American Working in canda for Microsoft -

I have been offered a job in Vancouver with Microsoft.  What happens with my taxes if I work in Canada.


david ingram replies:

This is about the first public question I have answered in a week now.  My email was killed when My son started an accidental reformatting.  Luckily, Richard Pitt, my computer guru and a partner in the VERY FIRST COMMERCIAL Internet Service Provider in Canada (  has acoup,le of backups running at all times and we did not lose anything that I know of.

However, restoring the email files with all its directories and permissions and, and, and has been an amazing process  and full of funny glitches.  I think it is now up and running but over 3,000 messagfes have just been dumped by me in the last week because I have been unable to deal with them.  In other words, nothing 'up to' the reformatting incident was lost, but most received since has been and will be ignored.    I just am incapable of picking the important ones out. 

Remember that if you are a customer or client, you should put "YOUR NAME AND PAYING CUSTOMER" in the Subject line -  nothing else.  If something says Urgent or Important, it is spammed out because half of the spam says that.  Just put "YOUR NAME" and "PAYING CUSTOMER" in the subject. 

Back to the question asked.  I have suggested where to go ont he website fo rthe information and also included an article which explains what is happening in BC right now.  It isn't just MICROSOFT.

GOTO and read

1.   the US/CANADA Income Tax Section in the second box down on the right hand side - and
2.   The October 1995 newsletter in the top left hand box.

The following by Cynthia Yoo will give you an idea of what is happening in Vancouver in the software business.

Why Microsoft Loves Richmond, BC

Bill Gates: Cool Canada?

Here, the company can import foreign tech workers, and maybe prod US lawmakers.

By Cynthia Yoo

If you want to understand why Microsoft is about to open a 700-employee software development centre in Richmond, B.C., and how those operations mesh with other multinational corporations and a global high-tech work force, it helps to talk to Steve Ha.

Ha helps run TecAce, based in Redmond, Washington. His firm develops software for Samsung mobile devices and requires Korean-speaking employees experienced in Samsung technology.

But under the current visa system, "it's impossible to bring Koreans into the U.S. now, so we decided to set-up an office in Richmond," explains Ha.

"It's difficult for Koreans to obtain a green-card even after five or six years of work in the U.S. and we heard that it's much easier to get them into Canada for work," Ha says.

"I've heard of other firms here gearing up to open offices in Richmond or Vancouver because of the U.S. visa problems."

Those other firms are following the lead of the biggest software developer of all.

When, last summer, Microsoft announced the planned move, company president Phil Sorgen vowed, "This centre will help Microsoft remain globally competitive while providing strong economic benefits to British Columbia and Canada."

Likewise, Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan was optimistic that having Microsoft in Richmond would promote jobs and technological innovation in B.C.

Across the border, however, some point out that Microsoft and other companies are using the Richmond centre to hire foreign workers they can't otherwise for their U.S. operations.

Others believe it's a tactic to pressure the U.S. government to remove its cap on foreign worker visas. In fact, Microsoft has admitted that it decided to open the Richmond centre in part because it couldn't hire enough foreign workers for their U.S. facilities.

The US H-1B visa

Microsoft and other tech industries in the U.S. hire foreign workers through the H-1B visa. Originally, these visas were established to attract skilled professionals to come to the U.S., work for five to six years and apply for citizenship.

However, in 2006, about three quarters of these visas were taken by Indian outsourcing firms such as Infosys.

These firms send Indian workers to U.S. firms for two to four year terms in order to study their operations and then outsource the work back to India-based companies.

This discovery led to a U.S. Senate investigation into allegations that Microsoft and other companies were using these visas to outsource U.S. jobs overseas, contrary to its mandate to attract skilled immigrants. In response, Microsoft and others countered that current immigration policies were antiquated and did not meet the needs of globalized economies.

"Microsoft, like many big U.S. high tech employers, was keen to push the recently failed U.S. immigration reform bill which upped the quotas for skilled migrants," explained Mark Ellis, professor of geography at the University of Washington.

Ellis thinks the timing of Microsoft's July announcement, so close at the heel of the failed U.S. immigration bill in June, might have been intended to signal that Microsoft would offshore its operations to Canada if it doesn't get its way on immigration reform.

Microsoft spokesperson Lou Gellos told The Tyee, "Discussion about [a centre] in Western Canada has been going on for 10 years or more. In the last year or so, the debate has intensified." The failed immigration bill, he said, was "certainly one of the motivations, but not the main motivation" for his company's moving ahead on its Richmond plans.

Canada's welcome mat

Canada is welcoming U.S. companies looking for more accommodating immigration policies. After all Canada has a labour shortage of highly skilled workers. Earlier this spring, B.C. reported a record low unemployment rate of four per cent and predicted a shortfall of 350,000 workers in key fields.

Currently, Canada has no caps on all classes of foreign worker visas and last November, the Canadian government launched the Advantage Canada Plan, under which the combined ministries of Citizenship and Immigration, Human Resources, and Service Canada recently began measures to improve its Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

"The Temporary Foreign Worker Program requires businesses to look for Canadian hires first and file a labour market opinion that there is a need for foreign workers," explains Lori Reimer of Citizenship and Immigration Canada. "Essentially it is a supply and demand issue."

That market analysis process was relaxed for Microsoft. Reportedly, Microsoft enjoyed an expedited process of only two weeks to obtain their visas, but other firms have not enjoyed that privilege.

Steve Ha's TecAce has set-up what he call's a "virtual office" in Richmond, until the six month long process to hire foreign workers from Korea is completed. "Our branch is only a virtual-office for now because the process [in Canada] is much more complicated and time-consuming than we expected."

It's a flat world after all

Fast fading is the assumption that North American high-tech workers are protected from outsourcing if they are involved in complex projects. The common belief was that it was too difficult to coordinate high-quality work over differing time-zones and cultural and language barriers.

"Absolutely not. It doesn't matter anymore if you manufacture fruit-of-the-loom underwear or complex code," states Marcus Courtney of the Washington Alliance of Technology Workers.

"Companies want to find out...who can do the work cheapest and they move their facilities, products and services around the globe to do that. Boeing's Dreamliner project in the Northwest is a perfect example of this. It's simply a myth that white-collar jobs are simply too complex, too difficult for their companies to outsource," says Courtney.

When asked if temporary foreign worker visa programs are used to outsource jobs, Anthony D'Costa, professor of Comparative International Development at the University of Washington says, "Short-term visa programs are functional. They are trying to meet labour shortages without committing to having more foreigners permanently."

"How many will come in the short term is difficult to say but I am certain [it's] not large enough to displace local workers wholesale. Besides, employers want good quality professionals and the world does not have an infinite supply of them," says D'Costa.

He asks: "Which would you prefer? Foreign workers coming to Canada and working and spending their earnings in Canada or Canadian firms doing the work abroad using foreign workers and earning profits for the Canadian shareholders?"

Fair enough. But real questions remain as to whether Canada can leverage future Richmond centres into promoting local innovation or whether such centres will end up as mere way stations in the global outsourcing system.

Related Tyee stories:

·         Why Google Is Bill Gates' Nightmare
The search engine company is about to get the capital to reinvent personal computing and leave Microsoft in the dust.

·         How We Are Outsourcing BC
Charles Campbell's four-part series looks at industry and government.

·         Denial as Projections Place BC Cities Under Water
Dyke plans, property values don't reflect sea rise predictions.

Cynthia Yoo is a Vancouver journalist with a focus on high-tech industry, immigration and new media.

On November 10, 2007, David Ingram wrote:

It is very unlikely that blind or unexpected email to me will be answered.  I receive anywhere from 100 to 700  unsolicited emails a day and usually answer anywhere from 2 to 20 if they are not from existing clients.  Existing clients are advised to put their 'name and PAYING CUSTOMER' in the subject line and get answered first.  I also refuse to be a slave to email and do not look at it every day and have never ever looked at it when I am out of town. 
e bankruptcy expert  US Canada Canadian American  Mexican Income Tax help
However, I regularly search for the words"PAYING CUSTOMER" and always answer them first if they did not get spammed out. For the last two weeks, I have just found out that my own email notes to myself have been spammed out and as an example, as I write this on Oct 18, 2007 since June 16th (124 days), my 'spammed out' box has 34,939 unread messages, my deleted box has 11854 I have actually looked at and deleted and I have actually answered 1078 email questions for clients and strangers without sending a bill.  I have also put aside 622 messages that I am maybe going to try and answer because they look interesting. -e bankruptcy expert  US Canada Canadian American  Mexican Income Tax help
Therefore, if an email is not answered in 24 to 36 hours, it is likely lost in space.  You can try and resend it but if important AND YOU TRULY WANT OR NEED AN ANSWER from 'me', you will have to phone to make an appointment.  Gillian Bryan generally accepts appointment requests for me between 10:30 AM and 4:00 PM Monday to Friday VANCOUVER (Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles) time at (604) 980-0321.  david ingram expert  US Canada Canadian American  Mexican Income Tax help.
david ingram's US / Canada Services
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My Home office is at:
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Cell (604) 657-8451 -
(604) 980-0321 Fax (604) 980-0325

Calls welcomed from 10 AM to 9 PM 7 days a week  Vancouver (LA) time -  (please do not fax or phone outside of those hours as this is a home office) expert  US Canada Canadian American  Mexican Income Tax help.
Disclaimer:  This question has been answered without detailed information or consultation and is to be regarded only as general comment.   Nothing in this message is or should be construed as advice in any particular circumstances. No contract exists between the reader and the author and any and all non-contractual duties are expressly denied. All readers should obtain formal advice from a competent and appropriately qualified legal practitioner or tax specialist for expert help, assistance, preparation, or consultation  in connection with personal or business affairs such as at If you forward this message, this disclaimer must be included." e bankruptcy expert  US Canada Canadian American  Mexican Income Tax help.
David Ingram gives expert income tax & immigration help to non-resident Americans & Canadians from New York to California to Mexico  family, estate, income trust trusts Cross border, dual citizen - out of country investments are all handled with competence & authority.
Phone consultations are $400 for 15 minutes to 50 minutes (professional hour). Please note that GST is added if product remains in Canada or is to be returned to Canada or a phone consultation is in Canada. expert  US Canada Canadian American  Mexican Income Tax help.
This is not intended to be definitive but in general I am quoting $900 to $2,900 for a dual country tax return.
$900 would be one T4 slip one W2 slip one or two interest slips and you lived in one country only (but were filing both countries) - no self employment or rentals or capital gains - you did not move into or out of the country in this year.
$1,100 would be the same with one rental
$1,300 would be the same with one business no rental
$1,300 would be the minimum with a move in or out of the country. These are complicated because of the back and forth foreign tax credits. - The IRS says a foreign tax credit takes 1 hour and 53 minutes.
$1,600 would be the minimum with a rental or two in the country you do not live in or a rental and a business and foreign tax credits  no move in or out

$1,700 would be for two people with income from two countries

$2,900 would be all of the above and you moved in and out of the country.
This is just a guideline for US / Canadian returns
We will still prepare Canadian only (lives in Canada, no US connection period) with two or three slips and no capital gains, etc. for $200.00 up.
With a Rental for $400, two or three rentals for $550 to $700 (i.e. $150 per rental) First year Rental - plus $250.
A Business for $400 - Rental and business likely $550 to $700
And an American only (lives in the US with no Canadian income or filing period) with about the same things in the same range with a little bit more if there is a state return.
Moving in or out of the country or part year earnings in the US will ALWAYS be $900 and up.
TDF 90-22.1 forms are $50 for the first and $25.00 each after that when part of a tax return.
8891 forms are generally $50.00 to $100.00 each.
18 RRSPs would be $900.00 - (maybe amalgamate a couple)
Capital gains *sales)  are likely $50.00 for the first and $20.00 each after that.

Catch - up returns for the US where we use the Canadian return as a guide for seven years at a time will be $150 to $500.00 per year depending upon numbers of bank accounts, RRSP's, existence of rental houses, self employment, etc.

Just a guideline not etched in stone.
This from "ask an income trusts tax and immigration expert" from or or David Ingram deals on a daily basis with expatriate tax returns with multi jurisdictional cross and trans border expatriate problems  for the United States, Canada, Mexico, Great Britain, United Kingdom, Kuwait, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Indonesia, Japan, China, New Zealand, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Russia, Georgia, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Scotland, Ireland, Hawaii, Florida, Montana, Morocco, Israel, Iraq, Iran, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Mali, Bangkok, Greenland, Iceland, Cuba, Bahamas, Bermuda, Barbados, St Vincent, Grenada,, Virgin Islands, US, UK, GB, and any of the 43 states with state tax returns, etc. Rockwall, Dallas, San Antonio Houston, Denmark, Finland, Sweden Norway Bulgaria Croatia Income Tax and Immigration Tips, Income Tax  Immigration Wizard Antarctica Rwanda Guru  Consultant Specialist Section 216(4) 216(1) NR6 NR-6 NR 6 Non-Resident Real Estate tax specialist expert preparer expatriate anti money laundering money seasoning FINTRAC E677 E667 105 106 TDF-90 Reporting $10,000 cross border transactions Grand Cayman Aruba Zimbabwe South Africa Namibia help USA US Income Tax Convention. Advice on bankruptcy  e bankruptcy expert  US Canada Canadian American  Mexican Income Tax help.

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