Baby Elle FATCA Articles

How much more absurd, outrageous and appalling can FATCA get?

A six month old baby received the FATCA letter from TD in February. So Now CRA Going After Infants?It is time for Canada to refuse to surrender (Baby Elle) and other law abiding Canadians to a foreign bully under pretense of combating tax evasion.

And Elizabeth Thompson wrote Baby Girl Drawn Into Into CRA-IRS Information Sharing Controversy.

“I was totally shocked that the Canada Revenue Agency and the IRS would be interested in an eight-month-old who barely has any money in her account,” said Erika, who spoke to iPolitics on the condition that her last name and her daughter’s name not be used. “It seems a little bit ludicrous to me.”

It’s more than “a bit” ludicrous!

Baby Elle is their granddaughter of Somerfugl, who some of you will remember from the early days at Brock. Somerfugl, Tiger and I first consulted Joe Arvay in March, 2012.

Somerfugl told me about Baby Elle’s FATCA letter. I wrote the OpEd for iPolitics and they assigned Elizabeth Thonmpson to also write her news story.

2 thoughts on “Baby Elle FATCA Articles

  1. badger

    Don’t know where to put this as it is not directly FATCA related, but does raise issues of how Canadian’s personal information can be impacted by the US Patriot Act:

    https://www.priv.gc.ca/en/opc-actions-and-decisions/investigations/investigations-into-federal-institutions/2015-16/pa_20160517_cra/
    Complaint under the Privacy Act (the Act)

    ” The complainant raised concerns about a contract (the “Contract”) between the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and Mobilshred Inc. for the outsourcing of the storage of Canadians’ personal taxpayer information. More specifically, the complainant is particularly concerned that Canadians’ personal taxpayer information could be vulnerable to disclosure to authorities in the United States (US) under the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA PATRIOT) Act, since he believes that Mobilshred Inc. is a division of Recall, a company that is based in the US.
    Although the complainant did not allege a specific violation of any provision of the Act, our investigation centered on whether the CRA has, in the context of the Contract, properly safeguarded any and all of the personal information entrusted to Mobilshred Inc. from unauthorized disclosure under the Privacy Act.”

    “Background to Complaint

    This Office has previously raised concerns about the privacy implications of the cross-border flow of personal information.Footnote 1 Once personal information about Canadians is transferred outside of Canada, whether by a Canadian government agency, a private organization, or by Canadians themselves, the laws of the country in which the information is held will apply. Those laws will determine when government agencies such as police, security, and tax authorities can obtain access to that personal information. In some cases, foreign laws may provide access to personal information about Canadians in situations that many Canadians might find objectionable or inappropriate.
    Under US domestic law, there are various legal mechanisms that could allow authorities to access records from foreign companies. While a determination of the law in the US relating to compelling information from an entity located in another jurisdiction falls outside our mandate, for background purposes and in general terms, records in the custody of a foreign organisation could be compelled by a US authority or Court if the organisation has some sort of physical presence in the US or has sufficient ties to the US, regardless of whether the foreign organisation is owned by US or domestic shareholders and regardless of where the records are physically stored.
    One example of such a mechanism is an order under section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act, which permits the Director of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (or a delegate) to apply to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court for an order to produce “any tangible things” from any individual or organization that is relevant to an investigation of international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities.Footnote 2 There are also other mechanisms that could be used, such as grand jury subpoenas or administrative subpoenas.
    There are also other means that US authorities could employ to obtain records from a foreign entity over which a US authority or Court does not have jurisdiction. Examples include Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties (“MLATs”), bilateral treaties regarding evidentiary assistance, and letters rogatory.Footnote 3
    However, the complainant’s specific concern is that US authorities could gain access to the personal information of Canadian taxpayers under the USA PATRIOT Act if it were held in theUS, which he believes is possible, since Mobilshred Inc.’s parent company, Recall, is a foreign-owned company with operations in theUS. In support of this position, the complainant made reference to the business listing for “Recall & Mobilshred Inc.” with Industry Canada:

    Recall Canada Holdings Inc., is a Canadian company and is part of the Recall Global family which today is known as a global leader in lifecycle information management offering Document Management, Digital Solutions, Data Protection and Secure Destruction. Currently, Recall supports approximately 80,000 customers in more than 20 countries on five continents.Footnote 4?………………..

    Informative since the description of how the CRA proceeded in the case that is the subject of the privacy complaint demonstrates that they fully understand what happens to Canadian data if/when it crosses into the US.

    Which makes their support for the FATCA IGA even more egregious given that they also know that there will be some data which will belong to Canadians who are not even subject to FATCA as they are not “USpersons”, or their accounts will be exempt under the IGA, or their accounts are under the reporting threshold. Yet, they CRA has not been able to give assurances that this will not happen – and in fact, we know that reporting has taken place on accounts below the reportable threshold https://ipolitics.ca/2016/06/15/cra-shared-information-on-smaller-bank-accounts-with-irs/

    Some Canadian taxpayers have more rights to protection of their data than others….

    I posted the above also at;
    http://isaacbrocksociety.ca/fatca/comment-page-138/#comment-7674996

    Reply
  2. Lynne Swanson Post author

    I Face Timed with Baby Elle and her Mommy through Face Time today. She is a live wire with a huge smile.

    TD has told Mommy they will report to CRA regardless of the age of the customer or the amount in the account. (There are not enough funds in the account to pay the $2350 renunciation fee even if Baby Elle was able to renounce.)

    Elizabeth Thompson reported:
    http://ipolitics.ca/2016/04/14/baby-girl-drawn-into-cra-irs-information-sharing-controversy/

    Laura Mergelas, senior manager corporate and public affairs for the TD Bank Group, said the problem should have been caught by the branch that opened the baby’s account in the first place.

    “It’s a bizarre event that she’s eight months old and she got that.”

    Mergelas said the bank is willing to work with the family to find a solution to the problem.

    The “solution”is TD is reporting the account– which is way under $50,000.

    Reply

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