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Old 09-07-2014, 06:41 PM   #1
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Question Canadians wintering in the USA

I have heard via my travel ins agent effective June 30 2014 border crossings both sides scan our passports. Both Canada and US are working together to stay informed as to when and how often we cross the border. My question is do we still need to use the old formula of current days plus so many of the previous years days spent in the US to calculate total length of time spent in the US? We are planning our winter getaway and need some input for the length of time we can stay. We go cross border 3 or 4 times a month as well as our winter trip. Thanks everyone.
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Old 09-07-2014, 06:51 PM   #2
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Ask customs. They are the only folks who has an opinion that matters.
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Old 09-07-2014, 07:15 PM   #3
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Canadian Snowbird Association says yes.
You need to track your own days , and the magic number for not exceeding your stay limit for consecutive years is 131; because of the way US government factors past years, stays in.
The agreement between governments just means both governments can verify where you are and for how long.
The CSA is working on a retired Canadian entry visa, to simplify this , but it's still a ways off.

The CSA - Voice of Travelling Canadians - Canadian Snowbird Association

Form 8840, Closer Connection Exception Statement for Aliens

The 8840 form should be downloaded and filed every year, before June 15th, if your staying in the USA, for an extended period of time.
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Old 09-07-2014, 07:34 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kofffee View Post
I have heard via my travel ins agent effective June 30 2014 border crossings both sides scan our passports. Both Canada and US are working together to stay informed as to when and how often we cross the border. My question is do we still need to use the old formula of current days plus so many of the previous years days spent in the US to calculate total length of time spent in the US? We are planning our winter getaway and need some input for the length of time we can stay. We go cross border 3 or 4 times a month as well as our winter trip. Thanks everyone.
Yes is the short answer.

You are allowed 182 days in any calendar year. Each day you are physically present in the US counts as a day (there are a few exceptions such as getting ill on your way home but just count each day you are there to be safe unless you are getting really close to going over.)

As a previous poster has indicated there is also a formula they use to determine residency. If all of the days in the current year + 1/3 of the days in the year prior and 1/6 of the days in the previous year equal 183 or more you can be considered a US resident. You can mitigate this by filling out the form 8840 each year showing you have closer connections to Canada.

Check it out for yourself so you are aware of all of the requirements. This is what I use but who knows? ? ? ?

If you are an alien individual and you
meet the closer connection exception to
the substantial presence test, you must
file Form 8840 with the IRS to establish
your claim that you are a nonresident of
the United States by reason of that
exception.

You are considered a U.S. resident if you
meet the substantial presence test for
2013. You meet this test if you were
physically present in the United States
for at least:
• 31 days during 2013 and
• 183 days during the period 2013, 2012,
and 2011, counting all the days of
physical presence in 2013 but only 1/3
the number of days of presence in 2012
and only 1/6 the number of days in 2011.
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Old 05-15-2015, 11:31 AM   #5
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I am completing Form 8840 for the first time this year despite the fact that this coming Fall I will (hopefully) be travelling South for the 5th year.

I have so many questions so I'll start with just two.

The Form I downloaded from the CSA (Canadian Snowbirds Assoc.) says "2014" yet we are in "2015" now and I thought this Form would be for my travels this year ??

At the top of the Form it asks for a "beginning" and "ending" dates. What do I put there ??

Hoping some of you that have filled out this Form in previous years can help.
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Old 05-15-2015, 12:06 PM   #6
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2014 is the last year you are declaring about , so your form next year will be 2015.

The line above states " for the year Jan 1 > Dec 31 2014 " OR " other tax year.

So you would only fill a beginning or end , there , IF your declaration was for a different time period than the printed line on the form.

Remember each person must fill a separate form.
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Old 05-15-2015, 12:13 PM   #7
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Good Stuff ! Thanks ! I'll put January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2014.

Many questions (ie. 16, 17, 18 etc. etc.) ask about your 'home'. I've simply put in Canada. Should I enter my Province as well ?
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Old 05-15-2015, 05:34 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by heritage2006 View Post
Good Stuff ! Thanks ! I'll put January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2014.

Many questions (ie. 16, 17, 18 etc. etc.) ask about your 'home'. I've simply put in Canada. Should I enter my Province as well ?
16, Canada , should be fine ( that's what I put )
17, I put province and Canada ( even though I tow it )
18 , same as 17.
19 full address of house

Hope that the " Retired Canadian Visa " get through and does away with some of this paperwork.
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Old 05-16-2015, 09:25 AM   #9
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Filling out the 8840 makes good sense. Takes only a few minutes and will cover you for the future.

Worrisome part is the 100%, 33% and 16% cumulative number. If you stay a couple years over 120 days you will be over. I do not think it is automatic that you will get tagged but why take a chance.

I ran afoul of a border protection fellow a couple years ago. There was an issue with the records they had. Somehow one of our crossings into the states was missed by them. He grilled us for an hour. I had to show him my spreadsheet and the 8840 I had filled out before he would back down. Conclusion: they are no better record keepers than anyone else so I suggest you keep with you some of the information about crossing days, I keep electronic copies of my credit card bills (download from the cc site) and anything that you can use to prove the days you are not in the US.

Unfortunately right or wrong he could have kicked us out and we would not have had a recourse. It was not a pleasant situation and if we would not have had the information we did I wonder what the outcome would have been.
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Old 05-16-2015, 09:52 AM   #10
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[QUOTE=Gordon Dewald;2558652].
. I had to show him my spreadsheet and the 8840 I had filled out before he would back down. Conclusion: they are no better record keepers than anyone else so I suggest you keep with you some of the information about crossing days, I keep electronic copies of my credit card bills (download from the cc site) and anything that you can use to prove the days you are not in the US.
QUOTE]

I always carry a photo copy of my current city tax bill too, just in case.
DW, had an issue with a, US officer in Vancouver, B.C. airport , she had flown, back to deal with her mothers estate, and was returning to finish up our annual stay in the south . Officer was adamant that she had been in the USA for 11 months straight , because a return from a day trip into Mexico the previous year, showed up on his screen, and the record of the scan of her passport , when she departed Vegas airport 3 weeks before. The record of our entry 2 months before by land was missing . Hopefully the info sharing agreement between the Canadian and American governments will clear up some of these issues , by registering the re-entry into Canada into the data base.
Important now to have your passport scanned , when ever you return from out of country.
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Old 05-16-2015, 12:00 PM   #11
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Worrisome part is the 100%, 33% and 16% cumulative number. If you stay a couple years over 120 days you will be over. I do not think it is automatic that you will get tagged but why take a chance.
This area was my next question (Part 1 (5)). I also keep track of the actual number of days I am in the U.S.

For the past 5 years I have been spending the full allowable (??) six months in the States - like hundreds of thousands of other Canadians.

So I have entered 176 for 2014; 176 for 2013; and 174 for 2012.

Is this what I should do ???
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Old 05-17-2015, 11:05 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by heritage2006 View Post
This area was my next question (Part 1 (5)). I also keep track of the actual number of days I am in the U.S.

For the past 5 years I have been spending the full allowable (??) six months in the States - like hundreds of thousands of other Canadians.

So I have entered 176 for 2014; 176 for 2013; and 174 for 2012.

Is this what I should do ???
Correct, the reason for the formula ; all the days in year previous to the declaration, 1/3 of the days in the second year previous and 1/6 of the third; " IF " you calculate and add those numbers and the total is under 183; THEN , submitting the 8840 is optional.
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Old 05-17-2015, 01:09 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by heritage2006 View Post
This area was my next question (Part 1 (5)). I also keep track of the actual number of days I am in the U.S.

For the past 5 years I have been spending the full allowable (??) six months in the States - like hundreds of thousands of other Canadians.

So I have entered 176 for 2014; 176 for 2013; and 174 for 2012.

Is this what I should do ???
That is what I do as the question is how many days were you preent in the US.

IMO the form is easy to fill out and is valuable if they decide to declare you a resident alien. The form is cheap "insurance" and may prove valuable.
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Old 05-17-2015, 01:11 PM   #14
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Correct, the reason for the formula ; all the days in year previous to the declaration, 1/3 of the days in the second year previous and 1/6 of the third; " IF " you calculate and add those numbers and the total is under 183; THEN , submitting the 8840 is optional.
I think you are right. I have decided to make it an annual thing to do and that makes it pretty easy for me as it is a routine. We get back fill out our taxes and fill out an 8840.
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