My Least Favorite Season


I love winter. We’re still in the throws of it. The ground is still white. Last week had 3 days of school cancellations due to snow. We’re getting more snow tomorrow afternoon and night. I enjoy making snowmen and igloos and going sledding and pelting the kids with snowballs. I love skiing, though I haven’t done that since my university days a few hundred years ago.

I love Spring, too. The snow finally melts and the grass turns green. Flowers emerge and color our world with something other than white. The trees bud. Birds come back to our feeder and sing their praises. We can put away the cumbersome winter jackets. Baseball season gets underway (my favorite).

I love summer. Hikes through the woods and visits to waterfalls. Beach days and lazy days kayaking up the river. The continuation of baseball season. Jumping on the trampoline. No school. Late nights and bonfires. Running barefoot through the yard. Listening to DW freak out when she hears June Bugs.

I love autumn, too. Warm days and cool nights. Hoodies by the bonfires. The best weather for running. Mother nature wearing her brightest colors. The World Series. Pumpkins and trick-or-treating. Bouquets of newly sharpened pencils.

Do you know which season I hate the most?

Tax season.

Once upon a time we used to get a refund. Not any more. I know the government needs their share to keep the country running and money in the politicians pockets. Do they really need so much? To make matters worse and thanks to the US government, I still have file taxes in the US even though we don’t live there any more. Usually it works to our advantage. We get money in return for letting the US government know how much we made in Canada.

Six years or so ago we opened an RESP (Registered Education Savings Account) for the boys. We put a bit of money into it and government puts a little money into it and over the years it adds up and then when it comes time the boys can withdraw it to use for University.

Turns out the US wants us to pay tax on it because they think it’s a foreign trust fund. The little bit of tax the US would collect off it probably wouldn’t be that big of a deal. However, the forms that need to be completed and filed with IRS will cost us at least $1,000. Every. Single. Year. Here we were being all responsible, planning for our children’s future and instead we get robbed because of taxes. And not even Canadian taxes.

So now we’ll close those accounts, take the penalty for closing them early, pay the bit of back tax on it and then find another way to save for the future.

For now, I’ll get back to enjoying the strong hold Old Man Winter has on Nova Scotia and curl up under a blanket in my pyjamas and watch The Voice with DW.

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28 thoughts on “My Least Favorite Season

      • It’s not risky if you do your research 😊 You’d need a good location so there’s no problem renting it out. Which in turns you can demand a good tenant and rent. Choose a property that’s relatively new so you don’t have to do much maintenance to it. We’ve bought one for the kids. Once they are ready to buy we will use it to offset their loans. In the meantime it offsets our taxes so we don’t have to pay as much.
        We don’t have the worries of school fees over here. University fees are still quite reasonable.

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    • I wish there was loop hole too. The only reason we have to pay tax in the US is because of this Education Savings account we opened. Otherwise, we just file our US taxes to let them know how much we made in Canada. We actually would get a refund from the US because of 2 kids. This RESP would actually put us in the red… a savings plan that costs more money to keep open than it would save.

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      • Any investments we make will ultimatlely be taxed by the US as foreign trust funds. So we’ll probably just open a plain old savings account in their name. We can deposit now and then and they’ll be able to deposit when they’re older and start working. Fingers crossed!

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  1. Yikes!!! That is one of those awful tax loop holes that need to be closed. Good way to drive business out of the US is what that is. I wonder if taxes are higher in Canada. I love tax season b/c we always get a refund. Ha! Having 4 kids comes in handy for taxes.

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  2. I can’t believe you’ve had snow! I forget March really is still winter in a lot of places. We’ve landed steadily in the 60s to 70s range, which my skateboarder loves. It makes me wonder how hot the summer will be.

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  3. 1000 for forms that need to be filled up, completed and filed? That’s just ridiculous. I would seethe in anger knowing that all the savings (and hard earned savings, too!) for the kids education are taxable. With inflation, those money would worth nothing by the time the kids are eligible for it. Good on your for closing the account…hope you’ll find a better alternative.

    Taxes here in Holland is complicated too. The best taxes so far is still in Singapore! Lowest tax ever!

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    • When DW told her brother about it costing $1000 for the tax forms he was flabbergasted. He’s very business minded. He thought that was way too high and not right. He was going to talk to his own tax accountant to see if there was something different we could do. But I totally agree with you. It’s wrong that an education savings can be taxed. So much for getting ahead.

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  4. I’m so sorry … Here you were trying to be good and responsible… Sigh. I feel like my parents went through the same hurdle when we moved to Ontario when I was in high school. They just opened a normal investment account based in the US, i think. It stinks paying taxes in both countries!!

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