Monday, March 17, 2008


I have just finished our taxes. Still have to figure out what needs to be copied and attach various forms before stuffing in envelopes, but the information is all on paper.

[Highlight moment: Chat version of help for QuickTax (Intuit's Canadian version of TurboTax). Basically I bedeviled a customer service agent because I found what amounts to a bug. Trillian and I timed issues having to do with residency so that we could claim residence for tax reasons in Canada through the end of 2007 and the US starting at the beginning of 2008--much easier for taxes, we've done this twice before. So the answer to the question of my residency at the end of the tax year was "Ontario." After that, the program would not allow me to type in a residence outside of Canada. The agent told me I should indicate "Non-resident" for the earlier question, but I pointed out to him that this was not the case for tax purposes and would cause the program to treat my taxes differently than required. He somehow thought the Canada Revenue Agency might have trouble taking my money with a US address. I assured him that I was pretty sure they'd find a way to take my money. Really, it was a fun time for all. Anyways...]

One of the things TurboTax informed me is that neither Trillian nor I qualify for the "economic stimulus payment" that Bush is tossing at people in a desperate bid to salvage his legacy. To be sure, my thought when he did this back in 2001 was that we would probably end up paying many times the $300 we received down the road (through taxes and economic problems). This time, many people will receive double the amount--to my mind, even more trouble in the future.

Now Trillian and I don't need this money and we would have just put whatever we got into a college savings account (thereby not creating the economic stimulus intended), so this is not a "where's my piece of the pie?" complaint. Rather, my issue is the reason we are not receiving the money. Neither Trillian nor I earned enough in the US (though Canada got its fair share from us, including money for the OHIP premium, even though we are not eligible for any benefits--but that's a whole other post). Our US earnings in both cases were zeroed out by deductions; therefore, we make too little on paper to get this "free" money. And yet I have to think that people who end up with the same initial numbers we did (ours when Canadian earnings are excluded, theirs probably absolute numbers) could find much greater and more urgent use for these checks, but they won't be seeing them.

Is it November yet?

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