What’s New?

As you know, Maple Sandbox is a gathering place for us to come together to share, learn, explore and grow together.

To stand up to IRS bullies, we need information as quickly as it becomes http://www.dreamstime.com/-image24675549available.  We need to learn from each other around the world.

I hope What’s New will be a building block for sharing those stories from the media or your own experiences.

What’s New will allow you to post articles under one central thread, rather than spreading them out through many different threads.  It also will give you the opportunity to share any other information you have with others.

Of course, some news and information will have still have threads of their own.

Please share your news, scoops and ideas.

 

 

 

679 thoughts on “What’s New?

  1. PatCanadian

    On CTV News this morning:

    “Canadian banks began sending financial information on U.S. and U.S.-Canadian citizens to the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) this month.” Although I have read that the CRA is obligated to forward this information to the IRS by the end of September 2015.

    At least we are referred to as Canadian citizens this time. I am glad to no longer be a US citizen. Please see the follow up story:

    http://www.ctvnews.ca/business/why-some-canadians-bank-info-is-being-sent-to-irs-1.2477572

    There are some interesting quotes from Steven Flynn, a tax lawyer from Vancouver and Greg Boos, U.S. immigration attorney in Bellingham, Wash. Both Boos and Flynn recommend dual citizens meet with a U.S. tax consultant (the usual tax condor advice). It depends on your situation, of course, but I did the old paper self filing. It sure saved a lot in accounting fees and I didn’t owe tax anyway.

    “It can be a very scary thing,” Flynn said. “But FATCA is forcing people to realize that they don’t have to be a U.S. citizen anymore.” I would add that many should not be considered US citizens for tax purposes at all. I also think articles like this bring FATCA to the public eye. Hopefully those who are just waking up to this will have a look at this website and Isaac Brock. It’s good timing for our lawsuit.

    Reply
  2. Lynne Swanson

    This is over a year old but I just saw this article about a letter from the IRS to a five year old boy.

    When Paulie was six, he sent a Dear Tax Man reply, giving IRS permission to discuss his tax papers with his Mommy until he is 18.

    in green crayon, Pauli wrote:

    Dear Tax Man:

    I got your letter. I am now six years old. It is OK for you to talk to my Mommy about my tax papers until I’m 18

    Pauli Smith

    Fortunately for Pauli, he lives in the U.S. so he does not need to worry about FATCA, FBAR or FinCen–unless Pauli is hiding money in an offshore piggy bank. Oh wait. Is a piggy bank an FFI?

    Reply
  3. Lynne Swanson

    Edward Snowden says The World Says No to Surveillance in New York Times.

    Ending the mass surveillance of private phone calls under the Patriot Act is a historic victory for the rights of every citizen, but it is only the latest product of a change in global awareness. Since 2013, institutions across Europe have ruled similar laws and operations illegal and imposed new restrictions on future activities. The United Nations declared mass surveillance an unambiguous violation of human rights. In Latin America, the efforts of citizens in Brazil led to the Marco Civil, an Internet Bill of Rights. Recognizing the critical role of informed citizens in correcting the excesses of government, the Council of Europe called for new laws to protect whistle-blowers.

    He also says:

    Though we have come a long way, the right to privacy — the foundation of the freedoms enshrined in the United States Bill of Rights — remains under threat. Some of the world’s most

    He goes on to give examples, including:

    Spymasters in Australia, Canada and France have exploited recent tragedies to seek intrusive new powers despite evidence such programs would not have prevented attacks.

    Yet Snowden, Greenwald and Poitras remain silent on FATCA–although all three are U.S. citizens living outside U.S.

    Reply
  4. Lynne Swanson

    Harper loses another team member. Justice Minister Peter McKay will not seek reelection.

    Hmm. Does McKay see the writing on the wall for the upcoming election?

    National Post says voters have likely not seen the last of McKay.

    National Post also says rumours are McKay will be Canada’s Ambassador in Washington. If that happens, we cannot count on any voice against FATCA there.

    Reply
  5. Lynne Swanson

    In New York Times. An American Tax Nightmare

    Here are some examples collected and documented by American organizations overseas:

    • An American woman and her Swiss husband, married for more than 20 years, were told that they would lose the mortgage on their family home due to the law’s reporting requirements.

    • An American man, living in Brazil, had a promising career in management with a French multinational corporation. He was told that he would be passed over for promotion, effectively ending his career with the company, because as Country Manager he would have signatory authority over the French company’s local bank accounts. The law would require that all transactions on the company accounts, despite not being taxable in the United States, be reported to the American Internal Revenue Service.

    •An American couple, living in Australia for many years, received notice that the merchant banking account for their chain of retail stores was to be canceled, as Fatca reporting demands overwhelmed their bank’s capabilities. Without banking and credit card facilities, their business would be doomed.

    And there are many more examples. There is no recourse and no appeal process…

    Reply
  6. Lynne Swanson

    @PatCanadian: If we were found by the courts to be illegally peeking into our neighbour’s windows and taping their bedroom activities, do you think the courts would say it is illegal, but OK to keep doing it?

    “The illegal we do immediately. The unconstitutional takes a little longer.” (Henry Kissinger)

    It seems the government can now do both immediately–and keep on doing it.

    “Staggering…Unprecedented…Momentous..”

    But keep going.

    Watergate was nothing compared to today’s goings on.

    Reply
  7. Lynne Swanson

    I’s been a long time since I’ve posted in What’s New. But, here’s what’s new today.

    A U.S. Court of Appeal has ruled NSA’s massive metadata collection is illegal. Yet they opted not to end the practice. What?!?

    http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/may/07/nsa-phone-records-program-illegal-court

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/nsa-s-bulk-collection-of-phone-records-illegal-appeals-court-rules-1.3064949

    I hope this will help the Bopp case if it ever gets launched.

    Reply
    1. PatCanadian

      Oh yes, more news from south of the border. It will be interesting if this goes to US Supreme Court:

      “(Reuters) – A U.S. spying program that systematically collects millions of Americans’ phone records is illegal, a federal appeals court ruled on Thursday, putting pressure on Congress to quickly decide whether to replace or end the controversial anti-terrorism surveillance.”

      Never the less, the court did not stop the NSA spy program. We will have to wait until “Congress speaks” again. It seems we need to be more wary of those trying to “protect us” by collecting all this mega data than of any so called terrorists. Any parallels here to FATCA and IRS extraterritorial data collection?

      Here’s more reading on this Orwellian subject:

      http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/05/07/us-usa-security-nsa-idUSKBN0NS1IN20150507

  8. PatCanadian

    Here is something of interest from today’s Wall Street Journal. Not being a financial wizard, I never understood the concept of PFIC’s. This seems to explain it in plain English:

    http://blogs.wsj.com/expat/2015/03/09/why-u-s-expats-should-never-own-foreign-mutual-funds-ask-an-expert/tab/print/

    Note the exceedingly high rate of taxation on PFIC investment income by US IRS: 39.6% and up. “For US tax purposes, non-US mutual funds qualify as Passive Foreign Investment Companies (PFIC’s).”

    This WSJ article also states: “Starting in 2014, all foreign financial institutions are now required to report to the IRS on accounts owned by Americans. Individual tax returns have to match the data supplied by foreign financial institutions, or the IRS will begin asking questions and launching audits.”

    Oh boy, I am happy to be a non-US person for tax purposes now. Looks like Canadians with US taint need to live in fear of investing in their own country’s Canadian mutual funds. This is another great reason to support our anti FATCA anti IGA lawsuit.

    Reply
  9. Lynne Swanson

    Here are two very different presentations on FATCA.

    One is Keith Redmond in France interviewed on Fox News in the U.S. about FATCA and why some Americans are renouncing U.S. citizenship. Serious, informative, direct.

    Keith mention“s the Canadian lawsuit at the end of the interview. He also talks about the groundswell of anger.

    The second is satire about the very real implications for a young Swedish Princess and the Second FATCA Royal to be born in Stockholm this summer. Also informative, but fun, funny and funky.

    Reply
  10. calgary411

    UPDATE for anyone wondering about IsaacBrockSociety.ca site:

    It is, again, up and running. Hope we continue to be up and running here and there as we are approaching a very important deadline for donations for ADCS-ADSC.ca.

    Reply

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