Canada, Australia and Switzerland–Who Will Hold Out?

Here are some interesting pieces from the news and from personal perspectives.

First is a CTV interview with Queen’s University law professor, Art Cockfield, who has spoken out before against FATCA.   He makes the point that the Canadian government needs to be doing more “sabre rattling” over FATCA.

He also makes a point I don’t think I have heard before that he thinks FATCA is illegal under NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement.).  So, we already know FATCA violates Canada’s banking, privacy and human rights laws and Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  Now a law professor says it also is illegal under NAFTA.  Why are we still having this conversation?  Why doesn’t the Canadian government Just Say No?

Cockfield stresses, like others, that IRS is not going to find much revenue going after Americans in Canada and points to our 70 year effective tax treaty.  Our friends is Switzerland will not like the comment he makes about Americans living in a tax haven like Switzerland.

Thanks Saddened for sending me the link to the CTV interview with Professor Cockfield.

Investment Europe is reporting FATCA Rules Could Cause Banks To Cut Back On External Asset Managers.  Asset management is the main focus of the article.  But, there is an interesting comment at the very end about the situation in Switzerland.

FATCA is already law in the US but negotiations are under way to enshrine it in national law of countries around the world. Jaeger was hopeful that some ‘carve-outs’, or exemptions, could be negotiated for pension funds and custodial banks in Switzerland. However, he thought the possibility of getting a foreign law accepted in a Swiss referendum was ‘unlikely’

I think getting a foreign law accepted in a referendum in any country would be unlikely.  However, is a referendum planned for Switzerland?

iExpats is reporting Australia Is Ready to Join FATCA Tax Alliance.  This seems to be a model similar to the Europe Five.  However, the Europe Five model is dependent on “reciprocity,” which is still far from a done deal because US Bankers Are Fighting The IRS on “reciprocity.”

On a personal level, Victoria tells How I Really Feel About Citizenship Based Taxation. Actually, I suspect Victoria is being quite tactful and holding back from how she “really” feels.

And, here is an Israeli-American Couple’s Letter To IRS TAS.  It continues to boggle my mind how people whose lives have been turned upside down continue to be so reserved and polite in their comments.




33 thoughts on “Canada, Australia and Switzerland–Who Will Hold Out?

  1. Blaze Post author

    @bubblebustin’: I’ll put the uniform back on and pick up my sword again! If Toronto Warrior Rob Ford thought Princess Warrior Mary Walsh (This Hour Has Twenty Two Minutes) was scary, wait until Flaherty and Harper see Blaze in her Brock uniform.

    I just have to decide which cane to use. I have 19–all to match my wardrobe. If I have to support myself, I want to do it in style.

    I will probably take Poppy (all my canes have names) because she is red and white and the flower itself represents being willing to die for freedom. I will tattoo a maple leaf onto my face (temporary!)

    I did local television commentaries on disability issues for 10 years called Raising Cane. My community quickly learned my canes and I don’t back down easily when we’re advocating for something we believe in. That was nothing compared to how much I will Raise Cane over FATCA!

  2. tiger


    Please let me know when this will take place. I will hop on the next flight just to ‘be a fly on the wall’. And I think, bubble is right, you really need to wear the uniform. Definitely more effective!

  3. bubblebustin

    In this meeting, and considering Canada is commemorating the war of 1812, would it make a better statement if you were in uniform?

  4. Blaze Post author

    @Tim: I’m delighted I got the attention of your friend. Wait until two senior citizens with MS (Ferfet and me) have our on-the- street Senior Moment with Flaherty and Harper over FATCA.

    Actually, I think senior “US persons” are more upset about FATCA than younger ones–probably because we have a lot more to lose. Don’t mess with Granny or Grandpa!

  5. Tim


    I suspect you will like the comments posted on LinkedIn by a friend of mine.

    From Linkedin(where all the big FATCA compliance types hang out)

    Third I hear a lot about especially from financial institutions about “reputational risk” basically we don’t want to get called in front of Carl Levin’s Subcommittee on Investigations. Canadian FFI’s and Canadian politicians though need to start thinking about another kind of risk and that is “Goodbye Charlie Brown” risk after the time in the 1980s a senior citizens famously accosted then Prime Minister Brian Mulroney in the street over his plan to de-index seniors benefits with the words “You lied to us” and “Goodbye Charlie Brown” and forced the then government almost single handedly to back down on a key part of its economic platforms. A senior citizen accosting the current Finance Minister or Prime Minister of Canada over giving into to FATCA(which all of the Canadian FFI’s want them to do) will not be a “fun” experience notwithstanding the alternative experience of being hauled before Levin’s committee on investigations.

    My friend who wrote this said he was thinking about you as Solange Denis the senior who famously went after Mulroney in the street over OAS/GIS benefits. I actually found a French language video of Denis and Mulroney going at back in the day.


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