Monthly Archives: June 2016

Pushback to #FATCA in France, Italy, Holland & Israel


I am reproducing a post by Jude Ryan from the Facebook group Accidental Americans” in the event some may not be aware that there is movement in countries outside Canada and the U.S. against FATCA.

I know there has been a lot of work done by the Australians and wish to mention it even though it was not included in the post I am reproducing.

A recap on ongoing domestic actions

To the extent we have have other nationalities present on this page (I know we do) please feel free to use this information to put pressure on your domestic politicians.


The lower House of Parliament, the Assemblee Nationale, has set up a fact finding mission to investigate the extraterritorial reach of US laws and in particular the invidious position French “Accidental Americans” find themselves in.
The mission statement of this commission is as follows: The commissions for foreign affairs and finances of the French Parliament (Assemblee Nationale) decided to form a joint fact finding mission regarding the extraterritoriality of certain US laws, which held its inaugural meeting on Wednesday 2 March 2016. The president of the mission is Mr Pierre Lelouche (Republican Party, Paris) and his rapporteur is Ms Karine Berger (Socialist Party, Hautes-Alpes). Several recent events have highlighted the propensity of the US courts and the US administration to purport to impose sanctions against foreign corporations and foreign individuals in respect of events occurring outside of US territory: these range from the record penalty one of France’s largest banks agreed to pay to the US administration (for a failure to comply with a US imposed embargo) to the acquisition of Alstom by General Electric against a backdrop of anti-corruption claims brought by the US authorities against senior managers of Alstom and including the US IRS pursuing French citizens living in France but born on US soil and therefore “Accidental Americans” for US income taxes. Based on the feedback of a wide array of experts, the fact finding mission will attempt to define the contours of US extraterritoriality, exhaustively identify all cases of extraterritorial application of US laws, assess their impact and in particular their impact on fair competition and the economic losses suffered by French companies as a result, and to study ways in which to counter such practices both at a national and European level. The mission hopes that its findings will lead to concrete implementation measures. The longstanding and deep ties that exist between France and the US in no way justify that the US should seek to assert legal imperium outside of its borders.

A hearing of French “Accidental Americans” was held on 8 June 2016 and at which issues raised by FATCA and the US practices of Citizenship Based Taxation, particularly as regards “Accidental Americans” were discussed. The mission questioned and heard testimony from five accidental Americans.The mission will issue its report late August / early September following which concrete legislative proposals will be issued to French Parliament.

The issue of Accidental Americans has now been brought up on several occasions in French parliamentary discussions and in particular by Messrs les deputes Mariani and Lefebvre on 2 separate occasions

1ère séance : Droit des étrangers (suite) (Article premier, adt 7 à article 10, adt 341) (Article 2, Thierry Mariani)

In addition the French Collective of Accidental Americans has organised meetings with the Director of the French Ministry for Foreign Affairs. The Director indicated that they will be speaking with the US Embassy in Paris about the issue of Accidental Americans who are also French citizens.

Last, but not least, the French Parliamentarian Seybah Dagoma wrote to the President Holland’s office drawing their attention to the issues faced by French citizens who are also Accidental Americans. In her letter deputee Dagoma denounced the unintended consequences of FATCA, the absurdity of Citizenship Based Taxation, the extraterritorial reach of US laws and and the living nightmare French Accidental Americans and their families are enduring.
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Solving U.S. Citizenship Problems – Toronto, Saturday, June 25, 2016

TORONTO CAN, Saturday, June 25, 2016

Have you received a FATCA letter or been warned of the consequences of being a U.S. person?

New this year in the U.S. assault on people and countries outside its borders, is the “second wave” of reporting – the “entity” reporting. This is nothing less than every financial entity – any corporation, non-profit corporation, your Canadian controlled-private corporation (CCPC), any fund with shareholders-is fair game for an associated financial lender, bank etc to ask:

Who are your clients, shareholders? Are they, or have they ever been, U.S. citizens?”

If so, they need to fill out a US tax form. (W8-no withholding for non-US taxpayers or W9-for withholding on US taxpayers) to be kept on file with the bank.

My financial advisor indicated he now realized I had not exagerrated the extent of this U.S. interference in Canada. He now has to ask each and every new client, regardless of what they are buying,

“Are you, or have you ever been, a U.S. citizen?”

Utterly outrageous.

PLEASE register in advance by email to nobledreamer16 at gmail dot com

When: Saturday,June 25, 2016 1-3 pm
Where: 100 St. Joseph St., Toronto ON M5S 2C4 MAP
Admission: $20 payable in cash at the door
Who: John Richardson, B.A., LL.B., J.D. (Of the bars of Ontario, New York and Massachusetts), Toronto citizenship lawyer and Co-chair of the Alliance for the Defence of Canadian Sovereignty and the Alliance for the Defeat of Citizenship Taxation.

Information presented is NOT intended or offered as legal or accounting advice specific to your situation.

CRA Gave IRS Bank Records Under $50,000

CRA Shared Information on Smaller Bank Accounts with IRS according to an article by Elizabeth Thompson in iPolitics today.

Elizabeth reports:

The banks are not required to automatically review or report Canadian bank accounts under $50,000, leading many of those who might be subject to the information sharing move to presume that their banking information wasn’t being shared with the United States.

However, documents tabled recently in Parliament and information obtained by iPolitics from the CRA indicate that information on many individual accounts worth less than $50,000 is, in fact, being shared with the IRS.

It seems the Privacy Commissioner is concerned–but hasn’t done much to stop this violation of privacy

I think banks are taking different approaches. I believe TD is reporting accounts under $50,000 but I understand CIBC is not reporting if the aggregate amount is under $50,000.

Whatever the situation, the betrayal of Canadians by their financial institutions and government continues.

“Just Ask Canada” About Eritrea & U.S. Taxation

It’s a heck of a lot easier to push around some small, impoverished African country than it is to stand up to the U.S. juggernaut.

Just ask Canada.

The above words are from Only Two Countries Do This Appalling Thing–and the U.S. is One of Them.

In the Ron Paul Liberty report, author Nick Giambruno writes:

Eritrea is hounded, ostracized, and sanctioned for using—according to the UN—“threats, harassment and intimidation” to “extort” taxes out of its citizens living abroad. You’d think someone would offer at least a peep of criticism for the only other country doing the same thing. But, if you listen for it, you’ll only hear the crickets chirping.

The author writes about Canada expelling the Eritrean Ambassador for trying to collect taxes. He also points out the blatant double standard:

It seems Canada doesn’t like foreign governments shaking down Canadian residents. That is, unless the foreign government is the United States.

Somehow I don’t expect the Canadian government to give any U.S. officials the boot… even though they regularly shake down far more Canadian residents for much more money.

Curiously, Canada’s reaction to the U.S. expat tax is the exact opposite of its reaction to Eritrea’s. Rather than taking action to prevent the U.S. government from harassing U.S. persons living in Canada, the Canadian government facilitates it by complying with the odious FATCA law—even though it contradicts Canadian law.

In comments, John Richardson says the bottom line is:

When it comes to the taxation of it’s citizens abroad:

To compare the United States to Eritrea, is actually an insult to the nation of Eritrea. The United States is far worse!

I had a conversation recently with a retired professional couple in my condo building. They have lived in Canada for 33 years. They told me the 2% tax is voluntary and they don’t object to paying it to support education and social programs in their home country. Very different than how the Canadian, American and other governments are portraying it.


UPDATE – June 14, 2016

The following items were kindly provided by Allison Christians; sources for this paper:

ATIP docs


Questions Submitted
NB: notice 3 different dates for when the house was aware of the IGA exemption to tabling policy

Reposted with permission of the author

Allison Christians*

10 J. PARL. & POLITICAL L. 15 (2016).
Canada’s Parliament plays little but a perfunctory role in the adoption of tax treaties, even though these agreements have significant impact on Parliamentary autonomy over core national budgetary matters as well as core legal and administrative functions. This article argues that Canada’s tax treaty process reflects a studied and intentional preference against public engagement in international fiscal policy, and that this stance has a negative impact on the rule of law. The article demonstrates the governance issue posed by lack of meaningful Parliamentary oversight using a recent departure from stated treaty policy, namely, the passage of a controversial agreement to implement the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), an aggressive and extra-territorial regulatory regime imposed on Canadian financial institutions by the United States. The article examines the implications of Canada’s approach to this and other tax-related agreements and concludes that a much more engaged and informed Parliament is vitally necessary to achieve integrity in Canada’s treaty process.

Tax treaties are the means by which nations share the revenues generated by cross-border business and investment activities. By ceding jurisdiction to tax certain kinds of income according to international norms, tax treaties constrain legislators’ autonomy in setting national tax policy. Because Canada’s ratification process involves adopting tax treaties as domestic law, these agreements also create access to administrative and judicial procedures in Canada, and thereby introduce international legal processes and principles in the interpretation of domestic tax law provisions. We might therefore expect that Parliamentarians would pay close attention to the tax treaties that come before them. Yet, Parliament plays little but a perfunctory role, mechanically passing tax treaties with virtually no scrutiny even as these instruments have gradually expanded in scope and arguably shifted in purpose.

What explains Parliament’s minimal input on tax treaties despite the significant role they play in national tax policy? A plausible answer seems to be a settled history of foreign affairs being the sole prerogative of the Crown, coupled with a treaty policy that prioritizes procedural expediency in Parliament over the messy politics involved in greater deliberation. Applied to a technically complex area like taxation, the desire for expediency— and likely an unspoken but rational desire for those in power to conduct foreign affairs without impediment—may encourage successive governments to navigate tax treaties quickly through Parliament despite occasional pledges to align treaty-making processes with principles of democratic participation in lawmaking, and established processes that would facilitate such participation.

Taking the position that tax treaties have significant impact on Parliamentary autonomy over core national budgetary matters as well as core legal and administrative functions, this article argues that Canada’s tax treaty process reflects an unstated preference against public engagement in international fiscal policy, with a negative impact on the rule of law. It first documents recent tax treaty processes in the context of the broad precepts associated with the treaty power, drawing attention to deviations from established precedents and stated policies. It then demonstrates the governance issue posed by lack of Parliamentary participation using a recent and significant departure from stated treaty policy. Finally, it argues that following established treaty procedures could be a marginally more appropriate approach to tax treaty policy, at least to the extent it would reintroduce democratically legitimate legislative constraints on the executive even while preserving the Crown’s treaty-making prerogative. However, as the article concludes, a much more engaged and informed Parliament is vitally necessary to achieve integrity in Canada’s treaty process.
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