Monthly Archives: June 2014

Reminder of Vancouver Session for Young Adults – Sunday, June 22

These seminars will include discussion and analysis of the IRS “relaxed opportunities” for people to come into compliance.
“If only I had known about these rules earlier …”
This session will focus on the problems of investing and retirement planning for U.S. citizens abroad in general. It will operate as both:
– a “heads up” for young adults; and
– possible solutions for those already mired in the process
Who: John Richardson, B.A., L.L.B., J.D –
Where: Downtown Vancouver, 1010 Richards Street Richards & Nelson, Gallery Condo Building, Amenity Room, Entrance at REAR of BLDG on lane. Metered parking on street or lot at Richards & Smithe. Canada Line – Yaletown stop. Expo & Millenium lines – Granville Station.
When: Sunday, June 22 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Admission: $20 individual or $40 for a family of up to four people (to cover costs)
Hope to see you and your families on June 22. Spread the word!

House of Commons Votes to Help U.S. IRS Seize Bank Records of Canadians. Bill C31 Passes – FATCA is Now the Law in CANADA!

Maple Sandboxers! Please distribute this far and wide. We need the media to pay attention to this story.
Please download this Press Release PDF and send it out to your Local Papers, TV and Radio Stations! Tweet and post on Facebook!
We need people to wake up and join the Legal Challenge, but they won’t do so unless they know what is happening to our country.
ADCS-ADSC Press Release
Here is the .PNG version for Twitter and Facebook posting (please “save image” to download the .png) and attach to your Twitter and Facebook posts:

Betrayed! Cons Pass FATCA Act in House of Commons

The Cons did it.  The FATCA Act passed third reading yesterday in the House of Commons 148-94.
Both Elizabeth May and Murray Rankin have confirmed the FATCA portion was passed as part of C31 and it now moves to the Senate for a vote (likely just a formality. Then, on to the Governor General for another formality of Royal Ascent.
Thanks Hazy for the recorded vote How do you think all the Cons voted? If anyone had any question what they think of us, it is now confirmed.
“Congress has spoken” in Canada’s Parliament.

UNBELIEVABLE! CRA Ombudsman Told Canadian Citizens of American Tax Laws

This is unbelievable! Canada’s Taxpayers’ Ombudsman gave Information for Canadian Citizens that are subject to American tax law.
It tells of the “obligation to report income and assets to IRS” for those born in the U.S., those who consider ties with U.S. to have been severed and those who immigrated to the U.S. or worked in the U.S.

This may come as a surprise to many people. There are scores of Canadians citizens who do not consider themselves to be American citizens because they have not lived in the US, let alone filed American tax returns, for decades. Yet, the US has laws in place that require them to disclose their revenue and assets to the IRS for tax purposes under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FACTA) and the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA).
Continue reading UNBELIEVABLE! CRA Ombudsman Told Canadian Citizens of American Tax Laws

Message from NDP MP and Revenue Critic Murray Rankin on FATCA

I just received this message from Murray Rankin:

Hello Lynne,
I just wanted to give you a summary of the our ongoing efforts to persuade the Conservative government to remove  the U.S. Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) implementation agreement from the budget so it can be adequately studied and fixed.
The Conservatives buried this agreement in Bill C-31, the omnibus budget implementation bill, making it difficult for MPs to give a proper review to specific sections.  New Democrats have repeatedly called for this deeply flawed agreement to be pulled out of the budget [] so that it may be properly amended and studied, but the Conservatives have refused.
At the Standing Committee on Finance, in my capacity as NDP National Revenue Critic, I moved several amendments  to sections on FATCA in attempt the help protect the privacy rights of Canadians and ensure the agreement does not violate constitutional laws.
NDP Finance Critic Nathan Cullen joined me in pushing for these amendments.  You can watch our work in Committee here:
Unfortunately, the Conservative majority voted to reject all of our amendments at committee.
New Democrats also fought very hard to have all sections of pertaining to FATCA deleted from Bill C-31 at report stage in the House of Commons. Unfortunately, the Conservatives refused to listen to reason, and rejected our call to reconsider the rushed implementation of the FATCA implementation agreement.
While we regret this outcome, please know that you can continue to count on the NDP to protect your rights. New Democrats will be voting against the entire bill at third reading.
It is reckless to rush this through Parliament without the safeguards needed to protect our constitutional and privacy rights. More than a million Canadians with U.S. dual citizenship could be caught up in this net.
New Democrats have launched a petition calling on the Government of Canada to reconsider its attempt to implement FATCA in Canada and work to ensure that privacy rights of all Canadians are protected. Please feel free to share the petition:
Please know that the NDP will continue to stand up for all of those whom are caught up in the FATCA net.
Murray Rankin
NDP Member of Parliament for Victoria
Official Opposition Critic for National Revenue

Did anyone else receive a similar message?  I find it so bizarre that MPs more than 4500 kilometers from me (Rankin, Cullen, May, Atamarenko) and one MP 2000 kilometers from me (Brison) are more responsive to me than my own MP.
The only thing Con Ed Holder has done is send me an information sheet reminding me to file FBARs (even though I was very clear that I was NOT a U.S. citizen.) In 2012, I was still naive. I thought elected MPs would protect their constituents from foreign demands that violated Canadian laws.  That was before I learned “Congress has spoken” for Canada’s Parliament.

FATCA "Sea Change…Ferrets Out Canadian Citizens…Gotcha Penalty Regime…Dangerous Precedent"

“FATCA is really a sea change,” according to Queen’s University professor Arthur Cockfield.
The testimony of Professor Cockfield, McGill University Professor Allison Christians and lawyer John Richardson were reported in FATCA Sea Change, an article by Lynne Swanson (aka Blaze) that was published today in Tax-News, a global tax news service.
Professor Christians advised:

FATCA, as reflected in the bill before us today, tells us to ferret out our own citizens as likely U.S. tax debtors and present them and their financial resources to our most important treaty partner in an agreement of dubious status that may not even be a tax treaty,”

John Richardson insisted:

It’s extremely important, absolutely essential, under any FATCA agreement that the definition of a U.S. citizen could never, never, never include any Canadian citizen who is a resident in Canada.

Professor Cockfield agreed with constitutional experts that FATCA violates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, He calls FATCA:

“A gotcha penalty regime”
“A very dangerous precedent.”

The article reports Canadians are fundraising through Alliance for the Defence of Canadian Sovereignty for a legal and constitutional challenge to FATCA if it passes as it is currently written.


Well, it really IS beginning. Three weeks from tomorrow, FATCA begins. Apparently our compatriots in Mexico are about to be hit in a very big way.
None has been so far reaching as this notice sent to US citizens who have accounts at Banamex USA in Mexico this week, however.
Banamex USA’s parent, Banamex, is the second largest bank in Mexico and there are over 1 million US citizens living in Mexico, by far the largest amount of any country, and so this news will be felt over a very widespread area.
Notices have begun to be sent by Banamex USA, a bank operating in Mexico and used by many American expats in Mexico, to all US citizens notifying them that their accounts will be closed within 30 days.
Here, here and here you will find three separate online discussions surrounding Banamex USA’s summary closure of American’s accounts.
In most of the forums people know the reason why – FATCA – but in one of the forums in particular the people are not even aware of FATCA and its implications. This action by Banamex USA is, of course, because of FATCA, which has forced 77,000 banks in 70 countries to surrender all information on American customers to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or be extorted and possibly put out of business altogether.
Banamex USA, a subsidary of Citibank with its headquarters in Los Angeles, has sent letters to many US customers informing them that their accounts will be closed June 30. As one online commenter wrote:

“No more SS check deposits: no more linking of accounts to Banamex Mexico, no more credit card, no more ATM for free, no more nada.”

One customer was told that it was a “bank decision” with no reason given why. This move has left former account holders scrambling to find a bank that will let them open an account without their presence in Mexico, something likely impossible to find.
It does not appear that all accounts will be closed, but nobody knows Banamex USA’s strategy here, even banking insiders in the US who we have contacted who are confused about what is going on.
What’s for sure is this: Are you an American expatriate living abroad or an American currently thinking of moving abroad? This could and likely will happen to you.

Canada Has New Privacy Commissioner. NDP Calls Appointment "Creepy."

Canada will soon have a new Privacy Commissioner. Daniel Therrien’s appointment was confirmed with the support of Cons, Libs and Greens.
The NDP says the appointment was a “sham.” The Bloc Quebcois voted against it.
The federal government has credited Therrien for crafting privacy rules governing the sharing of information under the Canada-U.S. Beyond the Border deal.
Before the appointment was confirmed, the NDP called the appointment “creepy.”

“Does the prime minister understand why Canadians find it more than a little bit creepy that the prime minister wants to name this guy to protect their privacy,” asked Mulcair

Mr. Therrien comes to the position of Privacy Commissioner from Deputy Minister of Justice.  Remember, it is the Department of Justice that Finance says advised them FATCA does not violate the Charter.
Columnist Stephen Maher at finds the appointment “`spooky” and “`unnerving.”
What will this mean for FATCA? I suspect Mr. Therrien will be on the side of Finance. I hope I`m wrong.


I imagine most of us are rather disenchanted about any more submissions to/appearances before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance but just in case anyone doesn’t feel it is totally hopeless yet….
Ottawa, June 06, 2014 –
The House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance has launched its pre-budget consultation process, and is inviting Canadians to participate. A report on the 2014 consultations will be tabled in the House of Commons prior to the December 2014 parliamentary adjournment. Suggestions made by Canadians and the pre-budget report compiled by the Committee will be considered by the Minister of Finance in the development of the 2015 federal budget.
“I am very pleased to be announcing the 2014 pre-budget consultations,” said Mr. James Rajotte, M.P. for Edmonton-Leduc and Chair of the House Finance Committee. “The Committee encourages the input of Canadians in this process, and invites individuals to provide a written submission with their proposals for the forthcoming budget.”

BREAKING NEWS: FATCA IGA Vote On C31 Omnibus Bill Expected In House of Commons Monday June 9

BREAKING NEWS: Murray Rankin’s Assistant just advised they expect the vote on the Omnibus Bill C31 in the House of Commons Monday, June 9 following Question Period.
She said:

The NDP moved report stage deletions to the budget, including deletions to every section pertaining to FATCA, so those will be voted on, followed bny the vote on the budget itself. It is expected that the Conservatives will vote down all of our amendments to delete.
I will keep you updated. And we will continue to work to advocate for all those caught up in the FATCA net!
Please feel free to share the NDP petition: