The Economic Impact of FATCA and FBAR Terrorization

Why aren’t our governments more concerned about what the US is doing? Ignoring, for the moment, the legality, or lack thereof, why don’t the governments of our countries recognize that the terrorization of their citizens by the US has a far greater effect than just the immediate financial impact on an individual?
First of all, why don’t our governments see what the US is doing as terrorization? Is that too strong a word? I don’t think so, considering the impact of their policies, the statements of the IRS, and the media reports. The definition of terrorization, according to the Free Dictionary:  1. To fill or overpower with terror; terrify. 2. To coerce by intimidation or fear, or according to Merriam Webster: 1. To fill with terror or anxiety; 2. To coerce by threat or violence.  The word simply fits.
So, why don’t our governments see the overall impact this terrorization can have on their countries’ economies? It’s not just individuals that are financially affected if they must dip into their retirement savings, or take out loans against their houses in order to pay specialists or pay ridiculous penalties to the US. We all recognize that the financial stress has had a negative impact on our health, our relationships, our jobs, and our families. Why don’t our governments? 
Why aren’t the departments of Health, Finance and Occupational Health and Safety (or equivalents) of our various governments concerned?
Consider what I’ve found with just a little research:

  • financial worries are the number one cause of stress;
  • personal stress has a negative effect in the workplace;
  • the main reason for lost work hours is stress.

According to the Center for Disease Control, the most common diagnosis during a physician’s visit is essential hypertension, which is simply high blood pressure from an unknown cause.
The site WebMD says, ‘But too much stress can lead to emotional, psychological, and even physical problems — including heart disease, high blood pressure, chest pains, or irregular heartbeats. Reducing stress can help lower high blood pressure. ‘
A report published in Sep 2011 by the Health and Safety Executive of the UK government states:

  • Stress, depression or anxiety and musculoskeletal disorders accounted for the majority of days lost due to work-related ill health, 10.8 and 7.6 million days respectively.
  • The average days lost per case for stress, depression or anxiety (27 days) was higher than for musculoskeletal disorders (15 days).
    http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/dayslost.htm

According to Princeton University’s Isle.org, reported in May 2011,

A 2004 report by Carleton University associates financial stress with a decline in physical health, marital breakups, and long lasting effects on children.

  • …. can put one at increased risk for health problems including cardiovascular disease, arthritis, hypertension, and reduced ability to fend off viruses due to compromised immune functioning. They can also maintain (if not cause) major psychological disturbances including depression and anxiety.
  • Financial stress is also associated with declining physical health such as an increase in headaches, stomachaches, and insomnia. Again, it is likely that people with a great deal of financial stress experience high levels of depression and it is depression that is most directly associated with worsening physical health.
  • As financial stress increases, so does the likelihood of marital discord and breakup.
  • Financial stress also has a negative impact on how parents parent.  That is, as financial pressure mounted, children became more depressed and anxious, and began to feel less control over their lives.
  • Children of financially stressed parents tend to be more prone to mental health problems, depression, loneliness, and are more emotionally sensitive.
  • …a conservative estimate that anxiety, depression, and substance abuse costs Canadian businesses more than $11 billion per year in direct losses in productivity and an additional $22 billion per year in indirect costs, based on 1993 data. They note that these estimates do not include costs related to health care or social services.
    http://http-server.carleton.ca/~jmantler/pdfs/financial%20distress%20DSI.pdf

It seems clear to me that stress has a negative impact on the economy of a country, with more sick days being taken, an overall loss of productivity in the workplace, an increase in substance abuse, an increase in divorce rates and an increased load on health care and social services systems.
Even if they don’t care about us individually, after all, in Canada, for example, we’re less than 3% of the population who are directly affected, why don’t they recognize the broader financial impact? Is it that they don’t care?  Or is it simply that they’re afraid to stand up to the US?

37 thoughts on “The Economic Impact of FATCA and FBAR Terrorization

  1. @Outraged: When I talked to my neurologist about the impact the sleepless nights from IRS were having on my MS, he nodded, cringed and sighed. He seemed to know about the issue. My impression was I was not the first Canadian patient to address this with him.
    It would be interesting if Canuckdoc would share her opinion on this with us.

  2. @Blaze, I can only imagine how the extra stress would affect someone with existing health conditions. Especially if it’s a struggle to stay healthy yand strong on a daily basis, anyway. Makes me feel a bit guilty, actually – me, I’m just eating too much, smoking too much, sleeping not enough and taking more sleep aids at night. Not a huge impact right now, but I recognize the potential of my own personal destructive behaviour. Don’t be able to seem to stop it, though.
    I’m with you in hoping that Canuckdoc and others with inside information chime in. It’s always possible my conclusion is wrong, but I doubt it. It would be interesting to see if there’s been a spike in costs or in diagnoses of depression in the last year or so!

  3. I posted the comment below at http://isaacbrocksociety.ca/2012/09/04/form-3520-foreign-trusts-streamlined-filing-compliance-procedure/comment-page-2/#comments, with additional conversation and the older post of his brought forward by renounceuscitizenship that helped me immensely the first time I read it. I know it won’t be specific for some, but it was for me and I know it would speak to others.
    I know there is an undercurrent of despair beyond what many of us post here, me included. I am constantly talking myself out of feeling the way I do.
    From a discussion regarding counselling, the cost entailed on top of our other costs and our conclusion that it wouldn’t be money well spent:
    “This sure is doing horrible things to many, many families.
    I, too, have thought of getting counselling and came to the same conclusion as you. I can only imagine how many sessions it would take just to explain what the situation is. It being so unprecedented and convoluted creates a lot of stress in itself … what the US is going is a completely unprecedented situation in human history. People understand stuff like, say, tsunamis or fire or war, etc, even if they’ve never been in one. But this has no precedent at all (and is convoluted and weird it’s hard for someone else to relate to it or understand it or even believe it).
    I agree I don’t know where I’d be without Brock (and the gang pre-Brock last fall). I don’t even want to think about it. ”
    If you’re anything like me, you want your life back; you don’t want your relationships dictated by this nonsense; you want to give yourself to your life as it was before the OMG moment.
    Idealistic I am, but if this is you too, I wish you the return of joy in your lives:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nj2ofrX7jAk&feature=watch_response

    1. @Calgary, Blaze, OutragedC
      Thanks Calgary for the above post. I had somehow missed renouncecitizenship’s prior post at Brock. So reading it yesterday at Brock was the first time.
      Life is really too short to allow this to drag us down. I have learned this the hard way as I am sure many of you have also. Thank goodness for all of you. It has been a great help. Sometimes I need to gently remind myself that there are many in worse situations.
      I keep telling myself that I will get through this and life will get back to normal. I just hope I am not in a Seniors home by the time that occurs!

  4. It’s as though Congress wants to punish us for daring to not want to make our lives in America. Got this same impression when listening to Joe Biden’s recent speech where he demonizes territorial taxation. US exceptionalism…we’re collateral damage and not much more.

    1. @Mona Lisa, I have come to believe that many Americans, and most particularly, many American politicians truly believe that ‘real’ Americans want to live in the US, and anyone else is not a real American, and therefore deserve anything (bad) that happens to them. I wonder where this attitude of closing the ranks against perceived outsiders is going to take them – what will the US look like in a decade’s time?

  5. “The zombies are coming,” warns US Homeland Security.
    Homeland Security is urging Americans to prepare for a “zombie apocalypse.”
    (Honest!)
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/us-warns-citizens-of-zombie-apocalypse/article4526548/
    Do we need any further proof they have lost their minds down there? Maybe that’s how they are spending all the money “onshore” which they are trying to seize from us “offshore.”
    Our challenge is to fend off IRS bullies and FATCA monsters while trying to maintain our finances, lives, homes, marriages, careers, health and sanity. Shall we now add American zombies to the list of assailants?
    To protect myself from the zombies, I am off for a relaxing evening–beginning with a nice bowl of ice cream for supper. CanuckDoc may have something to say about that, but how else should I prepare for the Zombie Invasion?

  6. @all, The stress of this situation has been so overwhelming for me, I have had a horrible time dealing with it all. It has been almost a year since I discovered this nitemare while watching the news. I feel I just went off the deep end, nervous, depressed, weight gain, suicidal thoughts, crying, loss of sleep,lots of anger, chest pains, marriage problems. I am now alittle more calm but not alot, I have to take sleeping pills so that I can get some sleep. Hopefully it will get better, but I am not really hopeful. I am thankful for site’s like this because I know I will get support and understanding. I am so sorry that so many people have to suffer this way, it is so unfair..

    1. Saddened, it is good to hear you are coping better. You are fighting this by taking the steps you’ve now made with your consious decision to do so rather than to just give in and let whatever happen. We’re each in our own ways fighting for what we believe our rights are against this. That alone gives us more strength — but the beauty is we are also stronger with the support of each other.

    2. Saddened, hang in there. Life will go on, even if it has changed us and our families. We are still alive, and that is no small victory for us in this situation – that we will go on despite US oppression and injustice. I always looked for you and others on IBS, and now here, and was glad to see you were still with us, still persevering – even though it has been very hard to do.
      Myself, I had to consciously decide (and keep having to remind myself) that the IRS and the US can not have my life – I will not give it up to them. And believe me, the anxiety and dread has been dragging at me night and day. The US cannot take our lifeforce directly. Personally, I hope to live for as many years as possible, and I look forward to the freedom to publicly embarass the US related to this issue and other similar injustices in any way I can for as long as possible! Finding IBS was a godsend, I don’t know where I would have been now without it, and others like you, and the people here at Sandbox. And also, seeing the efforts of the ACA, and reading the words of the Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson. I have to thank also her staff at the TAS, because they made some of our issues public when no-one else in the US would. They do actually listen and actively respond to complaints via the SAMS http://www.irs.gov/uac/Systemic-Advocacy-Management-System-%28SAMS%29 , and demonstrated to me that they take them seriously. I believe that the sum of all of our efforts is having an effect, even if the IRS proper is still ‘stuck on stupid’ (or worse) as someone at IBS has said. The US has created only adversaries and activists instead of advocates and ambassadors.
      And laughing with you, and all, has really helped! It may not be seen as serious participation or information sharing by some, but it really buoyed me up, so many nights to be able to ‘be’ (even virtually) with others who knew what I was talking about, and to use humour as a release.

      1. @Badger, I really hope that the sum of our efforts will make a difference, because that’s why I keep going in spite of the seething and stomach ailments I feel as a result of this predicament. Truly, we’ve been treated unjustly by the US government, but will justice prevail?
        My MP wished me peace and success in resolving my issues with the IRS, the word “peace” being the greatest indication that he understands the effect of what the IRS’s actions are having on my emotional state. I also wish him success in being effective in moving the Canadian government in a direction that will benefit USP’s in Canada. Would you be in agreement that the Canadian government’s silence has gone from ‘deafening’ to ‘pregnant’, at this point?

        1. Bubblebustin;
          Yes, the silence by the Canadian government is pregnant. And what will it birth? They have a direct responsibility to the million of those claimed by the US. Duals should be treated first and foremost as Canadians – in Canada, by a Canadian government. And permanent residents have made a deliberate choice to move here and stay – and pay taxes and contribute to Canada. All those in Canada deserve protection from the overreach and arrogance of any other country reaching into Canada and grabbing at our legally earned and already CRA taxed assets and household savings. Can Canada afford to have 1/35 households robbed or held hostage by whatever the US will continue to impose?

          1. 1/35th of Canadian households is not insignificant. This must certainly be handled diplomatically to avoid a potentially explosive situation and what could result in a significant rise in anti-Americanism in Canada.

  7. @Saddened, hang in there! You’ve shown how strong you are already by still being with us, by not denying what’s happening, but actually facing it. I struggle, too, as I’ve said before – flip flopping back and forth on feeling optimistic, then down in the dumps. Deciding to take action, and then the next day deciding not to take action. There’s no doubt it’s hard, and you’re right, it’s certainly not fair, but it’s our very unfortunate reality. We ARE with you, we do empathize with you, and do have a particular understanding that those not caught in this nightmare just can’t have. Keep your strength up, keep coming back, and know we’re here for you, we’re here for each other, in a way I never thought was possible. Although I’m in IT, I had been somewhat of a sceptic, thinking that blogging, and tweeting and online friends couldn’t possibly be of that much value (since it’s not real life, of course). Boy, have I changed my mind in the last 6 months! It IS real life, there is great value and however much I hate being in the IRS trap, I will be forever grateful for having found out just how wrong I was.

  8. In response to various comments, although I am hardly an “expert” in anything discussed here.:
    Yes, “stress” can aggravate all kinds of medical conditions, including MS. I was surprised to hear that the neurologist seemed to know all about the problem. He might even have some of them himself for all we know.
    It is interesting that the CMA has gotten involved. .They are partly speaking on behalf of Canadian doctors, many of whom are US citizens and dual citizens, and who have probably got enough money to be of potential interest to the IRS, even if everything they do is completely above board and legal in Canada. But they also have a subsidiary, MD Management, which provides financial and investment services for doctors. So they are an FFI which has a relationship with it’s clients that is much closer that that which most people have with their local bank., and I’m sure they know they have a lot of “US citizens” on their books,
    I have often wondered how they will deal with FATCA, because as part of an organization whose whole reason for existence is to provide financial services for doctors, to be put in the position of having to close accounts, or antagonize their clients with intrusive questions, would be very difficult.
    And finally, with regards to counseling, I would encourage anyone who is depressed, or whose family relationships are suffering to get some sort of help in dealing with it. The problem with the whole situation for most of us is the uncertainty of it all. Most of us have not actually had bad things happen, but we are being threatened with all sorts of nasty punishments for being “non compliant” with rules that are confusing and unreasonable. Those punishments might happen, or they might not (and I like to think that for most of us, they probably won’t. At least that’s how i sleep at night)).
    Uncertainty can be the worst sort of stress, because there is nothing you can do to deal with something that hasn’t happened but “might happen” in some unpredictable way in the future. People who have had their accounts closed, or who have had to pay big fines in OVDI have stress too, but at least they know what they are dealing with, and it is a different kind of stress.
    So, all one can do in this situation is to learn mental techniques to relax, keep things in perspective, remember what is really important. Don’t let the IRS ruin your marriage or your relationships with your children or the things you used to enjoy in life. That’s what counseling should help you with.

  9. And about the Zombies…
    Blaze, you should enjoy your ice cream, and make sure you get regular exercise, doing something you like to do.
    Do you think the IRS might bring a special “Zombie Tax”? Once you are eaten? destroyed? (what do zombies do?) the IRS will take all your money. in a 100% zombie tax. Hey, maybe the zombies are already here, running the IRS!
    Sometimes you just have to laugh!

    1. I think a zombie tax might apply only to the staff at the US embassy in Ottawa. Zombies are reputed to eat the brains of the living. People who have their brains eaten sounds to me just like the embassy staff. People at the embassy live outside the US and that’s the favourite tax target of the IRS. Yep. I think it’s a tax on the embassy staff.

  10. Thanks, Canuckdoc. Although you’re not positioning yourself as an expert, as a doctor, and as someone who is also caught in this, you do have a valuable perspective, I think. I agree that counselling can be very valuable. Although I haven’t had to use it for this situation, I have done so in the past with (ancient) relationship issues and have come out much more balanced and mentally healthy.
    Although I don’t really practice the mental relaxation techniques, I do in a way – what calms my brain, and soothes my soul, is cooking, believe it or not. Mr. Outraged, I believe, is quite enjoying the fact that I often require some soothing activity. 🙂

  11. @CanuckDoc: They say laughter is the best medicine. I wonder if anyone has told the zombies.
    I will make sure I have clean underwear just in case!

  12. STRESS!!!  I  have worried about this for months, followed all the sites, I have called accountants in Canada and the US, H & R Block,  the IRS— your on hold for an hour then they disconnect you.   I even called the FBAR criminal investigation division, left my phone number and a very nice man did call me back.  He said that I did not need to enter their program, they were not looking for people like me, but now that I knew about FBAR, I did need to comply.   But Everyone I talk to tells me something different and I still haven’t done anything!   I have NO income to declare and I cannot justify paying thousands of dollars to file  form 3520 for my $300 I have earned in interest from my BANk for my TFSA.   Or form ??? because In the last 10 years I have earned $700  in capital gains for  a Canadian Mutual fund held jointly with my Canadian husband ,  and the form I need to file for my RRSP’s.  
    I am one of the minnows they are looking for…..  I have  never since leaving the US held any US accounts, property,  financial accounts or taxes and I have never in the 38 years living in Canada been contacted  by the IRS.  I have NO income to declare.   I have MS and for the last three years my 70 year old CANADIAN husband has been battling lung/brain cancer.  He just got out of the hospital a week ago after having his second surgery in the last  year to remove a brain tumor.  All my strength should be in helping him, instead of worrying about how I’m suppose to fill out these forms.   I’m so afraid of filling out the forms and doing something wrong.  
    I can file their simple 1040 to report I have NO income. I can even fill out their FBAR forms.  But  what about the other forms I have to file? Before this new announcement, I had quotes up to $5000  to file 6 years of returns, so now it’s going to cost me $2500 to file three years to report I have  No income, but I need to file form 3520 to report $300  in interest over the last four years in my TFSA  and to report my RRSP’s.  I have  NEVER needed an accountant to file our Canadian taxes.  
     YES I am very stressed about this.  I  know  I have to deal with this.  This added stress is too much in my life.   I want to thank all of you for fighting my fight.   

  13. @Ferfet: Welcome to Maple Sandbox. My first advice is take a deep breath. Try to relax. I know that is easier said than done.
    Like you, I have MS (have had for 28 years). I know the most important thing I can do for my MS is to make sure I get the sleep and rest I require. If you stress too much about this, it will affect your MS, especially if you are losing sleep..
    My second advice is concentrate on yourself and your husband. That needs to be your priority.
    Now, I have some questions. Are you a Canadian citizen? Canadian citizenship is your best protection from IRS. Canada Revenue Agency and Finance Minister Jim Flaherty have both stated clearly and firmly CRA will not collect any tax liability for IRS on a Canadian citizen, even if that person was also a US citizen at the same time. Even if you are not a Canadian citizen, CRA will not collect any penalty on either a Canadian citizen or resident for failure to file a report (ie FBAR) with IRS. Plus, IRS has no jurisdiction in Canadian courts, despite what they might like to believe.
    If you are not a Canadian citizen, the best thing you can do for yourself is apply for citizenship now.
    If you are a Canadian citizen, when did you become a Canadian citizen? There are some key dates that are important. Have you done anything since then to reclaim US citizenship (i.e. had a US passport, voted in a US election, filed IRS returns)?
    If you have not done any of those things, you could apply for a backdated CLN at an American Consulate. CLNs are coming through backdated to the date the person became a Canadian citizen. Some people have chosen to do that. I personally am staying away from US Consulate and IRS and not applying for a CLN backdated to 1973.
    My personal advice is do not file with IRS, especially if you are a Canadian citizen. If you do, that will be reclaiming your US citizenship.
    As you may know, on Brock Steven Mopsick advised that IRS is very unlikely to target those of us who have been out of IRS system for decades. So, to use Schubert’s metaphor, Don’t Wake The Sleeping Bear! How in the world is IRS going to find you unless you decide to poke the Sleeping Bear in the eye?
    As you may know from following the various sites, even if FATCA proceeds, current Canadian law does not allow your bank to ask for your place of birth or even citizenship. If banks violate Canadian banking, privacy and human rights laws, we may have grounds for a lawsuit against the banks.
    To date, the government has shown no indication they will change Canadian laws to accommodate a foreign government. At the same time, Canadian government has not said they will not change laws to accommodate IRS. Some believe the government will do that. I personally do not believe they will.
    Even if the government did change the law, we may then have grounds for a Charter Challenge against the government. I am not a lawyer, but three of us have consulted one of Canada’s top constitutional lawyers. He has advised us not to “lawyer up” yet. It is too soon until we know what will be happening.
    Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) has also advised me it is premature for court action. I am, however, in ongoing contact with CCLA. They are watching the situation, as is Canada’s privacy commissioner.
    Any legal action against either banks or Canadian government would be a class action because most do not have the resources to launch a lawsuit on their own. Class action would also likely be more effective.
    Please note, all of this is personal advice only. I am not qualified to give either legal or accounting advice, but I am qualified to give a dose of common sense advice to someone who also has MS.
    You are not alone. Please continue to learn, grow and stand up to IRS bullies with us here at Maple Sandbox. Most importantly, take care of yourself!

  14. @Ferfet
    Welcome to Maplesandbox. Blaze has good advice above. Also, you mention that you have no income. The U.S. (like Canada) has a threshold whereby if you are under it, you have NO OBLIGATION to file a tax return. I am not sure what that threshold is but I believe it is about $10,000 or perhaps even higher if you are over the age of 65. If your income is below that amount, then no 1040 is required.
    I totally agree with what Blaze has said. DO NOT FILE forms with the IRS. It sounds like you have been out of their system. Do not put yourself back into the system.

  15. Minister Flaherty didn’t say too much, but what he said was actually quite, for no better word, ballsy. He didn’t say “now all you Americans should run off and fix your US tax situation”, like many an inferior cross-border tax specialist did. He let US persons know that their savings would be protected by the Canadian government. Period. Would it not be incongruous of him to on one hand provide encouragement for USP’s not to cough up, then on the other hand support the means by which these same people would be penalized, through FATCA?
    The biggest decision to make when faced with this situation is deciding whether we should comply or not. I could only compare it to a moral decision influenced by practical considerations. I, with great clarity remember a conversation with my Canadian accountant when he suggested that we just ignore the situation, to which I responded “well, that would make us bonafide tax-evaders, wouldn’t it?” He had to agree. Being law abiding, tax paying citizens in Canada, it’s a difficult decision either way. To not comply one has to live with a very real fear of retribution deserved of a ‘tax evader’ and to comply, at least for me, feeling like I am rewarding the US government for its extortion tactics. The tragic part is that either decision is potentially soul destroying. The real carrot for me? The eventual freedom from my oppressor.

  16. @bubblebustin: The important thing we need to know about Ferfet is if she is a Canadian citizen and when she became a Canadian citizen. Did she do so with the intent of relinquishing US citizenship. If she did and it was before 2004 or especially if it was before 1986, she should have no obligation to IRS unless she decides to poke the Sleeping Bear.
    Even if she is still a US citizen. Ferfet says she has no income. I don’t think that qualifies as tax evading in anyone’s books.
    Right now, Ferfet’s focus needs to be on her health and that of her husband. Energy and stamina are always a huge challenge with MS. She can’t deplete her energy further by worrying about a foreign government’s draconian demands. On a financial level, Ferfet may need every penny she has for required services for both herself and her husband–not for accountants, lawyers or IRS.

  17.  
    Sorry it has taken so long to  respond, but it has been a  terrible day.  My husband fell this morning, I had an appointment with my Neurologist, physiotherapist here, and the phone doesn’t stop ringing. Not  complaining about the phone though – Strong support from family and friends. 
    I have been a  Canadian citizen since February 2011.    I’m 61 years old and I have had MS for over 20 years.  We split my husband’s company pension on our Canadian return, but I do not need to declare this. My understanding is  IF my husband was a US citizen, then he would have to claim the full  amount to the IRS: 
    ((Pension Income Splitting
    In 2007, the Canadian Government introduced pension income splitting legislation which enables optional pension income splitting with a spouse.  In some cases, this can result in significant tax savings amongst spouses. 
    However, pension income earned by a US citizen is attributable and taxable to the person who earned it for US purposes.  Although US citizens filing a joint return may realize a similar result, splitting pension income is simply not allowed in the US.  As a result, the entire amount of pension income will be recognized by the recipient with only a portion of the tax that would otherwise have been creditable to offset the US taxable income to the extent that Canadian pension splitting is utilized.)))
    Twelve years ago (25 years living in canada) my father passed away and left me a small annuity  from his  life insurance policy.  That year, AND ONLY THAT YEAR SINCE LIVING IN CANADA, I filed an income tax form to the United  States USING my social security number –   balance owing zero!  The IRS sent me a letter advising me that I had been issued  a valid Taxpayer  Identification Number and informed me I was to visit my local Social Security office to OBTAIN a social security number or if I had a SSN to verify the information on my card.  After a phone call to the SSN office , we finally realized I had never   notified the social security office my married surname.      My next visit to the US , I went to the social security office and updated all the forms!!   (if i only knew then, what i know now)  I just recently received my Social Security Statement.  Total taxable from 1967 to 1974 $5800!  Social security benefits $0.  This is the only form I ever received from the IRS.
    So if I do not need to file a 1040, what about the $300 interest in the TFSA?    Forms that are required for my RRSP’s? FBAR?   I’m not planning to file any of these forms anytime soon. I just have too much on my plate right now.   It’s just that the panic  and stress set in again with their September announcement for low compliance risk  taxpayers.  
    Tomorrow afternoon we are back at the Cancer Clinic for another appointment.   IF the US treasury department wants to know what we have in our joint accounts, will they help pay our Canadian government my Canadian husband’s medical bills.  When  I think of this, it makes me so angry.  This whole thing is so wrong in every way.  

  18. Ferfet. Do nothing. You are definitely NOT the kind of person the US is looking for. As someone else said, relax, look after yourself and your husband and forget this whole mess. Trust me, they are not interested in you, your bank will not report you and the Canadian gov’t will not allow the US to take any of your hard earned cash. Forget about it. Get on with your life. You have plenty on your plate. Good luck and God bless.

  19. @Ferfet, Not only do we both have MS, we are both the same age.
    I don’t pretend to know any of the technicalities of income splitting of pensions. Someone else may be able to weigh in on that.
    Your situation around citizenship is different from mine and others who relinquished decades ago. However, in your situation, I still would do nothing relating to IRS. I don’t think they would bother coming after someone with no income in her own name.
    In the remote possibility that they did, in your circumstances, it would turn into a public relations fiasco for them on both sides of the border and they would get nothing out of it financially.
    Concentrate on your husband and yourself. I’m glad you’re getting support from family and friends.
    You can also count on support of folks here. You don’t have to climb your way through this maze alone.

  20. @Ferfet
    I agree with Blaze and Cornwalliscal – DO NOTHING. The pension income that you report on your Canadian tax return was not earned by you. It was earned by your CANADIAN husband. I repeat what I said previously – it does not sound like your have enough income that the U.S. would even expect you to file a return. Do not worry about the small amount in your TFSA account.
    As vile as all of this is, regarding the U.S. going after their citizens who are living abroad, I do not believe they are interested in you. It is good that you are now a Canadian. You will be protected from any over-reach of the U.S.
    Take care of yourself and your husband and try to put this behind you.

  21. @Forfet, my nickle’s worth is that I’m in agreement with the others here. I know it’s much easier to say ‘don’t worry about the IRS’ than to actually do it, but if you can, shove that worry down into a deep dark hole, and close the lid on it, at least for now. You’re going to need your strength for yourself and your husband, and that’s what you need to be thinking about right now. If the IRS in some weird way did find and contact you, you can worry about that then, but the chance is so small, I think you should put it away for now.
    Our hearts are with you, and wish you and your husband the best. If you need a reminder now and again, we’ll be here.

  22. @all
    I can’t even begin to express how thankful I am .  You have helped me put this on the back burner for now.  Yes I will need a reminder now and again , So I have saved all your post .  Please don’t give up  this fight.   There are people like me that need you.  Thank you again. 

  23. @Ferfet, I am sorry you are having to go through all this worrying. Believe me we have all been down this IRS road, It is a nightmare..But please just relax, if it hadn’t been for Blaze and others I would be 6 feet under. I had a horrible time with all this. I wish I had done nothing like many others told me, but I was scared and the lawyers, accountants made it worse and really scared me into filing..but what’s done is done. I am now in the system and don’t know what is going to happen next.. You really need to concentrate on yourself and your husband, that is all that matters. Really it is!!
    Listen to the wise and Don’t Worry About It..Do Nothing!!

  24. @Ferfet: Thanks for reaching out to us. I hope our comments help to give you some peace of mind so you can focus your energy and attention where it needs to be. Please feel free to continue to learn and explore with us here, play quietly in the background or just take some time away to deal with much more important matters in your life. Take care.
    @Saddened: I know it’s been a long struggle for you. Thanks for providing support here to Ferfet. I hope your nightmare is soon over and that your Canadian citizenship happens soon. We will be rejoicing with you when that day comes. If I were you, I would make an appointment with US Consulate to relinquish the day you have confirmation of date of your Canadian citizenship ceremony.

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