profile image

Cleo Hamel

Tax Expert

Cleo Hamel brings a wealth of financial and tax experience to her role as a Senior Tax Specialist with American Expat Tax Services. Specializing in U.S. and Canadian tax preparation, Cleo has more than 15 years of tax expertise.

As the national spokesperson for American Expat Tax Services, Cleo enjoys the opportunity to provide straightforward information about taxes to help people living, working or playing on either side of the U.S.-Canada border.

Prior to joining American Expat Tax Services, Cleo worked with the largest tax preparation firm in the country and was an independent financial advisor with a broker’s license in the Calgary area. She attended the University of Calgary and studied French, Italian and Spanish with a minor in Business and is fluent in French and Italian. She continued her education with Mount Royal University and completed her Public Relations Certificate in 2014.

Cleo currently lives in Calgary with her husband of 22 years and their two daughters, aged 19 and 18. They also share their home with nine-year-old Bear, a Husky Chow mix.
xijian via Getty Images

Tell The Taxman If You Are Leaving The Country

From going through the immigration process to finding a place to live, to moving all of your possessions, it takes a considerable amount of work and coordination. While you may be focused on your move to a new place, you do need to make sure you notify everyone that you are leaving. This should include the taxman.
03/27/2017 04:12 EDT
gruizza via Getty Images

When Does It Make Sense To Do Your Own Taxes?

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.
03/20/2017 05:45 EDT
Sean Kilpatrick/CP

When Did Canada Become A Tax Haven?

According to recent media reports based on the Panama Papers, some see Canada as a tax haven. It may seem unlikely when you are reviewing how much tax you paid to the government in 2016 but evidently, our reputation and economy is a good venue for hiding wealth.
02/02/2017 09:22 EST
View Stock via Getty Images

How Tax Changes Will Affect U.S. Citizens Living In Canada

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.
01/19/2017 05:26 EST

FBAR vs. FATCA: More paperwork May Be Involved To Satisfy The IRS

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.
06/24/2016 06:23 EDT

Why A Tax Refund Is Bad For You

For people expecting a refund, it may seem like a bonus payout from the government and feels great for a few moments until you realize it is money you overpaid the government in 2015. You are getting it back several months later with no interest. Once you understand this, tax refunds may not seem like a good idea after all.
03/18/2016 01:07 EDT
mbbirdy via Getty Images

Last-Minute RRSP Contribution? Avoid These Common Mistakes

The first major financial deadline of 2016 is February 29. This is the last day you can make a contribution to your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) and claim the contribution on your 2015 tax return. You still have the first 60 days to make contributions but with the leap year, the deadline is midnight at the end of the month.
02/22/2016 12:44 EST
EHStock via Getty Images

Do You Really Need An RRSP?

The younger generation does not have the same kind of job security and employers are hiring more people on contract. Some people will choose to start their own businesses instead of being employees. Workplace pension plans are almost extinct. Now it would seem that saving for your retirement is up to you.
01/11/2016 03:09 EST
volgariver via Getty Images

IRS Crackdown On Tax Cheats Goes Into Overdrive

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.
01/04/2016 12:49 EST