CRA Response (Sort Of) on FATCA ATI & Order Paper Questions

You may recall I submitted an Access to Information request to Canada Revenue Agency on March 29, 2016 about information that was transmitted to the IRS.

CRA advised me they required 120 days beyond the legislated 30 days to respond. After I learned the government is not required to gather the data if it does not already have it for an ATI request, but they are required to do this for an Order Paper Question, I contacted Pierre-Luc Dusseault’s Assistant. Mr. Dusseault submitted the questions in an Order Paper April 18.

The government responded to Mr. Dusseault on June 3. Here is CRA’s response to him (I don’t know why they need 120 days to reply to me now that the information is available).

Here is what CRA says:

With respect to the above noted question, what follows is the response from the Canada Revenue Agency {CRA).

Part (a): A total of 154,667 records were submitted to the Internal Revenue Service {IRS) including individuals and entities. There are multiple instances where the same individual or entity has more than one record.

Parts (a)(i). to {iii): This information is not required lo be reported to the CRA with respect to Part XVIII of the Income Tax Act(!TA}.

Part (b){i): 95,693 records show an address’ in Canada.
Part {b)(ii): 54.893 re.cords snow an ~ddress in the United States.
Part (b)(iii); 3.,881 records· show an address. in· another country.

Part (c}: A total of 154,667 records were submitted to the IRS: however,. the number of accounts this represents is not known given the rules regarding account aggregation and joint accounts.

Parts ( c)(i} to (v), (d} and (e): These type of accounts are not required to be reported to the CRA under Part XVJH of the ITA and Article 2(2} a) of the Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA).

Part (f)(i): The number of accounts where an individual or entity has less than $50,QOO US is not known by the CRA given the rules regarding account aggregation and joint accounts.
Part {f)(ii}: The number of acc6unts where an individual or entity between $50,000 and $1,000,000 U.S. is not known by the CRA given the rules regarding account aggregation and joint accounts.
Part {f)(iii): The number of accounts where an individual or entity· has over $1,000,,000 U.S is not known by the CRA given the rules regarding account aggregation and joint accounts.

Part (g)(i): This type of account is not reportable to the CRA pursuant to Part XVIII of the ITA and Section IV.A of Annex II of the IGA.
.
Part (g}(ii): This type of account is not reportable to the CRA pursuant to Part XVIII of the ITA and Section IV.G of Annex II of the IGA. ·
Part (g)(iii): This type of account is not reportable to the CRA pursuant to Part XVII of the IGA and Section IV.F of Annex II of the IGA. .
Part (g)(iv)~ This type of ac0ount is not reportable to the CRA pursuant to Part XVIII of the ITA and Section IV.E of Annex II of the IGA.

Parts(h}f {I) and (/1: This information is not required to be reported to the CRA pursuant to Part XVIII of the IT A and Article 2(2)a) of the IGA.

Part (k): The information was provided to the U.S. IRS.

Parts (l) and (m}: Exchanges between CRA and the IRS are subject to.restrictions, administrative safegµards and understandings regarding protection and usage of the information, in accordance with the Convention between Canada and the United States of America with Respect to Taxes on Income and on Capital (Canada-U.S, Treaty}. The CRA is committed to protecting all taxpayer information and each of Canada’s tax treaties contains strict confidentiality requirements in order to safeguard information and ensure confidentiality.

Parts (n)(i) to (iii), (o), (p), (q), (r): The CRA is unable to respond to these parts of the question given that the Canada-U.S. Treaty requires that information be treated as secret and only disclosed to persons or authorities involved in the assessment or collection, administration and/or enforcement.

Part (s): Canada received the information on September 30, 2015.

So what did we learn from all of that? Well, we now know the majority (about 62%) of the accounts reported were for Canadian addresses. About 35.5% were for U.S. addresses and 2.5% were for addresses in other countries. CRA did not provide which other countries.

Beyond that, CRA seems to be playing their usual obfuscation game. They say they don’t have the information on how many accounts were reported on Canadian citizens, permanent residents or temporary residents. They claim to not know how many were bank accounts, credit union accounts, insurance accounts, etc.

They claim not to know how many accounts were under $50,000, how many $50,000-$1 million, how many over $1 million. What?!? They reported them. How can they not know that?!?

They say RRSPs, RESPs, RDSPs and TFSAs are “not reportable.” That does not answer the question about whether any were reported. There is a difference between “not reportable” and not reported.

CRA says financial institutions are not required to provide information on how many accounts were joint accounts with non U.S. persons or how many were accounts of employers, businesses or charitable organizations where a “U.S. person” has signing authority.

CRA says IRS will safeguard FATCA information. I guess CRA does not know that identity theft is a “major problem” at the IRS and is getting worse (and with far less information than what will be provided under FATCA. Or maybe CRA doesn’t know that the Investigations Committee of Congress has demanded FATCA information be made available to U.S. law enforcement and national security agencies.

And of course, CRA won’t tell us how many or types of records they received from IRS–citing confidentiality and secrecy requirements of the Treaty. Gee whiz. It would be nice if they showed the same concern for Canadian citizens and residents as they do for the rights of a foreign tax regime.

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