Monthly Archives: April 2014

2014 IRS Survey of Individuals Living Abroad – Maple Sandbox has it

As previously reported by the IRS, and several other sites, the IRS sent a survey to about 4,000 individuals ‘living abroad’, “regardless of whether or not you have filed a U.S. federal income tax return while living abroad.” This is being done through an independent survey firm, ICF.

(Updated)We have been requested to provide a specific link to the survey:
The IRS did it last year as well, and the 2012 survey results are available:
According to the Taxpayers Advocate Service 2013 Annual Report to Congress,
“The IRS has also contracted with an independent consultant to survey 4,000 individuals residing abroad who the IRS believes have U.S. filing requirement and did not file a return. The survey, to be conducted by mail and online, will “focus on why some individuals living abroad do not file a tax return, their awareness of certain tax provisions and forms specific to International Taxpayers, and how the IRS can encourage voluntary compliance among this population.” 
There is a lot to consider in this survey, and its ramifications, and much that I suspect people will find, at the least, questionable. Section 4E has 11 multiple choice questions around CBT, filing returns, etc. Section 4H is asking for ‘thoughts’ on what the IRS has done well, or how the IRS can “improve in communicating whether income earned outside the US is subject to US federal taxes”.
I am very, very curious to read the comments that this survey will generate!
(A password is required to access the survey).
Personally, I’m very interested to know if anyone who has never filed a U.S. tax return, and who thinks they should be filing, actually fills out the survey.

Quotes Needed From Our International Friends

We are working on the website to use for ADCS/ADSC fundraising for our legal challenge.  We have several quotes from Canadians across Canada.
We would also like to include quotes from our friends around the world.  We have two quotes, but would like a few more.globe friends
If you live outside Canada and will contribute a quote of two or so sentences about how you feel about FATCA, please send it to Lynne Swanson at maplesandbox at yahoo dot ca by Friday May 2. Please also include a sentence on why you think the Canadian legal challenge is important.  To protect your privacy, we won’t use your real name, so please give us the name you would like us to use. Please include your country.
If you use the french language, please provide your comment in both French and English.

Alliance for the Defence of Canadian Sovereignty (ADCS)/L'Alliance pour la défense de la souveraineté canadienne (ADSC) is established in Canada/est créée au Canada

We have now incorporated a Canadian non-profit organization with Corporations Canada:

“Alliance for the Defence of Canadian Sovereignty (ADCS)/L’Alliance pour la défense de la souveraineté canadienne (ADSC)”

ADCS/ADSC is not affiliated with any other organization.
The present Board Directors are listed below. Other individuals critical in setting up ADCS/ADSC are Gwendolyn Brock, K. Badger, and many others. Lynne Swanson will chair the legal challenge committee.

The overall purpose of the Corporation is to defend Canadian sovereignty and protect all persons in Canada from the attempts of other countries to impose their “extra-territorial legislation” on Canada.

Its immediate objective is to fund a legal challenge to oppose changes in Canadian laws that would impose the U.S. FATCA law on all people in Canada.
Given that the Canadian government has extensive financial resources (courtesy of the taxpayers of Canada), significant monies need to be raised. We are counting on your support.
Stephen Kish (Chair)
John Richardson (co-Chair)
Patricia Moon (Secretary/Treasurer)
Carol Tapanila (Director)
Nous avons maintenant constitué une organisation canadienne à but non lucratif auprès de Corporations Canada :

“Alliance for the Defence of Canadian Sovereignty (ADCS)/L’Alliance pour la défense de la souveraineté canadienne (ADSC)”

ADCS/ADSC n’est pas affiliée avec aucune autre organisation.
Les noms des administrateurs du conseil actuels apparaissent ci-dessous.  D’autres  individus indispensables à la création d’ADCS/ADSC sont Gwendolyn Brock, K. Badger et plusieurs autres.  Lynne Swanson sera la présidente du comité responsable de la contestation judiciaire.

Le but global de l’organisation est de défendre la souveraineté canadienne et de protéger toute personne au Canada face aux tentatives de pays étrangers d’imposer leurs « lois à portée extraterritoriale » au Canada. 

Son but immédiat est de lever les fonds nécessaires pour opposer tout changement aux lois canadiennes qui imposerait la loi américaine FATCA à tout individu au Canada.
Étant donné les vastes ressources financières du gouvernement canadien (gracieuseté des contribuables du Canada), nous devons recueillir des sommes considérables.   Votre appui nous est indispensable.
Stephen Kish (Président),
John Richardson (Vice-Président),
Patricia Moon (Secrétaire/Trésorière)
Carol Tapanila (Administrateur)

Free to Oppose FATCA

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms came into force on April 17, 1985, 29 years ago last week. And since then, I’ve been pondering on how our current government could have strayed so far from what I believe is the intent of the Act, as well the intent of its precursor, the Canadian Bill of RightsOutraged Protesting
The Canadian Bill of Rights, introduced back in 1960, stated, in part,
“It is hereby recognized and declared that in Canada there have existed and shall continue to exist without discrimination by reason of race, national origin, colour, religion or sex, the following human rights and fundamental freedoms, namely,
(a) the right of the individual to life, liberty, security of the person and enjoyment of property, and the right not to be deprived thereof except by due process of law; Continue reading Free to Oppose FATCA

More Renounce US Citizenship But Defy The Stereotype

A couple of familiar names are featured prominently in the Associated Press story More Renounce US Citizenship But Defy The Stereotype.
Carol Tapanila (aka Calgary411):

“You know, we are not rich people and we are not tax evaders and we are not traitors and I’m more than tired of being labeled that way,” Tapanila says.


John Richardson:

Decisions to renounce “are driven by a whole range of emotional considerations. … You’ve got anger, you’ve got fear, you’ve got a strong sense of indignation,” said John Richardson, a Toronto lawyer who advises people on expatriation. “For many of these people, this is not a tax issue at all.”

Peter Dunn (aka Petros at Brock) also tells his story.  Many of the other names are not familiar to us, but their stories are.
I understand this Associated Press story will be in many more American newspapers tomorrow.

Fraser Institute report – no mention of FATCA

I was reading through the Fraser Institute report from January 2014 “Canada’s Catch-22: The State of Canada-US Relations in 2014”
The report mentions several disputes and barriers, such as the Keystone pipeline, the softwood lumber dispute, and intellectual property rights, but there is not a single mention of FATCA.
According to their website “The Fraser Institute measures and studies the impact of markets and government interventions on the welfare of individuals” (emphasis is mine)
Can anyone tell me why and how they can just ignore the impact of FATCA?
report link:

We Intend to Commence Litigation Challenging Canadian FATCA IGA Implementation Legislation on Behalf of All Persons in Canada and Those Impacted by FATCA in the Rest of the World

Stephen Kish and Lynne Swanson have reviewed the legal opinion provided by constitutional lawyer Mr. Joseph Arvay on the constitutionality of the pending legislation “Canada-United States Enhanced Tax Information Exchange Agreement Implementation Act”.  This act is aimed at implementing the “Intergovernmental Agreement” (IGA) designed to make the “Foreign Account Tax Compliant Act” (FATCA) operative in Canada.
The opinion has also been discussed with Mr. John Richardson, a Toronto lawyer, with whom we now have solicitor-client privilege, and who will be part of Dr. Kish’s and Ms. Swanson’s “litigation committee”.
The lengthy opinion provides in detail the pros and cons of the arguments, and possible outcomes.
There are good arguments that the proposed legislation infringes at a minimum on constitutionally protected rights and freedoms.  Nevertheless, there are also arguments that the Government of Canada may employ to counter our position and, we emphasize, there is no certainty that litigation will be successful.  Further, any litigation will be hard fought and very expensive.  This litigation is not for the faint of heart.
Given the opinion of Mr. Arvay and discussion with Mr. Richardson, we advise that it is our intention to take all necessary steps to commence litigation against the Government of Canada once the IGA implementation legislation is enacted.  Moreover, the nature and impact of the unprecedented legislation on all persons in Canada and those throughout the world who will be impacted by FATCA demands that we exercise this option that is in the public interest.
Very significant fundraising will be required.
Stephen Kish
Lynne Swanson
Cross posted at Isaac Brock Society


Legal Opinion on Canadian Constitutionality of FATCA IGA Legislation Received Saturday April 12, 2014

Dr. Stephen Kish and Lynne Swanson today received a very lengthy and comprehensive legal opinion from constitutional lawyer Joseph Arvay on the constitutionality of Canada’s pending FATCA IGA legislation.
We are reviewing the document and will get back to you.
Lynne Swanson
Cross Posted at Isaac Brock Society by Stephen Kish.

How The U.S. Pulled Off The Great Canadian Privacy Giveawa

By Arthur Cockfield and Allison Christians in today`s Globe and Mail: How the U.S. Pulled Off the Great Canadian Privacy Giveaway.

For the first time in Canadian history, our federal government is preparing to provide a foreign government with sensitive personal financial information about hundreds of thousands of Canadians. It is doing so to stave off threatened economic sanctions, and is getting nothing in return.

Their article tells the “`sad saga“ of how the US managed to pull it off and makes a suggestion for an amendment to the enabling law that would allow reporting only on U.S. residents.