Author Archives: Lynne Swanson

See the Glee at Renouncing U.S. Citizenship

See and hear the glee of this British woman living in Switzerland at renouncing American citizenship.

LaTasha Coates was lucky. She quickly got an appointment in Switzerland and soon after received her CLN.

That is very different than Canada where it may be a year to get an appointment (if a Consulate will even respond to a request for an appointment) followed by another long delay in receiving the CLN.

Or, you can do what Stephen did and travel to Iceland or another country to renounce. That increases the cost but it makes a very nice vacation.

Mr. Trudeau Goes to Washington

Prime Minister Trudeau is off to meet President Trump on Monday. Would love to be a fly on the wall for that meeting! (Actually mosquito would be better-“If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.”-Dalai Lama)

It would be great if Trudeau would stop the flip Flops and stand up for Canadians.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau is also in Washington. So, I suggested Trudeau tell him to renegotiate the IGA

Dear President Trump: Repeal FATCA

I am the author of this article in Forbes. I don’t know why Robert Wood didn’t use my real name as a signature. I submitted it to him and I have posted a comment asking him to include it. I refuse to hide or cower to a foreign bully.

Dear President Trump:

I realize that not paying taxes “makes (you) smart.” So you likely think I’m dumb for paying taxes to Canada, where I live. I think it makes me responsible. You probably would consider me “a nasty woman.” You might even call me a traitor because I have lived outside the United States for almost half a century, and relinquished American citizenship by becoming a citizen of the country I love—Canada—in 1973.

But hear me out on a real “total disaster.” The United States demands that I file tax returns to a country where I haven’t lived for 47 years just because I was born there. Even worse, the U.S. Treasury Department demands invasive information about all of my Canadian accounts. You see, Democrats, with support of some Republicans, passed the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) back in 2010. It is nasty, believe me.

I know you’re a really, really smart guy because of that not paying taxes thing. So let’s talk about FATCA, which is complex, believe me. Imagine if all of Melania’s accounts—including personal, business and even joint accounts with you—had to be reported to Slovenia just because she was born there! Or, if all of your accounts were required to be reported to Scotland because your mother hailed from there. Or, if the Czech Republic demanded all of the financial records of your three oldest children because of their mother’s birthplace. You get the idea.

This may sound like fake news, but is quite real for Americans abroad, including anyone born in U.S. These Americans are under attack, but not from terrorists. This FATCA attack comes from U.S. government! Terrible. You want to strip U.S. citizenship from anyone who burns an American flag? Ironically, if it was that easy to ditch U.S. citizenship, I’m afraid there would be Stars and Stripes ablaze around the globe. In fact, renouncing is costly, complicated and sometimes devastating.

Yet, renunciations of U.S. citizenship soared under President Obama’s administration. These people didn’t renounce because they are traitors or tax cheats. Many are patriotic Americans who built lives and paid taxes from Australia to Zimbabwe. But, IRS wants to claim them and seize their financial records because of their birthplace. Others are Accidental Americans because parents were temporarily living in the U.S. when they were born (like London’s Boris Johnson), or because a U.S. hospital was the closest one for their birth (like a Canadian police officer). I know of one Canadian caught in the FATCA nightmare whose mother went into premature labor over 50 years ago on an overnight trip to Buffalo!

Many financial institutions Build the Wall by refusing accounts to anyone born in America. Sadly, there are so many people now wanting to shed American citizenship that some U.S. Consulates have waiting lists of a year. Some are no longer responding to requests. Armed with alternative facts, sanctions and penalties, the U.S. Treasury and IRS have forced financial institutions and governments around the globe to comply with FATCA through bully-boy tactics. Your Russian Putin pal signed on, and so did China, Iraq and Mexico. But not Iran, Syria or Eritrea.

It’s strange about Eritrea, because it is the only other nation on the planet that taxes its citizens living outside its borders. But this tiny African dictatorship at least makes it easier than America does. Eritrea requests expat citizens pay 2% of their income using one simple form. No demand for financial records. No imposition of unwanted citizenship on everyone born there. In contrast, some tax compliance thugs threaten Americans outside the U.S. that the IRS will “Lock them up” if these mainly middle class folks don’t file tax returns. Notably, you haven’t released your tax returns, so I have no idea if you have offshore accounts or if you reported them.

You can straighten this out with an Executive Order for U.S. Treasury to stop tormenting millions of honest law-abiding folks who just want to live their lives in peace and protect their families and their privacy. You can urge Republicans in Congress to repeal FATCA and move to resident taxation as part of tax reform. Please ask your Chief of Staff to help. Mr. Priebus said FATCA is unconstitutional. The Republican National Committee even passed a resolution vowing to repeal FATCA and adopt residence based taxation. So dump FATCA, a “failing piece of garbage.” Please do it now. Make America Great Again, for all Americans.


A concerned former U.S. citizen”

Dear PM Trudeau: Renegotiate FATCA IGA Now

A letter was sent to Prime Minister Trudeau from ADCS requesting him to renegotiate the IGA to protect Canadian citizens, interests, sovereignty and our Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

January 27, 2017

Right Hon. Justin Trudeau
Prime Minister of Canada
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario Canada K1A 0A6

Dear Prime Minister Trudeau

RE: Renegotiate FATCA Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA)

“The Government of Canada has a responsibility to stand up for its citizens when foreign governments are encroaching on their rights. We believe that the deal reached between Canada and the U.S, is insufficient to protect affected Canadians.” (Justin Trudeau in letter to Lynne Swanson, Jun 23, 2015)

FATCA encroaches.

Liberal Statements

In Opposition, many Liberal MPs spoke strongly against American Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). Among a myriad of comments in Parliament and in a newspaper article, Liberal MPs called FATCA “dangerous…an attack on our privacy…the IRS’ dirty work…infringes on our sovereignty…violates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms…”

As Finance and Revenue critic, Scott Brison said “About one million Canadians are caught in this dragnet…The government did not negotiate a good deal in Washington…They failed to protect Canadian interests in terms of FATCA…The reality is you can negotiate a better IGA.”

So, we are dismayed and disappointed that the Liberal Government is failing to “stand up for (Canadian) citizens when a foreign government is encroaching on their rights” and is not protecting affected Canadian citizens and interests.

“Negotiate A Better Deal”

A new American President insisting on renegotiating NAFTA gives Canada the ideal opportunity to insist on “negotiating a better IGA.”

You can prove to all you are a Canadian leader and mean what you say — *A Canadian is A Canadian is A Canadian*. Now is the perfect time to show the value of Canada’s sovereignty as President Trump is making sweeping changes to protect United States sovereignty.

We, therefore, request you, the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Global Affairs renegotiate the FATCA IGA with an amendment put forward in Opposition by Mr. Brison and NDP MP Murray Rankin:

Notwithstanding any other provision of this Agreement, for all purposes related to the implementation of this Agreement, “US Person” and “Specified US Person” shall not include any person who is a Canadian citizen who is ordinarily resident in Canada.

Please “stand up for (Canadian) citizens when a foreign government is encroaching on their rights.” Please tell President Donald Trump you will protect Canadian citizens, Canadian interests, Canadian sovereignty, and Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

“Negotiate a better IGA” now.

Lynne Swanson, Chair
Litigation Committee

Stephen Kish, PhD, Chair
Alliance or the Defence of Canadian Sovereignty

cc: Hon. Billl Morneau, Minister of Finance
Hon. Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Global Affairs

Transfer of Records from CRA to IRS Doubled to 315,000

Elizabeth Thompson of CBC is reporting the number of FATCA records transferred from CRA to IRS doubled from 2016 from 2015.

Banking records of more than 315,000 Canadian residents were turned over to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service last year under a controversial information sharing deal, CBC News has learned.

That is double the number transferred in the deal’s first year.

The Canada Revenue Agency transmitted 315,160 banking records to the IRS on Sept. 28, 2016 — a 104 per cent increase over the 154,667 records the agency sent in September 2015.

The article points out the flip flop of Trudeau, Brison and Goodale.

NDP Revenue Critic Pierre-Luc Dusseault finds the increase in reporting “surprising.” He says:

“I don’t see how there would be 150,000 more accounts reportable to the IRS in one year. It is something I will look into.”

Lynne Swanson has no idea why the number has doubled but finds the number low considering the number of people affected by FATCA.

Swanson hopes the Republican controlled Congress and President Trump will repeal FATCA. She is still waiting for the Federal Court of Canada to intervene to protect Canadians in Canada.

“A foreign government is essentially telling the Canadian government how Canadian citizens and Canadian residents should be treated. It is a violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.”