Monthly Archives: January 2015

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
LANDON BRANCH LIBRARY, 167 Wortley Road
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.
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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,”

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