Monthly Archives: January 2015

Why I am not renewing my membership to Canadian Civil Liberties Association

I received an email reminder today from CCLA, telling me my membership is about to expire, and asking me to renew my membership.
I am copying below my reply. I would encourage other visitors to this website who share my views and membership in CCLA, to consider taking similar action, in hopes of kick-starting a so-far recalcitrant and potentially an important ally. And yes, I did write to CCLA about support in our Charter battle, many months ago and to no avail. I am tired of asking nicely; I think the iron-boot-in-the-butt approach is called for now.
The text of my email to CCLA follows:
Continue reading Why I am not renewing my membership to Canadian Civil Liberties Association

Senate Finance Committee Forms Working Groups – #Americansabroad organize – Toronto, Feb. 14/15

Cross-posted from ADCS-ADSC blog
First, congratulations are in order. Once again your donations have allowed the Alliance For The Defence of Canadian Sovereignty to achieve your funding goals. The third $100,000 cheque is on its way to your lawyer. There are some (mainly in the compliance industry) who had hoped for a failure of funding. You have not been deterred. Your funding of this lawsuit has been an “island of positive hope” in a “sea of negativity”.  You have also sent a message that your lawsuit will not fail because of a lack of funding. Congratulations!
I want to reemphasize that your funding goals have been achieved because you have focused on what YOU want to achieve. You have not focused on the obstacles or on your detractors. We are in a marathon and not a sprint. We need to stay focused on OUR GOALS. We must not focus on those who want us to fail.
Your FATCA lawsuit is historic and is setting an example for people in other countries. I predict that organized opposition to FATCA will begin in Europe. Organized opposition to FATCA is essential. But, we cannot let our focus on FATCA obscure the need to bring an end to U.S. citizenship-based (AKA “place of birth”) taxation. After all:
FATCA is the tool to enforce U.S. citizenship-based “place of birth taxation”. Therefore, a separate goal is to bring an end to “place of birth” taxation. Think of how unfair it is to levy taxes on people based on their “place of birth” (and this is going on the 21st century).

“It’s unjust. It’s inhumane. I never chose where I was born!”

Meanwhile, back in the Homeland …
In previous posts, I have drawn attention to the fact that tax reform is under serious consideration. It is necessary. It is going to happen.  I have noted that Senator Orrin Hatch is now the Chair of the Senate Finance Committee and that the “tax reform train is leaving the station“. I remind you that an earlier report by the Republican wing of the Senate Finance Committee stated that Americans abroad should be taxed according to the principles of  “residence based taxation”. On January 25, 2013 Senator Hatch in a speech at the Brookings Institution stated that U.S. corporations should be subjected to “territorial taxation”.  How could the environment be better than this? To date, Americans abroad feel they have not been heard. To date, Americans abroad feel they have been victimized by Homeland politicians who neither understand nor care about the difficulties they face.  Senator Hatch has divided the Senate Finance Committee into various sub-committees.

Continue reading Senate Finance Committee Forms Working Groups – #Americansabroad organize – Toronto, Feb. 14/15

We are all waiting for Justice Martineau's decision on our Canadian FATCA IGA summary trial


Canada Revenue Agency confirms to us and Justice Martineau (via Government counsel) that it intends to begin transferring private banking data of some Canadian citizens to U.S. IRS on September 23, 2015.
Justice Martineau is expected to provide a decision on our summary trial before that date — I predict on September 21, a Monday.
We will do our best to provide you quickly with the decision when it is rendered. It is possible that there might be only the “bare bones” of a decision, with reasons to follow later (because of the short time Justice Martineau had in reaching a decision before September 23).
Please be patient before and after the decision — and keep the faith.

One year ago, on August 11, 2014, Litigator Joseph Arvay filed a FATCA IGA lawsuit in Canada Federal Court on behalf of Plaintiffs Ginny and Gwen, the Alliance for the Defence of Canadian Sovereignty (en français), and all peoples.
Because of a Government delay we initiated a “summary trial”, using a portion of the arguments, which offered the possibility of preventing private banking information from being turned over to the IRS before September 30, 2015.
The summary trial took place on August 4-5 2015 and we expect to have a decision before September 23 2015.
See Alliance’s Claims, our Alliance blog, and AUGUST 4-5 SUMMARY TRIAL FILINGS in LITIGATION UPDATES.
Continue reading We are all waiting for Justice Martineau's decision on our Canadian FATCA IGA summary trial

Hatch of @GOPSenFinance Delivers Speech on Corporate Inversions at Brookings Institution – Endorses Territorial Taxation

Cross-posted from Alliance for the Defence of Canadian Sovereignty

In a guest post published in Forbes Magazine, I argued that the tax treatment of U.S. citizens abroad is similar to to the tax treatment of U.S. corporations abroad (although the treatment of corporations is much less destructive). The tax treatment of both corporations and U.S. citizens abroad is based on the same destructive assumption that the U.S. can and should tax profits and incomes earned in other countries. The United States regards both it corporations and its DNA citizens as “citizens”. This suggests that the case for the tax reform in relation to U.S. citizens abroad, can be linked to the case for tax reform of U.S. corporations doing business abroad.
I concluded with:

The question is NOT whether U.S. corporate tax rates should be lowered (although they obviously should) to combat inversions, the question is whether the U.S. should:
Continue its destructive and anti-competitive policies of being the only country in the world which attempts to levy taxes on profits earned in other countries by people (in the case of Americans abroad) who do NOT live in the U.S.; or
Join the rest of the world by taxing ONLY the profits and property that are within its jurisdiction. This is called “territorial taxation”.
The answer to this question depends on whether the U.S. believes that it is PART of the world or whether the U.S. believes that it is THE world.

In previous posts, I have emphasized the importance of making the case for tax reform directly to the Senate Finance Committee. In my next post, I intend to provide a framework for how this may be most effectively organized.
On January 23, 2015, Senator Orrin Hatch addressed the Brookings Institution on the need for tax reform to address the problem of corporate inversions.

Senator Hatch is clearly and convincingly making the case for a move to “territorial taxation” for corporations. The same rationale applies to “territorial taxation” for individuals. “Territorial taxation” for individuals is:

Residence-based taxation!

Read Senator Hatch’s speech. In fact, read it more than once.
Continue reading Hatch of @GOPSenFinance Delivers Speech on Corporate Inversions at Brookings Institution – Endorses Territorial Taxation

Invitation to participate in Carleton University study

A student at Carleton University has asked if we would allow him to use our blog to find volunteers for a study on the experiences of American/Canadian duals and former American/Canadian duals. Lynne and I have agreed to this, and we are very interested in the results. I’m not going to say much more, as the student, James Eastman-Timmons, will provide an introduction. I will say that I checked the Carleton U site and did some Googling, and did confirm that the professors who he listed as being on the ethics board who approved the project really are on the board, and that James has a profile on linkedin.
I hope many of us do take him up on this as, from my perspective, it’s an opportunity to help educate and inform a whole new set of people, who may, after this study comes out, join us in our fight.

Canada Invokes Rarely Used Law in Row with U.S.

The Globe and Mail is reporting Canada Invokes Rarely Used Law in a dispute with the U.S. over Buy America protectionism.

The Canadian government signed an order Monday under the Foreign Extraterritorial Measures Act, barring companies from complying with the requirement that only U.S. steel be used on the project in Prince Rupert, B.C., Trade Minister Ed Fast said.
“We have been clear: the application of protectionist Buy America provisions on Canadian soil is unacceptable and an affront to Canadian sovereignty,” Mr. Fast said in a statement.

Fast also said:

“We are prepared to exercise this order to defend Canadian interests,”

Hmmm. They invoke this law on Buy America protectionism but they wouldn`t do it to “defend Canadian interests.” or citizens for FATCA.
Instead, the Cons passed a law violating all other Canadian laws for an extraterritorial law on Canadian soil.
They weren’t concerned about “an affront to Canadian sovereignty” when Con Mike Allen said:

“Congress has spoken.”

I will send this to Joe Arvay. One more reason to donate to the ADCS lawsuit fund.

Updated – 2015 "Solving US Citizenship Problems" – "Have You Received a FATCA Letter?"

NB Please note new date, time & location:
(location is the Landon (not a typo) Branch of the London Public Library)
LONDON Thursday, April 23, 2015
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. – $20.00
London ON N6C 3P6 MAP
Parking is available behind the building; approach from laneway off of Bruce Street (one-way east)
TORONTO Sunday, May 31, 2015
12 noon – 2 p.m. – $20.00
Carr Hall, 100 St, Joseph St.
Toronto ON M5S 2C4 MAP
Have you received a FATCA letter or been warned of the consequences of being a U.S. person?
Why am I getting letters from my bank all of a sudden?
The “FATCA Hunt” – the hunt for U.S. persons (whatever that is) began on July 1, 2014 which was “Canada Day”. Although both the definition of “U.S. person” and whether one meets the definition is not always clear, the search has begun. The level of FATCA awareness has begun. Some organizations are actively warning people that “U.S. Personness” matters. The purpose of the warning is presumably to encourage people to ”come clean” and deal with their U.S. tax situations. In some cases, there is no particular warning – just a letter indicating that they are suspected to be a “U.S. person”. Often one must prove to the institution sending the letter that one is not a U.S. person.
Continue reading Updated – 2015 "Solving US Citizenship Problems" – "Have You Received a FATCA Letter?"

U.S, Citizenship: Psychological Benefit or Nightmare?

In Tax Connections, Michael DeBlis asks Are the Psychological Benefits of U.S. Citizenship An Adequate Justification For The Worldwide Taxation of Nonresident U.S. Citizens?
He reports that Professor Michael J Kirsch claims:

“it is reasonable to conclude that the retention of U.S. citizenship reflects a self-identification with the population of the United States (or the belief that the benefits of citizenship are worth the tax cost).”

Mr. DeBliss “respectfully disagrees.” So do many others who commented. I call it a “psychological nightmare” and call FATCA “financial and psychological terrorism.”
What do you think? Michael Bliss wants to hear from us so please share your comments there as well as here.

"Seize The Day 2" – Staff Report on Comprehensive Tax Report on 2015 and Beyond – Republican Staff U.S. Committee on Finance

This is cross-posted from the Alliance for The Defence of Canadian Sovereignty website.
Welcome to 2015. On January 5, 2014 incoming Chairman Orrin Hatch of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee said:

National Review Online OpEd: It’s Time to Rebuild the Tax Code

Seven guiding principles for comprehensive income-tax reform.

Everyone agrees that the American tax system is broken and in need of reform. It stifles job creation, innovation, and competitiveness. It’s counterproductive, confusing, and a serious drag on the economy. Simply put: Tax reform is no longer an option but an obligation.
With the start of the new Congress, Washington has an opportunity to rebuild the tax code in a way that will spur economic growth, jump-start job creation, and once again restore prosperity to the American people.
To achieve this goal, however, the White House must get in the game and start to lead. This means putting smart policy ahead of poll-tested talking points and working with Congress in good faith. It also means accepting principles established by Congress to lay the foundation for true reform.
The most important principles were those followed by President Reagan nearly 30 years ago when Congress last acted to overhaul the tax code: economic growth, fairness, and simplicity.
Tax reform should promote growth in the economy and reduce economic distortions. It must eliminate the uncompetitive nature of the code and reduce disincentives to work, entrepreneurship, savings, and investment.
Tax reform should reduce tax expenditures to broaden the tax base and simultaneously lower tax rates. A broader base coupled with significantly lower tax rates is the foundation of what would be a much fairer tax system.
We also need a simpler system. Tax reform should reduce complexities in the tax code to lower compliance burdens, increase efficiency, and free up resources for productive activities, including job creation.
While these three principles will be vital to congressional tax-reform efforts, the demands of a 21stcentury global economy will require even more, most notably: permanence, competitiveness, promotion of savings and investment, and revenue neutrality.
In today’s world, permanence and competitiveness are key. The code’s lack of certainty hurts job creation, stifles planning, and inhibits economic growth. Permanence would make our code reliable and predictable for American households and businesses.
We need a tax system that no longer threatens to change from year to year, and we need a tax code that is internationally competitive. Tax reform should substantially lower the corporate tax rate and move us to a territorial tax system, with base erosion protections, to ensure that American job creators are on a level playing field with their foreign competitors.
A tax overhaul should also promote savings and investment, which provide fuel for growth. Many aspects of the current U.S. income-tax system discourage savings and investment, which ultimately hurts long-term growth.
Lastly, tax reform should embrace the principle of revenue neutrality. If we’re scouring the tax code looking for ways to squeeze more revenue to fuel government spending, we’re not reforming the tax code, we’re raising taxes. It’s as simple as that. Tax reform should not be used as an excuse to raise taxes on the American people. Any such effort is a needless distraction.
In fact, those who believe that the American people are currently undertaxed should look at historical trends. According to the Congressional Budget Office, federal revenues already exceed historical averages and will remain that way for the foreseeable future. Congress should deal with the problem of excessive federal spending, but it shouldn’t look to tax reform for even more revenue.?
These seven principles should serve as the guideposts for any and all tax-reform efforts. Any serious idea should link back and be relevant to at least one of these seven principles. The best ideas should embrace all of them.
The 114th Congress is set to begin, and I’m hopeful that a path to real bipartisan tax reform will take shape. I plan to help move the conversation forward in the coming weeks and months by engaging with members of both parties and unveiling additional steps.
True success will take more than just talk. It will take hard work, commitment, and, of course, bipartisan compromise. The challenge before us is clear.
— Orrin Hatch is the senior senator from Utah and the incoming chairman of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee.

I believe that Senator Hatch is serious. His statement on January 5, 2015 is a reinforcement of his December 16, 2014 speech in the Senate where he outlined 7 Principles For Tax Reform. His speech included:

In the coming weeks and months, I plan to reveal additional steps.  I plan to involve many of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, particularly those who will be joining me on the Senate Finance Committee.  My hope is that, as this conversation continues, a path toward real bipartisan tax reform will begin to take shape.  Of course, it’ll take more than just a talk and discussion.  It’ll take hard work, commitment, and, of course, compromise,”

Continue reading "Seize The Day 2" – Staff Report on Comprehensive Tax Report on 2015 and Beyond – Republican Staff U.S. Committee on Finance