US Chamber of Commerce joins TAS in dumping on FATCA

In other very encouraging news today, yesterday the US Chamber of Commerce (a rather prestigious and heavy-hitting US institution) published the article linked below criticizing FATCA and suggesting that FATCA may be the next Obamacare-rollout-like catastrophe about to hit what is increasingly seen as an incompetent Democratic administration in Washington.

So, in one day, we have both the US Chamber of Commerce and the US Taxpayer Advocate report to Congress finally echoing many of the objections we, the NDP, in fairness Jim Flaherty himself, ACA, and others too numerous to mention, have been raising about FATCA for the past couple of years.

Metaphors spring to my mind. Like, “the emperor has no clothes and the crowd is starting to notice.” Like, “gee that onrushing freight train seems to be losing all its wheels and teetering on the edge of a very deep cliff.”

Unless our Finance Minister has taken leave of his senses, which I think extremely unlikely, I no longer think we’ll see a Canada-US IGA any time soon, if ever. With heavy-hitters like these in the US saying “wait a minute, what the hell are you doing and why?” why should Canada or any other country leap into an IGA with the US to sign onto something that seems to look like might actually get derailed or gutted PDQ.

Remember that previous US ambassador to Canada who, back in the Fall of 2011, advised everyone to “sit tight?” That’s starting to look like supremely good advice for many so-called US persons, especially “accidental” (I prefer “inadvertent” or “unwilling”) so-called Americans living in Canada (the parallels to Ted Cruz aka “border babies”). Let’s just wait and see how this train wreck is going to unfold now.

If I were one of that handful of countries that leapt into bed with the IRS via an IGA, or an FFI that has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on compliance mechanisms, I think I’d start to feel a bit foolish (and very hard-done-by) right about now. And if I were a compliance maven with visions of fat fees from terrified offshore alleged Americans dancing in his/her head, I think I’d see those visions turning to mush.

We don’t want to count our chickens before they’re hatched, but maybe it’s time to take a deep breath, ignore the Chicken Littles in the compliance industry, “sit tight” and watch with fascination what seems more and more like a FATCA train wreck.

Nice news for a wintery Friday, anyway.  Happy New Year, everyone.

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About schubert

I've had a CLN (Certificate of Loss of Nationality of the United States) since 1976, quite by accident (DOS mailed me one after I wrote a long anti-US letter to Henry Kissinger on July 4, 1976, telling him I'd become a Canadian citizen several months earlier and why, then confirming on a form I got in the mail that I had done so willingly - duh! - and with the intent of relinquishing my US citizenship). I filed the CLN away and forgot about it until August 2011 when I first heard about FATCA and FBAR and realized I needed to find the proof I am not an American in spite of my birthplace. My wife, who came to Canada with her ex before I did and also became a Canadian citizen, believed she'd thereby lost her US citizenship but didn't write Kissinger, didn't know anything about CLNs or the need to get one (nor did I at the time), and applied for a relinquishment CLN a few months ago. Until August 29, 2012, we were waiting to get her CLN, and it has been in her interests that I'm monitoring and occasionally participating in this and the IBS website. However, joy of joys, wonder of wonders, my wife's CLN arrived in the mail on that date, so now we both have CLNs. I will continue to monitor and contribute to this website as I have time and when I think I have something constructive to add, but after 12 months of Hell we're going to get our sanity and lives back, and that means a prolonged vacation from anything related to CLNs, IRS, FATCA, or any other such crap, unless it rears its head and threatens Canada and Canadians to the point where I have to come out of my corner fighting again ...

One thought on “US Chamber of Commerce joins TAS in dumping on FATCA

  1. schubert Post author

    I’m going to forward that link to Flaherty, Mulcair, Rankin, and the other party leaders in a few minutes.

    If you live in another country that is negotiating or rumoured to be negotiating an IGA with the US, I strongly urge that you contact the appropriate government officials in your country about this stance.

    The US Chamber of Commerce staking out a position like this is BIG. Why tie your national laws, sovereignty, and financial institutions into knots into complying with something that some heavy-hitters in the US are beginning to realize is a total train wreck and a horrible mess?

    Get that message out there to your MPs too … or whatever your national equivalent is if you aren’t Canadian.


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