URGENT need for support for Ted Hsu’s question Q-121 re FATCA

PLEASE, everyone write to Flaherty and ask that he answer Hsu’s questions not only thoroughly but PROMPTLY. December 13 is his deadline; if there is going to be a Canada-US IGA at all, I strongly suspect it will be announced before then. Canadians should have the answers to Hsu’s questions BEFORE then, or no later than when it is tabled in Parliament. Timing isn’t good, if it drags to December 13, IMO. Also, let’s keep the pressure up.

I am providing below, for suggestions (but NOT for copy-paste, individual letters have more weight than petitions and boilerplate emails IMO but some might disagree), what I sent this afternoon to Flaherty, cc to Hsu’s office, my MP, and Murray Rankin (NDP Revenue Critic and point-person for the NDP caucus on FATCA).

It would be ESPECIALLY useful for those of you living in ridings currently held by Conservatives to do this today or tomorrow, given that on Wednesday or Thursday most Tory MPs will be off to their convention in Calgary — where I would hope FATCA will come up.

Here’s what I wrote today:

Dear Minister Flaherty,

Mr. Ted Hsu (MP-Kingston and the Islands) has submitted a written question (Q-121) concerning the government’s negotiations with the US concerning FATCA, for today’s Order Paper, which I believe he submitted last Friday.

I think the answers to this question are very important. I think Canadians generally, as well as Parliamentarians, should have the answers to these questions, no later than when (and if) an Intergovernmental Agreement is announced and tabled in Parliament. Though I understand the government has 45 days to reply to these questions, I would hope the answers are fairly straightforward. Either the government has the studies and has done the consultations which are the subject of the questions, and therefore should be able to release that information and those studies promptly, or it hasn’t done the studies and consultations mentioned — which is something I think would be of grave interest and concern to all Canadians. In either case, I think it important that these questions be addressed sooner than December 13, and certainly before or no later than any announcement of an IGA, if in fact there is to be one.

Please give Mr. Hsu’s questions your immediate attention. They address a subject of grave concern to the sovereignty of Canadian banking and privacy law, to the provisions of the Canada-US Taxation Treaty, and to the Charter rights of hundreds of thousands of Canadian citizens and residents. The subject also, I believe, has implications and impacts on the provinces, particularly those with their own Human Rights codes and legislations governing credit unions, which are going to be affected by FATCA if it is to be permitted in any way in Canada.

As you know from previous correspondence, I am strongly opposed to any provisions of any agreement with the United States which would in any way compromise Canada’s banking and privacy legislation, our joint taxation treaty, and the Charter rights of any Canadian residents, regardless of citizenship. In my strong opinion, the only information on Canadian banking and investment accounts which should be shared with the US for taxation purposes, is information pertaining to Canadian accounts held by US (not Canadian) residents.

Thank you for your urgent attention to this matter.

This entry was posted in FATCA on by .

About schubert

I've had a CLN (Certificate of Loss of Nationality of the United States) since 1976, quite by accident (DOS mailed me one after I wrote a long anti-US letter to Henry Kissinger on July 4, 1976, telling him I'd become a Canadian citizen several months earlier and why, then confirming on a form I got in the mail that I had done so willingly - duh! - and with the intent of relinquishing my US citizenship). I filed the CLN away and forgot about it until August 2011 when I first heard about FATCA and FBAR and realized I needed to find the proof I am not an American in spite of my birthplace. My wife, who came to Canada with her ex before I did and also became a Canadian citizen, believed she'd thereby lost her US citizenship but didn't write Kissinger, didn't know anything about CLNs or the need to get one (nor did I at the time), and applied for a relinquishment CLN a few months ago. Until August 29, 2012, we were waiting to get her CLN, and it has been in her interests that I'm monitoring and occasionally participating in this and the IBS website. However, joy of joys, wonder of wonders, my wife's CLN arrived in the mail on that date, so now we both have CLNs. I will continue to monitor and contribute to this website as I have time and when I think I have something constructive to add, but after 12 months of Hell we're going to get our sanity and lives back, and that means a prolonged vacation from anything related to CLNs, IRS, FATCA, or any other such crap, unless it rears its head and threatens Canada and Canadians to the point where I have to come out of my corner fighting again ...

8 thoughts on “URGENT need for support for Ted Hsu’s question Q-121 re FATCA

  1. blair kuneman

    Repeal FATCA!
    It is a violation of all our Canadian Rights. If Canada repeals FATCA the other countries will do it as well. Do not be a Muppet of the US criminal laws broken all the time, killing, bulling people and countries. Do not be accomplice. Canada always was a country to help and protect people not to sell people, sheltering the need (refuge).
    Do not joint the masked criminal waiting for you (Canada) to give them (US) what they want: the US-Canadian people, our work, our rights, our savings, our pension, and our lives and our children’s future.
    U.S. does not want an agreement with Canada. No! They want to exploit Canada starting with FATCA. Repeal FATCA for your protection of today and tomorrow (future).
    If you agree with the US, US will betray Canada and take possession of it like never before, and it will continue with more. After they take some power and govern our data information breaking many Canadian laws, rules and regulations. If you accept, U.S. will see no border to continue taking more, extorting. Canada will loose money, and Canada will be at the US mercy. U.S. wants to take over Canada’s economy and this will be just the beginning. I can assure you. Be careful doing business with US. Watch what you Politian (who represent Canadians: citizens and residents who pay taxes and live on this land) are doing and where you are getting into and where you are putting the future of Canada and our children. If you think you can deal with US in work or money, be careful and think more than twice. As Jean Chertien said it once referring to the US: “Friendship is friendship and business is business. We need to see and do what is the best interest and best for Canada and Canadians not for the US interest”.
    We need to protect our rights!. and freedom.
    Do not be accomplice!! Just repeal FATCA no mater what.

    Reply
  2. Schubert

    For whatever it’s worth, the Finance Canada Ministerial Correspondence Unit today sent me a stock email reply to my email to Flaherty on October 28 (see my post earlier above on this thread) concerning Hsu’s questions, assuring me that my comments will brought to Flaherty’s attention as soon as possible (no doubt not until after the convention which starts about now in Calgary).

    Same form email I always get from them, but at least they acknowledge receipt — unlike everyone else I email except the Greens, bless them and Elizabeth May and her staff. What’s wrong with this picture — Flaherty has a whole government bureaucracy at his disposal, the Greens are operating off a shoe string, but the NDP and the Liberals who are somewhere in-between those resourcing levels can’t even acknowledge receipt of my emails, never mind reply to them? Why do they think I would vote for them if they can’t even do that (and me a past donor and party member of the NDP).

    Reply
  3. Just Me

    Below is the list of Scott Brisons questions Q-127 just posted late last night at Brock… http://bit.ly/HpXO01

    To which Jame Jatras who is traveling replied…

    What’s really great — and new — about these questions is that they’re NOT about the IGA, they’re about Fatca itself. Note the last question (zz) about how would Fatca — not the IGA — violate the Charter.

    Especially note:

    “(dd) has the government assessed the possibility of not acceding to FATCA in any way and, if so, with what conclusion and with what cost to Canada or to Canadians when compared to accession;”

    Gosh, you mean the government should have given thought to not obeying a foreign law at all? Amazing!

    Now for the questions in a more readable format

    With regard to the United States (U.S.) Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA):

    (a) when was the government first made aware of this legislation and how;

    (b) what steps has Canada taken since the legislation’s introduction in the U.S., broken down by year;

    (c) during the consideration of this legislation in the U.S., did Canada make any representations to the U.S. government and if so, (i) when, (ii) by whom, (iii) to whom, (iv) on what dates, (v) by what authority (vi) with what desired effect (vii) and with what outcome;

    (d) how many individuals in Canada will be affected;

    (e) how was the figure in (d) calculated;

    (f) how many Canadian citizens residing in Canada are U.S. persons under FATCA;

    (g) how many Canadian permanent residents are U.S. persons under FATCA;

    (h) how many applications for permanent residency is Canada currently processing from persons who are or will be treated as U.S. persons under FATCA;

    (i) broken down by province and territory and status, how many persons in Canada are projected to be affected by FATCA;

    (j) how was the figure in (l) calculated;

    (k) how many Canadian financial institutions will be impacted by FATCA;

    (l) how was the figure in (k) calculated;

    (m) how many non-financial Canadian entities will be impacted by FATCA;

    (n) how was the figure in (m) calculated;

    (o) what consultations has the government undertaken with respect to FATCA’s impact on persons resident in Canada;

    (p) what consultations has the government undertaken with respect to FATCA’s impact on financial institutions;

    (p) what consultations has the government undertaken with respect to FATCA’s impact on non-financial entities;

    (q) what estimates and studies have been undertaken with respect to the consequences of a 30% withholding of U.S. sourced income to financial institutions;

    (r) when did the studies in (q) occur and what were their conclusions;

    (s) how much has been spent evaluating FATCA’s impact on Canadians; (t) broken down by department, how was the figure in (s) determined;

    (u) what estimates have been undertaken with respect to FATCA’s cost to implement for Canada and with what conclusions;

    (w) for the five years starting 2014, how much is FATCA implementation expected to cost (i) Canada Revenue Agency, (ii) the department of Finance, (iii) the department of Justice, (iv) other government departments, agencies, boards, or tribunals; (x) broken down by year and cost from 2010-2020, what is the total financial impact of FATCA implementation expected to be on Canadian taxpayers;

    (y) how were the figure in (x) obtained;

    (z) what outside legal opinions has the government sought with respect to FATCA’s compatibility with Canadian law;

    (aa) when were the opinions in (z) sought and at what expense;

    (bb) have unsolicited legal opinions been sent to the government regarding FATCA;

    (cc) how many opinions in (bb) have the government received, (i) on what dates, (ii) with what conclusions, (iii) with what impact on the Government’s actions;

    (dd) has the government assessed the possibility of not acceding to FATCA in any way and, if so, with what conclusion and with what cost to Canada or to Canadians when compared to accession;

    (ee) how much has been spent on negotiations surrounding FACTA, broken down by year and expense;

    (ff) which individuals from the government have negotiated on Canada’s behalf regarding FATCA;

    (gg) what has the Minister of Finance’s personal role been with respect to FATCA negotiations;

    (hh) what has the Minister of National Revenue’s personal role been with respect to FATCA negotiations; (ii) what has the Minister of Foreign Affairs’ personal role been with respect to FATCA negotiations; (jj) what plans or strategies has Canada developed regarding enforcement of any FACTA related agreement with the United States;

    (kk) what penalties will there be for U.S. failure to meet any of its negotiated obligations;

    (ll) has the litigation risk regarding any FATCA implementation agreement been evaluated and, if so, (i) how, (ii), when, (iii), by what means;

    (mm) broken down by department and agency, and with specific record numbers and titles, what briefing materials and files have been developed regarding FATCA;

    (nn) what measures are in place to assess the lawfulness and legality of any implementation of FATCA in Canada;

    (oo) have any future public consultations with respect to FATCA implementation been planned and, if not, why not;

    (pp) what is the projected impact of FATCA on the Bank of Canada;

    (qq) what efforts has the government made with respect to informing financial institutions of their obligations under FATCA;

    (rr) what efforts has the government made with respect to informing non-financial entities of their obligations under FATCA;

    (ss) what efforts has the government made with respect to informing individuals residing in Canada of their obligations under FATCA;

    (tt) has Canadian non-compliance with FATCA been assessed as a possibility and, if so, to what extent;

    (uu) has FATCA been raised in discussions between Canada and countries other than the U.S. and, if so, (i) with which countries, (ii) at what level(s) did the discussion occur (iii) on what dates (iv) in what forum (v) and with which individuals from Canada participating;

    (vv) have any studies or analysis taken place with respect to FATCA’s impact on immigration to Canada by persons subject to this legislation and, if so, with what conclusion;

    (ww) has the Canadian Ambassador to the U.S. raised the issue of FATCA in any discussions and if so, (i) which discussions, (ii) on what dates, (iii) with what desired goal;

    (xx) has the American Ambassador to Canada raised the issue of FATCA in any discussions and if so, (i) which discussions, (ii) on what dates, (iii) with what outcome;

    (yy) has the government considered the correspondence of Peter Hogg regarding FATCA and if so, (i) with what impact on policy development, (ii) with what conclusion; and

    (zz) what steps will the government take to minimize any infringement of Canadian Charter rights by any implementation of FATCA?

    Reply
  4. WhiteKat

    I just sent this email to Flaherty using Schubert’s template which I modified to avoid sending a carbon copy. I agree with Schubert, we need to personalize for greater effect.

    Dear Minister Flaherty,

    As I am sure you are aware, on October 25, Mr. Ted Hsu (MP-Kingston and the Islands) submitted a written questionare (Q-121) concerning the government’s negotiations with the US concerning FATCA.

    And on October 28, another order paper initiated by Liberal MP Scott Brisom, was submitted with a second list of written questions regarding FATCA.

    It is likely that the vast majority of Canadians, even those directly affected by FATCA have no clue of the coming train which hopefully can be stopped before it derails and causes great destruction to our country, not to mention disillusionment with our current government.

    Both sets of questions need to be carefully considered by Canadians generally, as well as Parliamentarians. Answers to these questions, should be available BEFORE any Intergovernmental Agreement is announced and tabled in Parliament. Though I understand the government has 45 days to reply to these questions, I would hope the answers are fairly straightforward. Either the government has the studies and has done the consultations which are the subject of the questions, and therefore should be able to release that information and those studies promptly, or it hasn’t. In either case, it is important that these questions be addressed sooner than December 13, and certainly before any announcement of an IGA, which I truly hope will NEVER BE SIGNED by the Conservative government.

    Reply
  5. WhiteKat

    Schubert,

    Your message is very important, and timing is of the essence. Maybe you should consider a similar post at Brock

    Reply

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