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I Need To Transfer Over the Border

May 24, 2008
Working for a large corporation has many benefits and occasionally a few drawbacks. Being offered a promotion that requires you to move to another country is both. Recently I was asked to transfer from my comfortable long term job in New York City to a higher paying position in Toronto. Moving from the USA to Canada didn't seem like such a big deal but there were a number of issues that surfaced.

The first and most important to me as a native New Yorker was that the Blue Jays are division rivals and I would be forced to watch them if I needed to go to a game. This problem was quickly resolved when I looked at the schedule and realized that the Yankees came to town for a dozen games a year.

The second issue was tax status. Would I still be an American employee or would I now be obligated to pay Canadian income taxes? What about my benefits? Would I need to change over my health insurance or retirement fund? These were all legitimate questions that I needed to seek answers to before I could call the moving company to come and get my stuff.

With a little investigation I found out that I would have to pay Canadian taxes and that my 401K would not change but would now be calculated in Canadian dollars. The health care system is socialized in Canada so my health insurance would change. I also learned about a tax balancing program that my company had in place to make relocation decisions a little easier. The tax rate in Canada is higher and the US dollar is worth more so my numbers were going to be adjusted accordingly. After doing the math I found that the pay raise I was getting was almost 20%.

Needless to say, I started looking for a moving company immediately. I applied for an immigration certificate and put in the paperwork for permanent residency. Taking the advice of some of my colleagues who had similar experiences I asked a lot questions during my search for the right moving company that could handle an international relocation. I had built up a collection of very nice material possessions in New York and I didn't want an amateur moving company losing or breaking my belongings.

I packed all of my things and I made a list of each item with the value of the item written next to it. I was told that this was required by Canadian Customs. To make simplify the process I used the itemized list from my insurance company. I took my physical exam and got my paperwork in order, put my furniture and appliances in the hands of the moving company, and transferred over the border to Canada. It's the best decision I've made yet. Life here is good, the people are wonderful, and I don't plan on leaving any time soon.
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