Monthly Archives: September 2013

The elephant in the room-Update 1

In my posting on an information session held recently for members of the Canadian investment industry, it was stated during the session that after the IGA was signed it had to go to Cabinet for approval. No mention was made of Parliament. I found this to be different from my understanding of the process..

After reading Blaze’s  exchange with Maura Drew-Lytle of the CBA, I contacted Maura about this matter and related what was said at another financial industry presentation. She responded fairly quickly that I would have to contact Finance.

So, I then emailed Kevin Shoom. His response was “if an agreement is reached, it would be made public and require Parliamentary approval for implementation”.

So that should settle the question of Parliamentary approval. I did notice that he used the word ‘if”. I’m not sure if that has any significance.



Canadian Protections Against Uncle Sam

Uncle Sam MoreCanadians, Uncle Sam wants you. Actually, he doesn’t want you. He wants your money. Uncle Sam thinks he has the right to know about your money which was earned, saved, invested and taxed in Canada just because you were born in his country.

In Canadian Protections Against IRS, Lynne Swanson (aka Blaze) outlines some of the protections Canadian citizens and residents have against the IRS.

This was written in response to a couple of articles in The Money Guide advising Canadians of their obligation to IRS and recommending filing “before it is too late.”

I intentionally did not focus on the options for filing in this article.  That is covered elsewhere in The Money Guide. Instead, I chose to focus on the protections and some of the FATCA issues (but with a different approach than in the Financial Post article).

I gave links to Maple Sandbox and Brock in my submission. However, this was not included in The Money Guide Post. Instead, they linked to an their Tax Guide For US Citizens Living in Canada.

This article was posted as Guest Poster, but Lynne Swanson’s information is at the end.







Beanie Babies, Hyatt Heiress and IRS

Beanie Babies are now “US persons.”  Uncle Sam is mad at Beanie Babies.  Good old Sam has grabbed $53.6 million in FBAR penalties for $885,000 in taxes owed.

In IRS vs. Beanie Babies, Beanie Babies creator Ty Warner agreed to pay $53.6 million in restitution for his Swiss bank account of $94 million.

I do not support offshore tax evasion, but does this seem extreme to anyone else?  Maybe it’s just a drop in the bucket when your net worth is $2.6 billion, but Ty could still face prison time.

Here’s what the U.S. Attorney said:

“Regardless of wealth, everyone must pay taxes on all of their income, not just the amount they choose to report. Such conduct invites federal prosecution.”

On the other hand, Hyatt Hotel heiress Penny Pritzker Understated Income by $80 million in income to IRS due to an “inadvertent clerical error.”  Penny’s punishment?  She was appointed Secretary of Commerce.

Here’s what a White House senior adviser said:

“I think she’ll be extremely effective in leading trade missions around the world and helping U.S. companies develop those contacts that will lead to contracts back here in America.”


We Are Not Tax Cheats

Here is an article We Are Not Tax Cheats from the Financial Post by Lynne Swanson (aka Blaze). (The editor added Dual and American to the headline, but everything else seems to be exactly as I wrote it)

This article says:

If China, Russia, Mexico, Iran or Eritrea were demanding Canadian banks and other financial institutions submit private financial information on Canadian citizens and residents to those countries, there would be outrage.

If Canadian banks were spending millions of dollars preparing to develop systems to report information on Canadian citizens and residents to those countries, there would be outrage.

If the Canadian government were “actively seeking a solution that both countries will find agreeable,” there would be outrage.

If Canadian media were calling Canadian citizens and residents born in those countries “tax cheats,” and advising them to “come clean,” there would be outrage.

Yet, up to one million Canadians of American origin have lived that nightmare for two years with no resolution.

It also says:

The government refuses to tell us if it will sign away our rights.


We need Canada’s Finance Minister Jim Flaherty to insist that Canadian banks follow Canadian laws. We need Minister Flaherty to reassure Canadian citizens and residents that Canadian laws will not be changed for a foreign nation.

Most importantly, we need our elected officials to tell the United States that Canadian laws are made in Ottawa, not in Washington. We must not allow the United States to FATCA Canada.

We deserve no less than Canadians born in China, Russia, Mexico, Iran, Eritrea or elsewhere.






FATCA: A Tool of The Electronic Surveillance State

Jim Jatras at Repeal FATCA has a great new article out which says what most of us surveillancebelieve. FATCA: A Tool of the Electronic Surveillance State.

I’m too FATCAed out tonight to read it in detail, but I wanted to post it for others to see. It is a good companion to Hazy’s Elephant In The Room. Neither of them are what any of us should be reading shortly before bedtime!