Rattle Snake Time!

rattle snakeIt’s time to move beyond mosquito and black fly time if the article No One’s Exempt From U.S. Taxman is correct.

It’s now black widow spider and rattlesnake time.

I suspect the article is more fear mongering and that the author doesn’t have any more inside information than we do.

However, this information is alarming if it is true:

Canada is currently negotiating an agreement with the U.S. that would result in the CRA being able to collect the relevant account information from Canadian financial institutions and forwarding it to the IRS. The Canadian government believes such an agreement will avoid breaking Canadian privacy laws.

I don’t think an IGA addresses privacy issues because no other Canadians are required to report such invasive information to CRA for transmission to a foreign government. In addition, an IGA will not address human rights and Charter issues. The Bank Act would also need to be changed to allow banks to ask those questions, creating a Charter issue.

Much more important to what I think is what Peter Hogg and CCLA think. They also don’t think an IGA resolves the legal barriers–including Charter issues.

I’m not sure if the author of the article is a lawyer or not. Based on his title (Manager of Legal/Compliance at an investment firms), he may be.  Yet, he didn’t use LLB after his name, which lawyers often do when writing.

But, he says:

FATCA is coming to Canada in the near future

Keep swarming, buzzing and stinging. But, now start rattling and biting! (Actually, I thought we already were, but we haven’t been able to completely kill FATCA yet.






26 thoughts on “Rattle Snake Time!

  1. The_Animal

    Put my two cents in as well. I will submit a Charter challenge if anyone asks me (at any financial institution) on a violation by the bank of the Charter of Human Rights.

  2. Blaze Post author

    @Calgary: As you know, I think we all will be protected from FATCA under the Charter.

    I also don’t believe FATCA will apply to your son. Even FATCA regs are silent on children born to “US persons” outside U.S.

    Your son also has one more point going for him under the Charter. That is the very thing you worry about. It’s his disability.

    Section 15 includes protection based on disability. It was very progressive and even radical when it was included over 30 years ago.

    If IRS should ever come after him (and I can’t even imagine them trying!), you or any other guardian could argue his Charter rights as a person with a disability take precedence over the refusal of the US to not allow him to renounce or to not allow you to renounce for him because of his disability.

    1. Hazy

      @ Blaze

      Yes, I can do that

      I like Pacifica’s rewording of the first line.

      I just would like more clarity on the status of unregistered children.

      Perhaps Calgary 411 can add a bit on this aspect of U.S. personhood,

    2. calgary411

      Hazy and all,

      I cannot comment, other than to post my feelings, my advice from USCitizenAbroad, Sylvia D. Johnson’s response to me and the advice regarding my son’s status that I got from the Washington, DC immigration / nationality lawyer I hired, all within the post and comments at http://isaacbrocksociety.ca/2013/07/07/frustration-abounds-as-answers-are-not-received-accidental-americans-born-abroad-to-us-parents-and-not-registered-with-the-us-are-they-automatic-us-citizens-or-do-they-have-the-o/

      What I maintain regarding my son and what the US “law” says differ. I do not have a definitive answer; I will lie low, avoiding the US, until my bank MAY ask questions I will not be able to lie about. I will, though, be part of a class-action suit if such goes ahead.

      My family, especially my son, is in limbo — or, as I see it, entrapped (by his developmental disability) into supposed US citizenship by his birth IN CANADA to me and his dad (now deceased), who became Canadian citizens in 1975 and who happened to be born and raised in the USA. My son has never been registered with the US, his passport is Canadian, as our the benefits he gets from Canadian and Albertan taxpayers and from my savings for him in a Canadian Registered Disability Savings Plan account I hold (for which I have owed tax to the US on its and my TFSA gains).

      My son and my family will not be the only ones affected by the overreach of FATCA into Canada. I do expect my son’s rights should be protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and not determined by the US government / IRS.

  3. Pacifica777

    Good idea to add those categories. Re the first line, I’d suggest “who has not renounced or otherwise relinquished ….”


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