Monday, March 10, 2008

Tax laws suck

Let me begin this blog by stating for the record that John was right. I should have looked into this sooner.

I started doing my taxes yesterday. After coming to a refund total that was larger than I expected, the software halted because my spouse doesn't have a SIN. Knowing that Canadian taxes are based on residency, I have been under the assumption that John's side would be a non-issue for 2007 because he wasn't a Canadian resident. After some research, though, I discovered a few anger-inducing things:
  • Because he married a Canadian, he has "residential ties" to Canada in 2007 and thus may be deemed a resident.
  • I cannot electronically file my tax return because he doesn't have a SIN, so I have to paper file.
  • I have to fill out a 4-page form to determine whether or not CRA deems him to be a resident for tax purposes. This may take 4-6 weeks for an answer.
  • If he is deemed a resident, I have to apply for an Individual Tax Number (ITN) so that I can file a T1 for him. Getting the ITN may take an additional 4-6 weeks.
Today being March 10, I have about 7 weeks until our tax deadline of April 30. I may get the residency answer back in time, but I may not get the ITN. I don't really want to apply for the ITN if it isn't necessary, because he will get a SIN as part of his permanent residency application, and then I will have to deal with getting those two numbers merged.

I am really tired of having to fill out paperwork, get things notarized, and constantly explain over and over again the details of my relationship to my husband. It's really not that complicated: he's American, I'm Canadian, and as of right now, we live apart.

Had I researched this earlier, I could have begun the process and received all of the appropriate answers in time for April 30. I'm mad at myself for not checking into this earlier, but at least I didn't leave it any later.

The kicker of this whole thing is that he doesn't have any Canadian income, will have world income which he will have already paid tax on in the US, and will likely not owe anything... though I wouldn't gamble on it. It just angers me that I will have to go through a lot of trouble to get to that point.

Immigration wanted us to prove that we have ties with one another. The tax department will take those ties and say he is deemed a resident and could possibly have to pay tax in Canada. No matter which way we go, we seem to get the short end of the stick. Thanks Canada.