Bonus holiday weekend for those of us who carry two passports! Friday was Canada Day. Yes, I know Canadians aren’t typified as flag-waving, fireworks blasting patriotic like Americans, but in our hearts, we’re absolutely fervent about our homeland. I always wear a maple leaf on July 1st and wish I was home – but I know that the party north of the border is nothing like the party in the lower 48 three days later.
Before I start
making resolutions setting goals for 2016, I figured I should spend a few minutes taking stock of the last year. You know what they say, you have to pat yourself on the back once in a while! Read more
Weekly Round-Ups shouldn’t be posted on Wednesday … but Monday was Thanksgiving at home, and I decided to phone my mom instead of posting. Then Tuesday I had a work dinner so the evening was shot. Now it’s Wednesday and I figured there was no harm in posting today! Read more
As I mentioned in my last post, I went home, to Calgary, Canada for my longest visit since I left the city almost 19 years ago. Lots of time with family and friends!
This week I am home for a holiday. There are several places I call ‘home’, the house I live in, the country I’m from, and of course my hometown. So I should clarify that I’m in my home country and home town. Pretty much my entire family still lives within about 100-km (sorry, back in Canada so I’ve converted over to metric!) of the house we grew up in. So a visit home is really just time with family. Read more
Today is my mom’s birthday. 92 years young! Happy Birthday, Mom!
In honor of her, and her birthday, here are the 10 top things she has taught me: Read more
Tax week for me so for #reblogWednesday I’m focusing on a couple of tax blogs. Dull yes, but as the ever eloquent Benjamin Franklin stated, “Two things in life are certain, death and taxes.”
I’m a dual citizen and have accounts in Canada. Not big, “we’re hiding our abundant wealth” accounts, but retirement accounts where we would be double taxed and penalised if we moved the assets, and a little savings account where my mom deposits my birthday money. This FBAR reporting is serious … A couple of years ago I spent months working with an IRS agent to get our accounts reported properly and we DID pay a fine. Annoying, yes, but it’s the law.
WASHINGTON — Imagine owing up to $600,000 in penalties on, say, a $20,000 bank account simply because you didn’t report it to the IRS.
It sounds unbelievable.
But such a gobsmacking penalty is possible if your account has been held overseas at a non-U.S. financial institution for years and you knowingly never disclosed it to the U.S. government.
You could be subject to lesser penalties if you voluntarily disclose the account or can prove you weren’t being “willful” by not disclosing it.
But make no mistake: You will likely pay penalties, and — if your foreign account generated income — back taxes and interest as well.
For starters, the United States has a worldwide tax system, meaning every U.S. taxpayer must report all his income regardless of where it was earned.
Second, laws designed to discourage the wealthy from hiding money offshore are also going to snare a lot…
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I have two older sisters … “Mimi” is a decade older; “Jojo” is five years older. Both were out of the house when I was pretty young, and both married their first (and only) boyfriends. Mimi’s husband has been part of the family since I was six. They’re still married and have settled into one of those marriages where they are virtually conjoined emotionally and spiritually, and they display a lot of the characteristics of old married couples. They talk over each other, they ignore each other, they natter at each other. But they’re together and they will be til death doth them part.
Late last summer we took an Alaska cruise, sailing from Seattle to Alaska. Our final port of call was Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.
We spent a lot of time in Victoria when I was a kid. A couple of ‘the aunts’ (my grandfather’s sisters) lived there so we’d go out for a visit most summers.
My dad died when I was 13, and for our final family vacation we drove west, visited Vancouver, then took the ferry over to Victoria. We visited Butchart Gardens on a beautiful July day.
I haven’t been to Vancouver Island since then (is it really 40 years?) and was really taken aback by how strong and vivid my memories were. I had more than one moment of overwhelming sadness, and at times I felt like I was walking with my dad, but then I saw the beauty that Mr and Mrs Butchart created in an abandoned quarry, and I couldn’t help but feel joy. I’m a gardener now, and I could see that a lot of my inspiration over the years has come from the Sunken Garden.
This Garden is forever imprinted in my memory. I hope you’ll enjoy a few of the photos in my gallery.
If you’re ever in Victoria or on Vancouver Island and have any interest at all in gardening, plan to spend some time at the Gardens.