About Maple Sandbox

WHY WE BUILT MAPLE SANDBOX

Blaze, in fighting form

We (Blaze and Outraged Canadian) connected through another website after we both were stunned and dismayed to discover that, after almost 40 years as Canadian citizens, the United States might still consider us US citizens or “US persons” for tax purposes.

Isaac Brock Society literally saved our sanity and gave us strength and strategies for saving ourselves and others.  Eventually, as both we and Brock changed, we decided it was time to Blaze a new Outraged Canadian trail.

Outraged Canadian’s stand-in

We invite others to play with us in a spirit of fun, friendship, sharing and enthusiasm as we learn, grow and share together.  While we offer a calm and casual approach, we know the battle against the IRS is a serious one that has turned lives upside down.  So, we are determined to stand up to bullies, wherever they come from.

We know how alarming, distressing and worrying issues of dealing with IRS from afar can be.   At Maple Sandbox, we aim to offer a dwelling for rest and relaxation in an atmosphere of sharing, exploring, and learning that will help people resist the intrusion of the IRS into their honest, law-abiding tax-paying lives.

We may be conscientious objectors to the fight, but we do not shy away from the conflict. We plan to arm ourselves and others with resources, respect and advocacy against the attempted intrusion of IRS into the lives of honest, law-abiding tax paying people.

Canadians and Americans fight wars differently.  Likewise, Maple Sandbox will conduct this dispute to reflect Canada’s long and esteemed history of fighting for freedom, while also promoting global peacemaking and international development.

We are allies with Isaac Brock Society and others around the world.  As strong trading partners, many of our toys were imported from Brock.  We hope to export buckets of sand to Brock.  Maple Sandbox and Brock will share building blocks as we construct and expand our treasure chests.

Brock soldiers are welcome to relax in our playground.   Likewise, we expect some Sandboxers may also be Brock troopers.

Maple Sandbox believes learning and growing occurs through open, honest exchange of thoughts, ideas and communications.  We cherish freedom of speech and freedom of expression as fundamental Canadian values.  At the same time, neither freedom is absolute– nor should they be in a civilized world.  So, we will follow Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which provides that “reasonable limits” may be placed on individual rights in a free and democratic society.

Come play and fight with us as we Blaze a new Outraged Canadian Trail.

 

Blaze, raring to go!

 

 

61 thoughts on “About Maple Sandbox

  1. @Duane: Welcome to the sandbox.

    It is horrendous what the U.S. Canada and the compliance industry are doing to people. I’m sad to hear you and your wife were forced into coming into compliance.

    Do you mind telling us what your next step will be? Do you plan to renounce?

    Did the accountants tell you CRA will not collect for IRS on any Canadian citizen and will not collect on penalties for IRS on any Canadian resident?

    Are you a Canadian citizen? When did you become a Canadian citizen? Depending on the year, you may have relinquished US citizenship at that time.

    Some people are lobbying the US government. Some are considering a challenge to CBT. Republicans Overseas say they are close to launching a constitutional challenge in the U.S.

    Many of us are focusing on how Canada surrendered Canadian citizens, residents, laws and constitution to a foreign bully. That is the reason for our lawsuit. I hope you will join with us. Please donate.

  2. Isn’t taxation without representation illegal in the US? It seems to me you would have a better chance of success taking the matter to where it came from. I sent a brief email to the ACLU a year ago concerning the FATCA titled “no taxation without representation” and received a acknowledgement it was received but nothing followed from the ACLU.

    My wife Peggy and myself have spent $11K becoming tax compliant because it seemed to be the least expensive way out.

    We hope you win.

    Duane Sandmeyer

    Duane Sandmeyer

    • Hi Duane, I echo Lynne’s words – I’m sorry you and your wife are caught up in this mess.

      Unfortunately there is no chacne that the IRS would ever listen to expats. And since I have always considered myself Canadian, and that I relinquished my citizenship decades ago, going to the IRS or US govt isn’t something I would ever have considered doing.

      I am much more upset with my own government who has caved in and is serving up their own citizens on a platter to a foreign government. I really did think, initially, that Canada would stand up for her citizens, given past history. Sadly, very, very sadly, I was wrong.

  3. @cjdubois: I echo Outraged in welcoming you to Sandbox.

    Most of us, like you, do not consider ourselves U.S. persons and detest that our own Canadian government has allowed a foreign government to apply that label to us and claim us as perpetual tax serfs with a lifelong obligation to the United States.

    We have been speaking loudly against this three years. We hope you will join us.

    I think you will find this a place of support and information–although we will not be able to provide you with the answers you want to hear because of the absurdity of all of this.

    • I’m seeking advice on how to proceed. I am a Canadian citizen born in the US (US citizen) that frequents the US for work. I have not filed taxes in the US nor do I currently have a US passport but my first passport as an infant was US and I have a SS card. I have been told at the airport in customs that I must enter the US with a US passport as my Can passport shows a US birthplace. Tax compliance appears to be very costly but inevitable as does applying for a US passport. Are RESP’s still taxed in the US or did that change last year? Any advice/strategy is appreciated.

    • @Michael: Welcome to Maple Sandbox. Your dilemma is one many are struggling with.

      There is not an easy answer, but first I advise you not to rush into getting a U.S. passport. It is all very complicated and a U.S. passport will comp;icate it even further.

       

      Before I try to answer, I am going to ask a few questions:

      Am I correct in assuming you have been a Canadian citizen from bitth?  Or are you a naturilized Canadian citizen? 

      Have you ever worked for a federal, provincial or munucipal government in Canada?

       

       

    • Hi Lynne,
      Thanks for responding. I was born in 1969 in the US and moved to Canada when I was about a month old. My Canadian citizenship is dated 1980. I have not worked for a government of any sort. I’m currently contacting the US consulate to determine if I am indeed still a US citizen but this is more frustrating than I could ever imagine.
      Thanks, Michael

    • Michael, You asked a specific question- ‘are RESPs still taxed in the US?’
      Firstly, you will find that you are considered by the IRS to be a US citizen. Secondly, I presume you meant RESPs rather than RRSPs.

      RESPs are foreign trusts as far as the US is concerned. It is so complex as to be impossible to understand. There is only one way to deal with them. Don’t mention to anyone that you have one. RRSPs are different. There is no need to report them until such time as money is withdrawn. At that time the amount withdrawn is ordinary income with a corresponding credit for canadian taxes paid.

    • @Michael:  Although I still need further clarification on your situation, I will try to answer as best as I can.

      Were you born in the US to Canadian parents (or even one Canadian parent)? If so, you may be able to get the date on your citizenship amended to birth. This could free you from a possible Exit Tax, but it would require you to be compliant for five years.

      If this is your situation, it is important you resist getting a US passport because there is a proposal (that may or may not be accepted) that “Accidental Americans” who were dual citizens at birth may be able to renounce somewhat more easily than they can currently.  One provision of this is that the person should never have held a U.S. passport except to depart the U.S.  You can learn more about this and some of the discussion around it at the thread  Obama FY2016 budget proposes limited relief for accidental duals-at-birth who give up U.S. citizenship at Issac Brock Society.

      If you became a natuaralized Canadian citizen in 1980, you would normally be able to apply for a Certificate of Loss of Nationality based on a pre-1986 reliquishment under the law at that time. But (and this is a huge BUT), if you were born in 1969, that means you were a minor at the time of your naturalization as a Canadian citizen.  That means the US Department of State will likely not not consider it a relinquishing act for you and will not issue a CLN. That means you would have to renounce and pay the $2350 renunciation fee. 

       

      Renouncing or getting a CLN does not require you to be compliant with the IRS.  However, the IRS has an expectation that you will become compliant.   Some have done that. Others have chosen to ignore that expectation. Everyone needs to do whatever will give the most peace of mind–if there is any such thing in this whole nightmare.

       

      Your situation is complicated.  I know this information is not what you want to hear.  I wish I had better news for you.

       

      Please note I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice. You may want to consider consulting with John Richardson. At a minimum, you should read What You Should Consider Before Contacting a Lawyer at John’s Citizenship Solutions site.

       

      Has your bank or financial institution asked you any questions about your U.S. place of birth for FATCA?

  4. Welcome to the Maple Sandbox, cgdubois. The “US Persons” is in quotes, and is meant to be ironic. Our motto on our header is ‘ a gathering place for people fighting FATCA, FBAR, and US citizenship-based taxation.

    Many of us do not consider ourselves US persons, but know, unfortunately, that the US govt doesn’t agree with us.

    My opinion is that as a border baby you have good reason to consider yourself Canadian only. We have to continue to agitate and, again unfortunately, fight against our own government to get it recognized that being born in the US does not make us US persons and liable to have all of our personal financial information sent to a foreign govt (and vulnerable to ridiculous fines and penalties). Please consider donating to the lawsuit, however much you might be able to spare. It’s people like us that are having to fund the lawsuit, against the governments unlimited big coffers.

     

  5. This is my first visit to this website. I looked up the ‘Maple Sandbox Rules’ section to learn that: “Maple Sandbox is a gathering place for “US persons” to come together to share, learn and explore.” As a border baby, I also have taken issue with the IRS/CRA agreement with my MP, the CRA, etc. and was looking forward to a website that might provide me further insights and support. However, the core of my argument (as a border baby) is that I am not a ‘U.S. person’ by any stretch of the imagination (born in the U.S. because it was the nearest hospital as sanctioned and funded by the Canadian government). The eight generations that preceded mine is a history of proud Canadians. The ultimate evidence of the absurdity of this regulation is that its net would find a border baby reportable. My adjective for legislators who would report its citizens to a foreign government is not printable.

  6. Connie, thank you for your kind thoughts.

    For me, even more important than our privacy rights, is the right to make our own laws. Our Government of Canada gave that away to a foreign country.

    This can change if people are willing to donate, and donate again and again.

    Stephen

  7. I am supporting the lawsuite filed against Harper government by Alliance for the Defence of Canadian Soverenighty. They will need a lot of financial support. They expect this law suite to go all the way to the Supreme Court. I urge everyone affected by this illegal intrusion into Canada banking system to donate to this suite and to stand up to the bully IRS by note replying to the demands of this government Everyone should be standing up for privacy rights. The young people I work seem to accept the fact they have no privacy. I disagree with them and think we need to stand up for everyone’s Privacy Rights.

  8. thank u ted. donations r very needed and welcome.

    i hope the publicity we r getting will result in a groundswell of donations.

    sorry 4 lower case. i have broken shoulder.

  9. @Ted Siebert. Welcome to the Maple Sandbox, and we’re happy to have you onboard with our cause and more than happy to have you donate! Wonderful!

     

    The Alliance has it’s own website, and you can donate from their site. There is a big red ‘donate now’ button right on their main page. If you wish to donate less than $250, you can either send a cheque or donate by email transfer. That’s what I do and it works really well.

    http://www.adcs-adsc.ca/

    Again, welcome – and thank you!

  10. I am interested in donating to your cause and the Alliance for the Defense of Canadian Sovereignty.

    Please let me know how this can be done.

    Ted Siebert

  11. A funny thing happened on the way to complying with filing tax returns for my daughters, both Canadians with A US born mother. Seems one needs a social security number in order to file, and it also seems the IRS doesn’t talk to the SS department, thus leaving quite a hole in the program here. To me, this is a bureaucratic problem only the Americans can get themselves into.
    TBC

  12. @Pamela, sorry to hear you and your husband are caught in this. That the US is trying to enforce their archaic Citizenship-based taxation policy is quite simply a cash grab by a desperate government.

    We have to keep fighting to get the message about the FATCA travesty out to everyone. We need Canadians everywhere to hear, to understand and to fight for our rights as Canadians (and residents). We must stop our own government from cravenly changing Canadian laws to appease a rapacious foreign government.

  13. I am an American married to a Canadian. I too have found it quite frustrating that the US government wants their hands in my pockets in spite of the fact that I no longer live their and don’t plan to return permanently.

  14. Hello.

    If I may add a comment here… Banks are federally chartered and fall under the federal Banking Act, which I believes limits the information they may collect. They are also subject to the Private Information and Protection of Electronic Data Act (PIPEDA). However, investment accounts are subject to provincial regulation, not federal, even if managed by the investment branch of a bank. Whatever the details of the law, it will be different law for an ordinary bank account and for an investment account, even if held at the same institution.

    Regards…

  15. I personally think under current banking and human rights laws, banks cannot ask for place of birth. However, the proposed law to enable the IGA prevails over those laws.

    The CRA information says financial institutions are not required to ask for place of birth. As others have pointed out, that is very different than saying must not ask for place of birth.

    As John Richardson has said, the IGA makes discrimination against “US persons” mandatory.

  16. @ Blaze. In reference to your comment of January 22, 2014, you probably know that by now, the Canadian banks are now asking for the place of birth when you open a new investment account. If this is illegal or not I am not sure. Now, when I read the IGA that Flaherty signed on February 5, 2014, there is clause that allows the banks to ask more questions for opening new accounts Which I think the banks are using to justify the place of birth question. What do you think ?

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