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  2. oscar

    Land Reform

    interesting article. Mike Pompeo standing up against South Africa's land reform. Angela Merkel from Germany has also expressed concern and will consider closing the BMW Mercedes Benz car plants. https://www.sfgate.com/news/world/article/Pompeo-South-Africa-land-reform-plan-would-be-15066762.php#photo-19054452
  3. Earlier
  4. Not to mention amazon prime and prime now. I was feeling ill the other day but there was food that needed to be got. Voila, a little over 2 hours later there was a Whole Foods order on my doorstep. Between that and 24/7 supermarkets, one never has to fear when (for example) your high schooler finishes an important assignment at 10:30pm due first thing next morning, only to find the printer has run out of paper... it really is a life of utmost convenience (says SJ, sitting on the couch telling Alexa what radio station to play and what lights to switch on and off ) Actually, just the fact that stuff gets left on your doorstep was in itself an eye opener!
  5. Hahaha! Yeah, I’m old enough to remember GST in SA too. I reckon shelf checkout was probably the biggest “whoa! wtf” moment for us. Did it a few times in the UK, but they seemed to have a wonky sort of weight checking mechanic for each item mechanic that didn’t seem work more than it did. Much like pumping your own gas, I just can’t go back. I’m also enjoying the online and touchscreen ordering systems that more and more places are rolling out.
  6. Oops, I meant anything more, not less! Lol
  7. Haha 🤙🏼 thanks appreciated!
  8. Hi, it's some gas stations in NYC but not all. In New Jersy, there is no self-service. They do not expect tips and its not mandatory to tip them. But its quite nice to get your windshield washed.
  9. Ha, I’m old enough to remember when we had GST in SA (and that the Nats changed it to VAT to make the increases in indirect taxes less obvious...I seem to recall the tax rate was introduced at 4% GST in the late 70s or early 80s and then went up to 14% VAT eventually). Oscar, is that just in NYC or is it NYS as a whole? We have one full service station in our town (and three self service, it’s not a big town haha). I thought I read in NJ they have to pump for you too but may be mistaken. The first time we did it was a novelty, now it seems strange when others pump for you! What “baked my noodle” when we first landed - about a week before Christmas- was going to bed bath & beyond to buy housewares (before we discovered ross and home goods, lol) and seeing a massive display outside of all sorts of stuff for sale, mostly small and easily pocketable, with absolutely no-one keeping an eye on it...
  10. I concur you will do much better at finding someone to help prepare it the first time, and indeed if there is anything less than just straightforward salary income we’ve found it still pays to get a preparer after that as they know much better the most efficient way to file. We found someone with experience preparing foreign plus local for first year through word of mouth from other local immigrants, that could be an avenue for you. I do my FBAR myself because it’s very straightforward, but everything else I just give a pile of paper to my consultant and voila, I get a completed form and a bill back
  11. Hello Heidi556 Yes, you are on the right track. The first year of filing is always tricky, because of the dual residency status - i.e. income you earned before the date you landed and became a PR, and the income you earned afterwards. If you earned any USA source income BEFORE you became a PR, I believe you will fill on form 1040NR for that, and attach to your 1040. However, if you had no USA source income before you landed, only SA source income, you will skip that step. Non-USA source income - e.g. from South Africa - that you earned AFTER your date of landing - i.e. after you became a PR, is indeed reported on your 1040. For that SA income, you can claim the Foreign Tax Exclusion - up to a limit of $105 900 - which may be the easiest way of dealing with it - if your income was below that. Look at form 2555 and related instructions for that Alternatively, you can file form 1116 for a foreign tax credit - i.e. declaring the income you earned in SA, declaring the amount of tax you paid to SARS for that income, and then only being accountable for the difference (if any) if the Federal tax on that amount is higher than what you actually paid. In my first year, I tried - and failed - to find someone who could assist - the big online filing companies like HR Block and TurboTax, can't handle this type of filing, and even the people in their pop-up stores don't really get trained to handle this. so it is indeed hard to find someone who can guide you through this, but would definitely be your best bet. However, you sound like you have a good grasp on what needs to be done! Good luck with it all.
  12. Actually, in New York, you are not allowed to pump your own gas. They do it for you. (Probably worried about fires)
  13. Hi all This will be my first time complying with reporting requirements. Checking to see if I am on the right track. As I have it us new permanent residents have to submit: 1. Federal income tax returns to the IRS. April 15. Form 1040. This is global income. But US and SA has a double taxation agreement, so you may not have to pay tax on your foreign earnings, but you have to report it. 2. State income tax returns. (Hawaii April 20) 3. FBAR Foreign bank account report. April 15. Form 8938 and 114. No tax or fee associated with filing, but you have to report. I arrived 09/24/2019, so I have to file for the whole 2019 year by April 15 2020. I am a shareholder and director of a few companies in SA, so I will have to file quite a few forms, so will consult a local tax preparer, as the online tools i have found do not account for foreign earnings.
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  16. As a South African (from Slaapstad) visiting NYC, I thought that he would have found the uninterrupted water and electricity supply the most bizarre part of the experience 😏 Having said that, I also expected that a journalist working for “Business Insider”, of all publications, would at least know that the US (the world’s largest economy) doesn’t use VAT! I guess not. He’s lucky he only stayed in NYC with its public transport. Pumping his own gas and filling his own tires with air would have totally baked his noodle!
  17. I had my police clearance done 2 months ago (NOV). What a nightmare!! Had the police forward the application to CR & CSM. Waited a 1.5 months - no reply or indication that they received the application. (Was told, by the police station where I applied, that I will receive a sms once they begin processing). I inquired and was told by the CR & CSM that they "lost/misplaced" my application. Was told to resubmit an application. I then contacted Team Visa and Travel (https://www.facebook.com/TeamVisasAndTravel) - I can really recommend them. They couriered me the documents that was needed. Went to the police station for the fingerprints, Couriered the forms back to them .They went to deliver the documents personally and ensured it was being processed into the system. After 3 weeks I received my certificate delivered by DHL at my door. About 3 Weeks later I received the "lost" certificate from the police station. So now I have 2
  18. The "path" is basically the same now as for when you apply for a firearm licence. Just for the firearm license you must go to your local police station, fill in all the paperwork etc. They take your fingerprints and then they (SAP) send all to an office in Pretoria. They do that weekly and they also get info back on a weekly basis. My guess is that will be an extra 2-3weeks max for those stations not close to Pretoria (Criminal Record Centre) ps: On the other hand I have seen people not close to Pretoria get their firearm licenses before those that applied in Pretoria. (Same application date)
  19. interesting - I wonder if this now takes longer. The two sources have conflicting information about the delivery of the fingerprints to Pretoria: In the news article, it states: " Members of the public are no longer expected to deliver their documentation to the Criminal Record Centre in Pretoria, as was previously the practice. It is now the sole responsibility of the SAPS to compile and deliver the form to the Criminal Record Centre (CRC) on behalf of the applicant." On the SAPS website, it states: "Applicants living in South Africa may, at no additional costs to the applicant, request the police station to forward the applications to CR & CSM in Pretoria. *The applicant may also in person deliver the application to CR & CSM in Pretoria* or use the service of a postal or courier service at his/her own cost."
  20. The opposite perspective https://www.goodthingsguy.com/opinion/24-weird-things-south-africa/
  21. Hi All Best to follow the links for the details https://news.nari.co.za/info/new-process-getting-police-clearance-certificate.html https://www.saps.gov.za/services/applying_clearence_certificate.php
  22. LOL For those who are not used to different countries / cultures I guess NY and USA can come off as a bit of a shock to the system. I recall when my brother and his wife first visited us they had to get a connection in Atlanta Hartsfield and asked for directions to the gate..... "walk to the center of the Terminal, take the escalator downstairs, catch the train..." To which my SIL replies in a panic "I do not want to catch a train, I need to be on a plane to Orlando"?
  23. https://www.yahoo.com/news/im-south-africa-spent-2-172420068.html
  24. We normally call SA family on WhatsApp using WiFi, or sometimes Skype or FaceTime if we want video too.
  25. Telkom is in the process of replacing the old Telkom Landline phones with the new 3G FLLA WI-FI Phone. I called family in Cape Town last week, the quality of these phones is terrible. They are very loud and have a lot of distortion and echo on the line. Telkom's advice is to turn the volume down on both ends it helps a bit, but really the quality standards in South Africa are deteriorating. They are rolling out these new phones to all neighborhoods as Telkom says it will be less maintenance for them. Just be aware when calling family in SA that the phone service is going downhill.
  26. Yes that happened with my daughter as well, I used the little yellow immunization card that we were given in the hospital that had her name and my name on. I cant remember if I used anything else. We were also on Discovery back then and I think you may still be able to look that up online that she was put on your medical aid. Discovery should be able to give you that info.
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