May 15 2017 Response of some Witnesses [Including those of FATCA supporter Elise Bean] to U.S. House Subcommittee with recommendations to “improve legal framework” of FATCA

[I now include in this LINK the recommendations of Elise Bean, a long-time FATCA supporter and witness at the FATCA hearing.]

On April 26 2017 there was a Hearing at the U.S. House Subcommittee on Government Operations dealing with the harm caused by the U.S. FATCA law imposed on the world.

At the conclusion of the hearing, Chairman Meadows asked the Witnesses for “three recommendations on how to improve the legal framework set up by the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act” (FATCA).

My personal-only interpretation of this request is that the Chair is saying something like: “If FATCA has to be replaced with something else, can you recommend three compromise laws/approaches that would achieve the “good” aims of FATCA but minimize the harm, and which would receive bipartisan support?”

— I enclose as a link the May 15, 2017 submitted personal recommendations of Jim Bopp, a witness and attorney for the U.S. FATCA/IGA/FBAR lawsuit currently pending in United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit (I am one of the plaintiffs).

From the Bopp text:

“This letter provides three recommendations on how to improve the legal framework set up by the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”).

First, we recommend that any taxation of overseas Americans comply with established United States constitutional principles and international legal norms.

Second, we recommend that the current laws be repealed in their entirety [Bopp goes on to include specifically FATCA, IGAs, FBAR, and citizenship-based taxation] and certain proposals rejected.

Third, we recommend that Congress enact a 1099 requirement on foreign banks, established by treaty, as long as this complies with established United States constitutional principles and international legal norms…”

—- Appended to the end of the Bopp recommendations are my personal thoughts as a separate submission: I support, as does Mr. Bopp, the repeal in entirety of FATCA, FBAR, IGAs, and citizenship-based taxation (the latter to be replaced with territorial/residence-based taxation), do not support any “watered-down” FATCA-replacement legislation whatsoever — which I believe will continue the harm, and offer suggestions on changing U.S. citizenship laws in the very limited context of FATCA harm. In hindsight, I now feel that I should have gone further in my recommendations for citizenship law changes.

—- When I receive the recommendations of strong FATCA supporter Elise Bean, a hearing witness, I will post.

Ongoing developments: Republicans Overseas has initiated an intensive lobbying campaign with Congress to kill citizenship-based taxation and replace with territorial taxation. There can be no promise of success, but these people are trying. I am not aware of similar efforts on the Democrat side.

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May 13, 2017 Canadian Federal Court FATCA IGA lawsuit update: Motion for Summary Trial now submitted

“…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…” June 2015 Pre-Election statement of Mr. Justin Trudeau (now Prime Minister of the Government we are suing) to a constituent

May 13 2017 Canadian FATCA Litigation Update:

SUMMARY TRIAL MOTION has now been submitted on Constitutional/Charter issues. We are finally moving closer to trial and our Vancouver litigators have now served and filed in Canada’s Federal Court a “Notice of Motion for Summary Trial”.

As detailed in this brief motion (see link) this is a pleading to the Federal Court of Canada for a summary judgement we are seeking on the Constitutional-Charter issues.

We argue in the motion that the Canadian legislation enabling the FATCA Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) violates Canada’s Constitution Act (by forfeiting Canada’s sovereignty and facilitating the extra-territorial enforcement of a foreign state’s taxation and tax compliance regime on Canadians) and Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms (Sections 7, 8, and 15).

There is this statement in the Motion:

“The contours of United States citizenship and the definition of US Person are matters of United States law and/or policy and are subject to be changed by the United States at any time.”

There is also this:

“It is a principle of international law that every sovereign state has the right to conduct its affairs without intervention by other states (the “Principle of Non-Intervention”). The Principle of Non-Intervention is at the core of the international legal order and is a corollary of every state’s right to sovereignty, territorial integrity and political Independence. The Principle of Non-Intervention is an element of the unwritten constitution.”

Will the Federal Court of Canada accept this Constitutional argument?

This motion is NOT the main, detailed legal submission (i.e., where all of the case law is discussed, etc.) which will be filed much closer to the hearing date (yet to be decided).

AFFIDAVITS. You will notice on pages 22-23 a long list of affidavit titles. Because of a technical issue related to the litigation, it is not possible to publish the text of these affidavits at the present time.

Some of the affidavits include those we previously submitted and those Government submitted – which we feel will help our case.

There are also expert reports from three witnesses (Ryan Liss, Roy Berg, Kevyn Nightingale) who were selected by our litigators to provide an expert opinion based on our litigators’ assessment of their expertise and experience.

In addition, there are affidavits listed from lay witnesses.

Our litigators made a strategic decision on the selection of specific lay witnesses for the trial from the larger group of volunteers. I thank the lay witnesses and all witness volunteers for their courage and commitment to push for return of Canada to Canadians.

LIKELY NEXT STEPS. On May 19, 2017 there will be a teleconference with Government, Case Management Judge, and our side to deal with the Government Motion to compel further documents from the three plaintiffs (we oppose the motion).

After the ruling, Examinations for Discovery of the three expert witnesses and the plaintiffs will be scheduled and conducted. Our lawyers will likewise examine the Attorney General’s witnesses. It is also possible that the Attorney General might examine our lay witnesses. We currently do not know if they will elect to do so.

Upon completion of the all examinations of the parties, and after filing all required submissions, we will await a trial date to be set by the court. Trial dates are dependent on the availability of Justices and court (backlog) schedules.

I know that the slow pace of our litigation is frustrating. Thank you for your continued support and kind thoughts.

Stephen Kish

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FEBRUARY 13 2017 UPDATE ON CANADIAN FATCA IGA LEGISLATION LAWSUIT IN CANADA FEDERAL COURT: Government response to request for details on FATCA accounts turned over to IRS and CRA

Still expecting that the Constitutional-Charter trial will take place in 2017. Date however, still uncertain and will depend on how Motions are decided by the Court.

— The Government lawyers have now asked the Court, by way of a formal motion, to compel the Plaintiffs to provide certain additional documents and our lawyers will be resisting the motion. Will keep you updated on how this is resolved.

— See the (amended) Claims of the Plaintiffs and the now published as affidavit last response of Government to the Claims.

Note the changes (underlined) from original response on page 137 (14) in which Government denies Constitutional violations and now argues that “To determine whether any Charter rights or constitutional principles, written or unwritten, have been infringed unjustifiably by such alleged enforcement requires a factual matrix where the US has actually attempted to recover, in Canada, taxes or charges against a particular individual residing in Canada.”

Note also that Government has now DELETED on page 139 (16) its previous statement: “Furthermore, the defendants deny that there exists a principle of fundamental justice that foreign tax debts are not enforceable in Canada.”

— See the many questions asked by Plaintiffs to Government detailing the type etc. of FATCA information provided by Canada to United States and by U.S. to Canada, response of Government, and Objections raised by Government to Plaintiffs’ question.

I was particularly interested in knowing details on the bank account information that flowed from Canadian accounts in U.S. to Canada as part of the so-called “reciprocal” FATCA agreement — a key justification, in addition to promise of economic sanction for non-compliance, for Canada to “agree” to the FATCA IGA.

Government response to the request for information on the reciprocal bank data are: “On the advice of counsel. I am unable to answer” with the attached objection: “The Defendants object to Q. #4 and refuse to answer it because doing so may require disclosing sensitive information or potentially injurious information as those terms are defined in s. 38 of the Canada Evidence Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-5.”

[Also, I wanted to know: "...how many of the persons associated with those accounts had already been reported by the United States to Canada for tax purposes...? See the answer in link to this question...]

Still seeking Exit tax witness. Supporter suggests (and I agree) that anyone who took measures to reduce asset worth to avoid exit tax would be considered…

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Seeking Canadian Witness for Canadian FATCA IGA Lawsuit Who Has Renounced and Paid U.S. “Exit Tax”

Are you a Canadian citizen and resident and have you renounced U.S. citizenship and have paid or are subject to the U.S. Exit Tax (IRS 877A)? [No, I do not mean the $2350 fee.]

If so, we ask you to consider being a Witness in our Canadian FATCA IGA lawsuit.

You might have renounced U.S, citizenship but own a now valuable house in Toronto/Vancouver/London etc. and have (because interest rates are now very low) a very valuable pension — and had to pay a U.S. exit tax.

Information on the exit tax and examples of the exit tax can be found at the citizenshipsolutions.ca site.

We are specifically seeking as a possible Witness in our Canadian FATCA IGA lawsuit a person who:

Has renounced and has paid an exit tax (the ideal witness);

– Has renounced and will be subject to exit tax;

– Is intending to renounce and know that they will have to pay exit tax; and

– Cannot afford to renounce because they have no way of paying the exit tax

Again, the person likely affected will be one who happens to own a now valuable home in Vancouver etc. that has appreciated markedly over the years and a company pension for which the cashed out value of the entire pension (NOT the monthly distribution) is sizable. Typically, only the pension company can accurately calculate the value of your pension.

The U.S. demands in the exit tax a percentage of your Canadian-made assets as punishment for renouncing.

If interested, email me at: Stephen.Kish.Chair@adcs-adsc.ca

Your name and situation will be made public in a submission to the Federal Court of Canada.

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December 22 2016 Update on Canadian FATCA IGA lawsuit — Moving closer to the Charter-Constitutional trial

This is a new update with some timelines from the Canadian Federal Court showing what has to be done before we know the Charter-Constitutional trial date (taking place next year). In part, there will be motions and responses related to differences of opinions as to what documents and information have to be provided prior to trial:

Order dated 22-DEC-2016 rendered by Roger Lafrenière, Esq., Prothonotary Matter considered with personal appearance

The Court’s decision is with regard to Case Management Conference [recently held by the parties to move the litigation forward]

Result:

Court Orders:

1. D [The Defendants --- Attorney General and Revenue Minister] are granted leave to s/f [serve/file] their motion in writing for production of documents and particulars.

2. P [The Plaintiffs --- Kazia, Ginny, and Gwen] shall s/f their responding motion record within 28 days from the date of service of the D motion referred to in paragraph 1 above

3. P are granted leave to bring their motion for summary trial [the Charter-Constitutional trial]. P are dispensed from s/f a motion record at this stage and shall instead s/f a notice of motion and contemporaneously serve their affidavit evidence [e.g. testimonies from our Witnesses and Expert Witnesses].

4. The timeline for the D to file a response to the P motion for summary trial is suspended until further order

5. Any further affs, docs, or particulars, and anything else req’d by any order resulting from the D’s motion referred to in para 1 above shall be produced by the Ps to the Ds within 30 days of such order

6. The parties shall make best efforts to schedule the Ds examinations for discovery of the Ps within 45 days of satisfaction of the requirements, if any, described in para 5 above

7. The parties shall requisition a CMC [Case Management Conference] as soon as possible following completion of the steps set out in para 5 and 6 above in order to, among other things: A) fix a timetable for completion of the steps leading to the hearing of the P motion for summary trial; and B) schedule the hearing of the P motion for summary trial.

Filed on 22-DEC-2016 copies sent to parties”

Sorry again for the slow pace.

Stephen Kish

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