Relevant to Folks or Fear Mongering?

I will let you tell me.  Is this article in Tax Connection “relevant to folks” or is it “fear mongering?”

http://taxconnections.com/taxblog/its-official-expatriations-in-2013-set-new-record/

Please read both the article and the comments and tell me what you think.  The reason I ask is Brian Mahany sent me a direct e-mail after reading my comments. His subject line was Fear Mongering? The message was

I try to post articles that are relevant to folks, not engage in fear mongering. Don’t shoot the messenger; we are not advocates of FATCA.

Comments are appreciated. If you wish to write something for TaxConnections I am sure readers would find it interesting and I am sure the publisher, Kat Jennings, would post it for you.
Brian
My reply was:
If you’re not doing fear mongering, why don’t you inform Canadians about the fact CRA does not and will not collect for IRS. Why don’t you tell them IRS has no jurisdiction in Canadian courts for tax collection? Why don’t you tell them IRS cannot prosecute in Canadian courts  Why don’t you tell them many of them can get backdated CLNs with no further obligation to IRS?
I asked you a couple of those questions after you posted at Maple Sandbox–where we do not usually allow advertising. You did not respond.
His reply back to me was:

Lynne-

Thank you for your reply.  I don’t write about these things because I am not a Canadian lawyer and have no idea whether they are true. As I suggested, write something from the Canadian perspective.
Regarding Maple Sandbox, I am not a subscriber so I don’t see comments.
Brian
Brian says he’s not a subscriber here.  Yet he commented under Things to Consider Before You Contact a Lawyer thread, but didn’t respond to questions there.
So, back to the question. Was Brian’s article fear mongering or relevant information that might be helpful to folks?

 

 

 

 

10 thoughts on “Relevant to Folks or Fear Mongering?

  1. maz57

    The practical effect of Circular 230 is that although the client is paying the bills the lawyer (or accountant) is actually working for the IRS. Being found to have violated Circular 230 is career ending event; there’s no way any one of them would even suggest something something that isn’t strictly by the IRS book.

    That’s the reason lawyers pushed benign actors into the OVDP when a simple quiet disclosure would have done the trick with no issues.

    Reply
  2. Just Me

    You might have been a bit too hard on the ‘fear mongering’ charge, as every attorney in America does that because the IRS is a FEARFUL organization. It is the U.S. Concentric view, that U.S. Law trumps everything else, and circular 230 makes them promote that vision. They ALL do it, so it is almost an exercise in futility to get them to accept the charge and see otherwise. They will NEVER admit it, as shown in your exchange. The problem of course is YOU, having too much free time…. LOL That is a classic!!!

    I am not trying to criticize you, but frankly, I have learned that your argument will never resonate with them, and like using ‘Nazi’ references, even if valid and true, it turns folks off to your message. At least that is what I am learning from my ‘too much free time’ 🙂

    Sadly, Canada’s capitulation to FATCA and the whimpering acceptance of the Dominance of U.S. Citizenship (personhood) in Canada, just re-enforces their point and vision.

    Reply
  3. Blaze Post author

    The debate between Brian and me continued. Here it is:

    Blaze:

    You say you don’t write about these things because you’re not a Canadian lawyer and you don’t know if they are true.

    So, don’t you think you should know about these things before you solicit business from Canadians? Don’t you think you should know that failure to file an FBAR is not a felony in Canada? Don’t you think you should know what our Minister of Revenue said just last week to reconfirm CRA will not collect? Don’t you think you should know that detail of the
    Canada-US tax treaty before advising Canadians?

    Don’t you think you should know about the long-ago relinquishing laws and the back-dated CLNs many, many Canadians have received before posting they did not renounce during Vietnam and post Vietnam era?

    For those reasons, do you not think Canadians should consult a knowledgeable Canadian lawyer instead of one in a foreign country about their rights in Canada as Canadians?

    I have consulted a Canadian lawyer. The IRS can’t touch me in Canada. I have not violated one single Canadian law. I am not a tax cheat, tax evader, criminal or felon. I am not a US citizen or even a “US person” despite being born in US.

    I also communicated with a US lawyer with 30 years experience with IRS.

    Both of them have advised very differently than you have. That’s why I call your advice fear mongering.

    Brian’s Response:

    I disagree

    Blaze’s reply:

    OK. Let me see if I understand. You don’t agree you should know what rights and protections Canadians in Canada have before you start advising them on a foreign government’s demands?

    Brian’s response:

    I don’t think this discourse is productive.

    I don’t advise people on Canadian law and as long as you remain in Canada, most folks have little to fear. Despite the “fear mongering” label, I have advised countless times that the chances of criminal prosecution is extremely remote.

    There are some folks – just read some of the comments on the blog – that have entirely too much free time and get all riled up about FATCA. I get that. Just don’t shoot the messenger.

    Despite these comments, we have helped dozens of Canadian / Americans who decide to comply. Many of those folks have also consulted with Canadian lawyers. Many comply. Many do not. We don’t seek to change anyone’s mind.

    Under Circular 230, no lawyer or accountant in the U.S. can advocate NOT complying with the law.

    Blaze’s response:

    You’re correct this is not productive. May I remind you that it was you who contacted me directly.

    After this discourse, I stand by my original fear mongering words. That is compounded by the fact you are giving incomplete or even inaccurate information–i.e. around relinquishment, Canadians protections from IRS, etc.

    By the way, as one of those who came to Canada during Vietnam era, I did renounce my US citizenship in my oath of citizenship. I have a signed copy witnessed by a Canadian citizenship official in my safety deposit box.

    Every other Canadian who became a citizen prior to April 1973 also signed an oath of renunciation.

    Brian’s reply:

    Sad to see you leave the United States.

    Blaze’s response:

    “America: Love it or leave it.”

    Reply
  4. Blaze Post author

    More from Brian Mahany. He says anything in an accoun needs to be reported if bank knows you are a US person–even under $50,000.

    This is reporting on Barbados using Canadian example.

    Relevant to folks or fear mongering? You tell me.

    Reply
  5. maz57

    Well, I tried to leave a few comments for Brian but it’s another one of those sites where you have to give all your details before posting. There’s a limit to how much personal data I want to leave scattered all over the internet.

    What I wanted to tell him was that once you have renounced it’s not difficult to undo; it’s impossible.

    He was also talking about FBAR failure being a felony. Well we don’t have felonies here in Canada so not filing one isn’t anything at all! That kind of sounds like fear-mongering to me. At the end of the day, FBAR is just a lousy piece of paper; Canadians aren’t impressed with them and neither is the Canadian government.

    By the way, Brian (if you’re reading this) I got rid of my US citizenship a while back as well. I do believe you when you say you aren’t a fan of FATCA. Only the insane ideologues in your disfunctional government are. I’m sorry to say it but FATCA is your problem now. But give it a few years and the problem will fix itself; there won’t be any US citizens left who live off the plantation!

    Reply
  6. OutragedCanadian

    Roy Berg has an article on TroyMedia:
    http://www.troymedia.com/2014/02/10/in-fatca-land-a-canadian-trust-is-a-bank/

    in which he says, ‘…we find ourselves in FATCA-Land where logic and proportion, while recognizable, are unfamiliar’. and he ends with,
    ‘Just as Alice couldn’t go back to the person she once was, neither can we go back. FATCA has changed the global banking, business and tax landscape – and more changes will follow’.

    I would argue about the logic & proportion being recognizable, but I take his point. I’ve very afraid he’s right in predicting more changes. Now that our govt has failed to protect us, the U.S. will just continue to demand more and more.

    Reply
  7. George III

    on more thing
    Try on line application to Canadian Tire financial
    You see before you submit the data is stored in USA. Do not submit I wrote on Petros story at Issac Brock to check this out in January. I also pointed out that Computershares Canada the transfer agent for most companies and Provincial Bonds keeps it info in USA. If you hold certificates of stock and bonds computershare Canada will send you dividends,
    Will someone write about this it may be more helpful than political rants.
    https://www.myctfs.com/Products/HighIntSavings/Apply/

    Reply
  8. Goerge III

    About 2 or 3 weeks ago I demanded that Pacifica delete any web links to these blood suckers. I felt newbie may be entrapped. Why don’t you revisit that issue with her. I am really not interested in trying to track down that thread but Pacifica & Calgary 411 should remember.
    Remember that I have been the biggest proponent of beating the system. In fact some people may complain that I used the UK Facta (I always said it was the worse case scenario) which is much worse than ours.

    Reply

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