Hello from Newb

Ed_The_Gypsy said:
Thanks, too! Roths are a problem, then. I gather that foreign income may be tax-free for the first 5-years of citizenship/landed immigrancy? Maybe 5 years is all I need.


landed immigrancy/citizenship is not the issue. Tax residency is the issue. I suggest you google up the US/Canada tax treaty and read it (I know...boring). It is a complex topic, but there are several things that can cause the Canadian government to consider you a resident for tax purposes. And yes, you can be a resident of 2 places at once for tax purposes.

As you are probably already aware, if you are a US citizen, the US government requires you to file a tax return on your WORLDWIDE income, regardless of where you reside (one of only a couple countries in the world that require this). The Canadian government considers your residency, regardless of your citizenship or immigration status for tax purposes. The treaty between the 2 countries determines which place gets first dibs on your taxes. Taxes paid in one country are credited in the other up to a limit (I think it is still $80,000/year but might have changed).

However, certain events (some of which are in my previous post) are considered taxable events in Canada but not in the US. Earnings on Roths are one example.

I strongly suggest you consult a cross-border accountant if you are working in Canada, no matter who cuts your paycheck. For one thing, there is the "sojourner rule" which states that if you are in Canada for 183 days in a year, they can tax you no matter what your immigration status or residency. I think there are some exceptions to this, however, if you were hired in the US and working for an American company. I'm no expert in this stuff, just have had to learn some of it to cover my own a$$.

I just consulted with a tax attorney and an accountant a couple weeks ago going over this stuff because my situation is somewhat pathological. Much can be avoided with some pre-planning. If you own a house in Canada, or have professional registration of some kind, it gets tougher.

Bottom line is--plan ahead. If you need a referral to a suitable accountant, PM me.


Thank you for the link.

P.S. Where do you get decent andouille in McMurray?

Can't. My colleague is about ready to smuggle it up from TX, squeezed between the crawfish. I am advising, no--where you gonna put the Colt? Now, down in Edmonton, go to Da-De-O's on Whyte. Satisfactory jambalaya and gumbo (when the steam table is hot enough). Forget the bread pudding. Proper hot sauce--mild--on the tables. Two, three other Cajun restaurants in Edmonton area. Don't bother.

I am home in Bellingham tonight, watching the lights out back down to the bay. We can't get it here, either. Substitute kielbasa. Don't buy it too lean or you will have to use oil to keep it from burning.

Back north Sunday night.

Bosco, I will have to contact you later. Got to put up shelves now.

Heh heh heh

I thought I was the only one - who used 'good Polish sausage' in Jambalaya!

Step daughter in spare room doesn't like it - OR Jambalaya - WILL use mild Italian often in her Red Beans and rice.

So much for cross border tax issues!!!!
kielbasa ... mild Italian

Even though I live in a quaint Canajun backwater, I can get decent andouille here. If you call them, I'll bet they'd be happy to freeze some and send it Westjet cargo to McMurray for you, Ed.

Meanwhile, mick, you've got no excuse at all. Does your stepdaughter substitute something for the hocks in the red beans too?


nfs, I could hear that groan from here! (Back in Edmonton tonight.)

Many thanks for the Galloping Goose Sausage link ( :D :D :D )! 

So near and yet so far. 

I e-mailed them to see if
a) they can send it to Ft. Mac, or
b) if I can bring it across the border to B'ham (not holding my breath).

Hmm. Da-De-O's must get theirs somewhere. Shoulda thunk about that.

I will give an update when I hear from them.



What about the 'when in Rome' thing - like what's the Canadian version of stew - er ah Gumbo:confused:

heh heh heh
andouille again

Answers from GG Sausage:
Yes, they can send it to Ft. Mac. Price about doubles.
No, can't take it across the border.


Well, I had moose chili at a cook-off at work a couple of weeks ago. Different, but not enough to send me out gunning for moose.

I am told that the food at Ft. Mac is strongly influenced by the Nufies (Newfoundlanders). Fried fish, fried everything, they say. Doesn't hold a candle to Mississippi, though, where I found fried pickles in the breakfast buffet. Happy to get fish way up here.

Alberta beef tastes pretty good to me.

Popular ethnic foods out here are donairs, pirogies and samosas. All are a llittle greasy. Donairs are a little like gyros with a runny, greasy red sauce that gives me heartburn. I prefer gyros by far. Pirogies are little Ukranian pastries with cabbage/cheese/potatoes eaten with sour cream. Samosas are little tri-corner fried pastries with Indian spices. Out east, there are other local specialties.


cross-border taxes, etc.

I bought and read "The Border Guide", by Keats.

Taking Keats at face value,
First, this business is--or can be--very complicated.
Second, Canadians working in Canada pay more taxes than I would working in the US.
Third, Yankees working in Canada pay more taxes than Canadians working in Canada, partly because it is harder for us to take advantage of things like small businesses to offset expenses from income.
Fourth, it looks like it is much better for Canadians to retire in the US.  In fact, it looks like no-one should retire in Canada, if they have a choice.  I would like to hear from Calgarygirl on this.

Ya gotta like the place.  Otherwise, why would you work here?

I am still studying this cross-border stuff.  Thanks to those who suggested accountants.  I am starting to sort out my 2005 taxes.  Ugh.


unclemick, the Canadian version of Stew is :confused: Stew, basic same recipe brought over by our Immigrant ancestors, you know the ones that came from the same place as yours??

I add some Sherry to mine, use good quality Beef,try not to overdue vegetable varieties, served with warm bread, Australian Shiraz, while looking at gently falling snow and reminding myself how fortunate I am that this great country let me call it Home.

Go Jays , any team in '06 except the Yankees.
Ed - Canadians and many others are much better off retiring in Canada or alternatively 6 months in Canada and 6 months in a cheap warm place (read: Thailand, central america etc. ). Why? Because:
1. National health care
2. Structure income for minimum taxes e.g. dividends, trusts, tax deferred accounts
3. Canada Pension Plan is in good shape unlike US social security
4. If you live in Canada a certain number of years you are eligible for old age security.
5. Cottage country here is cheap and beautiful

Need I say more?

JoJo Girl,

1. National health care
2. Structure income for minimum taxes e.g. dividends, trusts, tax deferred accounts
3. Canada Pension Plan is in good shape unlike US social security
4. If you live in Canada a certain number of years you are eligible for old age security.
5. Cottage country here is cheap and beautiful

1.  Very attractive, most assuredly.
2.  Vital!  Except, I haven't learned about this yet.
3.  Doesn't matter to me.  For good or ill, SS is what I have.  I plan for 70% of quoted benefits. 
4.  I will be dead.  Also N/A.
5.  Truly beautiful, agreed.  However, I have to find out more about the cheap part.

You may have figured out that I have to look at it from my perspective.  Things that make perfect sense for a Canadian may not work very well for me.

It would be a big mistake to make long-term commitments without a clear plan.  I have more reading to do, but any suggestions would be very welcome.

(Maybe this should be a separate thread?)


Ed, now at The Fort, where it will be -26C later tonight.
Yeah Ed, but no Mosquitoes eh?

God I love this country, especially in the winter, a white paradise with so many things to do.
Ed_The_Gypsy said:
3. Doesn't matter to me. For good or ill, SS is what I have. I plan for 70% of quoted benefits.

Ed, now at The Fort, where it will be -26C later tonight.

not necessarily.

There is an agreement between Canada pension and social security. You have options. You can convert one into the other in many cases. This is an issue worth looking into. I intend to when the time comes.
Ed, you forgot to tell everybody that Alberta, where you are working, is so flush with ca$h that every Man, Woman, and Child is getting $400 TAX FREE from the Government.

Add on Free Health Care, 1 year Paid Paternity/ Maternity leave, why would you ever leave??

I know about the $400 and I think I qualify. :)

I am a little past getting any value from paternity benefits. :)

Helath care is "free" in Ontario, but not Alberta, which is probably why you can still see a doctor when you need to in Alberta. (Except Ft. McMurray. We transients are not counted in the census which the govt uses to allocate health care resources--hospitals, etc. Officiallly, Ft. Mac is about 60,000, although it looks more like 35,000 to me--but they count all the natives for hundreds of miles around--but we gypsies are another--WAG--6,000, and we are in the most hazardous occupations. "When safety is a factor, consider a contractor.")

Ed, in balmy Calgary today.
Sorry if someone already touched on this (I skipped many of the replies), but I am a newbie and part owner of an engineering firm also. You stated that you have a few employees at your firm. Have you considered bringing on an "apprentice" type engineer and selling the company to that individual? Your firm may also be a good candidate for an acquisition. I would think either case could be feasible if you would be willing to work part-time or as a consultant during the transition phase. To put things in perspective, my firm is worth $55,000 per employee. Even if you only have two employees, you could be walking away from an investment worth over $100,000.
chrisdut & eric,

How do you value a [presumably small] engineering firm for the purpose of selling it?

I have seen small firms sold for the value of their books and chairs--if a willing buyer can be found. A local well-regarded electrochemical technology firm simply closed its doors and liquidated the hardware. Damn shame, too.

Only large companies can get a backlog. A good backlog is 3 to 6 months unless you are Bechtel (Bantrel in the north).

So...how DO you value a small eng co?

There are literally hundreds of ways to place a value on an engineering firm. In fact, there have been numerous books and seminars devoted specifically to valuation of engineering firms. I am aware of the details for a handful of firms that have been sold and personally involved in one (the one I bought into). One popular method is to add the book value plus some factor based on the past few years profits. Book value includes not only books, chairs and other "hard' assets, but also things like accounts receivable and work in process (work done but not yet billed). The profitibility factor may be anywhere between four to ten times the average of the past couple year's profits. Many factors can determine whether you use a four or a ten. Backlog is one of those factors....others would include the amount of business generated from repeat clients, amount of work that may be lost due to the loss of a key employee (the person selling the firm),etc. Most engineering firms have between 6 and 12 months backlog. The firms that simply close their doors are usually having serious financial problems and probably were not profitable.
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