Monthly Archives: May 2014

"Sovereignty, Shmovereignty"

“Sovereignty, shmovereignty.”

Those two words sum up how “one by one” countries around the world fell to the FATCA “rotten carrot.“ Or an attempt to Explain the Wormy Morass of FATCA.
We certainly saw that in action in Canada’s Parliament this week.  Unlike the other countries, Canada wasn’t even offered a “rotten carrot.” Canada already had an information exchange agreement with the US.
Or, as Mike Allen said “Congress has spoken.“
“Sovereignty, shmovereignty.” indeed.

UPDATE: ALL AMENDMENTS DEFEATED Amendments Being Voted on Today Or Tonight

UPDATE4:26 p.m.:  All amendments were just DEFEATED by the Cons–including one from Rankin to ensure the Act meets the Charter
BREAKING NEWS:  I just spoke with Scott Brison’s Policy Advisor. Mr. Brison has presented an amendment to the Finance Committee.  A vote will be late this afternoon or sometime tonight.

Ref.: 6611875  Clause/Article 99
Page 73  Page 73
May 22, 2014
Mr. Brison (Kings—Hants)
22 mai 2014
M. Brison (Kings—Hants)
That Bill C-31, in Clause 99, be amended by
adding after line 11 on page 73 the following:
Que le projet de loi C-31, à l’article 99, soit
modifié par adjonction, après la ligne 11, page
73, de ce qui suit :
“(2) Despite any other provision of this Act
or the Agreement, for all purposes related to
the implementation of this Act and the
Agreement, “U.S. Person” and “Specified
U.S. Person” does not include any person
who is
« (2) Malgré les autres dispositions de la
présente loi ou de l’Accord, dans le cadre de
la mise en oeuvre de la présente loi et de
l’Accord, « personne des États-Unis » et
« personne désignée des États-Unis » ne
visent pas la personne qui, à la fois :
(a) a Canadian citizen within the meaning of
the Citizenship Act or a permanent resident
within the meaning of subsection 2(1) of the
Immigration and Refugee Protection Act; and
a) est un citoyen canadien au sens de la Loi
sur la citoyenneté ou un résident permanent
au sens du paragraphe 2(1) de la Loi sur
l’immigration et la protection des réfugiés;
(b) ordinarily resident in Canada.”  b) réside habituellement au Canada. »

She advised they Mr. Brison has also submitted other amendments, including one that would  ensure other Canadian laws prevail over the Implementation Act, (instead of having this law prevail over those laws).
This is essentially a formalized version of the amendment Anne Frank suggested and that Schubert and I sent to Brison, Rankin and  Cullen. The second amendment Brison put forth is a varation of one I suggested–to remove the section that prevails over all other Canadian laws
She said the NDP and Elizabeth May have submitted similar amendments. She expects support for the amendment from the NDP and Greens (although the Greens do not have a vote at  the Committee), but does not know if the Conservatives will support it.Ted Hsu will be present for the Liberals to speak on this.
The Finance Committee will begin a clause by clause review and will consider these amendments at 3:30 today.  A vote will likely take place on each amendment tonight. She was not able to say what time that would be.
You can watch on ParlVu

U.S. Citizenship and Young Adults: Navigating The Special Rules Imposed On U.S. Citizens Abroad

These seminars will include discussion and analysis of the IRS “relaxed opportunities” for people to come into compliance.
“Life planning, career planning and the reality of U.S. citizenship for Americans abroad”
“Everything I wish I had known, but couldn’t even have imagined to ask!”
During the winter, John Richardson presented a number of seminars for those concerned with the obvious problems of U.S. citizenship (including the “threshold question” of whether you really are a U.S. citizen).
Seminar topics have invariably included the problems of: FBAR, FATCA, investing, retirement planning, mutual funds, U.S. tax compliance, renunciation, etc.The official “FATCA Launch” of July 1, 2014 will surely make the existing problems worse.
U.S. citizens living outside the United States are subject to a regime of rules that diminish their “life opportunities”. These rules are such that U.S. citizens abroad live at a disadvantage relative to the citizens of any other nation. Those attending previous seminars have been primarily “middle aged” people, who have attempted to plan for their retirement, only to find that their retirement plans are threatened, because of their birth in the United States.

A shared sentiment has been:
“If only, I had known about these rules earlier … This is information that my children and other young adults need to hear! What does all this mean for my children?”

Continue reading U.S. Citizenship and Young Adults: Navigating The Special Rules Imposed On U.S. Citizens Abroad

Moodys Gartner Thinks We Are "Inflammatory" on FATCA

Kim G.C. Moody of Moodys Gartner Tax Law (home of Roy Berg) thinks our opinions and voices are “inaccurate,” “incomplete” and “inflammatory.”
In FATCA A Canadian Perspective, Mr. Moody writes:

In today’s day and age, anyone with a microphone and access to the Internet can provide their opinion, and while free and open democracies need freedom of speech in order to function, sometimes the loudest opinions are inaccurate, incomplete and, in the FATCA world, inflammatory.

The Chief Jingo of Canada is proud to say she has never met a microphone she hasn’t loved and uses it to promote the accurate adn complete story behind FATCA.
Mr. Moody concedes:

One group who may feel blindsided by citizenship taxation laws are “accidental Americans.”

His solution:   Renounce–even though he admits how difficult that is.
Of course, Mr. Moody wants us to all become complaint. How to do that?  Come to Moodys Gartner
Mr. Moody does get one thing right.

FATCA is not going away and, instead, it appears as if the wildfire is spreading fast.

On the topic of those pesky little details like Canada’s privacy laws, the Charter and sovereignty, Mr. Moody says

I am simply a tax practitioner…

Hmmm.  Roy Berg used the word mugger in another recent article. Oh wait. Is that “inflammatory?”

"Canadians have every right to feel betrayed by their adopted country" for FATCA (Toronto Star)

“Canadians affected by FATCA have every right to feel betrayed by their adopted country.”

That is one of many superb comments in today’s Toronto Star: U.S. tax deal jeopardizes Canadians’ privacy: Tim Harper
Reviewing this, I think we can safely conclude Tim Harper listened closely to what was said Finance Committee testimony:
Here are some of the other key points:

If one wants another clear-eyed illustration of the power imbalance between Washington and the federal Conservatives, one need look no further than a tax deal signed between the two countries last winter.

It is a deal which imperils the privacy of up to a million Canadians and creates a two-tier level of citizenship in this country, discriminating against citizens based on their ethnic origin.


FATCA is something that should be alarming in an era of NSA spying and telecom information gathering for governments.

On the CRA issue:

Ottawa may see this two-step as a means to guard privacy. Those affected see it as double jeopardy.

On the choices:

What the Conservatives didn’t have to do was essentially embed foreign legislation into their budget bill.

On the constitution:

The Conservatives have likely set themselves up for the courts to again ultimately decide on the constitutionality of this move.


Canadian financial institutions must begin handing over information by July 1, a Canada Day repudiation of our own sovereignty.





"Anybody Else Getting" The FATCA Call?

Telephone Call
Has anyone received the FATCA call from their bank, investment firm or other financial institution?
Johnnb posted the following under  What’s New, but it definitely needs its own thread:

In a previous post I described how my wife and I decided to get our (backdated to 1973) CLNs. We applied in January of 2012 and the CLNs arrived in July 2012. We promptly made copies and gave one to our financial advisor at Scotia McLeod.
Last week we got a phone call from our financial advisor saying we now had to provide our old US social security number (haven’t got a clue what they were) and fill out a W8-BEN. Told her we weren’t filling out any US IRS forms ever again.
She then informed me that she has been instructed to call every person on her client list and ask each and every one of them five questions:
Are you a US citizen?
Were you born in the US?
Did you reside in the US for more than 183 days last year?
Two others that I missed because she was going so fast.
She said she was amazed to find so many of her clients who had ties to the US!
Anybody else getting this type of call?

We’ve missed you Johnnb.  Good to see you back–but not with this information. Thanks for sharing.

Interview with John Richardson

John Richardson was interviewed for a story on FATCA that will air on AMI on Sunday May 25 at 7:00 and 10:00 pm.
From AMI:

“May 25: Under the controversial US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act all non-US financial institutions, including Canadian banks, must make information known about financial accounts owned by US expatriates. Some have called the legislation an infringement of Canadian sovereignty. Toronto lawyer John Richardson discusses the legislation and his reasons for opposing it.”

Our FATCA Briefs Are Showing

Our FATCA briefs are finally showing at the Parliament of Canada website about Bill C31.
These are comprehensive and well-thought out and presented. They tell the real human story behind FATCA, provide excellent analysis and offer solutions.
There may be more to come after they are translated, but this is a great start.
Most importantly, these convey one overriding message:

We are Canadian!

Well done everyone!  Together we can make a difference.
Not all of the briefs are about FATCA. The ones that are 58kb are all on trademark. A few of the others are on trademark or other issues.
Thanks to Em over at Brock for realizing these were posted on Victoria Day.