Snowbirds on the radar
If you’re a Canadian who spends a lot of time in the United States, you’re probably aware of the need to meet Canadian residency requirements in order to avoid paying income tax to the American government. What you may not be aware of is that Canada and the U.S. will soon be keeping much closer track of your movements than before.
In 2011, the two countries signed the Perimeter Security Pact in which they agreed to share information on everyone who crosses our border, whether entering and leaving. This pact has only been gradually implemented, with a focus up to now on people crossing by land. However, it’s due to become much more comprehensive over the next few years, most notably with its extension to air travel. Ultimately, both governments will know not only when you enter their respective countries, but also when you leave.
One result of this closer scrutiny will be a need for snowbirds to be extra careful about meeting residency requirements for tax purposes. If you overstay your time in the U.S., the IRS may come after you for taxes it decides you owe—and will no longer be taking your word for it that you didn’t overstay. There are implications for you here at home too, which may affect any claims relating to Old Age Security, Employment Insurance and Child Tax Benefits.
Our Oaken Blog will be covering this topic in more detail over the coming weeks, so look out for further information on how to avoid some potentially troublesome financial issues on both sides of the border.
Oaken on the podium
It’s always great to be recognized for what you do—and we’ve been recognized twice lately!
Excellence in finance
Our first accolade came from the rate comparison website RateSupermarket, in their annual roundup of the best banking products in Canada. Oaken scored big, sharing top accolades in the Best 5-Year Non-Cashable GIC category, as well as for the Best Savings Account With No Minimum Balance. (But then, you knew that already, right?)
Innovation in design
Our second recognition comes from the world of corporate real estate, where the Canadian chapter of CoreNet Global has nominated our Oaken store in downtown Toronto for a REmmy award. The REmmies are handed out for innovation and outstanding performance in corporate real estate and workplace design. We’ve been recognized in the Workplaces Under 20,000 Square Feet category, as one of only three finalists. We’ll find out if we’re the winner later this week, when the REmmies are awarded at the Toronto Board of Trade—but we’d be even happier if you’d drop by our stores in either Toronto or Calgary and judge for yourself! We’re sure you’ll agree that our space truly is a winning design that puts you first.
All in all, these are achievements that makes us proud, and remind us that we have high standards to meet in 2016!
Savings on us
We were out in the community again recently, attending the World MoneyShow and the ZoomerShow, both of which were held in Toronto at the end of October. These shows are a great opportunity for us to meet with you, and we really get a thrill when our friends and customers drop by to say hello. They’re also a wonderful venue for you to learn more about personal finance, lifestyle issues and the types of products and services available to you when building your retirement.
And let’s not forget, they also present a chance for you to win! As we’ve always done since before Oaken launched two years ago (it’s our 2nd birthday on November 25th!), we held a prize draw at both events, and are delighted to announce our latest winners. Benj Gallander paid us a visit at the MoneyShow, and ended up winning our $500 Oaken GIC. And at the ZoomerShow, it was Sameer Hage who submitted the lucky entry for a $500 Oaken GIC. Congratulations to both Benj and Sameer!
Things on our mind
This month we’re providing a mix of items on our reading list, from retirement planning to staying in shape during the cold months ahead. Happy reading!
- Hot from our own Oaken Blog, this quick guide to RIFs is a great place to start if you’re beginning to think about your retirement plans, or just need a refresher.
- Snowbird alert! This article from the CBC sums up the new changes coming to border controls.
- Winter’s coming, but don’t let it get you down! This article has great tips on how to keep the seasonal blues away.