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Canadian snowbird working in the US?
Old 12-31-2008, 03:45 PM   #1
Confused about dryer sheets
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Canadian snowbird working in the US?

I have been offered to work as an independent consultant that does home party sales (wick less candles). The company asks that I have a Tax ID number, which we happen to have applied for as we sold a home. They pay in commissions once a month but would I be allowed as a Canadian to do this? And if so, do I add the income to my Canadian tax as foreign business. We aren't talking big dollars here just fun more than anything .

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Old 12-31-2008, 09:10 PM   #2
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You don't say specifically, but assuming you are here as a "non-immigrant visitor" for a period not to exceed six months - generally the answer is: No.

Doesn't matter if you are working as an employee, independent consultant, contractor, operating your own snow cone stand, whatever. Technically you can't even telecommute for a Canadian company paying you in Canadian $ into your Canadian bank account.

As a Canadian the only difference between your non-immigrant visitor status & most other countries in the world (excepting designated Visa Waiver countries) is that you aren't required to obtain & have B-2 Visa in your passport for visits of less than 6 months.

You can potentially be arrested & deported with a five year bar to reentry Don't assume you'll be released "On Recognizance" right away either as in the past with non-criminal Canadians, possibly but you could also find yourself with a 5K bond set & spend a few days in jail till you can get it posted - if it happens near the northern border you might be offered an immediate Voluntary Return in lieu of being held for a deportation hearing (not too common for Canadians to get caught, but I've seen it happen - up close & personal)

All it might take is one disgruntled customer, associate, neighbor, who manages to bring it to the attention of an ICE Agent with nothing more pressing to do that day (not common either).

Or possibly a traffic stop & the cop contacts ICE for a check on your status (becoming more common) - will you lie to the ICE Agent if s/he asks you how long you've been here or if you've been working? (which will likely be the next two questions after you tell them you are a Canadian visitor)

As a "snowbird", perhaps you travel to S. Texas or Arizona during the winter months - you could encounter Border Patrol at an interior checkpoint who could ask you the same thing, or notice product in your car which might prompt the question.

Not to say there aren't tons of Canadians who have worked illegally in the US - but if it's small potatoes & you don't really need the $ - is it worth it?

Nevertheless, if you really want to work in the US you may want to see about getting an appropriate visa - lots of info on the web & you may further wish to consult an immigration attorney. Consult with your fellow Canadians who flock down here in the winter & see what they are doing - some do have employment authorization.
Despite all that, we do like you Canuks coming down to see us.

Retired 2009!
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Old 01-01-2009, 10:03 PM   #3
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If you give them the Tax ID number, they will use it to report what they paid you to the IRS, who will in turn notify the state where you are located. No way to escape once all this starts......
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