Monthly Archives: January 2014

Come to the Saturday February 1 Information Session in Kingston Ontario

This meeting will be held February 1 from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm in the Kingston and Frontenac Library Central Branch in the Delahaye Room @ 130 Johnson St. Kingston.
The Kingston session will be identical to that of the January 25 Toronto meeting and is organized by a small group of Canadians who don’t like the treatment of U.S.-Canadians by U.S. Congress.
The speaker, Toronto attorney John Richardson, will outline concerns of Canadians impacted by the US tax laws and help you identify and understand your options. John has a website at citizenshipsolutions.ca Continue reading Come to the Saturday February 1 Information Session in Kingston Ontario

Our Friends in New Zealand Need Help

Our friends in New Zealand need help. In an e-mail to Just Me (which he forwarded to people in several countries), Osgood said:

The New Zealand government has gone to great lengths to cover this legislation up as much as possible. They are trying to hide it from the parliament, and the New Zealand public. If they receive submissions from overseas this will at least alert them to the fact that their actions have been noticed elsewhere (perhaps more than in this country!). Also, whether they like it or not all submissions received must be made public on the website, and they must be addressed in the Select Committee report to parliament (due in June). It carrys a lot more power than letters to Ministers which can effectively be ignored (as I well know).
They are relying on the fact that people are unaware or too busy to make a submission. This is an opportunity not to be missed!
Many people that make detailed comments on Brock could simply modify them slightly and cut and paste them into the NZ submission form. It really is not difficult. The detailed analysis that you posted n Brock was great, but may put a lot of people off due to its detail. It is not necessary to go into that detail. New Zealand needs to be made aware that this is a global issue. Other nations, such as Canada are starting to stand up to the bully and need support from countries like New Zealand. Anyone that can report the shock, anxiety and horror at finding out about this would also make a good submission.
Osgood is asking people to make submissions to the New Zealand government–even if we don’t live in New Zealand. Submissions can come from anywhere in the world.
Osgood says submissions will be made public, but it’s possible you can ask that yours not be made public.
Here is more information from Osgood on the situation in New Zealand.
  1. The NZ cabinet has already agreed to “negotiate” a Model 1 IGA with the US. This has not been subject to consultation or parliamentary process
  2. NZ has extensive Privacy and Human Rights laws that need to be broken for our FIs to adhere to FATCA
  3. The NZ gov has introduced a bill to force NZ FIs to comply with the (as yet unsigned) IGA. It does by defining the IGA as a Dual Tax Treaty which overrides domestic Privacy laws. It is not clear how this gets around the Human Rights issues.
  4. The FATCA section (called Foreign account information-sharing agreements) is buried in the bill which contains much unrelated legislation
  5. The bill has been referred to Select Committee and is open for public submissions.

A lot of this certainly sounds familiar. Let’s help our Kiwi friends.

Excellent article by Jim Jatras worth forwarding to your friends and family in the US

I am happy to call your attention to an excellent post by our friend Jim Jatras on his Repeal FATCA website. This post, Why Republicans Are Right To Repeal FATCA, is aimed at Americans in the US, and I think it’s important for you to forward this link to any friends and family you might have in the US. Jim’s post is a calm rebuttal of the wild claims the Democrats are making that the Republican National Committee is committed to letting “tax cheats” off the hook, and in the vitriolic political atmosphere in the US, it’s important that calm, reasoned and moderate statements like this get some attention. He makes some very telling points about how this law got through Congress with no debate or committee study. Sounds sadly familiar in Ottawa these days, unfortunately …

Important email from Liberal MP Mauril Bélanger (Ottawa-Vanier)

The following correspondence is important for several reasons. First, this correspondence was in French and is the first on FATCA that I personally have seen in that language. I think it is vital that Canadians understand the FATCA and IGA issues affect ALL Canadians no matter which of our official languages they speak (and no matter their ethnic or national origin). Second, M. Bélanger is a Liberal MP (from Ottawa-Vanier), and his response makes it clear that, even though perhaps Justin Trudeau either doesn’t understand the issues or can’t articulate them accurately and quickly on his feet, some of his caucus clearly do “get it.”
I am posting the following at the request of “Premier Juillet” and in consultation with him. I have met him in person. I am posting the original correspondence in French, followed by a translation of M. Bélanger’s letter as provided to me by “Premier Juillet.”
Premier Juillet wrote to me (Schubert): “I finally got a reply to my multiple reminders since a letter I sent in June to my Liberal deputé. I think it was worth the wait. They have done their research and I guess they had more to say because of the recent questions by Hsu/Brison. I hope they can now educate their Leader, and fast!
“Merci beaucoup Monsieur le député Belangé!
“Premier Juillet”
Continue reading Important email from Liberal MP Mauril Bélanger (Ottawa-Vanier)

Breaking News: RNC Passes Repeal FATCA Resolution/DNC Criticizes

Breaking news: Cynthia Dillon (Republicans Abroad radio host and producer tweeted that RNC passed a resolution to repeal FATCA.

    1. Resolution to repeal FATCA (out of 11other R’s), passed by RNC at General Session #FATCA.  

       
      It didn’t take the Democrats long to condemn that move. A reporter for Time quickly tweeted the Democrats response.

DNC blasts RNC for FATCA resolution in statement pic.twitter.com/yxHinZR56R

 
As Victoria says, this is a case of American Diaspora Meets A Polarized America.
Twitter is filled with venom towards those offshore tax dodgers being helped by the Republicans. That means us–stashing money in our checking, savings, retirement, checking, education and disability accounts in the countries where we live, work, earn an income, pay taxes and where the majority of us are citizens.
 
 
 

 

CBC's Rick Mercer and NDP's Murrary Rankin on FATCA

Wow! Two major anti-FATCA shots. One from Rick Mercer on CBC. Another from a press release from the NDP.
Rick Mercer says

“Here’s another story about Canadian banks sharing their customers personal information with the United States because the person is allegedly American.”

His wife wonders if they could be considered American because of that one trip across to Niagara Falls USA.
Today, Murray Rankin, NDP Revenue Critic tweeted an NDP news release Canadians Deserve Answers on FATCA.

Canadians deserve answers on #FATCA: #NDP http://ww on w.ndp.ca/o2A 

Thanks to Badger for posting under What’s New.
The news release recognizes the anxiety we are experiencing. It also points out that the Conservatives have exacerbated those fears with closed doors negotiations.
The news release concludes:

“Canada cannot accept an agreement that violates Canadians’ rights,” said Rankin. “I am asking that the government acknowledge the very legitimate public concerns about the FATCA, bring transparency to this process and inform Parliamentarians on the state of negotiations as soon as possible.”

 

Possible relinquishment route for CLN for some duals-at-birth in Canada

Some persons born dual US-Canadian citizens at birth, particularly those born of even one Canadian parent on US soil and with no adult connections to or claims on US citizenship, may have a viable relinquishment option (as distinct from a renunciation option, open to almost everyone) for getting a Certificate of Loss of Nationality of the United States (CLN). Please see other threads of this and our partner website for a discussion of the difference between relinquishment and renunciation and why it might matter to you.
I learned yesterday by private email something I had suspected but had not been confirmed. Some duals-at-birth have, ideally after the age of 18, applied for and received a Canadian Citizenship Card from Citizenship and Immigration Canada at some point in their past. To get such a card, one has to provide evidence (in these cases) that at least one parent was a Canadian citizen at the time you were born, and you also must swear and sign an oath of allegiance to the Queen of Canada.
Continue reading Possible relinquishment route for CLN for some duals-at-birth in Canada

FATCA Trampling Rights in New Zealand and Beyond

Policymakers in New Zealand are working on “enabling” legislation to comply with the latest addition to the sprawling U.S. tax regime, which authorities there admit would likely conflict with the nation’s Bill of Rights, the Human Rights Act, privacy rights, anti-discrimination protections, and more. Around the world, the trends are similar, with individual rights in government crosshairs owing to FATCA. However, outrage over the draconian U.S. tax scheme is escalating quickly as well.

The above is part of the article New U.S. Tax Law Trampling Rights in New Zealand and Beyond in the New American.
New Zealand is introducing “enabling” legislation to allow FATCA to trample individual rights.

Analysts say it appears that policymakers are hoping to get the regime in place before anybody notices and a massive
public outcry kills it.

Unfortunately, for our friends in New Zealand, I think there is even less awareness than there is in Canada. However, the author concludes:

Outrage is building — and analysts say the effort to stop the new out-of-control regime is likely just getting started.

 

Come to the Saturday January 25 Information Session in Downtown Toronto

This meeting will be held January 25 at 12:00 noon at 100 St. Joseph St. M5S 1J4 (Near Museum subway)

Go also to the post on Brock for other comments on this and on later information sessions in other cities:
http://isaacbrocksociety.ca/2014/01/14/solving-the-problems-of-u-s-citizenship-information-sessions/

The meeting is organized by a small group of Canadians who are concerned with the treatment of U.S.-Canadians by U.S. Congress and the IRS.
The meeting is also a response to OutragedCanadian’s post that information is needed to help US people in Canada make decisions about their lives and financial security.
The speaker, Toronto lawyer John Richardson, will outline concerns of Canadians impacted by the US extra-territorial tax laws and help you identify and understand your options.
UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD YOU CALL A TAX PROFESSIONAL FOR HELP BEFORE FIRST EDUCATING YOURSELF.

Big Week For FATCA News

There has been lots in the news about FATCA this week. In addition to the two CBC articles that were posted, there were others on CBC.
Gwen was on Metro Morning on CBC Radio
The next morning Gwen was on Ontario Morning on CBC Radio (I haven’t been able to locate that one to post here).
Allison Christians called FATCA ridiculous..extraterritorial..overreach on CBC News Now.
Then, there was a story by John Lancaster on CBC Toronto at 6:00. (begins at about 14.35.) Note CBA says “saying no to FATCA is like saying no to winter. Both will arrive.” Carol says US persons in Canada will be “toxic.” A government statement says they are powerless to change US tax law.  Note, the anchor says “Unbelievable” at the end.
The National with Peter Mansbridge also did a story by James Fitz-Morris on CBC that night featuring Calagay411, including a comment from Liberal MP Scott Brison.
Huffington Post picked up the story about Calagary411.
The next day, CTV Canada A.M. featured Allison Christians. (I viewed it online, but I haven’t been able to locate it today to post here.)
Also, the next day, CTV website featured a Q and A on FATCA.
From all of this, James Jatras posted that the Anti-FATCA Campaign Picks Up Steam in Canada.
Bahamas Weekly picked up James’ post with the headline Anti-FATCA Campaign Picks Up Visibility in US, Canada.
Allison Christians posted on her blog FATCA Rising in Canadian Media.
Victoria posted at Franco-American Flophouse on FATCA: Topic of the Day at CBC
Then, Forbes was covering the FATCA story with an article by the former head of the tax division of the U.S. Department of Justice. She writes about its complexity, says its consequences were not thought through, points to problems with IGAs and concludes Congress is “biting off more than the Administration can, or ought to, chew.”
However, a US Federal Court denied the lawsuits of the Texas and Florida banking associations who were challenging the requirement that they provide limited reporting under IGA reciprocity.
If you want the IRS off your back, starting scouring your client files for U.S. citizens now, advises one Toronto advisor.
As always, the Canadian compliance industry is singing the IRS FATCA song. Wealth Management is telling financial advisors:

“If you want the IRS off your back, start scouring your client files for U.S. citizens now”