What is a US person and who must file income taxes and financial account reports?

What accounts have to be reported on for FBAR?
“If you have a financial interest in or signature authority over a foreign financial account, including a bank account, brokerage account, mutual fund, trust, or other type of foreign financial account, the Bank Secrecy Act may require you to report the account yearly to the Internal Revenue Service by filing Form TD F 90-22.1, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR).”
What accounts must be reported on with FATCA?
Right now it’s still not completely clear, but it includes almost every kind of account, except life insurance.  It should be noted that it does include joint accounts held with a spouse, even if that spouse is not a US person, as well as any charitable or business accounts the person has signing authority on. 
What are the KYC/AML rules?
“Know your customer rules and anti-money laundering legislation”. This is basically the information the bank gathered from you when you opened your account, or have updated since, such as full name, address, occupation, employment, age, income.
What does the Minister of Finance say about all this?

Where can I find exactly what the Minister of Finance said about not collecting taxes for the IRS?
Letter from Minister Flaherty to Outraged Canadian:
How much will it cost me to come into compliance with the IRS?
Sorry, all we can say is, it depends, but it won’t be cheap, whether it’s in terms of money or time spent. Some people feel capable of filing their own taxes and reports, other feel they have to hire specialists. A broad estimate would be $1000 per year that must be done, for simpler returns. Anything more complex will take more time and more money. 
What exactly is FATCA?
Draft FATCA regulations: http://maplesandbox.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/reg-121647-10.pdf
IRS: http://www.irs.gov/businesses/corporations/article/0,,id=236667,00.html 
Where can I find more information about the voluntary disclosure program?http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=254187,00.html
How do I renounce my US citizenship?
What is the different between relinquishment and renunciation?
Relinquishment is generally done by performing an expatriating act, as defined by the US State department, where renunciation is formal, accompanied by forms and appointments at a US consulate.
How do I find out if I am eligible to relinquish rather than renounce?
Everyone’s circumstances are different. You’ll need to research for yourself. The Isaac Brock Society has valuable information on this.
How do I get a copy of my Canadian citizenship file?
Fill out a request form and submit to CIC (see links). Some people report that faster responses are obtained by writing a letter rather than submitting the form. Regardless of which you choose, a $5 fee must be paid.
Where can I find the tax treaty between Canada and the US?http://www.fin.gc.ca/treaties-conventions/usa_-eng.asp
How do Canadian banks stand on FATCA?
Our impression is that while they’re not happy about it, they’re all gearing up to comply.
What are the types of US connections to the US that the banks will look for?
Directly from the draft FATCA regulations:
“For this purpose, U.S. indicia include: (1) identification of an account holder as a U.S. person; (2) a U.S. place of birth; (3) a U.S. address; (4) a U.S. telephone number; (5) standing instructions to transfer funds to an account maintained in the United States; (6) a power of attorney or signatory authority granted to a person with a U.S. address; or (7) a U.S. “in-care-of” or “hold mail” address that is the sole address the FFI has identified for the account holder.”

4 thoughts on “FAQ

  1. Just to add a bit to the relinquishment vs renunciation section above:
    While it is true that relinquishment is done by performing an expatriating act usually taking out Canadian citizenship and/or swearing an oath of allegiance to the Queen, the US will no longer issue a CLN after simply being informed of your performing this act.
    If you wish to have the CLN you must fill out forms (DS-4079 http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/97025.pdf and DS-4081 http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/81607.pdf) and make an appointment at a US embassy or consulate and present these forms along with a list of other documents (citizenship papers, passports, marriage certificates and such as these – the list seems to depend on which office you have for your appointment.)
    After the appointment an assessment of your claim is made and if the US State Department accepts it you will be issued the CLN. Mine took almost six months to arrive.

  2. Thank you, Johnnb. I will add your excellent info and links. I expect this to be an ever growing, ever changing (and hopefully ever improving) document

  3. Please note that your FAQ should say what accounts does the United States or the IRS require that one reports. These are not requirements incumbant upon Canadians who have legal bank accounts, since the Canadian government has said it will not collect FBAR fines from anyone.

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