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Money-Business

Social Security Benefits Are Getting Bigger in 2018

Social Security checks have been relatively unchanged since the start of 2015, but recipients could have a little more pocket change starting next year. The Social Security Administration has approved a 2% cost of living adjustment. That will result in the average retired worker getting an extra $27 per month. (This year’s adjustment was 0.3%;… Keep Reading

Money-Business

How Does Mexico’s Credit Bureau Work?

Many expats are not aware that Mexico has a credit bureau. That may be because we have been told that Mexico is primarily a cash society. That used to be true. But as the middle class grows, more Mexicans have bank accounts, and that means that debit and credit cards are not far behind. Just… Keep Reading

Money-Business

Taxes and Social Security for Mexico Expats

Two questions I often get asked are, “Are Social Security benefits taxable?” and “Do I have to file a federal tax return?” It all depends, and it is important to note that these are two separate questions with separate dollar thresholds for each. Social Security (SS) benefits may or may not be taxable, depending on… Keep Reading

US IRS Doesn’t Recognize Contributions to Mexican Charities (But Don’t Let That Stop You)

Sometime back, I noticed some interesting language in the US-Mexico tax treaty. The treaty is an agreement to minimize double taxation between both countries. Article 22 allowed deductions for Mexican charity contributions on US income. Intrigued, I picked up the phone. The SAT, the Mexican IRS, publishes a regularly updated list of all recognized charities,… Keep Reading

Lake Chapala: The Perfect Place for Scams

The Lake Chapala area, recognized as one of the best places in the world for gringos to retire, is also a gold mine for scammers. Consider these factors. People come here with money; some of them, with lots of it. There’s a lot of gringo turnover here, both tourists and residents. Many of the gringos… Keep Reading

Money-Business

Mexican Bank Fraud Claims Up 10% From 2016

Bancomer bank had the most complaints of fraud in the first quarter of 2017, with 28.2 percent of the total claims, according to the National Commission for the Protection and Defense of Users of Financial Services (CONDUSEF ). The next highest number of complaints were against Citibanamex (formerly Banamex) with 22.1 percent, Santander with 19.4… Keep Reading

Money-Business

New Website Helps US Victims of Identity Theft

Identity theft is a growing problem worldwide, with almost a half million complaints in the US in 2015, a 47 percent increase over the previous year. To provide assistance to the victims, the head of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the US, Edit Ramirez, has announced a new website. It’s identitytheft.gov. On the website,… Keep Reading

Money-Business

Why Using Credit and Debit Cards is Better than Using Cash

Although the use of cash is decreasing around the world, Mexico is still the king of cash. According to MasterCard, 96% of transactions in Mexico are made in cash, while internationally, the figure is only 46%. Luis Mauricio Torres, a researcher of the Mexican Institute for Competitiveness (IMCO), and Manuel J. Molano, Deputy Director General… Keep Reading

Money-Business

Passports and Delinquent US Taxes

By now you may have heard about the passport provisions of the Transportation bill currently being considered by Congress. This is the most recent attempt by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) to take passports away from people who have “seriously delinquent” tax debt. If enacted into law, those who owe more than $50,000 could be in… Keep Reading

Money-Business

The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) For Expats

Much of the general information available about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) applies only to regular US residents. The act requires US residents to have qualifying health care coverage for each month of the year, to qualify for a coverage exemption, or to make a shared responsibility payment when filing their federal income tax returns.… Keep Reading

Money-Business

Counterfeit 50 Peso Bills Becoming More Common

Many stores check 500 peso bills to make sure they’re not counterfeit. But there seems to be a surge in counterfeit 50 peso bills locally, maybe because merchants don’t check them as often. Here’s how you can check if the ones in your wallet are real or fake. The newer (since 2006) real ones and… Keep Reading

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