Peninsular CFE Announces New Lower Residential Energy Costs for Merida, Yucatan


October 17, 2017
The Diario de Yucatan just announced that our “Peninsular” office of CFE has changed Merida & its comisarios from the more expensive Tarifa Zone C, down to the cheaper Tarifa Zone D.

Sorry … This does not apply to the beach … but, since many of you have Merida homes … or are thinking about moving to Merida:

What triggered the change?
Merida experienced three consecutive years of summer months with temperatures over 31º C trigger the change from “C” to “D”.

What are the details of the change?
Zone C residential homes CURRENTLY get 900 kWh of deeply-discounted** SUMMER power. Zone D residential homes get 1500 kWh of deeply~discounted** SUMMER months power.  … Summer = April – Sept for CFE in Yucatan.

What does this mean for our power bills?
This means summer bimonthly ~additional~ NEW savings** of about $1050 pesos per bill for people using Excedente energy levels, (but not for DAC customers). On a whole-summer basis, we get $3,150 pesos of additional NEW savings** for the whole summer for Merida’s Excedente-level residential power users.

The new ~total~ summer Government Subsidy savings** for Meridadano households total to $8,600 pesos per summer. ~

**The deep discounts are government subsidies – gifts to us.

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Specifically:
“La División Peninsular de la Comisión Federal de Electricidad confirmó la reclasificación de la tarifa eléctrica en Mérida y sus comisarías. Con este cambio el municipio pasará de la categoríaIC a la ID, más barata. Esto significaría ahorros de hasta mil pesos entre los usuarios que consumen al bimestre 1,150 watts en promedio. ”

“La reducción se logró gracias a que el Ejército y la Conagua entregaron las mediciones de temperatura, en las que se demuestran que durante los meses de verano de tres años consecutivos, la temperatura promedio de Mérida rebasó los 31 grados, por eso se pudo cambiar la tarifa”,

http://yucatan.com.mx/merida/economia-merida/cfe-reclasifica-las-tarifas-electricidad

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Steven M. Fry

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World’s Largest Oil Hedge Is Complete

October 16, 2017
With the MXN Peso breaking $19, we’ve reached a point that the “experts” did not predict until next year, 2018.

In another very big bet on a forward-look, the Mexican Government just made the biggest bet ever for 2018, as

“The World’s Largest Oil Hedge Is Complete”

locking in 330 million of barrels of 2018 Mexican oil at $46 a barrel, guaranteeing a stable level of $15 billion in US dollar** revenues for the Mexican Gob’s 2018 budget.

**Notice that since the hedge contracts were negotiated in US Dollars (just like in the past) … even if the Mexican Peso falls … the Mexican Gob. still collects it’s oil revenues in US dollars, which softens the blows when the MXN peso weakens vs the US Dollar.

Historical Context: the Mexican Gob. has made some really shrewd oil hedging contracts in the past, as they locked-in $76 a barrel oil when the price fell to $50 a barrel (saddling 7 big banks, NY + Deutsche Bank + Barclays with huge losses) … and then Mexico locked in the next round of hedging contracts at $48, as the price then fell down to $20 a bbl (again saddling big Wall Street banks with huge losses).

Which way will things go this time?

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-10-16/mexico-says-world-s-largest-oil-hedge-has-been-completed

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Steven M. Fry

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ATM Fraud & Credit Card Skimmers: New App Detects Thieve’s Hardware on ATMs & Card Scanners

Sept. 25, 2017
Coming soon to a ~ Walmart … Target … Home Depot ~ in your area …

There are whole new generations of credit card skimmers at Walmart et al that are surprisingly good…

What Can We Do?
Thieves continue to modify public ATMs to allow them to steal our Bank Card or Credit Card information, by adding ever-more sophisticated card skimmers & hidden cameras to record  when we enter our security PINs … =>  Making identity theft a $16 billion a year industry in USA-Canada-Mexico.

There’s new free app out that allows us to detect many of the ways that an ATM … or gas pump … or Target~Home Depot~Walmart scanner has been hacked ~ modified by thieves ~ to steal your personal financial information, Credit Card ~ Bank Card numbers and security PINs.

Think:   Skimmer Scanner

BAD NEWS FOR I-Phone ~ Apple Users:
This new app,  Skimmer Scanner,  only works for Android devices  (think Samsung=good,  Apple=bad) … because there’s no iPhone version … The  Skimmer Scanner  searches for any Bluetooth modules near an ATM or gas pump.   Credit card skimmers currently use Bluetooth as the most typical method of transmitting our stolen bank & identity information.

ZDNet explains that Bluetooth modules are the most typical way that thieves download all the our credit card numbers & PINs they’ve captured … usually stolen without ever being detected.  … The thieve’s skimmer transmits our personal data to some Bluetooth module that “saves” the info,  until the thief returns to collect them.

Once installed, the thief never has to physically touch with the skimmer set-up, allowing them to be sitting in a nearby car nearby or even standing beside the offending gas station pump … casually downloading our personal Credit & Bank Card information.

For people who believe they can personally spot modified ATMs & modified Target~Home Depot~Walmart card scanners … consider this:
Can you spot the fake…  from the real one?

Credit Card Skimmer

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Here’s a link to other card skimmers seen in the past in Yucatan (see bottom of article).

https://yucalandia.com/answers-to-common-questions/banking-currency-exchanges-using-credit-cards-atms-in-mexico/

Can you spot all the fakes? …

If not,  maybe it’s time to get the app.

Happy Trails,
steve

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© Steven M. Fry

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Do’s & Don’ts of Buying a Used Car in Mexico

Sept. 19, 2017

Let’s begin with a few general principles:   Local Mexican used cars pricing can seem to be all over the map, unless you first check out Kelley Blue book values from the USA & check Mercado Libre prices for similar models across Mexico.

Next, Mexican used cars don’t lose value like United States or Canada-sold used cars.    Then consider that even while the MXN peso dropped 50% in value from $13 MXN, falling to $18MXN : 1 USD,  like Mexican real estate, the older Mexican cars purchased at $13 MXN: $1USD car prices have not generally risen the 50% that  one might expect from the MXN peso losing value.  This can mean that Mexican used cars can now cost less than the same US car.

Still, talk is cheap … What’s possible in the real world? …  For us,  our most recent personal purchase of a very good condition 6-year-old used Nissan Altima came in at just $90,000 pesos (about $5,000 USD) with just 50,000 miles.

Do’s & Don’ts:
Sharp people seek insider tips on how to value and buy a used car in their local market – which bring us to gently used cars, being sold by 40-60 yr old Middle Class women.  General used cars are likely to be beaten up by topes (our ubiquitous speed bumps), randomly appearing batches (potholes) that weren’t there last week, as well as the damaging vagaries of a tropical climate,  hot sun and proximity-to-the-sea marine influences.

 … So, why seek out gently used cars, being sold by 40-60 yr old Middle Class women?  … Typically, well-educated 40-60 yr old Middle Class women drive conservatively,  they know where the batches & topes are, and they take good care of their vehicles … plus, one more beneficial quirk:

There’s an old 1960’s maxim quietly running in their minds:

“Sell your car before it hits 100,000 km “, because supposedly “Cars with over 100,00 km have lots of parts that break.”…

That maxim made a lot sense back in the 1960’s – 1970’s, when US cars were notorious for starters, timing chains, automatic transmissions, radiators, brake master cylinders, ball joints  & alternators ALL failing between 60,000 – 120,000 miles. … But … due to competition~pressure from Japanese & German better-made cars,  pretty much all cars (except VWs) now run very reliably, with few problems, between 60,000 – 120,000 miles.

This means that gently-driven, well-maintained  Mexican cars being sold by 40-60 yr old Middle Class Mexican women can be EXCELLENT BUYS …

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Enjoying this? … Click on the link below to continue reading the rest of the article:

https://yucalandia.com/driving-in-mexico-issues-fun/buying-a-used-car-in-mexico-dos-donts/

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© Steven M. Fry

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SAT Clarifies Mexican Income Taxes for Foreigners

Sept. 16, 2017 Update

Taxes and death are the two things most people want to avoid, but here at Yucalandia we suffer from a peculiar malady of grimacing and facing-off with distasteful-but-necessary issues.  We recently addressed Death** ,  so, now it’s time for taxes.

Disclaimers:
~ As with all legal issues, it’s BEST to talk with a talented expert about the details of how to comply with Mexican law, and the information offered on Yucalandia is solely for educational & informational purposes.  This is especially true for taxes, because the Mexican ISR is particularly dense, yet the ISR incudes some surprising exemptions & exceptions.

Still, it’s also really helpful to get a sense of the basic principles of our responsibilities, to know when to go see that good tax attorney &/or accountant. That’s the purpose of this short article.   In April, 2017, SAT put up a helpful website, in English, describing foreigner’s specific tax responsibilities,  and that website is the basis for this article:

“TAX TREATMENT OF FOREIGN RESIDENTS RECEIVING INCOME IN MEXICO”
http://www.sat.gob.mx/english/Paginas/English/tax_treatment_residents_in_mexico.aspx

~  Note that if you are a resident of either Canada or the USA, Mexico has tax treaties with each, and those tax treaties provisions take precedent over Hacienda~SAT’s ISR rules.

For USA-nians, Yucalandia offers detailed analyses of our responsibilities both in the USA & Mexico under the 1993 USA Mexico Tax Convention at:

IRS Tax Issues for Americans Living and Working Abroad in Mexico – Master Article


WHO ARE CONSIDERED RESIDENTS IN MEXICO

Tax legislation considers residents in Mexico the following persons:

  • ​To individuals, nationals and foreigners, who have their residence address in Mexico. When they also have a living place in another country they are considered to be resident in Mexico, if they are in the following cases:

 – When more than 50% of their annual income is obtained in Mexico.

– When the center of its professional activities is located in national territory.

  • Individuals who are State officials or Mexican national workers, even if the headquarters of their business is abroad. 
  • ​Legal entities (companies, associations and civil societies, among others) that have established in Mexico their business headquarters or main offices.

Individuals of Mexican nationality are considered residents of Mexico, unless they prove they have a residence status in another country. 

Individuals who according to the foregoing are Mexico´s resident, regardless of being a foreign nationality, are taxed as any national individual resident in Mexico. to know how you should be taxed, you may consult the main tax regimes, if you fall in this category. 

Individuals who are residents of Mexico will be taxed according to their activity or corporate purpose in any of the following regimes: “

http://www.sat.gob.mx/english/Paginas/English/residents_in_mexico.aspx

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Mexican Taxes on Foreigner’s Real Estate Income
KISS … Keeping it simple:   Foreigners who own real estate & rent it out owe 25% taxes (“without deduction”) on the rental income:
http://www.sat.gob.mx/english/Paginas/English/how_do_foreigners_pay_taxes.aspx

Income tax calculation  
Tax is paid by applying the rate of 25% on the income obtained, without deduction.

Payment mode 
People who make payments, calculate the tax and make the withholding and whole or payment corresponding to the Tax Administration Service (SAT). 

When the individual who makes payments is resident abroad, taxpayer who obtains the income must calculate and pay the tax by means of a declaration, which he presents either by Internet or bank teller, within 15 days after obtaining the income. 

Obligation to issue an electronic invoice for the income or revenue collected 

Tenants must issue electronic invoices for the income received, which must have tax requirements. 

When the rent is paid to a trust, the trustee must issue tax receipts and make the withholding and the corresponding amount.

Caveat:  The good attorney Spencer McMullen also noted that the furnishings of a furnished apartment can trigger the IVA  (16.5%),  but as this advice was published several years ago, talk with your tax attorney / accountant.


Interest Income for Foreign Residents of Mexico
There are multiple levels of interest rates depending on the source of the income, ranging from 4.9% to 35%.  e.g.  21% interest is owed on income “paid by banking institutions“.

HOW FOREIGN(er) WHO RESIDES IN MEXICO SHOULD BE TAXED

Foreigners who reside and receive income in Mexico must meet the tax obligations imposed on them, like any national, the scheme for which they receive their income.

This includes income from leasing or subleasing of real estate owned by the foreigner.

Foreigners who own property in Mexico ” are considered nonresidents if their main business location is not in this country, that is to say, if more than 50% of their annual income does not proceed from a wealth source located in Mexico, or if the center of their professional activities is not located in national territory, among other reasons.

http://www.sat.gob.mx/english/Paginas/English/residents_abroad.aspx

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**Death & Taxes?  Here’s Yucalandia’s offereing on death:

Preparations & Key Actions for Dealing with the Death of a Loved One in Mexico

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Happy Trails
… and …

Keep doing your best to color inside the lines,

steve

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© Steven M. Fry

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Updates on Temporary Import Permits from Mexico’s Aduana

Sept. 10, 2017

Aduana agents at various US-Mexico border crossings are shifting their stance on whether the US state registration paper is sufficient to get a Temporary Import Permit for US-plated vehicles.  In the past, US state registration paperwork was sufficient, but now many Aduana agents are also requiring that we submit a copy of the vehicle’s title. …  Most recently, the Nuevo Laredo & Columbia Bridge Aduana agents have been refusing to issue TIPs with US starte registration documents, unless the vehicle owner also supplies a copy of the vehicle title.

Further, the fine attorney Lic. Spencer McMullen explains some additional details about additional problems that can occur if you do get your TIP with just registration paperwork:  ….  ” The HUGE issue is that while you can technically get a TIP with the vehicle registration, without the title your car will sit in impound if towed due to improper parking or accident. 

An additional insight to handling the TIP process well:
“… Financed cars should get a US notary certified copy (of the title) with apostille to prepare for this eventuality. ”

So, as Aduana~SAT policies continue to evolve, we can save ourselves some hassles & headaches by following the latest guidance from good experts.

~ As in the past, Aduana officials recognize that Canadians do not get vdhicle titles, so their province’s registration papers are sufficient to get a TIP.

Happy Trails,
steve

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Full details on bringing vehicles into Mexico (Permanent Imports & Temporary Imports) can be found at:

Importing & Driving a Car in Mexico

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143 Million Credit Information Accounts Hacked at Equifax – What to Do

Sept. 9, 2017

**See the end of the article, and the comments for new updates about a class action lawsuit and other new details on protecting our rights.  e.g.  The NY Atty General today asked Equifax to remove their buried ‘forced arbitration’ clause that applies to anyone who uses Equifax’s services, because the top NY Lawyer believes that using Equifax’s security service or even using Equifax’s ‘check’ function  could waive all of your rights to participate in the current national class action lawsuit against Equifax.

Public Service Announcement:
143 Million Credit Card Users   Personal Data   Stolen

The professionals at the Equifax credit reporting agency have again allowed hackers to steal our names, addresses, SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS, and credit information.  Equifax executives have known of the thefts since July, 2017, but they chose to not inform anyone that our personal information listed at this gigantic credit reporting agency was not sufficiently protected … and allowed to be stolen … again.

Even if you were never an Equifax customer,  they still lost:
~Your  Drivers License number,     ~ your Social Security Number (SSN),  ~ your birthdate,    and your address …. and the latest news update exposes that roughly 210,000 CREDIT CARD NUMBERS were also stolen “in May and July” 2017.

At least 50% of all American credit card holders personal information was lost.

Equifax is saying that it was NOT an inside job.  Equifax claims that the thieves entered through the Equifax website.

Equifax’s Chairman announced:
This is clearly a disappointing event for our company …

Editor’s Note:  Wow … Equifax really cares about the rest of us, whose information they lost, even when we have never used their services.

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KEY PRACTICAL POINTS:
Experts are saying that there is NO NEED to change internet passwords, because those were not stolen (unless you have an Equifax account and use that same Experian password on other sites). …

It is our names, driver’s license information, birthdates. personal addresses & Social
Security numbers**   that may be sold to identity-thieves … from Equifax’s third massive security leak ‘event’.

Solutions ~ Practical Actions to take Now:
1.  Check … don’t enroll* …  to see if your information was compromised:
Equifax has created a website, www.equifaxsecurity2017.com, to help consumers determine if their personal information was lost … and at risk.  Note…  Equifax will NOT NECESSARILY  give you confirmation of whether your information was compromised … Instead,   If you enter your  last name   and the last six digits of your Social Security number …  Equifax  “enrolls” you in their “protection service” …  but Equifax says this service may not start for several days.

Equifax ‘generously’ offers this “protection service” for 1 year, if we sighn up by Nov 21 …. which means Equifax will begin BILLING US  for using their service if we don’t cancel within a year. ….

*Saying things another way: … Be cautious about “enrolling” with Equifax’s efforts at damage control … to BE SURE THAT YOU DO NOT SIGN AWAY YOUR RIGHTS …

 
Some websites are reporting that by ‘enrolling’ , you may be waiving your rights to any future damages from the current new multi-billion $$ class action lawsuit.
??

See the comments below for continuing updates & new legal details.

~ Caveat emptor ~

2. Sign up for some independent service that regularly frequently checks internet sites to see if your Social Security number appear there ~ as the expert computer programs then notify you by email or by text that your SSN is appearing on suspect websites data-bases.

Unfortunately,   THIS WILL NOT BE OVER IN JUST A YEAR.
Historically,  identity thieves have continued to sell our personal information for years after past security breaches at Equifax, Experian and TransUnion ~ hence the need for ongoing years of continuous monitoring of where our personal information is appearing.  Note that AVG is currently offering this SSN monitoring service, and some credit card companies are also offering  SSN monitoring services.

Here is an example link to Discover Card’s  free   SSN monitoring services to their card holders:

https://search.discovercard.com/search?q=social+security+number&getfields=MORT.MORD.DT.DD.description&site=internet_cm_MOR&client=internet_cm_privateMOR_fe&proxystylesheet=internet_cm_private_fe&output=xml_no_dtd&proxystylesheet=internet_cm_private_fe&ICMPGN=AC_NAV_L2_SEARCH&x=0&y=0

At this point, Yucalandia has no facts or data to support choosing one SSN monitoring service over another.

3.  Monitor your credit card statements for suspicious activity.

4.  Monitor your Credit Records by requesting a copy of your personal report:
https://www.annualcreditreport.com/index.action

5.   Contact one or all 3 of the USA’s big credit monitoring agencies, and consider freezing  your credit reports at all 3 agencies because thieves can use the information stolen from Equifax … to open accounts with creditors that use Experian or TransUnion.

Unfortunately,   THIS WILL NOT BE OVER IN JUST A YEAR.   Historically,  identity thieves have continued to sell our personal information for years after past security breaches at Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.


Final Notes:

The big 3 credit monitoring agencies have been regularly losing our personal data (to thieves) since at least 2012, so, it may be time to contact your local Congressman & your 2 Senators and demand that the US government make changes in the regulations …  because

… Do any of us really find it acceptable that Equifax has known of the thefts of over 143 million American’s personal information,    but said nothing for over a month?

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**As the story continues to break~unfold,  Equifax was not fully open in their initial reports of the data breaches:
~In addition to our  Drivers License numbers, our Social Security Numbers (SSN), our birthdates & addresses …. Independent sources now expose the troubling additional news that roughly 210,000 CREDIT CARD NUMBERS were also stolen “in May and July” 2017.

This article also describes a class action lawsuit filed by citizens to try to recover some of the projected $69 billion in losses and harm caused by Equifax’s insufficient website security.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/equifax-stung-with-multi-billion-dollar-class-action-lawsuit-after-massive-data-breach

FURTHER NEWS about Equifax’s efforts at Damage Control:
Accoding to RawStory:   Equifax is trying to get us customers to sign waivers,  as Equifax tries to weasel out of potential $billions they may owe us from the class action lawsuit mentioned above.

*Saying things another way: … Be cautious about “enrolling” with Equifax’s efforts at damage control … to BE SURE THAT YOU DO NOT SIGN AWAY YOUR RIGHTS …

 Some websites are reporting that by ‘enrolling’ , you may be waiving your rights to any future damages from the current new multi-billion $$ class action lawsuit.
??
 
~ Caveat emptor ~

http://www.rawstory.com/2017/09/busted-equifax-forces-hacked-customers-to-waive-right-to-sue-in-exchange-for-using-its-credit-service/

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Feel free to copy while giving proper attribution: YucaLandia/Surviving Yucatan.
© Steven M. Fry

Read-on MacDuff . . .

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