Monthly Archives: May 2015

C51 Gives CRA Right to Share Tax Info

Here we go again.

Under C51, (the Anti-Terrorism Act passed by the Cons and Libs), Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has been given permission to share your income tax filings with 13 additional government agencies.

Money Sense reports Your tax info at heightened risk.

Money Sense is not exactly what one could call left wing civil liberties fanatics. Yet they report:

The CRA can now share not only your home address, but all of your financial information within the government, without any form of consent or a warrant.

All the CRA needs is to believe “there are reasonable grounds to suspect that the information would be relevant to an investigation of whether the activity of any person may constitute threats to the security of Canada.”

What’s more, the CRA can distribute these private details “on its own initiative,” possibly spurring…a “wide-scale fishing expedition.”

A Ryerson University professor says the more people that have access to taxpayer information under Bill C-51, the higher the risk of leaks, hacks and other foul play. He also says:

The change in legislation is “unprecedented. It’s snooping and meddling of the worst kind.”

Of course, CRA will have far more information about U.S. persons than they will about other Canadians because of FATCA. So the snooping and risk to us is mammoth.

Are we suspects of a “threat to the security of Canada?” Who knows?

I think we are defenders of Canada. But, I think it’s safe to assume the government is following Sandbox and Brock and that they consider us threats.

This is one more huge reason why we must persevere in our fight for our rights. Please keep those donations to ADCS coming.

Hmmm. Do they consider ADCS a “threat to the security of Canada” for standing up for the Charter of Rights and Freedoms?

Interview with John Richardson

We were recently contacted by a group called Financial Repression Authority, who say they are ‘a research firm focused on macroprudential policies representing risks such as ring-fencing regulations (TATCA)’.

They included a YouTube link for an interview with John Richardson, mainly speaking about FATCA. As always, John is very articulate and factual and I enjoyed listening to it.

Financial Repression Authority’s introduction to the interview:

“Gordon T Long Interview of John Richardson on FATCA .. John Richardson is a citizenship lawyer with a focus on FATCA .. this is a U.S. regulation which forms a component of macroprudential policy around ring-fencing of capital – FATCA imposes 30% witholding for any payments originating from the U.S. going to overseas banks or accounts if those banks or specific end-destination acccounts are not “compliant” with FATCA reporting requirements .. this podcast covers: How citizenship taxation has made U.S. citizenship a disability in the modern world .. How the U.S. “Exit Tax” triggered by renouncing U.S. citizenship operates to confiscate non-U.S. assets outside the U.S. .. discussion on the capital controls nature of FATCA ..” 38 minutes

Criminals Use IRS Website to Steal Personal Data

Well, this certainly does not instil confidence that the IRS will handle FATCA data safely.

Criminals use IRS website to steal data on 104,000 people.

Yesterday, CNN reported:

A “sophisticated” organized crime syndicate used the IRS website to steal tax forms full of personal financial information on 104,000 taxpayers, the agency said Tuesday.

IRS TheftThe crooks weren’t as successful as they wanted to be. They only got about half of the 200,000 accounts they targeted. They used about 15,000 of them to claim tax refunds in other people’s names.

But the potential damage is worse. IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said he believes the criminals’ true mission was to gather vast amounts of personal information. Armed with that info, fraudsters can open bank accounts, credit lines and steal tax refunds in the future.

“This is just the latest manifestation of people getting enough data to masquerade as a taxpayer,” Koskinen said.

Now today CNN reports IRS believes the massive data theft originated in Russia.

This is exactly what we have been setting off alarm bells about. Why won’t Finance Canada or governments around the world listen?!? These thefts are with far less information than what will be provided with FATCA.

FBI is investigating.

“Congress must act,” says Senator Orrin Hatch. so, Congress will review how data was stolen. (but not till next week).

Here’s a better solution. Hire Edward Snowden to investigate. He’s hanging out in Russia now. Snowden cares far more about protecting private information than the IRS, US Treasury, US government or any other government around the world.

And what happens when the next data theft comes from Yemen, Syria or Iraq?

Reminder:”Solving US Citizenship Issues: Have You Received a FATCA Letter?”

toronto 31may15

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.

We have recently learned that no Canadians have yet been reported by the CRA to the IRS. This will not occur prior to September 15 and is required by September 30, 2015. You may wish to keep track of a suit trying to prevent this information from leaving Canada
WHO: John Richardson, B.A., LL.B., J.D., is a Toronto lawyer and a member of the Ontario Bar.

ADMISSION: $20 per individual or $40 for a family up to four. Payable in cash at the door.
Hope to see you, your families and friends! Spread the word!
Information presented is NOT intended or offered as legal or accounting advice specific to your situation.

Canadians’ Choice Party Gets FATCA Implications

These are words we want to hear from a political party hoping to be elected:

The Canadian’s Choice Party (CCP) pledges to “rip up” Canada’s FATCA IGA and return Canada to Canadians. The FATCA IGA is immoral and undemocratic. It’s not in the interests of Canada and individual Canadians.

CCPUnfortunately, those words are not from the Cons, Libs, NDP or Greens. They are from Canadians’ Choice Party.

CCP is an Ontario provincial party that is hoping to register as a federal party.

I spoke with Bahman Yazdanfar, CCP’s founder and leader today. It was refreshing. He gets what FATCA means for us and for all of Canada.

Mr. Yazdanfar is not a “U.S. person.” He was born in Iran. He worries that what the “government is doing to our brothers and sisters from south of the border” has implications for all Canadians.

CCP asks:

“Which group of Canadians will be next?”

And what will the government do to them and their rights?

Mr. Yazdanfar told me when he attended FATCA meetings and saw “grown men and women in their 50s and 60s in tears,” he was reminded of time he spent in Afghanistan and what governments did there to citizens. He recognizes FATCA is not the government coming to people’s homes like in Afghanistan, but he fears FATCA and other government policies could be the tip of the iceberg.

About CCP, he says:

We don’t dictate policies.

Instead, Mr. Yazdanfar insists democracy should belong to the people–and not to political parties. So, he says CCP’s goal is elect “representatives of the people” who will listen to the people.

First, CCP must be registered as a federal political party. One of the things they need to do is have 250 eligible voters join the party and complete a declaration to Elections Canada. If you want the Canadians’ Choice Partyto become a Federally Registered Party, you can be one of the 250 original signers. Check it out at CCP.

John Richardson was a candidate for CCP in a provincial election but has no other formal involvement in the party.