Swan Bay Resort

We are not too far from home right now. Literally just across the Canadian/US border. Wonderful to get out with our coach for a few days. We are staying at the Swan Bay Resort in Alexandria Bay, New York for the week.

Residency Calculator

If you are a U.S. Citizen, well, the U.S. Residency Calculator won’t be of any use to you. Lorraine and I, on the other hand, will have to be very careful about the number of days we spend in the United States.

When we first started planning out our retirement, we assumed we could be Canadian Snowbirds by just crossing the border to the U.S. in November and coming back to Canada in April. Enjoy moderate weather for twelve months of the year. Striking off one of my bucket list objectives for retirement: to never be cold again.

Perfect, eh? (Sorry about the Canadian stereotype.)

It turns out to be far more complicated than staying less than six months in the U.S. in any given year.

The substantial presence test, to avoid being considered a U.S. resident for tax purposes and goodness knows we already pay a ton of taxes in Canada, includes two very important points:

  • Physically present in the U.S. for 31 days in the current year
  • A three-year total of 183 days which includes all the days spent in the current year, one-third of the days spent in the preceding year and one-sixth of the days spent in the year prior.

That means only 120 days south a year to avoid being considered a U.S. resident for tax purposes. That means leaving in November and returning to Canada at the end of February. That means missing out on my bucket list objective to never be cold again.

February is cold in Canada. Very, very cold.

The U.S. Residency Calculator is helpful to determine whether you have to be a bit more formal in terms of staying in the U.S.

A Canadian can get an exemption by filing a Form 8840 with the IRS. This allows a Canadian snowbird to stay in the U.S. for up to 182 days every year without being considered a U.S. resident for tax purposes. To qualify, you have to be in the U.S. for less than 183 days in the current year, demonstrate a home in Canada in the current year (owner or renter) and establish a closer connection to Canada than the U.S. The latter can be demonstrated in terms of where you bank, pay taxes, keep your belongings, where your drivers license was issued amongst other things.

The 8840 form can be found on the IRS website here. The form should be filed before June 15 in the year after your 182 day stay in the U.S. although the Canadian Snowbird Association recommends proactively completing and filing a new 8840 each year and maintaining copies to indicate that you are entering the U.S. as a temporary visitor from Canada.

If a snowbird loses track of time and exceeds 183 days or more, then it is possible to file an exemption under the Canada – U.S. Tax Treaty. Sounds like a really complex process though which would require lawyers and fees. Best to keep it within 182 days. At least for now.

The Canadian Retiree Visa bill, H.R. 979: Promoting Tourism to Enhance our Economy Act of 2017, could see Canadian retirees being able to spend 8 months in the U.S. (owning real estate will not be required to obtain the visa). The bill has yet to pass but if it does, we will be applying for that visa. That said, every province in Canada has residency requirements to maintain health care coverage. In Ontario, we have to be physically present in the province for at least 153 days in any 12-month period. Not sure who is counting those days but I was somewhat surprised to learn that regardless of where you pay your taxes, you are a bit of a prisoner in your own province within Canada.

Who knew travelling in retirement could be so complicated?

Big Rig Map

I came across this big rig map during one of my searches on Google. Pretty cool interactive map and should prove helpful when we are travelling stateside.

I was looking for a Class A only site in Canada similar to the ones like this one.

I haven’t found any. I’m beginning to think that they do not exist in our country.

Felonius Gru

minions

We finally made it back home from Florida. Very busy week. Lots of meetings with important folks like Gru.

Returned home to near freezing temperatures so it was a good thing that we had put the coach into storage before we left on our travels.

Shamadon RV Resort

ontheroadagain

Tomorrow we head off on our last expedition of the year in our coach, the Castaway.

We will be spending the weekend at Shamadon RV Resort in West Grey County, Ontario. The park is roughly a 5-hour drive from home. The owners convinced us to try one of their grass sites, Deer Meadow 211 (the upper left site in the map below). It is a large site, 60 feet by 80 feet. And private.

shamadonrvmap

There is rain in the forecast so I am not too keen on a grass site. Despite its prime location, it is also only a 30 Amp site. We can manage on 30 but the nights are starting to get colder and we may need to have a few more services online. So, we will see how things go.

We are picking up our youngest son from University on the way there. Driving through Toronto on a Friday afternoon is always fun, especially in a 40-foot coach.

I am very excited to see my son tomorrow. My oldest daughter and her family, including our two grandchildren, will be coming up to visit us on the Saturday. Even if the weather is off, this weekend will be awesome.

And then, the Castaway goes into storage for the winter.

So sad.