EDWISE  - EDITOR AND EDUCATION CONSULTANT
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A Year of Living Positively -Day 58

I'm getting errands and chores done today. It was snowing early today, but the wet snow turned into the sleet and is not sticking.

I went out to post Canadian tax forms for three years, at last. I've been disputing tax bills from Canada, and am way behind. There is a tax treaty with South Korea which was created for the purpose of avoiding double taxation. It's been a guessing game, a ping-pong match. I ended up paying income taxes to Canada on my Korean income in addition to the income taxes paid to Korea on my Korean income--my only income--for the first two years, but am getting a refund because I applied for relief. 

Today, I submitted a declaration of non-residency. No-one told me about this for many years. The tax office just reacts to paper you give it; they do not advise. Two years ago, I learned I could simply write a letter citing certain legislation and tell the Canadian government that I am no longer a resident and legally not be charged for taxes, without jeopardizing my citizenship, despite everything tax authorities have been saying about me being "a resident of Canada for the purposes of taxation" and despite all the tax assessments and bills they have been sending me over the years. Weird game. As I am a citizen, I could write to them informing them I changed my mind, and want to be a resident again, so declaring non-residency is not a risk.

I guess I have procrastinated. Last fall, I got around to completing tax forms for three more years, but it got delayed as I examined several possible deductions and made several recalculations. (Paying into the Canadian national pension system was an issue, but I learned it would be too expensive, and not necessary since I pay into a pension fund in Korea which is refundable and transferable to fraternal pension systems abroad, like Canada's.) Then my printer started acting up. I didn't know where to get the printer fixed, and I got very busy in December anyway. Then the office move happened.

It has been a psychological obstacle, in any case. I found it hard to adjust my identity and announce that I was not a resident of Canada because it felt like I would no longer be Canadian, and have no nation to belong to. It is just a question of perspective. Whatever technical or financial or political category is applied, my history from birth to 2007 cannot be erased.

On my present track of goal setting, decision-making and action, I looked at the tax forms today. They are incomplete, but I decided just to fire them off and let the tax staff finish them off. I signed and dated them, though pages of the forms were missing. They always redo the calculations anyway. It is all moot, since the main thing is that I am sending them the letter renouncing my residency in Canada. I need to file the papers whether I pay the taxes or not, because I need to have an existence on the system for future life upon resettlement in Canada.

Another fussy bureaucratic task I am supposed to take care of this week is entering the spring course syllabuses into the new intranet. The emails are flying back and forth today about the dysfunctioning intranet system. We cannot enter the data from home. Our computers are not hooked up in our new offices.



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