Solving US Citizenship Problems, Toronto- Beaches, August 25, 2014

Life planning, Career planning and the Reality of U.S. Citizenship for Americans Abroad including Life Preparation for U.S.Citizen-children of U.S.Citizens
These seminars will include discussion and analysis of the IRS “relaxed opportunities” for people to come into compliance.
It is estimated there are 7 million U.S. citizens living outside the United States. Some of these people don’t know that the U.S. may consider them to be citizens. The vast majority of these Americans abroad (according to U.S. law), are required to file tax returns and complete information reporting forms to the United States. Although “citizenship-based” taxation has existed for years, what is new is the enforcement.
On February 5, Canada signed an Intergovernmental Agreement with the United States concerning the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act. This enables the US to receive enhanced financial information of Canadians (account numbers, balances, deposits, withdrawals); information the Canadian banks were never permitted to send to the CRA due to our privacy laws. This reporting applies to those deemed “US Persons” which includes citizens, green card holders,”Accidental Americans,” “border babies,” and will affect the families of anyone considered as such by the US. On Canada Day, July 1, 2014, Canadian financial institutions began to determine what accounts are “reportable accounts.” Information regarding those accounts will be passed on to the CRA who will, in turn, pass this information on to the IRS. The late Finance Minister, Jim Flaherty emphasized that the CRA will not collect taxes for any person who was a Canadian citizen at the time the tax was incurred, nor will any penalties be collected concerning FBAR (Foreign Bank Account Report). This situation is causing confusion and concern for anyone who may have a US connection, whether it be actual citizenship, a member of the family, etc. This information session will focus on these issues which include:
Citizenship Issues:
Are you a US citizen?
Are you still a US citizen?
Are your children US citizens?
What is an Accidental American?
Tax Issues:
Filing US tax returns
What is involved?
Filing information returns (FBAR, 8938, 3520A & 3520, 5471, 8621 etc)
Reasonable cause (avoiding penalties)
Financial Planning Issues:
Treatment of tax-deferred savings plans
Treatment of Mutual Funds (PFICs)
Privacy Issues:
What might FATCA mean for me?
Border Issues:
Will FATCA make it harder for me to cross the border?
Does it make sense to give up US citizenship?
Presenter: John Richardson, B.A., L.L.B., J.D., is a Toronto lawyer and a member of the Ontario Bar.
When: Monday, August 25, 7:00 – 9:00 pm
Where: Beaches Presbyterian Church, 65 Glen Manor Drive, Toronto M4E 2X2 MAP
Admission: $20 individual or $40 for a family of up to four people
Hope to see you and your families on August 25. Spread the word!

13 thoughts on “Solving US Citizenship Problems, Toronto- Beaches, August 25, 2014

  1. Am I still a US person?
    Can anyone shed some light on my situation.
    I am 73 years old married to a CDN with no kids. I first came to Canada in 1967. With a job offer, I got my immigration papers stamped on the border when I first entered Canada. In 1977, I swore allegiance to the Queen and became a CDN citizen. I worked in the Federal GOV for about 30 years in a professional capacity in various policy and middle management functions, holding a variety of CND security clearances.
    Ever since I became a CDN citizen:
    – I never dealt with US embassies anywhere or needed any US services. I never renewed my US passport, and always used my CDN passport.
    – I never earned a dollar from the US and did not file any income tax forms to the IRS. (I didn’t know I had to).
    – I presently live on my Public Service Pension and from savings and investments.
    – Even if I filed US income tax, I don’t think I would owe the IRS any money, taking the credit they provide into account.
    I am sure there are thousands of people like me. I personally know more than 25 people questioning what to do? I am not planning on coming out and joining any IRS program. I don’t believe they are fair, and I don’t agree with the CBT.
    Do you think that I am still a US citizen? With my Government work, my allegiance to the Queen, the security clearances, etc.. isn’t that enough to strip me from my US citizenship? I read somewhere that to relinquish, I should send or have sent that info to the state department; but where and how?
    To be on the safe side, Do you think I should renounce or relinquish? If necessary, either would be fine by me.
    At the time being, all my trips to the US are for leisure travel only.
    This situation is not preventing me from sleeping for now, but I should say it’s a bit tricky. Most likely, I will not make any move in the foreseeable future because mainly I believe that FATCA is not sustainable, and, secondly, I don’t think the IRS could collect any penalty monies from Canadian Citizens (so far).
    What do you think?
    I Appreciate Your suggestions and comments.

  2. Canada has caved on FATCA, so we should not write off as impossible that the IRS might be able to impose their will in a Canadian court some time in the future.

  3. @ Logically
    You seem to have all that’s needed to get a back-dated CLN. If you have proof of the starting date of your federal employment and a copy of the oath you took at that time it should mean a one-stop US consulate appointment and a who-knows-how-long wait for your CLN to arrive. With a back-dated CLN you would have no IRS filing obligations and something to present at a bank should it become necessary. Honestly it just seems illogical to me that anyone would have to go through even that much to prove they are indeed Canadian and Canadian only, but then you and I both think more logically than Congress, the IRS and our Parliament. At the very least I would suggest you round up the 3 key documents you would need at a relinquishment appointment: Canadian citizenship certificate, proof of federal gov’t employment and your employment oath. Then have a good think about whether you want to go forward from there. BTW, it is my opinion that you are not a US citizen but I can’t issue a CLN so my opinion isn’t worth that much.

  4. Logically: It’s quite simple and there is no reason to do anything. It depends on your INTENT when you became Canadian. If your intent was to relinquish your US citizenship, then you did exactly that and you are no longer an American.
    The court case referred to is probably Vance v. Terrazas. Look it up on Wikipedia. It established the principle that intent is all important. If someone performs 1 of about 5 relinquishing acts with intent then they have relinquished. If that person did not intend to relinquish , then the Supremes ruled that they could keep their US citizenship.
    I don’t see any reason to change a thing or to do anything. Most of all, don’t be talked into filing anything with the IRS- that would be admitting that you somehow are still a US citizen which you are not.
    p.s. i’m not a lawyer and not all lawyers know this area of the law.

  5. @Logically, I agree with Embee. IMHO your lost your US citizenship decades ago,but as Embee says, it’s not up to us. However, I personally think you have a good case for back-dated CLN. It certainly wouldn’t hurt to talk to a professional who really knows this stuff before making your move. The US consulates can be sticky, so it would  help to be really confident of what you want to do and how you should do it, before you enter any process with the US gov’t. Just make sure it’s someone who is very well-versed in these issues, as DukeofDevon says, not all are. I do know that people have found John Richardson extremely knowledgeable and helpful.
    Please take the time before you do anything to read all you can about relinquishment and renunciation. there’s a ton of information both here on this site, and on the Isaac Brock Society site. Do lots of research before making a decision!

  6. @Logically,
    You became a Canadian citizen in 1977. US law at that time was very clear; if you committed an expatriating act, you irrevocably lost US citizenship. Period. Working for the federal government, not using any of the privileges of USC and so forth, are indicative/supportive of the fact that you did not consider yourself American. It is completely unneccessary for you to:
    *enter any program of any kind since you are not and have not been a US citizen for 37 years
    *there is huge misinformation regarding relinquishment/renouncing; you cannot do either with something you do not have
    Think about this. What does “to be on the safe side” really mean? On what grounds would the US have to “come after you?” There are none. The scare tactics of IRS, press and compliance industry are deplorable and don’t apply to anyone in your position. Try to forget this and enjoy your life.

  7. @Logically, the following is outstanding advice and is an absolute must for a “UR” Undocumented Relinquisher. “At the very least I would suggest you round up the 3 key documents you would need at a relinquishment appointment: Canadian citizenship certificate, proof of federal gov’t employment and your employment oath.”
    The reality is that the IGAs have forced all relinquishers to document their records with either a CLN or a other proof.
    I hereby forever call this the “Reasonable Explanation Clause” or REC.

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