Monthly Archives: August 2013

Ted Cruz Renouncing Canadian Citizenship For US Presidential Aspiration

Ted Cruz Is Renouncing Canadian Citizenship.

Cruz is a US Senator from Texas who was born in Calgary in 1970 to an cruzAmerican mother and a Cuban father. His father was working as an engineer.

Cruz only recently learned he is still considered a US citizen. He moved to US as a child and thought he was not a Canadian citizen because he had never claimed Canadian citizenship and has had only a US passport since high school.

“Because I was a U.S. citizen at birth, because I left Calgary when I was 4 and have lived my entire life since then in the U.S., and because I have never taken affirmative steps to claim Canadian citizenship, I assumed that was the end of the matter.”

Sound familiar? Well, at least he knows Canada won’t try to FATCA or FBAR him.

Cruz insists he is entitled to serve as President because he was American at birth” through is mother’s citizenship.

Hmm. He’s a Tea Party Republican. I wonder what all those birthers who insist Obama should not be President because he wasn’t born in US (despite a birth certificate from Hawaii) will say about this.

Allison Christians sums it up nicely in Only Reason Why Ted Cruz’s Citizenship Is Interesting.

In the grand scheme of things Ted Cruz’s citizenship is a non-story. But for what it illustrates about citizenship-based taxation, it could be the story of the century.

Now, how do we make this work for us?

 

Harper Is Proroguing Parliament–What Will This Mean For FATCA?

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is proroguing Parliament through a request to the Governor General.  Parliament Suspend  20091230

In an e-mail, Tim said (posted with his permission)

And I feel strongly there is a constitutional argument that no IGA or any other international agreements shall be signed prior to the next Throne speech in October. Some including many in the government might feel differently but there is a strong case that Harper right now is only a “caretaker” government.

In a follow up e-mail, Tim said:
One very real consequence is even after they sign an IGA(or any treaty) it must be put before Parliament for 21 sitting days prior to any further action that can be taken to ratify. If they were to sign an IGA lets say tomorrow the 21 sitting days of Parliament would only start whenever Parliament comes back(October??).  If October 21st were to be the return of Parliament and a throne speech the government can’t introduce legislation to ratify and implement an IGA until November 26th which brings us pretty close to the Winter recess.
I hate the way Harper and McGuinty have misused prorogation (I didn’t even know the word until a few years ago!) to avoid political controversies. If it helps to Stop FATCA, I love it!

 

 

 

Carl Levin: FATCA For Law Enforcement, National Security

I had posted this earlier in another thread, but I think this letter from Carl Levin to IRS is so significant, it needs a thread of its own. levin

In Obama’s 2009 press conference on FATCA, he credited Carl Levin for being one of the masterminds on FATCA for combating  offshore tax evasion.

In 2012, Carl Levin wrote a letter to IRS, demanding (page 11)

Although FATCA is structured to address offshore tax abuse, offshore account information has significance far beyond the tax context, affecting cases involving money laundering, drug trafficking, terrorist financing, acts of corruption, financial fraud, and many other legal violations and crimes. Given the importance of offshore account disclosures, FATCA guidance and implementing rule should create account FATCA forms that are not designated as tax return information but, like FBARs, may be provided to law enforcement, regulatory, and national security communities upon request. FFIs are not, after all, U.S. taxpayers, and will not be supplying tax information on behalf of their U.S. clients; they will instead be providing information about accounts opened by U.S. persons. The U.S. Supreme Court has long held that bank account information is not inherently confidential but is subject to inspection by law enforcement and others in appropriate circumstances. Foreign account information is too important to a wide range of civil and criminal law enforcement and national security efforts to be designated as tax return information bound by Section 6103’s severe restrictions on access.

Why bother with a warrant or surveillance when you can simply declare someone a “US person” and FATCA them?!?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I Hope Someone, Somewhere, Sometime Will Say This Is Wrong”

Exposed: IRS Colludes With Banks To Unfairly Target U.S. Citizens Abroad is an excellent article about the real impact of FATCA. It comes from Occupy.Com.

It is one of the comprehensive and accurate articles on FATCA I have read.I wish the mainstream media would do as thorough and as accurate a job in covering the issues.

A woman in France speaks for many of us when she says:Wrong

“I hope someone, somewhere, sometime will say this is wrong.”

“In a panic,” she renounced her U.S. citizenship because of the upset it was causing her ill non-US husband.  She is now “more and more depressed.”

Victoria Ferauge (aka Victoria) says:

“There are too many unintended consequences. It’s negatively impacting people who are not tax evaders. What I find astonishing is how it never occurred to the IRS how this could have an impact on regular people.”
Marvin Van Horn (aka Just Me) shares his horror story of IRS trying to seize $172,000.

“I said, ‘You want to apply the penalty based on my house?’ So then my penalty went from $90,000 to $172,000. I said, ‘This is ridiculous. For a tax failure that’s less than $20,000 over six years and a failure to file a form, you want to charge me a penalty of $172,000?'”

With help from TAS, he managed to whittle that down to $27,000, which he know says he probably should not have paid.
A Georgetown University law professor gets it:

 

“In my view, a working system to address offshore accounts addresses offshore accounts,” said Itai Grinberg, professor of law at Georgetown University. “For a U.S. expat living in Berlin, having an account in a Berlin bank is not an offshore account. It’s an on shore account.”

Unfortunately:

“That’s my view, that’s not what FATCA says,” he added.

Victoria describes the situation well:

“We feel a little like David against Goliath here.”
I’m certainly no Bible expert, but I seem to recall from Sunday School that David whacked the giant bully Goliath in the head with a stone and killed him.
If we are Davids working together, we can do the same to FATCA (I hope!)

 

What Would Einstein Think Of FATCA?

EinsteinAlbert Einstein said “The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax.”

He also said “This (preparing my tax return) is too difficult for a mathematician. It takes a philosopher.”

 

It takes much more than a mathematician or philosopher to deal with FATCA!Einstein simple

Einstein also said “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”

What do you think Einstein would say about FATCA?