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Snowbird Alert

© by Mike Keenan

In a recent article on CBC News' British Columbia website, it was suggested that Canadian citizens are only allowed to spend 120 days in the US each year. Incorrect! The Canadian Snowbird Association reminds travellers to the US that this information is wrong.

"Under current policy, eligible Canadian citizens may spend up to six months less a day, in the United States, in any 12 month period," said Bob Slack, president of the Canadian Snowbird Association.

From a tax perspective, long-term visitors who typically spend four or more months in the US each calendar year may be deemed resident aliens for tax purposes. In order to be treated as a non-resident alien, these individuals need to claim a "closer connection" to Canada by filing IRS Form 8840 annually.

The CBC News article also discussed the Entry/Exit Initiative, a bi-national border programme in which entry and exit data will be shared on individuals travelling between Canada and the United States.

While this initiative was scheduled to be expanded on June 30, 2014, to include Canadian and American citizens, the necessary legislative and regulatory changes have not been implemented. At present, the Entry/Exit Initiative is not fully operational.

The Canadian Snowbird Association is an 85,000 member, non-profit, non-partisan organization representing Canadian travellers from across the country. The CSA works in partnership with government and business to educate and advocate on behalf of all travelling Canadians, helping to ensure access to safe, healthy travel with no restrictions on freedom of movement.

CSA: http://www.snowbirds.org/


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Mike Keenan writes for QMI Agency (Sun Media) Canada's largest newspaper publisher, printing 44 daily newspapers as well as a web portal, Canoe.ca. Besides regular columns for the St. Catharines Standard, Welland Tribune, Niagara Falls Review and Seniors Review, Mike has been published in the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, National Geographic Traveler, Buffalo Spree, Stitches, West of the City and Hamilton-Burlington's View Magazine.

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