European FATCA Hearing

If you’re in Europe, Victoria says:

Rumors have been floating around about an EU hearing on FATCA.  Well, folks, mark your European Hearing calendars and check the train schedules because it’s happening.
The hearing is called The fight against tax evasion – FATCA as a step towards international automatic exchange of information?   It will be held on May 28 in Bruxelles from 15:30 to 17:00.

You can find a letter from Sophie in’t Veld to Victoria at Victoria’s Franco-American Flophouse blog.

29 thoughts on “European FATCA Hearing

  1. Thank you so much, Blaze, for the post. It’s a great opportunity for us. The structure of the meeting won’t permit questions from the audience BUT by our presence we can make a statement and nothing prevents us from talking to people before and after the meeting. I also asked a friend here to see if we could get any of the French media interested.
    We’ll see what happens. If nothing else it will a nice day trip, we can have a good dinner after and buy some chocolate to bring back. 🙂

  2. Just Me sent me this link to video streaming of the European FATCA hearings tomorrow (May 28).
    This says streaming will begin at 10:00 a.m. Just Me says that is EDT, but he thinks the streaming will begin at 9:30.
    http://www.europarl.europa.eu/ep-live/en/committees/video?event=20130528-0900-COMMITTEE-ECON
    Victoria, of course, will be there. Any possibility you can post or tweet live updates Victoria?
    I hope you’re able to meet Brockers, Sandboxes and other FATCA Fighters while you are in Brussels.

  3. The Econ committee is meeting in the morning as well and that session will also be broadcast. The one we want is the afternoon session which starts at 15:30 (3:30) Brussels time. The link to the afternoon session and the FATCA hearing is here.
    http://www.europarl.europa.eu/ep-live/en/committees/video?event=20130528-1530-COMMITTEE-ECON
    So the fun begins at 3:30 Brussels time. We’ve got folks from France, Sweden and Belgium.
    I hadn’t thought about tweeting but let me see what I can do….
    Thank you so much for all your help.

  4. Very informative to watch the meeting.
    I came away with a few impressions:
    The US has not had much success so far in concluding IGAs. Only a few countries have made an agreement so far.
    The EU appears to want a much more comprehensive international agreement involving as many jurisdictions as possible.Although elements of FATCA can be used in the international agreement, such as the look-through provisions, there are other models that should be formulated.
    There needs to be a standard information gathering technology that is cost effective and doesn’t overburden taxing authorities with mountains of mostly useless information.
    Al of which leads me to to conclude, based on the length of time it takes to conclude any multi-country international agreement, that we’ll be watching this story unfold for years to come.
    Really enjoyed Sophie’s presentation.

  5. Thanks Hazy. I wasn’t available to watch. I think you are right that this will be a long process. I support international agreements to combat tax evasion. The problem is when a bully like US tries to claim the earnings and savings of honest taxpayers around the world as theirs.
    Victoria tweeted the meeting was FANTASTIC. I look forward to more from her.

  6. Thanks Tim. I haven’t listened to all of it yet, but there seems to be some real self-congratulations going on without considering the implications of complex private financial information being submitted to a foreign government on law-abiding, taxpaying citizens of your own country.
    The woman from the bankers association made some valid points relating to cost vs. benefit and that information exchange should be based on data that actually relates to tax evasion. Her concern that too much information exchange will result in tax collection agencies being “drowned” in information is right on.
    Another woman actually suggested a “truly compatible international taxpayer identification number.”
    They all seem to be going merrily along assuming there will be true reciprocity. We know that’s not likely to happen from US to other countries. One speaker spoke of the challenges of tax havens not participating in information exchange. She didn’t mention US is actually one of the largest tax havens in the world and want to continue to be just that.
    Sophie In’t Veld gets it. She was bang on from how this affects democracy, foreign law being imposed in EU territory and on EU citizens and we “should not be making policies by stealth.”
    It was scary to me that the Chair seemed to be chastising her for the points she raised! The speaker after her suggested we should be thanking the US. At least he did ask whether US will give true reciprocity and specifically mentioned Delaware.
    Then came more criticism of Sophie Int’d Veld for her “emotional” comments. I will watch the rest later when my blood pressure goes down.

    1. a “truly compatible international taxpayer identification number.”
      Well, I guess we should all be bar-coded. Don’t know on what part of the body the bar code should go, but suggestions are welcome.

  7. A note from James Jatras…
    Hi All
    I have received a request from Bailey Reutzel, a reporter from http://www.paymentssource.com/ (Payments Source, which is connected to American Banker). She interviewed me about what’s wrong with FATCA, why it should be repealed, etc. She also wants to talk with a couple of expats who have been bitten by FATCA (see her note to me below).
    Please let me know if you are interested or can refer me to someone who is, and I’ll put you in touch.
    Best
    Jim
    Jim
    I’d like to speak with someone who’s bank dropped their account, then had to move to a different bank to have the same thing happen. I’d like someone who’s had to play a type of “musical chairs” with their banks. I don’t necessarily care what country they’re living in, but I also think having a family might be interesting as well, or I guess it would be harder for them without a bank account.
    Let me know if you can get a couple people lined up for me to chat with!
    Thanks so much… Talk to you soon.
    Bailey Reutzel
    Jim can be reached at…James George Jatras
    jim@globalstrategicpr.com

  8. That report was the “official” version for the organizations which meant it had to be PG-13. Reader discretion not required but close attention helps to read between the lines. 🙂
    Off to plant a thunbergia (aka La Suzanne aux yeux noirs)

  9. I have no idea how to start a thread (or even if I’m allowed to), so I’m posting this as a comment.
    On reciprocity.
    Germany has now apparently signed (but not yet ratified) an IGA. The text is here: http://www.bundesfinanzministerium.de/Content/DE/Standardartikel/Themen/Steuern/Internationales_Steuerrecht/Staatenbezogene_Informationen/Laender_A_Z/Verein_Staaten/2013-05-31-FATCA-abkommen-deu-usa-englisch.pdf?__blob=publicationFile&v=2
    The wording is stronger on reciprocity. There is a new point 6 called “Coordination of Timing” added to Article 4 which says that Germany is not obligated to collect and provide information to the US until the year after the US has regulations enacted and in force that require US financial institutions to provide the data Germany wants to US Treasury. (And vice versa.)
    Germany wants information on interest and dividends on account holders resident in Germany.
    This was NOT in the original Model 1 draft. But US Treasury has now updated its model 1 draft to include this language.
    This isn’t necessarily good news for US citizens living abroad, but it certainly fits to the German outlook. We Germans get really upset about what appear to be one-sided deals. On paper this “reciprocal” version will look OK to German politicians, who generally couldn’t care less about people who can’t vote in German elections. (No different from the people who passed FATCA in that respect!)
    So we’ll have to see what the banks in Delaware, Florida, Texas etc. actually will be required to do.

  10. Thanks Sally. To start a thread, you need to be approved as an author. I have asked Outraged if she can do that for you. She has not been active here for a while, but I hope she will be back soon.
    We all know reciprocity is not likely to happen, especially in Florida, Texas and Delaware. Banking associations in Florida and Texas have already launched lawsuits.
    I wish banking associations in Canada and the rest of the world would do the same.

  11. Thanks Calgary. Very concerning what Tortured has experienced.
    Johnnb posted something a few weeks ago that he and his wife were asked if they had any reason to believe they were US persons when dealing with investment accounts at Scotia McLeod. They provided their CLN, which was accepted.
    I don’t remember which thread that was in. I tried to locate it, but wasn’t able to. He is away right now, so I’m not able to follow up with him on this.
    I think investments like stocks, mutual funds, etc. are being treated differently than bank accounts and GICs. ‘
    Do we know if Tortured had any investment accounts with US source income? Or, were these investments like GICs?
    In any case, it’s very concerning, but I don’t think it ‘s new that banks are asking questions about this. I seem to recall Tiger may have been asked about US citizenship in the past, but there have been no moves to freeze her accounts.
    Like WhiteKat, I would be interested to know how Tortured’s bank learned she was born in US. Do we know if she is a Canadian citizen?

    1. No other information — and we need those details. I hope we hear back from Tortured today. Arrow is on standby to write about this.
      … threatened to put a freeze on a Canadian RRSP too. Thanks for the additional information on this re Johnnb and Tiger.
      On one hand, there does need to be warning when someone is trying to open a Canadian registered account considered a “foreign trust” by the US, a different investment might be a better choice. Something like full disclosure.
      Denying a US Person in Canada (or any other country) being able to open a joint investment with a Canadian spouse because of country of birth and then threatening a freeze on an RRSP for the same reason is crossing the line.

  12. @Calgary: I found it! Here is the information from Johnnb and KalC’s questions about it.
    johnnb on April 26, 2013 at 11:05 am said:
    My wife and I just returned from a meeting with our financial planner where we switched our investments into a new direction which necessitated opening a new account. One of the questions asked was “Is there any reason why you might be considered a US person?” We said no and used our CLNs as evidence. They were accepted and the account was opened.
    First time we’ve had to use the CLNs since we got them last July.
    Reply ?
    kalC on April 26, 2013 at 11:14 pm said:
    Johnnb Curious as to which financial institution this was. When we most recently opened an account there was merely a series of checkboxes as to citizenship.
    Reply ?
    johnnb on April 27, 2013 at 5:34 am said:
    KalC: It was Scotia McLeod. Not a bank but our investment adviser and the account was an investment account so not sure what the deal is with a regular savings/chequeing account.
    Reply ?
    KalC on April 27, 2013 at 7:59 am said:
    Some advisors at Scotia Mcleod follow a ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ policy.
    Reply ?
    johnnb on April 27, 2013 at 8:59 am said:
    This was actually preprinted on the form used to open the account and I had to answer it and sign and have my signature witnessed. Not sure how any amount of don’t ask don’t tell on the part of the adviser could get around that unless I was willing to lie on the form – which I didn’t even feel tempted to do as I had the CLN.

    1. Thanks, Blaze (and, by extension, Johnnb and KalC). I remember that now. I’ll put a link to your comment on Isaac Brock.

  13. Thanks Calgary. I read her update. Scary stuff.
    Someone should be all over this, but somehow I suspect no one will be.
    I will send it to Joe Arvay and see if he has any comment on this.

    1. That’s great, Blaze, that you’re contacting Mr. Arvay! This is completely outrageous, denying banking services and freezing an account (the person’s own money) because of a person’s national origin.

  14. That’s a very interesting thread on IBS, well worth reading all the comments and the investigation some people are doing. (I will work on the Sally access tonight, Blaze & Sally)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *