Have you received a FATCA letter or been warned of the consequences of being a U.S. person?
WHO: John Richardson, B.A., L.L.B., J.D. is a citizenship lawyer in Toronto and a member of the Ontario Bar.
WHERE: University of London International Hall Meeting Room,
Landsdowne Terrace, London WC1N 1AS UK
150m walk from Russell Square Tube Station
WHEN: Monday, March 2, 2015. 6:30 – 8:30 pm
ADMISSION: Admission £15. Payable in cash on the door please (to cover costs).
Why am I getting letters from my bank all of a sudden?
FATCA became a reality in the U.K. on July 1, 2014. Financial Institutions must search for any indicia of “U.S. Persons.” Although both the definition of “U.S. person” and whether one meets the definition is not always clear, the process is ongoing. 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 Reminder for London UK Information Session – Monday, March 2, 2015
Americans unable to open financial accounts. In CANADA!
While I don’t believe this is the first instance, I think we should start keeping a record of these and will look into a sidebar link so the discrimination is all in one place.
Joe Arvay has done it again. He has won another controversial case before the Supreme Court of Canada.
In a UNANIMOUS decision today, Canadians have the right to a doctor-assisted suicide, Supreme Court rules.
This case is emotional and polarizing. Both despair and joy greet this decision.
I am posting it as an example of the skills of Joe Arvay to win tough cases. In Civil Warrior, Peter Hogg, Canada’s leading constitutional law scholar, Peter Hogg coomented about Joe’s accomplishment on a case involving labour rights:
“I was astonished when that case came out. I doubt that anyone but Joe could have persuaded the court that they had been getting it consistently wrong for twenty years.”
This case is even more astonishing. On a far more challenging issue, Joe Arvay again convinced the Supreme Court to change their mind on a 20 year old decision. The fact the decision was unanimous is huge, especially seeing that some of the Supreme Court judges are Harper appointees.
That means we are in excellent hands with the Ginny and Gwen’s lawsuit.
In Tilting at Windmills article, Joe said:
“The government’s opposition to paying costs isn’t really about any floodgate concern. It’s just trying to do whatever they can to deter Charter litigation.”
That is exactly what the government is trying to do to us. They are fighting us with our own tax dollars and trying to deter us and stop us from succeeding. That is why it is so important to donate to our lawsuit. Don’t let them deter Ginny, Gwen and the rest of us. Donate now!
WHERE: University of Toronto, St. Michael’s College, Carr Hall Room 405
100 St. Joseph Street – Toronto ON M5S 2C4 MAP
WHEN: SESSION ONE: 9:00 – 11:00 am Info Session
“2015- Solving U.S. Citizenship Problems-Have You Received a FATCA Letter?”
ADMISSION: $20 per individual or $40 for a family of up to 4 people
Payable in cash at the door, please (to cover costs).
WHEN:SESSION TWO: 12:00 – 6:00 pm Open Forum
“Have You and Your Family Been Harmed by U.S. Government Tax Policy?”
WHO: John Richardson, B.A., LL.B, J.D.
Member of the Ontario Bar
“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. Person-ness” 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.
What individuals are U.S. taxpayers? Who is a U.S. citizen?
There are individuals that the U.S. government would define as “U.S. citizens” who:
- do NOT agree that they are U.S. citizens because they have performed a “relinquishing act” under applicable U.S. laws;
- do NOT even know that they may be U.S. citizens because they have never lived in the United States
- are citizens and residents of countries that do NOT allow multiple citizenships
To put it another way: one’s status as a U.S. citizen is NOT always clear.
I have never heard of these requirements! What determines the income that must be reported to the IRS? What “Information Returns” are required to be reported to the IRS?
- FBAR (Now called FinCen 114)
- FATCA 8938 – Report of Specified Foreign Assets
- 5471 – Information return for Foreign Corporation
- 3520 – Information return for a “Foreign Trust”
- 3520A – related to the 3520
- 8621 – for CDN Mutual Funds
- 8965 – for exemption from ACA insurance
I am only a snowbird! Why does this affect me?
- Substantial Presence Test
- Form 8840 Closer Connection Exception Statement for Aliens
- Caution: Streamlined Programs & 35 day rule – Catch 22
What are the ways I can become compliant?
- Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program – AKA “OVDP” – Not appropriate for the vast majority of people
- Streamlined Compliance – A pre-packaged way to “clean up” past compliance problems
- Obeying the law – filing amended tax returns outside the “IRS Created” programs
- Delinquent FBAR Submission Procedures
What costs are involved in renouncing U.S. citizenship?
- The costs of a total of 6 years (5 years prior to the year of renunciation plus the year of renunciation) of tax compliance and information returns
- The cost of any back taxes and penalties
- A $2350 administrative fee
- possibility of having to pay an “Exit Tax” (which can be the biggest problem)
We want you to send your stories and videos of harm done to you by CBT to us by February 14, 2015. These will be sent to WASHINGTON DC
Continue reading "Seize the Day" – An All-Day Event for All "U.S. Persons" – Info Session & Forum – February 14, 2015
Reposted with permision
IT HURTS MY HEART: On Renouncing American Citizenship
Essay by Christina Warren with Photographs by Lars Deutschlaender
Bern, Switzerland is built on a horseshoe bend of the river Aare. Its old town is in the center of this horseshoe and is designated a UNESCO World-Heritage site. Bridges lead to the ‘younger’ neighborhoods. Mine, the Monbijou, is only a ten-minute walk from the Bundeshaus or Parliament building. My favorite route to the old town is through Flora Park, past the gated compound of the American Embassy
and through the Kleine
Schanze, a park bordering
the Bundeshaus and offering
and offering views of the Alps.
I have taken this walk countless times, passing
the embassy, sometimes stopping to light a candle at the
Dreifaltigkeitskirche, a catholic
church located just outside the Kleine Schanze.
On June 12th, 2014, on our third hot day of what had been so far a cool, rainy summer, I am taking this walk with my Swiss husband. He is dressed in a weather-appropriate ‘Move Ya Body’ t-shirt and floppy shorts. Heeding my mother’s advice to dress nicely, I have elected to wear a weather-defiant conservative suit and simple blouse. This time we will not pass the embassy, but instead, will stop to enter it for the very first time. I have a 2:30 p.m. appointment to renounce my citizenship.
We had left early, expecting the normal long line of people waiting for visas. There is no one. My husband walks me to the labyrinth of barriers set up to keep the lines organized. For security reasons, he will not be allowed in and for security reasons I only have the appropriate documents with me: my American passport, my Swiss passport, a copy of the pre-appointment questionnaire, my renunciation fee of $450 (which would be raised to $2350 in September 2014), and just in case—the other information documents the embassy sent informing me that this step, when taken, is irrevocable. Unseen, but certainly there, is an enormous pressure in my chest. My breathing is shallow.
Continue reading It Hurts My Heart: On Renouncing American Citizenship