Last updateFri, 11 Mar 2016 6pm

Letters To The Editor - February 13, 2016

Dear Sir,

It appears that a local business is trying to frighten Canadians into attending their seminars. 

A recent email sent to many residents of Lakeside indicated that a woman had to pay thousands of dollars in back taxes when Canada Revenue discovered she was deemed to be a Non-Resident of Canada.  It also stated that her provincial health insurance was cancelled.

First of all it is my understanding that a “Snowbird” resides in Mexico and Canada so how could this lady have been deemed a non-resident?  You have to live here full time to be considered a non-resident and have to apply for non-residency status through an NR73 and an NR5.  How did the government find out about this woman in the first place?  Are you saying she was traced through her Health Insurance and her passport?

The second statement in the email suggested a “Snowbird” living in and working in Mexico had not claimed his Mexican Income on his Canadian Income Tax.  He didn’t realize he was committing tax evasion and that this was a criminal offense.  Do you really think that the readers of this newspaper and your emails are that stupid?

It would appear that scare tactics are being used to acquire more clients for this business!

What background does this person have to act as an authority on all topics relating to Canadians living in Lakeside?

I would like to know what proof can be provided of the situations mentioned in my letter, if any.

David Swann

Response from TioCorp Insurance:

Yes, we agree that there has been a lot of distressing developments in the past few years. Mexico no longer allows expats and snowbirds to bring in their foreign vehicle and perpetually drive it untaxed and with expired plates. The United States, Mexico and Canada have begun reporting to each other on some bank accounts which are being held by each other’s citizens; Canada border agents are confiscating health cards of “snowbirds” who are out of Canada for “vacations” sometimes extending for years beyond provincial coverage limits; FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act) has been expanded into dozens of countries well beyond North America; Passport tracking has become a reality. And of course, the global economy is being driven to the brink yet once again while it devastates most currencies relative to the US dollar.

The sharing of such information is not hype. It reflects a new and rapidly developing reality, which is that expats and snowbirds need to “do it right” or they will be caught in the ever-tightening net of technology. 

Unfortunately, the information we share at seminars is not common knowledge, nor is it reported in the news. TioCorp shares these stories and developments, not as a scare tactic, but as a service to those who may have cause for concern or a need to learn. And, it appears that there is a cause for significant concern by many individuals right here at Lakeside. The individual who experienced the backdating of non-residency and back-tax charges is a TioCorp client.

The information we share is unbiased, factual and with good intentions. Please remember too that email announcements are written to be eye-catching and to spark curiosity so that the recipient is sufficiently motivated to take the next step and actually read the complete article on our website or attend a seminar. The objective is not to scare the daylights out of anyone; it is intended to make people aware of rules, laws and new developments that can impact them in a significant way.