at least one other preparer still at Lakeside, so the need may be less urgent.

    In any event, if you need your returns completed, contact Brian at bdstockman@efficientwealth.com  or  Mex cell 333-451-8139.

    Because of the risks to all of us, I am not meeting face-to-face with any clients and everything is accomplished online, securely.

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  7. Just a caution on the liability rider in the US on your Mexican policy that most people do not know about.  Your liability rider may be for only $100K and may actually specify the states where it is valid, so read it!  This is legally sufficient in southern states like TX, NM or AZ BUT you may find that the minimum required by law is higher in other states.  When I drove up north there were many states, plus Canada, that required minimum liability of more than $100K, so I had to buy a rider for $300K.  You can check state by state online that you are visiting to verify minimums in the states where you  will be visiting. 

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  8. I entered Mexico on a tourist card and got a TIP for my foreign vehicle.  The TIP clearly states the max return date of 180 days and has no info on it regarding the serial no. of my tourist card, though a copy of it had to be provided at the Banjercito to set the max return date of the car.  Nowhere on the front or back of the TIP doc does it say that you cannot travel ouside Mexico, only that the car must be returned to a border point by the max return date.  I would like to fly from GDL to Canada for a couple weeks in the middle of the period identified on the TIP.  Of course, I will need to hand in my return portion of the tourist card when I leave and get a new one when I get return.  My question is this - Is there any legal restriction, or impact on my refund, on my leaving and returning by air in the middle of the specified TIP period and then returning the car and the TIP normally at the border later, but still within the max return period??

  9. I have unfortunately also gained too experience with on demand water heaters.  One of the biggest problems is that they do not work well with a shower tap that has a pressure control valve.  This means that, if your shower has a single tap vs a dual tap (one for cold, one for hot) you are far better off with a traditional or even a hybrid on-demand boiler.  Single tap usually has a pressure control mixing valve and you just will likely never be happy. I have also found that the city water is fairly hard and the boiler and thermostat need to be cleaned every year or so to remove scale and sediment from the thermostat and boiler.  I was also told that I needed to change the thermostat and or get a bigger boiler but cleaning solved the problem.  The only plumber that I have found in Ajijic that seems to know his stuff is Jose Martinez, but even he seems stumped sometimes by these on demand heaters and he is expensive.  Lots of suggestion but really no more maybe "this" will fix it!!!

  10. I drove down to Chapala last Oct and the Hwy from Nogales to Navajoa was a complete mess.  Almost all the way, the 4 lane was closed on one half side leaving only a 2 lane, 2 direction road with no shoulders.  Very dangerous and irritating.  Was so bad, that they didn't even collect tolls!!  Has anyone used this route in the last few weeks and can give me an update on current situation?  I am driving down again at end of Jan and have to decide whether this route or taking a longer alternative route.  Don't need route instructions, just current conditions of Hwy 15/15D from the border.  Thanks in advance.

     

  11. Soleil:   I travel 650-700 Miles per average day, so Laredo route  to Ajijic means and extra half day for me over the Nogales route.  At 350-400 miles per day, it will likely add a full day for you unless you do 2 days in US at 500 miles per day.  Your choices seem to be Nogales route to Ajijic = 1 short day US plus 3 avrg days Mexico VS Laredo route to Ajijic = 2 long days US + 2 avrg days Mexico (cross at Columbia Bridge and stay at Matehuala).  Note that the road from Nogales to Navajoa is NOT just under construction here and there, it is a mess all the way.  Crossing at El Paso is a third option, but I have no experience on this route because I will NOT travel thru Juarez even after all these years living & travelling thru Mexico.  Have a nice trip.  I am leaving tomorrow via Laredo/Columbia and will apy the extra 1/2 day in the car rather than take such a dangerous road as when I came down last week.  Obviously I don't mind driving if I drive 3,200 miles each way for a 9 day visit!!

  12. Just drove down from British Columbia last week thru Nogales, AZ.  I make the trip from Nogales to Chapala in 2 days with an overnight stop in Los Mochis.  The Carretera and Autopista (15D) was completely ripped up throughout all of Sonora and most of Sinaloa.  15D was one lane in each direction on one side of the highway, with the other side (2 lanes) closed for maintenance/rebuilding, and switching from one pair to the other pair of lanes every few kilometers.  Strongly recommend that you choose a different route.  Construction appears like it will continue for months or even years!!  NOT safe, and if one accident along the way, highway will likely get closed until wreckage is cleared because not even a shoulder, paved or otherwise, to drive on!!  Will be going back the long way thru Laredo.

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  13. I would strongly recommend Dr. Ricardo Acosta at Puerta de Hierro 333-848-4040.  He specializes only in cataracts and lasik, rather than any eye treatment that you will pay for, as is common practice at Lakeside.  Suggest that you get a couple of estimates as well to avoid lakeside gringo price gouging.

  14. I think some people are missing the point of my reply,  The issue is whether you are a Canadian "resident" or a "non-resident".  A Non-Resident can indeed drive their Mexican plated car into Canada with absolutely NO problem.  As long as you say that your permanent home is in Mexico, you will get through.  They can ask strange questions (eg. proof) but normally just take you at your word.  However, a Canadian resident cannot legally bring a Mexican plated car into Canada without importing it, and this is no longer easy.  Rules for US plated cars (or any car that was ever US plated, even if converted to Mexican plate) are completely different and their is no problem taking them into Canada (even rentals) no matter what your residency status.  Also, I was told by the Transport Canada official (they ARE the officials in this regard) that the Mexican plated vehicle (2014 Honda) would require major mods to pass the import test and once modified would not likely pass anyways, thereby making importing it a no-go. 

  15. I have recently been discussing with Transport Canada and Border staff the issue of importing a Mexican plated vehicle into Canada.

    First, if you are a Resident of Canada, you CANNOT bring your car into Canada on a temporary basis but must import it through the proper process.

    Second, no car purchased in Mexico will meet the necessary requirements for importation unless you specifically had the dealer provide a vehicle that is compliant with Canadian specifications, and this request is very unusual, to say the least.

    So, the answer is simple:  If you are a Canadian Resident you cannot legally take your Mexican car across the border into Canada!!  Non-residents, however have absolutely no difficulty to bring the vehicle into Canada temporarily, with no paperwork required.

    Having said that, when asked at entry "where do you live", people do lie/misdirect at customs locations when entering Canada and say that they live in Mexico (implying non-resident) and may even flash their Mexican Perm Res card as "proof".  You, as a "non-resident", are then allowed to bring their vehicles into Canada and I am not sure that there is any way for the Customs official to actually check the status.  I am very much not suggesting that you lie,  but you need to understand the rules.  If they follow up with the actual "are you a non-resident" question, you may be in a real pickle for your previous answer.

    If you say you are a Canadian Resident, no matter how long you have been out of the country, your vehicle is denied entry.

    Not sure if you are always asked about "where you live", but they are not used to seeing any foreign cars other than US, so expect them to ask.

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  16. The wording in this article is unnecessarily inflammatory, possibly to get you to come to the "Info Session" and sign up.  This is also NOT new news and has been going on for years.  Not all brokerage companies take this attitude of dropping low balance, non-resident, clients because they don't want the hassle of Govt reporting when they already have relatively small margins of profits on these few clients.  Other brokers, such as TD Ameritrade, are happy to take you as a client with no hassle even if you have a Mexican address and no US (eg. Laredo or family) mailing address.

    I have helped 2 people set up accts with TD Ameritrade in the last 3 weeks.  I also have a client who has just this month changed his address from US to Mexico and therefore changed his Schwab acct from US to International.  There may be other brokerage houses that also are happy to have Mexican resident US persons as their clients but I have not researched it because I have been extremely happy with TD Ameritrade. 

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