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Taxes can be complex and most people don't want to deal with them. But unlike some tax pros that try to imply that you need a super-computer to prepare your return correctly, many people have straightforward returns that can easily be prepared yourself using a free or affordable tax software program.
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The new administration in the U.S. may be talking about changes to the tax system and rates but none will be made in time to affect 2016 tax returns. For the estimated one million U.S. citizens living in Canada who may be required to file a U.S. tax return, there are a few changes that could have an impact when they send their paperwork to the IRS.
Unlike the Canadian tax system, the U.S. system is based on both citizenship and residency. It means that even if they leave the country to live elsewhere, U.S. citizens may have tax filing obligations with the IRS. In many cases, U.S. citizens didn't realize they needed to file tax returns after they left the country.
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For U.S. citizens and green card holders living outside of the United States, the deadline for filing their U.S. taxes or requesting an extension was June 15. But like most things related to U.S. taxes, it is not that simple. There are additional filing requirements related to foreign assets and financial accounts that also need to be considered.
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Children globally have remained the most vulnerable population and even though we have learned trauma will continue to happen, and happen again in various forms when it is not acknowledged or treated, we keep exposing kids to physical, mental, emotional and sexual violence.
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The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has rules for tax preparers and which ones can contact them on behalf of a client. It means if you want your tax preparer to handle anything with the IRS on your behalf, they need to have specific qualifications.
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While Ted Cruz may be doing everything to prove he is a "natural born" U.S. citizen despite being born in Calgary, his situation underlines how figuring out U.S. citizenship for tax purposes is not as simple as it seems. You can be born in another country, never set foot in the U.S. and still be considered a U.S. citizen.
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If you are a U.S. citizen living in Canada or you are a Canadian with U.S. tax filing obligations, make sure you understand how your TFSA and RESP will be impacted. You may want to look at different investments to help minimize your U.S. tax reporting requirements.
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If you need to file U.S. taxes, the time to ignore your filing obligations seems to be rapidly coming to an end. After much debate and a court case to try and stop it, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) came into effect in 2015 and the first information share between the Canada Revenue Agency and the IRS happened in September.
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Unlike Canada, the U.S. does not let you have lottery or gambling wins tax-free. So whether you are playing fantasy sports sites based in the U.S., gambling in Vegas or playing a U.S. lottery, you can expect the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to be interested in your winnings.
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Last week, Canadian government plans for keeping better track of people coming and going from the U.S. were revealed. The driving purpose for the increased scrutiny will save the government millions of dollars in social benefits on those who shouldn't receive them because they are out of the country.
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As expected, the court challenge to the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) by two Canadians failed to stop the flow of information between the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) happening in the last half of September. Lawyers for the Canadians argued that the agreement was an unlawful use of the tax treaty and a violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedom and was unconstitutional but a Federal Court judge disagreed.
Under the FATCA rules, financial institutions are obligated to provide the IRS with information about accounts and holdings of U.S. citizens. Basically, the IRS is trying to make sure you are not hiding money overseas though Canada is hardly a tax haven. But there is more to this overreaching legislation that just tracking down deadbeat U.S. citizens.
As a Canadian living in the United States (legally -- I'm a permanent resident), Americans routinely ask me when I'm going to become a U.S. citizen. It's always interesting to watch their reactions when I tell them "no thank you." The simple answer is that don't want to run afoul of that greedy monster, the IRS.