Thought you Canadians would be interested in this little Jello shot from Phil Hodgens…
He is off on a mission, to The Center of the Universe @ 1111 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington DC 20224.
I am on my way to Washington, DC for three days. The key meeting is at the Internal Revenue Service, Office of Associate Chief Counsel (International), Branch 1.
The objective: create a free and simple way for Canadians living in the USA to fix broken RRSPs.
Oh. And sign up for my “Fix Your Own RRSP” Workshop just in case the IRS doesn’t see the innate wisdom of what I’m telling them.
RRSPS IN THE USA ARE BROKEN
Canadians who move to the USA to live usually have an RRSP or two. (That’s the Canadian equivalent of a U.S. IRA).
Equally usually, they are unaware that there are special Federal tax paperwork requirements. Years go by. They’re out of compliance with IRS requirements. They wake up. Horrified.
The only way the IRS lets them fix this problem is by applying for a Private Letter Ruling — a letter from the IRS, tailored to YOU, that allows you and only you to do a certain thing. This is expensive (a $2,000 filing fee, plus legal fees) and takes months.
I think that’s wrong. There should be a cheap (how about free?) and easy way to fix these.
I mean, it’s not like you could use an IRA to cheat on your taxes, right? It’s a heavily regulated thing. Same with RRSPs. The Canadian government is all over these things and you couldn’t cheat on your U.S. or Canadian taxes with an RRSP if you tried.
“DEAR IRS, YOU’RE DOING IT ALL WRONG” ETC.
I’m part of this year’s State Bar of California’s annual trip to Washington DC by the Tax Section. Along with a co-author, Steven Walker of San Jose, California, I am presenting a proposal to the IRS. In a nutshell:
“Hey IRS, instead of $10,000 of expense and months of work to fix U.S. paperwork for RRSPs, why not let people do this for free, just by filing amended tax returns (late) with some simple paperwork attached?”
(And if we can get a fix here, maybe we can expand the fix to Australian superannuations. And other countries’ equivalent pension plan schemes).
MEANWHILE, A DIY PLR WORKSHOP
In the meantime (and in case this doesn’t work) I am going to do a “Do It Yourself Private Letter Ruling” workshop in Pasadena in July. Ten people max, so I can give each of you personal attention. All day.
Everything I know and every tool I have to file an application for a Private Letter Ruling — you’ll get it. I supply the forms, the checklists, and the knowledge. You do the work. If the IRS won’t let you fix the problem for free, at least you can do the work yourself and save a metric ton of money and get the official relief — a Private Letter Ruling.
Sign up for the mailing list for the RRSP workshop here.
This is the only shameless pimping I’m going to do for the workshop in the Jell-O Shots. Watch the blog or sign up for the special mailing list if you’re interested.
SO, ANYWAY. . .
Keep in touch. My mobile is +1 626-999-4000 and my email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
And those of you who like to follow his blog, it is http://hodgen.com/phils-blog/