Posts Tagged ‘Chile’

2017’s US taxes got borked and the IRS sent me back a notice that I owed them A LOT OF MONEY™ the reason for which THEY WILL NOT TELL YOU™ so you simply have to figure it out yourself and redo everything, paying interest penalties on money you never owed in the first place because it took them 9 months to get back to you because they are slow and they suck.

Anyways, in dealing with the fallout, I found a neat thing called the US/Chile Social Security Totalization Agreement which pretty much absolves you of the need to pay self-employment tax if applicable. 

There is no official tax treaty (yet) between the USA and Chile, but fortunately this agreement, in combination with the FEIE, should help eliminate a good deal of your tax burden if you are a self-employed vagabond in Chile.

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Long time since I have posted anything.

So many people have written in or told me how much they enjoyed my writing and how much they miss it. For which I am humbled. Unfortunately, it only came out when I was angry. And I’m just not angry anymore. Nothing in Chile has filled me with the pure, seething, all-consuming anger that seeps from every pore in the same way that Uruguay did.

I deal with anger, awkwardness, and general malaise by trying to bury/hide it in wit and sarcasm; maybe it’s age, maybe it’s environment, maybe it’s the fact that I have stopped watching the news. I’m just not a fission pile of daily rage anymore.

So, what’s been going on with me? Things have coasted along more or less smoothly bouncing back and forth between the USA and Chile over the past few years. I’ve gotten to the point where I am applying for Chilean citizenship. Still waiting on the t’s to be crossed and the i’s to be dotted regarding my Chilean tax situation, which got botched, but it’s nothing that cannot be corrected, and as soon as it’s rectified I can submit all the requisite poop to become an official Chileno.

The tax stuff came down to the SII (Chilean IRS) not having any idea what to do with my situation as a digital vagabond with so many different flags in so many different places. It took them a year to get back to me regarding just how to file, but here’s the cool thing: Unlike the US IRS, who is content to jail you for even a minor breach of rules they do not even understand and cannot (proven time and again) even supply consistent results for, Chile’s IRS will write you an official signed, stamped resolution about exactly how to file, with which you can show them if any issues arise. They just take their good sweet time doing it.

End result is that because of a combination of me paying taxes to the Empire, and because of a neat new loophole I found, my tax burden in Chile is pretty well negligible. I will pay more in accountants’ fees than taxes. Which is fine by me.

What are my plans for the future?

I’ve got a thing in progress with Polish citizenship by ancestry which may or may not bear fruit; I’ve located the missing link, and I merely need to find a record of his birth in Poland. Therein lies the challenge, because Nazis. I have no plans to live in the EU but you can’t ever say no to an extra passport. Well, maybe summertime in Berlin would be nice…

Puerto Rico is the next destination of choice after my Chile chapter is done. For an American digital vagabond, the tax breaks simply can’t be beat, and you get so much more benefit to much less time put in. 6 months of exile per year, right next to home, without technically “having to leave home” in order to absolve you of your US tax burden, plus no more capital gains taxes— where do I sign and how much of my blood would you like? One mortal soul, coming right up.

 

The door narrows in Chile

Posted: April 28, 2015 in News
Tags: ,

A new change to the laws regarding acquisition of a temporary RUT number in Chile (for things like buying property and vehicles for non-residents or non-citizens) has been implemented. Now you must have a co-signer in Chile who is either a citizen or full permanent resident, in order that they may receive correspondence and legal notices to the RUT applicant.

I would guess that most lawyers and notarias will do this service for people, but it just adds an extra complicated step in the process and takes away something that was, before, a walk-in-walk-out process.

Just found out that my permanent residency application in Chile has been approved. It took them 7 months to get it processed.

Chilean food

Posted: April 8, 2015 in Food, Travel
Tags: ,

I like Chile but their food sucks. Lots of people ask me what Chilean food is like, and I have never had an accurate explanation really until it hit me today: It is the expert addition of so much bread into anything so as to obscure its initial flavor by 99% or more. And not even good bread at that. I don’t know if it’s because they use coarser flour or do not knead or leaven the bread enough but it’s a tough, heavy, gritty bread that lacks finesse and dries the mouth. Surprising considering the German influences here; the Germans know their bread. The Chileans, sadly, do not. And yet they still put it in EVERYTHING.

El Buen Maestro

Posted: March 27, 2015 in Humor, Life, Stupidity
Tags: , ,

That’s what my downstairs neighbors called me after I went in and fixed the leaky pipes myself. Seeing as how the guy who installed them has probably fled Chile to avoid the torches and pitchforks, and the guy who I called to help me never showed up.

And so I learned how to solder copper pipes (because one of the first things I did during the teardown was to put the chisel straight through the gas line) and do Super-Duty Gringo jungle repairs on poorly-done Chilean PVC. And how to use plumber’s epoxy. And I actually did it right, because now there is no more feces raining down from anywhere but my own butt.

If this keeps on its current trajectory, in 6 more months I will have all the skills necessary to rebuild civilization from the stone age to the digital age after the zombie apocalypse wipes out humanity.

What had happened is that the “maestro” put a PVC pipe into an ancient iron one, and sealed it with nothing more than an entire tube of silicone. Said silicone was probably not meant for constant exposure to humidity and butt stuff, and so it fell apart 6 months later. And said pigiron shitty pipe was probably not meant for humidity and butt stuff either, because it had decomposed accordingly, and so I rerouted the other plastic pipes to another outlet, and epoxied the hell out of everything just to be sure.

Cutting the whole thing apart was a mess. It’s been done a hundred times; hero cuts into monster with chainsaw, getting sprayed with blood from head to toe, leaving a clean silhouette on the wall behind him. Only with me it was different in color and odor, as the reciprocating saw cut into the fermented sedimentary strata of poop in the bottom of the pipe… let me tell you there is no sensation quite like it. Last I felt this way was in Uruguay when I got a steaming shit shower from the backwards-built septic tank.

I knew better than to eat until I was done with this stuff, because I knew there would be gag moments. This was one of them.

I still don’t want to eat. I smell like a sewer. But it’s done!!!

Next I get to play with tile and cement, which is childs play for me at this point.

It’s funny, the whole situation, because I could have been finished with this crap a week ago had I just dove into it myself. Instead I kept waiting around for a guy I thought was reponsible to come and take care of it for me, because, well, I earn a lot more in the same amount of time for working my own job. It’s more efficient to do that and pay someone to do the repairs while I work, IF he fucking shows up to do said work. He said he would, and so I repeat the age-old mañanismo bullshit putting off my own stuff waiting on something that will never happen.

But hey, now it’s been fixed by a gringo, and con suerte it will endure for another century.

And now I am better than a Maestro Chileno. I am El Buen Maestro Gringo.

Ahhhh, yes, dear reader, I finally got all the previously-entangling bullshit out of the way and was looking forward to a restful day of piecing together my road trip plans. I needed a small camp stove and so I went out and got one, leaving that to be the last little piece of equipment I would require.

And, as soon as I was home, and had all my kit scattered around on the living room floor so as to arrange its optimal Tetris configuration into my backpack, I started to get that sensation. That odd sensation that “things are looking up, I really hope nothing happens now…”

Queue the music from Aliens, when Ripley realizes that she is in the same room with facehuggers skittering around. Yes, the high pitched squeaky violin sounds that build into a creepy crescendo; something is off to stage right and about to jump on the unsuspecting protagonist.

AND then a knock at my door. It’s the old lady from downstairs. Every time I see her, I hear that music from Aliens. And once again there she is, and she tells me there is water coming from her ceiling.

Now I have been back a full week at this point and this is the first I have heard of it, but maybe it has simply taken that long for it to make its way into the nooks and crannies and get through to her apartment below. But anyhow, it’s leaking from the toilet pipe because it’s got that lovely smell to it. Just fucking brilliant.

So now, I really MUST fucking abandon my epic road trip plans to epic digging up and redoing the plumbing AGAIN for the SECOND fucking time because the moron who I paid before to do it right the second fucking time didn’t do it right the second fucking time.

Now I know why Chilenos don’t want to renovate old places, now I know why, when dumbass ExpatBob went gleefully marching off in his own direction while the locals stood dumbstruck, exactly why they were dumbstruck. “Stupid gringo,” they thought, “wait a year and his toilet will be leaking onto his neighbor’s head.”

Why the hell is it that the guys who built this place made plumbing that lasted 100 years and the guy who did it last year out of indestructible never-rotting never-rusting plastic can’t even make it last 12 months???

But no, off I went thinking, “Stupid Chilenos! You’ll see! Such a great deal I got on this place and with just a bit of investment, it will be awesome! You are such fools to pass up this kind of cash cow!”

Awesome toilet leaks, for fucking sure.

I wonder how Chile isn’t bursting at the seams with its own sewage, really.

RIP road trip. I wonder if I will even have the time to get this shit (literally) properly contained before I leave.

I also wonder why the Gods punish me in this particular way– if you read back on past accounts, it is ALWAYS a plumbing disaster that ALWAYS derails my most epic plans, ALWAYS at the last possible moment. The Gods are, literally, shitting on my plans. Using my own shit, no less.