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  2. Avoid these guys at all costs, their standard response to any claim is to ask for your “complete medical history”. If you don’t have paper work saying what your claiming for has been checked before and been found to be fine then they will claim it’s a pre existing condition. They also claim to be completely regulated, this is the case however with the regulatory body in Nevis, a small Caribbean Island. It’s worse than them stealing your money, it’s them making you feel like you are covered when you are not. i just hope I have got to you in time.
  3. I'm looking for a cool female to hang out with nothing serious, just have a drink or two and converse.
  4. Since this really a credit against your 2020 taxes, if you get your streamline filing done by then, you should get the refundable credit when you file 2020.
  5. COVID-19 stimulus payment related question. Before this entire corona thing began I started my process to getting up to date with my american taxes. I.E. contacted a tax professional for the streamlined procedure. This process is not quite done yet however, so I have no history of filing in the US whatsoever. My annual income is such that I would receive the full 1200$, however high enough that I have filing requirements. From what I can see on the IRS website the site for applying for the stimulus check is only for people who make below 12k USD per year. So I take it I shouldn't enter my information there. What should I do?
  6. Thanks for your reply. As I live in Thailand, which does have some sort of tax treaty with the USA. The majority of people working in this region are doing so as teachers, either employed by a foreign school in the country in which they reside, or working online for Chinese or other companies. None of those provide a W-2 or 1099-MISC to anyone. The are foreign companies. They couldn't care less about the USA or what the IRS requirements are. I could declare my part-time online teaching income as self-employment income. It's less than $10k. My impression is that I could choose to pay Social Security/Medicare tax (and it might benefit me in terms of Soc. Sec.) but I did a run-through on TurboTax and wasn't required to pay. So, for the time being, I don't think I will.
  7. You will be expected to claim the income as self employment income unless you are an employee of the company you work for. You do NOT take the FEIE into account when determining if your worldwide income is high enough to have a US filing requirement. The filing threshold if you have self-employment income is only $400. Intentionally not reporting your worldwide income is tax fraud. A majority of overseas employers who pay you as an employee or independent contractor will not give you a US tax form (W-2 or 1099-MISC). This does not mean you, as a US citizen, are not obligated to report the income; you are. Unless you pay into the social security system of your country of residence and that country has a totalization agreement with the US that exempts you from paying SE tax to the US as well, you may owe the US money for SE tax. If this is the case, you're probably better off filing through the streamlined procedure. (FEIE will not eliminate the requirement for you to pay SE tax, it excludes the income from income tax only.)
  8. Hi. I've been a teacher in Thailand for four years. I'd like to catch up on filing my US taxes. I have a low salary by US standards and no assets, so I'm wondering whether I really need to use the streamlined filing procedures to catch up, or if I should just file normally. Any thoughts? I've been told repeatedly that we HAVE to file US taxes, even if our income falls significantly below the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion. Also, I plan to get student loans for a master's degree program and need to have filed taxes to meet their requirements. Another interesting question is that many of my colleagues and I do online teaching for Chinese companies from Thailand. Income earned in Thailand for a Chinese company. I've heard teachers in the USA tell people that they must file as an independent contractor and report the income as 'self-employment' income. I wasn't going to bother to report it because there is no 1099 and my income will already fall well below the FEIE threshold. It just seems like unnecessary paperwork.
  9. Shanghai is a great city for married couples. Dinner dates together can be fun and cheap and there is always the possibility of an inexpensive massage together to rub away the daily stresses. With all the household help available, it’s easy to avoid the mundane disputes that arise elsewhere over who left whose dirty dishes on the counter and who always gets stuck doing the laundry. An ayi, who is practically part of the family, makes it easy to slip away from the kids for quality couple-time. There may even be the luxury of a car and driver to schlep the kids around town. Your time together in Shanghai may be the time of your life. But it may not be all wine and roses, and like marital partners everywhere, spouses in Shanghai may experience any or all of the sticking points that couples commonly wrestle with such as money issues, sex and intimacy problems, differing views about parenting, and frustrated expectations arising from cultural differences. Shanghai is a great city for married couples. Dinner dates together can be fun and cheap and there is always the possibility of an inexpensive massage together to rub away the daily stresses. With all the household help available, it’s easy to avoid the mundane disputes that arise elsewhere over who left whose dirty dishes on the counter and who always gets stuck doing the laundry. An ayi, who is practically part of the family, makes it easy to slip away from the kids for quality couple-time. There may even be the luxury of a car and driver to schlep the kids around town. Your time together in Shanghai may be the time of your life. But it may not be all wine and roses, and like marital partners everywhere, spouses in Shanghai may experience any or all of the sticking points that couples commonly wrestle with such as money issues, sex and intimacy problems, differing views about parenting, and frustrated expectations arising from cultural differences. Getting married in China. If you are a foreigner considering getting married in China, you will need to register your marriage in accordance with the laws of China. Generally speaking, at least one member of the couple must be a resident of China and at least age 22 for men and 20 for women. Chinese citizens who are diplomats or hold other significant government positions are not free to marry foreigners. The US Consulate also reports that Chinese students who marry foreigners should expect to be expelled from school as soon as they do so. To find out how to register their marriage, the couple should contact the Shanghai Marriage Registration Office and, in the case of the foreigner, the home country consulate for necessary documentation. Western-style pre-marital counseling is also available in Shanghai from a number of mental-health practitioners. (See Resources, below, for specifics.) Moving your marriage to Shanghai Experts say that moving, along with death and divorce, is considered to be one of life’s most significant stresses, so it’s safe to say that moving a marriage internationally to Shanghai will bring to the surface any hidden flaws in the marriage. Robin Pascoe, a veteran expat who has written and lectured extensively on expat family issues, says: “Ask accompanying expatriate spouses anywhere in the world to identify the most overwhelming loss they feel after moving abroad and ‘identity’ will likely be the near-unanimous reply.” In a fairly typical situation, he has an exciting new job, an office, staff who speak his language, and dinners out at glamorous restaurants. She, on the other hand, may be on her own trying to cope with day-to-day home life, unable to communicate well with Chinese helpers, and possibly trying to deal with unhappy children. Maybe his job is more daunting than exciting, and maybe he’s exhausted, too, by much longer hours than he is used to and a lot of travel. Perhaps she has given up a job in her home country and is financially dependent for the first time. They may have left behind aging parents, whose care is a concern. The stage is set for strong feelings of isolation, loss of identity, and guilt. Unless the marriage can cope with these, it’s easy to slide into a communication breakdown accompanied by simmering resentment and a loss of intimacy, which may in turn lead to escape into workaholism or infidelity. And here in Shanghai, where there is still enormous economic inequality between expats and most locals, and lots of opportunity to stray, the reports of male infidelity are legion. Ms Pascoe addresses these move-related issues and gives advice on how to restore balance in her book entitled A Moveable Marriage: Relocate Your Relationship Without Breaking It. A wealth of resources and information pertaining to expat family issues appears on her website, as well. A particularly helpful feature on her site is a discussion forum in which trailing spouses from all over the world share experiences and offer advice on coping with the marital problems that accompany expat life. Those spouses have seen it all. The factors that will help someone to re-gain a sense of identity are specific to each individual. But there are lots of opportunities in Shanghai, a city where people seem constantly to re-invent themselves. For some, it’s as simple as making friends by joining some of the many international organisations and attending social events or programs to introduce aspects of Chinese culture. Some of these, such as the American Women’s Club, have special small-group get-acquainted programs. Most of these same organisations do significant charity work in China and it’s easy to get involved in the community through them. Many people find that learning Chinese bolsters their independence; the available programs range from immersion at local universities to more moderately-paced but excellent courses at language institutes, to taking a class at the Community Center Shanghai, to hiring a private tutor. Professionals may find networking opportunities through such organizations as the Expatriate Professional Women’s Society or the Foreign Correspondents’ Club, whose members include journalists and non-journalists alike. When self-help help isn’t enough. If just getting settled and getting life up and running isn’t sufficient, or if a couple is troubled by stubborn issues, there are other resources. Marital counseling is also widely available in Shanghai at present through the Community Center, health-care providers such as Shanghai Family United Hospital and Parkway Health, as well as several private practitioners. When marriage ends. Ultimately, of course, some marriages fail here. Divorce and child custody issues may be quite complicated as a result of the international aspect of the marriage. Jeremy Morley, a British lawyer who specializes in international divorce and works in New York, advises spouses to hope for the best but plan for the possible worst. He further advises that “First steps are critical. The important early decisions include whether to stay overseas or return home, whether to give up the overseas home, or whether to take the children out of school and bring them back to… the home country. A [spouse] should never make these decisions without being fully informed of their possible repercussions on her legal situation.” To that end, he urges consulting with local attorneys as well as attorneys in the home country. Claudia Zhao, a Chinese attorney specializing in family law, advises that “If a foreigner marries a Chinese in Shanghai, their divorce as well as their jointly owned properties in China gained during the marriage can be settled here. The same is true for two foreigners who married in Shanghai; however, usually the overseas property will not be divided by the court in China unless they can reach agreement on property division. If two foreigners married in any other country, and they can reach agreement on divorce, the divorce can also be settled here.” For referrals to local attorneys, or help with local police in emergencies, for example if there is domestic abuse, expats should contact the consulate of their home country.
  10. The name ‘Shanghai’ evokes images of skyscrapers, elevated highways and traffic jams. Indeed, most of the urban core reflects this stereotype. Although this manic energy can be captivating, it can also be overwhelming at times. Fortunately for long-term residents, there are a number of opportunities on the outskirts of Shanghai to enjoy the natural beauty of the region. Among these is the Shanghai Boat and Yacht Club (SBYC), which allows members to sail on the gorgeous Dianshan Lake, a 62km2 freshwater lake in Qingpu County. Dianshan Lake has a long history stretching back nearly 6000 years, when Neolithic cultures such as the Songze and the Fuquan Hill people flourished in this region. This area has long been revered by the Chinese for its natural beauty. As such, Dianshan Lake makes an ideal location for sunny Saturdays spent on the water. With its gorgeous landscape combined with its convenient location to downtown Shanghai, it is not surprising that this area has become popular for wealthier expatriates and locals looking for a peaceful getaway. The area boasts a number of attractions and facilities that are ideal for families, including a variety of historic landmarks and clubs offering everything from golfing to rowing. The SBYC is one of the best-known clubs in the area. This non-profit was founded in 2001 by a group of avid sailers. This passion for the sport has continued to be an integral part of the club as it has expanded into one of the most popular water-sport groups around Shanghai. Although they have changed locations a number of times, the SBYC has settled into the marina of the Shanghai Country Club, which boasts a driving range and luxurious resort facilities. This means that SBYC members can relax in the restaurant or shoot a game of pool after a day spent sailing. Note: The SBYC is a separate organization from the SCC. While sailing is far from a mainstream sport in Shanghai, the club has grown to 180 members, many of whom are local Chinese who have grown to love the sport. Much of this success has been due to the Open Days, which offers all members of the public (regardless of sailing experience) a chance to come try their hand at sailing. More experienced members can take part in races that are hosted on a regular basis throughout the warmer months. Interested sailors can pay 50RMB for the special charter bus to the SBYC facilities. This runs on most Saturdays and Sundays from East Xujing Metro station (at the west end of Line 2, past Hongqiao Airport) at 9:00am, and departs back to Shanghai 5:00pm. Times and arrangements are subject to change, and you should keep an eye on their website. You can also take the Hu Shang Xian (沪商线) public bus for 8RMB, which departs from the intersection of Danshui Road and Changle Road. Readers interested in schedules, membership information and other related material should also check out the SBYC website.
  11. Regarding ambulance costs- ambulances in Shanghai seem to be nothing more than vans with lights on them- no life sustaining equipment on board and very little 'respect' gained on the roads - you'd probably be better off using public transportation if you won't have a readily accessible personal driver.
  12. It may also depend on what country you are from. Americans usually require more comprehensive plans because the cost of medical care in the US is soooo expensive. Many Europeans are fortunate because the costs aren't entirely up to the individual (or the individual's insurance). This is mainly for major medical problems - for example, something goes wrong and you need to be brought back to your home country for treatment. Also comes into play when you are traveling within your home country. There is a man named Tony who you can contact through the American Chamber of Commerce (he doesn't work for them) who offers several different expat medical programs designed for different needs and different home countries. He has been around for a while and knows his stuff. As for local insurance policies, I can't help you there.
  13. I'm about to finish a 1 year contract and start a new one - but the new employer doesn't cover medical expenses like the previous one. I'd like to know what is the system for obtaining medical insurance to cover me if I am injured or become really ill and I'd also like ambulance fees covered. I don't want to turn up at a hospital and have to cough up 20,000 RMB before hospitalisation - I'd like to flash a membership card and not pay more than monthly subscription fees. I don't mind local hospitals and I'm not that keen on paying 1000 RMB per month for a laowai package. Anybody got info on this question ?
  14. The most interesting thing is comparing your health record when you come to China, with the one when you leave. You will notice a striking difference.
  15. Health check is normally done at the hospital in Jinbang Lu (close to Shanghai Zoo). Takes about 45 mins and is pretty efficient. In 4-5 days you get the report. Especially the eye and ear test are funny...they take about 1 minute each and as long you are able to see or hear something you pass.
  16. I recently came to China (late Jan) and was required to do a medical check in my home country before I could get my visa. Apparently it was a new requirement and came in it involved tests for HIV and other STDs, ecg, chest x-ray and other general questions. You then have to do another check when you get here that is very similar! Good luck!
  17. You have your health check here. Your HR department will organise this for you. You go to a special clinic which will be full of foreigners looking totally bewildered but the little nurses are very kind and will make sure you get every check before you leave.
  18. Really appreciate any help with this: Trying to get all my documents together for coming to work in Shanghai, and I need to get the "health report". Does anyone know what they are looking for? Do I need to have specific tests done? They told me to check with the embassy here in Canada, but they seem to never answer the phone during their supposed office hours. Any advice is appreciated, thanks!!
  19. China: You pay tax on anything you earn while you work in China so if you travel for work outside China keep good records US: you get the first 85K tax free for foreign earned income only, money you make in the US (capital gains, bank interest, etc...) is taxed at the normal rate. Your tax rate is much higher here than in the US so I would push for the tax equalization package but not too hard because your cost of living will be a third. At least have them pay PWC to do your taxes.
  20. I am considering an offer of a position in Shanghai. However, the offer excludes tax equalisation. As I have worked overseas for 16+ years on tax equalized packages, this is new territory for me. I hope those experienced here can help me with some basic questions. 1. Is it correct that there is a tax treaty between USA and China? 2. If yes, how does that impact either my USA tax or China tax liability? I am assuming it impacts only my USA tax liability if I am living in China. If that is true, how does it impact my USA taxes. My assumption is that the normal foreign earned income deduction would still apply ($80K+). So, if my income were $100K, the US tax allows me to deduct the $80K. As the tax treaty I assume is to avoid double taxation, how does it apply in this case? 3. Can anyone suggest a tax specialist in Shanghai or elsewhere that I can deal with via email to help me assess the USA and China tax liabilities and advise me how to minimize tax through structure of the employment agreement or other strategies?
  21. Custom-made clothing is widely available in China, due to moderate labor costs and plentiful fabrics – but they do require some time and a little patience (and sometimes a lot of patience). The fabric market at 399 Lujiabang Lu is the spot where tailors and fabrics converge. Hundreds of vendors line aisles of stalls where bolt upon bolt of every imaginable fabric await perusal. Bargaining over the price per meter of the fabrics is expected, and as always, the more you buy, the lower they’ll go. The tailor will take measurements, and if necessary, request a fitting for a few days after the initial measurements. Most pieces can be finished within a week – but often some adjustments need to be made, which can draw out the process. Many of the stalls have samples of ready made clothing, such as winter coats, which can be customized with the fabric of your choosing. Chinese tend to wear clothing tighter and narrow than Westerners, so make sure to tell the tailor how tight or loose you want the piece to fit. Unless you already have a trusted tailor that you have used before, it is generally not a good idea to take a magazine photo or drawing of a piece of clothing that you want made to fit. A better idea is to take a piece of clothing that you already really like and merely want reproduced. You will need to leave it with the tailor. * For custom-tailored men’s suits, the most respected place in town is Dave’s Custom Tailoring, Wuyuan Lu, Lane 288, No.6 (5404 0001), where suits typically cost from RMB 3,000 – 8,000, depending on the material, and the process will take several fittings. * Hanyi Cheongsam makes cheongsams, the classical tightly fitting Chinese dress, for a price that ranges from RMB 800-10,000, with embroidered cheongsams at the upper end. There are three branches in town, located at 21 Changle Lu (5404 4727), 227 Changle Lu (5404 2303) and 73 Yandang Lu (5383 3793).
  22. 1) Everyone will assume you don’t speak Mandarin. I’d like to try and be fair about this, as the honest truth is most of us here do not speak the language. And if we did, we wouldn’t speak it very well. Still, please give some of us credit. A few of us can not only only speak the language, but we speak it better than you do. 2) Everyone will assume you are a teacher. Yep! The abundance of English schools in China for sure is overflowing. Just because I don’t wear a pinstriped suit with leather shoes and a black briefcase doesn’t mean I’m a teacher. Some of us actually have other jobs that have nothing to do with our ability to speak English. 3) Everyone will assume you don’t know a damn thing about China. I was very embarrassed when some of my colleagues from a former life didn’t know who Mao was, let alone who the guy on the huge Deng Xiaoping billboard(Shenzhen) was. Yet(sigh), believe it or not, more than a few of us do know who these people were, along with their significance. This would include Qianlong and Kangxi, Cixi, etc. Please don’t think we’re all totally illiterate about your long history. 4) Everyone will assume you don’t know how to use chopsticks. The dumbest damn question I get everyday in China is are you used to the food? This is often after I’ve told them that I’ve lived here for years. Do you think I go to McDonald’s everyday? Do you think I act like Chinese in America and ignore the native cuisine of the culture I live in?… But back to chopsticks: yes, I actually learned to use chopsticks. That would be because when in Rome do what the Romans do, and btw, very few Chinese restaurants have a fork and knife. Asides, Chinese food honestly speaking tastes better with chopsticks. Please though, don’t fall out of your chair when you see me using them. It’s learn to use them or starve to death. 5) Everyone will assume you are here to screw as many Chinese girls as possible. In the West we have a saying, It takes two to tango. If the West wasn’t always being demonized all the time, maybe we wouldn’t be looked upon as so exotic. 5b) Everyone will assume you go to a bar every night to screw as many Chinese girls as possible. Actually, a pub is a good place to relax and unwind after a day of work. (I prefer to go to popular Chinese hangouts) This can be done because…wait for it; no one thinks you speak Chinese! Thus they leave you alone… If they knew I could speak Chinese, I’d be mobbed. Why we can’t go to a club unless we have a hard on, though is beyond me. 6) Someone will say hello to you every damn day you are here. Unless you have an ability to move beyond hello and converse in my native tongue, like a grownup, don’t feign to have an interest in conversing with me at all, please, unless it’s in Chinese. What if I actually answered back in English? Than what? Oh, I know what happens next! You look like a dumb-ass! At first, it was all about being the good soldier and representing the West well. And I honestly tried with all my heart to answer back hello as well. But I’m human. Just because you haven’t been within actual eye contact of a Westerner before doesn’t mean you have to jump out of your britches to say hello to me in English. And please don’t go and pout if I don’t answer back. 7) South China doesn’t have central heating. Your apartment is a glorified concrete box, and you will freeze. This is especially true in Shenzhen. When you pour yourself Chinese tea just to warm your hands on the cup, rather than drinking it, you’ll know what I mean. When it’s warmer outside than it is inside the box, you’ll know what I mean. When you can see your own breathe inside your apartment, you’ll know! When you wear 3 sweaters and the chill still kicks your ass, you’ll know! When you don’t even want to take a shower, because that means you have to get naked first! 8 ) You will be stared at quite a bit. It will be an experience you’ve probably never encountered in your life, and it will make you uncomfortable. 9) You will be expected to hate the Japanese for a 1000 generations… Well, don’t the Russians and Germans get along??? The Germans and the French?? The French and the Vietnamese? ? Abbot and Costello? ?Leno and Lettermen? China isn’t the only country that was bullied by the Japanese. Why do I not hear the same angst coming from Korea? I do agree, the extent to which your country was humiliated by Japan is beyond pale… But the Japanese walking the street in China today weren’t at Nanjing. They weren’t at Pearl Harbor and they weren’t at Bataan. As a collective, the country actually embarrasses itself when it shows how easily it’s feelings can be manipulated en masse. It’s like Pavlov and the Dog. Have you ever considered looking up on the internet how many jobs Japanese companies create in China? It would be easier if they were allowed to buy advertising in your local newspaper to advertise that number, like they do in my native country, but apparently they are not allowed to. Japan would’ve gladly paid reparations to China, but some fellow by the name of Mao told them to forget it. 10) You will run into a lot of people that don’t speak Mandarin very well. Someone forgot to tell me I shouldn’t take it so hard when they don’t understand me. And they all neglected to tell me that China isn’t like America, where we all speak the same, from North to South, and East to West. There is a little thing called dialect that my Chinese friends back in school fucking forgot to mention before I came here. Did I mention that I was sent to learn Mandarin in Guangzhou?
  23. Why adolescents should be encouraged to approach drinking responsibly Parenting in Shanghai is not easy. In addition to the regular challenges associated with parenting, raising a family in the city brings unique hurdles. One that is unfamiliar and unique to many parents is the ready availability of alcohol. In 2006 China passed a law stating that the legal drinking age is 18, but it is rarely enforced. Compounding matters is the extent to which clubbing is engrained in the social life of the city, and the fact that Shanghai clubs rarely check for age. There is no doubt that even if your teenager has not already consumed alcohol, he or she has had and will continue to have the opportunity to do so. If you have not begun an ongoing dialogue with your teenager about alcohol consumption, abuse, risks and your expectations and concerns regarding all the above, then you need to. There are two basic schools of thought regarding the legislation of your child’s drinking: abstinence and openness. The abstinence approach involves informing your teenager of the risks involved, perhaps sharing some tragic anecdote, and concluding your conversation with, “… and this is why you CANNOT drink.” Frequently parents will levy a harsh penalty for violation of the no drinking rule, which is as effective at deterring teenagers from drinking as the death penalty is at deterring murders – i.e. not very. The openness approach requires more effort, but is more effective. Do not be mistaken, it is not allowing your child to get drunk weekly. The goal is to have an open dialogue about alcohol and your child’s relationship to it, with the end result being responsible choices made by your child. It is not as simple as allowing your teenager to drink a glass of wine with the rest of the family during Sunday dinners and assuming you have taught them self-control, and it cannot be executed with a single conversation, or even ten. The openness approach must be a concerted, concentrated, organized and ongoing approach to educating your child about alcohol and the choices associated with alcohol culture. The openness approach does not lack limits – in fact it necessitates them – however, it is different than the abstinence approach in that the limits are not ‘zero tolerance’ but more fluid and designed to encourage discussion, honesty and problem-solving. It recognizes that the thing deterring your child from making irresponsible decisions is not the prospect of losing their Xbox or extracurricular activities, but rather that of harming their relationship with you. The stronger the bonds between you and your child, the more likely they are to seek your advice and heed it when it’s given.
  24. If you plan at some point to go back with her yes start now and yes you have to register your marriage in the consulate here . As she does not have a green card she can not get a SSN but she can get a Tax payer ID number ( you have to love the IRS ) For you tax liability it would not make a difference as you do not spend enough time in the US and have no property . But at the time you want to get her a US passport or a green card the first thing you have to provide is tax records so having her in the filing papers will save you a lot of aggravation later on . As for the Roth IRA Really not sure sorry.
  25. If she does not have a green card or US passport, then you must mark on your tax return married filing separately. You have to show your married status correctly not to have problems later. Even though you mark filling separately, she does not need to file until she gets a green card or passport. they recommend not getting a green card until you both plan on living in the states. It will only make her exposed to global taxation. And you don't need to worry about the green card abandonment issue. She should be able to get a one year multiple entry visa every year without much trouble after the first one.
  26. We're here about 95% of the time, and no properties anywhere...I'll be hearing about that one for some time until we buy our first house. Should I even bother trying to get her an ITIN or SSN at the moment? Not planning on moving back to the US anytime soon, but was wondering if we should start with this now. Also, a family friend mentioned I have to register our marriage with the US Consulate otherwise its not valid and would be difficult to start the green card process. Any truth to it?
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