Wonders Of Yunnan Travel

User profile: kc430

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  • RegisteredDecember 26, 2014
  • RegionChina
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  • RegisteredDecember 26, 2014

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Forums > Living in Kunming > IRS tax issue for mixed marriage

Me, American. She, Chinese. Living in Kunming last several years. Expect to stay another few--or longer.

Been sending tax to IRS under the category “married filing separately”. Been thinking of changing it to “married filing jointly”.

Why would I ever want to do that? Well, how about saving money.

Let me count the ways. 1) Would reduce amount of tax outright. 2) This past year my income tripped over a threshold, which will result next year in a significant increase on my health insurance. If I file jointly the increase will be minimal. Savings on these first two combined would add up to more than $5000. 3) Filing jointly now would be viewed favorably if my wife every applies for a US green card.

There is a gotcha I know about. My wife’s Chinese income would be taxed by the IRS. But that’s OK as we would actually pay less tax than before.

Then there are the gotchas I don’t know about. I don’t know if my wife’s Chinese bank accounts would require annual FBAR and FATCA reporting, which the IRS demands on foreign (non-USA) accounts over a certain threshold. As for myself, I don’t have, and never intend to open, Chinese or other foreign accounts.

What about the Kunming apartment we jointly purchased (both our names appear on the paperwork). Would that affect anything related to the IRS if we file jointly? Dunno.

And of course there have to be gotchas I can’t imagine in my wildest dreams.

I know, these are questions for a properly certified and fully credentialed expert professional.

But it never hurts to tap into the Kunming expat community.

Anyone had personal experience with this issue? Please share.

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Forums > Living in Kunming > Kunming parks discount-Expo Garden, Xishan, Zoo...

Just renewed my annual pass card for the World Horticulture Park (昆明世博园旅游区) on Bailong Lu. It allows unlimited visits for twelve months. March 6-10 the cost is 99rmb. AFter that 300rmb. Just need passport and provide the money and a phone number. They take your photo and give you the card immediately. Registration for Chinese residents might be a bit more involved.

The one-day rate used to be 100rmb but now has been dropped to 70rmb.

On the Women's Day Holiday (March 8 I think), women get half price (35rmb), men the full treatment.

I also just renewed my Kunming Parks pass, a different annual card that gives access to the Zoo, Western Hills, Golden Temple,

Tanhua Temple, Daguan Park, Black Dragon Pool and one or two others. Cost 150rmb. Take pHotocopy of passport photo page and visa-size photo to the special window near entrance to the zoo. You'll be asked (required) to write your Chinese name on the back of the visa photo (for filing purposes?). Fork over the cash and wait 15 days to pick up the card.

I walk frequently in Kunming parks and these two cards save me hundreds of kuai every year.

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Forums > Travel Yunnan > Lost utility knife at security checkpoint, again

Been wanting to perform this experiment for a long time.

Just did last week.

Bought a miniature Swiss Army Knife and successfully brought it through security (twice) at the Kunming train station on Beijing Lu at center city. Not a peep from the guards glued to the X-ray screen.

It's one of those miniature knives with minimal blades. Small scissors, nail file, tooth pick, tweezers, and one blade 3.5 cm long (1 1/2 inches). The entire unit is 6 cm long (3 1/2 inches).

Afterward I showed the knife to several guards inside the terminal, with varying responses:

1. No problem
2. OK, but keep it out of sight on the train
3. Prohibited (but the guards did not require me to exit, I could have boarded a train)

I don't know what would happen at South Kunming, the high speed railway station.

Time for another experiment.

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Comments

Thank you for this info. Always on the lookout for inexpensive ways to get around in Shangri-La. Last time I used a local driver for a morning drop off at Shika Mt, with a pick up in the afternoon for 50rmb.

Next time I'll look into bus 12. I'm wanting to hike up rather than take the gondola ride at Shika, stay overnight at Consonance Lake (灵犀湖). I'll probably have to doge the gondola people, who kept telling me, you can't hike here, you can't hike there.

The Telegraph article was originally published in China Daily. Here is a link to the original article, "Where is Shangri-La?".

www.chinadaily.com.cn/[...]

The article has a 20 minute video of author Simon Chapman's quest to find the place which inspired HIlton's novel, Lost Horizon. Chapman's conclusion? Yading Nature Reserve in Sichuan, as written about before the area had that name, by Joseph Rock in National Geographic articles of the 1930s.

Question for bike campers: I've always wondered how you are supposed to obtain water on an overnight bike tour. Do you carry it from town or the last hostel? I'd be leery about using water from natural streams due to livestock, pollution, etc.

Last month my wife heard a news report on Chinese media. Government is encouraging (mandating?) that parks and tourist sites reduce entrance fees. Goal is to encourage more visitation in response to less travel in slowing economy. The price reductions are to take place all over China. Seems to be working. Starting a few weeks ago, the entrance fee to Black Dragon Pool was reduced to 50rmb.

Entrance fee has been reduced by 30%, down to 45rmb. Half that for seniors. Guards at entrance station emphasized to me that ticket is good for one day only. Don't know how strict they will be on that. Earlier this year I entered the gorge twice on the same ticket a week and a half apart. We shall see.

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