REPORTING OFFSHORE ACCOUNTS TO UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF TREASURY BROUGHT CLOSER TO HOME (by U.S. husband of BELIZE CONSUL)
How many of you put two and two together? The October 1996 CEN-TAPEDE told about two individuals who had been fined (one jailed) for failure to report their offshore accounts to the U.S. Treasury Department. This was the main reason that the husband of the Belize Consul was just "ARRESTED" on the streets of Vancouver by the RCMP for U.S. authorities.
If you are a green card holder or a U.S. citizen living in Canada, YOU MUST REPORT YOUR CANADIAN AND ANY OTHER OFFSHORE ACCOUNTS TO THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TREASURY EVERY YEAR IF THE TOTAL IN ALL ACCOUNTS EXCEEDS $10,000 U.S. - See Page 128 of the October 95 CEN-TAPEDE for a copy of the form.
NOTE: THE IMPLEMENTATION OF REPORTING OF OFFSHORE ASSETS FOR CANADIAN TAX RESIDENTS HAS BEEN DELAYED AND IS BEING MODIFIED. STAY TUNED
CUSTOMS DUTIES "GOING AWAY"
Note that Customs duties between Canada and the U.S. are becoming negligible. As of Jan 1, 1997, the duty on a U.S. made car for instance is only 0.9%. and a colour TV is a whopping 0.7%. Watch out for your groceries though.
As a matter of policy, Canada Customs usually ignores duty on $20.00 worth of groceries (don't quote me on that but it seems to be true), even if you were only down for an hour. But if you have two turkeys, all hell breaks loose. Why? well the duty on a first turkey is only 2.9% and not worth collecting on a $5.00 turkey. However, on a second or third or fourth turkey, the duty is about 180% and well worth collecting.
Since most turkeys are just abandoned under these circumstances, they used to be given to the food bank. Not so under new rules. Now they are destroyed.
WORKERS COMPENSATION BOARD
Although mainly directed at farmers, Henry Kessel's Christmas newsletter should be MUST READING for every small business when it comes to Workers Compensation rules. Realtors and insurance agents and farmers and all office workers have been added to the WCB roles in the last few years and there are real problems for employers who do not register (see the Nov 95 of the CEN-TAPEDE). Henry Kessel sells disability insurance and his analysis is worth reading by employer business people, their employees who are covered, and accountants and lawyers dealing with small business. If you want a copy of this 8 page newsletter, check off the request box at the end.
G S T CATCHUP WHEN CLOSING BUSINESS
The following came from our office's Sonja Clark CA, CPA, LLB in our office and is just a short warning to anyone who is going to de-register or close down a GST registered business.
"In talking to Revenue Canada on GST on December 19th it was stated that when deregistering a business with GST it is necessary to file a final return and pay the GST on the fair market value of assets in the business at the time of the deregistration. Assets owned prior to GST days where no input tax credit was claimed are to be included. You are deemed to have claimed an ITC even though this never happened. If GST was paid on fixed assets but the taxpayer did not claim an ITC and it has not been more than 4 years since the assets were purchased the taxpayer can make this claim and deduct this on the final return."
This is the first I have heard of this situation and you read it here first.
I know that this is about tax and my subscribers are entitled to a tax newsletter. However, I have to go sideways here because I also know that many of my subscribers have bad backs, bad knees, tennis elbow, bad headaches and other chronic muscular pain.
I have had bad headaches for 30 years and gone through the cat scan and migraine diagnosis, etc. I went so far as to visit the Migraine Foundation and Rosemary Dudley in Toronto. The cat scan assured me I did not have a brain tumour, but other than staying away from red wine, nothing else seemed to eliminate my headaches. I had more headaches when I quit caffeine for 8 months.
I also have had a numb foot since Oct 24, 1994 when I woke up with what can only be described as a numb foot and excruciating pain in my left calf and buttock.
I tried a chiropractor and limped out in worse pain and with less movement than when I went in. Three days later I went to my doctor who immediately diagnosed it as an S1 sciatic problem and wanted to put me in a hospital. My alternative was to go home for three days and stay in bed. I wasn't to get up for anything. If I had more use and feeling in three days, He would let me try and work it out.
Thankfully, three days later, some movement had returned and the pain had subsided a bit. The prognosis was a pinched nerve and it would take three months to return to normal. Just to be sure, I was also scheduled for a visit to a neurosurgeon and a cat scan.
Well, the cat scan showed a bone spur right in the S1 vertebrae but the neurosurgeon did not think it was the cause (it seems he was right) and he did not recommend surgery. Said it should go away in three months. (this was already 3 months after my own doctor had told me three months.).
Well, on November 18, 1996, the pain and numbness and "inability to use" had still not gone away although I no longer had a totally numb foot. I had little use of the whole leg and had to "drag" my left pant leg on because I could not lift my left leg high enough to put my pants on. Getting on and off my trail bike was difficult and even dangerous as I discovered in Pender Harbour when I fell sideways because of the lack of strength and control.
So November 18, I was on my way to the doctor's (after two years) to demand that we start relooking at the problem and fix it before I was dead and buried. On the way to the doctor, I listened to Gary Bannerman on CKNW. He was interviewing Dr Chan GUNN who had just started the INSTITUTE FOR THE STUDY AND MANAGEMENT OF PAIN. Dr Gunn described a "match stick" test which was a lot faster and cheaper than a cat scan. He also described a successful treatment for a Vancouver developer with a problem which sounded very similar to my own.
Dr Gunn was very clear that his was an alternative therapy which was not covered by B C Medical and that the fee for an examination was $100.00. He was also very clear that his clinic would not take "walk-in" patients. To become a client of the clinic, one had to be referred by his or her doctor.
Well I went in to see my doctor whose previous patient had told him about the broadcast as well. My doctor knew of Dr Gunn and said that there was a two year waiting list to see him. I told him the story, gave him the phone number and told him I wanted my referral and got it. A call to the clinic at 264-7867 resulted in an appointment in 10 days. It is a new clinic and has a lot of open time at the moment.
When I showed up for my assessment, there were two doctors and a physiotherapist who stripped me down to almost nothing and had me walk up and down, "try" and stand on one leg and then lie down on an examination table where they spent 30 minutes feeling all the muscles in my back and legs. They were looking for hard or "knotted" muscles and struck paydirt.
Dr Gunn (who had a complete copy of my medical file which was sent over by my G.P.) told me that although I had a clear S1 sciatic nerve problem it wasn't caused by what we had been looking at but was caused by problems with muscles attached to my L2 and L4 vertebrae (or something like that). As his pamphlet shows (available by checking a request off at the end of this newsletter) the pain and pinched nerve was caused by muscles contracting and not releasing. Did I want a treatment which would be an additional $50.00? Hell yes!, so back on the table face down.
I now had my first experience with "dry needling" which is NOT acupuncture. I don't know how many needles were used but he told me that if he hit the right place, it would hurt and I would be able to feel my muscle "grabbing" the needle (like a Chinese finger trap). He was right of course. It was a strange (and interesting) sensation, because I could actually feel this "grabbing".
I could hardly feel anything until he came to the "big" muscle in the back which was obviously the main cause. Two needles were bent trying to get into this "hard and shortened" muscle and when one finally went in, there was some pain which took about 35 minutes to go away completely.
They then left me to "cook" the needles. This procedure was such that they came back every ten minutes and tried turning them. When the needle would turn, it would come out and the assumption was that the muscle had relaxed. The theory is that this muscle which has gone into spasm (and is contracted and hard) releases after the needle has invaded its territory.
Dr Gunn asked me how I felt when everything was out of my back and I said fine. At that point I was just glad to sit up. He then asked if I wanted him to try for my headache which at that point, was three weeks old and for which I was alternatively taking 12 to 16 ASA or acetaminophen tablets a day.
I of course said sure and he had me back on my face again. This time, the pain was excruciating when his needle went into the back of my neck. His comment was "Ah, you are telling the truth". This set of needles took another thirty-five minutes to "cook". But when he took the last one out, my headache was gone. And when I started to get dressed, I discovered that I could lift my leg to put my pants on. And when I went out to pay my bill, I found out that I had total use of my foot and leg. In fact, I went and walked very quickly (ran) up a flight of stairs just to try it out. In fact, I went and walked very quickly (ran) up a flight of stairs just to try it out. (The "telling the truth comment comes from his past experience as a WCB doctor when he would have to decide if a WCB claimant "really did" have the described pain.)
To put it bluntly, it was a miracle which lasted for about 8 hours because at 8:30 that night, I could feel my back tightening and my leg went numb again. I had to wait a week for my next treatment which lasted for four days and the third treatment has left the leg with total movement and almost all the feeling back (I am now in the three month position for feeling that my original doctor suggested it would take to get my feeling and movement back).
For the fourth treatment, they started working down the leg and buttocks. My wife tells me that my formerly "double S" shaped back is now straight.
I have spent a lot of time shovelling snow over the last few days and two months ago, I would not have even wanted to lift an empty shovel let alone one full of wet snow.
I have not taken a headache pill since my first treatment.
And the fun (best) part. Well, I came down with a bad cough over the holidays and when I went to see my doctor on December 27th, I hopped into his office on my left foot as a demonstration.
Dr B was so impressed with the improvement in six weeks that he is going with me to see my next treatment on January 9, 97. At that treatment, Dr Gunn pointed out that Dr B had a problem with his back and gave him a treatment. Dr B has now volunteered to donate time to the clinic (a non-profit charitable operation) and set up the Computer Medical Data Base.
So, If you have a pain in the neck, or back, or anywhere else, and conventional treatment has not cured it, ask for Dr Gunn's pamphlet below (****). Talk it over with your doctor and go for an assessment. I am a believer. By the way, Dr Gunn is a former W C B doctor who developed his techniques while at the WCB. He has many professional papers published and is a professor at the University of Washington's Pain Clinic which I believe is recognized as the Number one pain clinic in the world. His newest medical textbook on the subject of pain and its cure sold out in two months and is going into another printing. Please note though, it is a clinic. You will more likely be treated by one of his associates than by Dr Gunn himself. You can, however, hear Dr Gunn again on CKNW with Gary Bannerman at 10 AM, Tuesday, January 21, 1997.
For an appointment, you and your doctor should call:
CEN-TA Cross Border Services - Tax, Visas, Immigration