Canadian Info & Resources Posts: Access to Basic Banking Services in Canada Links: Canadian Bankers Association Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms Access to Personal Information Form
37 thoughts on “Canadian Info & Resources”
Along with several folks from IBS, I have just pulled together a one-page letter that I plan to snail or email (along with a FATCA Fact Sheet) to as many US-Born Canadians as I can locate (we already have a number of addresses, more need to be found – – I’m working on that).
Would you be interested in seeing the letter? I would be happy to have it posted if anyone else wants to use it (or use it as a format) for direct-mailing advertising on the FATCA issue. Please advise whether interested and how to do this. Thanks
Hi LM, sure, you can email it to me at outragedca at hotmail.com
thanks for the sharing!
The Word document is available, as well as a PDF copy on the page called FATCA Handouts.
@LM: Outraged can post the letter when it is finalized. However, there is a bit of information in there which is not quite accurate. I will contact you regarding this through Outraged.
I’ve been looking for persons who have renounced citizenship in the Vancouver and area but with no luck finding anyone. And looking for a legal service that I need to ask about 5 questions on the form one needs to make an appt to renounce. It would take 5 minutes.
Anyone can give me any information on both or either I’d greatly appreciate it.
Hi Divine Traveller,
There’s about 25 pages of Vancouverites’ reports on their experiences in the Vancouver section of in the Consulate Report Directory. http://isaacbrocksociety.ca/consulate2/
As you’ll see, Vancouver used to be a real pain. However, they revised their procedure about six months ago and it seems to be going quite well there since then.
When you e-mail Vancouver, they’ll reply with an e-mail letting you know the specific forms and documents required and their specific booking procedure. (Much of this is pretty standard, but a few things vary from place to place.)
As for questions you have, this is a great place to ask them. They’re likely questions others have dealt with and people who’ve done this already are most happy to help.
I feel like I am being held hostage by the Big Bully USA. I thought my US citizenship was gone once I became a Canadian. now I am spending a small fortune doing US back taxes. Can’t the Canadian government protect itself from bullies ?
@Michael: Welcome to Sandbox.
The Canadian government could and should protect itself and its citizens from a foreign bully. The Harper government is choosing not to and is calling us “Americans abiding here in Canada” in the House of Commons. One also announced at Finance Committee that US Treasury has told our elected officials “Congress has spoken.”
In your own situation, when did you become a Canadian citizen? If it was pre-2004, you may have no obligation to file back tax returns.
@Michael, CAN Canada protect herself from bullies? Absolutely. Canada has stood up to bullies in the past. However, this particular Canadian government seems intent on ceding it’s powers to a foreign government. All the work over the years to become a voice for human rights, all the years to ensure Canada is seen as an independent nation, not a US territory, is close to going down the tubes due to the cowardice of politicians who are submitting to financial blackmail as the easy way out. If I sound a little bitter, it’s because I am. While I am committed to this fight, it outrages me that it’s necessary.
Hello, I’m new to this. Found out I may have a problem when traveling through USA last year. They asked where my American Passport was. I don’t have one. So here is my situation wondering if anyone is in this boat. I moved to Canada in 1965 when I was 5 years old, when I was 12 the whole family took out Canadian citizenship. I have only visited the US about 6 times since to see relatives. I thought the US government should give me a CLN for the date I became Canadian. When I enquired at the consulate in Calgary, they said since I became a Canadian before I was 18 they would not consider that as an expatiating act. I do not have a social security number or anything else that attaches me to the US except a birth certificate. If what they are saying is true I would have to denounce and go through the whole tax nightmare. I’m in the planning for retirement stage and not wanting to enter the how do deal with the IRS stage of life. Ive spent 50 years thinking I was just Canadian. Has anyone else had this situation? Any suggestions?
Smoo: Yes, the fact you were a minor when you became a Canadian citizen does mean the US may deny you a CLN from the date you became a Canadian citizen.
Outraged is in a similar situation to you, but she was 16 and made a decision independent of her family to become a Canadian citizen. She has not yet applied for her CLN, so we don’t know what the decsion will be.
Also, under American law at the time you reached adulthood, there was a requirement for you to actually claim US citizenship by a certain age. I don’t know the specifics of that, so I hope Outraged, Pacifica or someone else may be able to respond to that.
Have you ever worked for federal, provincial or municipal governments in Canada since you became an adult? That may help.
Thanks for the reply. No I have never worked for any goverment.
@Smoo: I moved your posts over to the Relinquish and Renounce thread where I hope they will get more attention and suggestions.
What is the significance of 2004?
I was born in the US to Canadian parents and came to Canada as an infant.
Heather, Go here:http://isaacbrocksociety.ca/2011/12/12/relinquish-dont-renounce-if-you-can/
You will see that there are 7 ways to lose US citizenship. Most don’t help you. For those who are lucky enough to have performed an ‘expatriating act’ before 2004 there is a general consensus that filing tax returns or FBARs is not required even tho one would be told by the consular officials, when obtaining a CLN, that they are supposed to ‘contact’ the IRS.
More detail here:
@Heather if you’re still watching this thread, and further to Duke of Devon’s comment:
Sadly, if you were born a dual citizen, the only way you likely could claim a pre-2004 relinquishment would be if before 2004 (but while over the age of 18) you swore a formal oath of allegiance to Canada (the second point of the seven in the list) or (fourth item in the list) if you worked in ANY capacity as an employee of the Government of Canada, the government of one of the provinces, or arguably (this isn’t clear to me) a Canadian municipal government (issue is whether a municipality is a “subsidiary government” of Canada or of the province instead, if it’s a subsidiary government of Canada — as a province is — then municipal employment is a relinquishing act, otherwise maybe no). Or if you served in Canadian Forces as a commissioned or non-commissioned officer.
In order to get a CLN (see below) based on any of the above, you would have to complete and (before a US consular officer) swear to State Department form 4079 (which is designed to establish whether after committing your expatriating act you did anything that could contradict or refute your claim to having intended to lose US citizenship).
You can always renounce your US citizenship, but that doesn’t get you off the IRS filing requirements and possible exit tax (since your renunciation would be in 2014 or later, depending on the wait lists). Relinquishment before 2004 does get you off the IRS filing issues, as far as I know.
I’m not a lawyer and this isn’t legal advice, though.
Arguably the best hope for avoiding FATCA reporting of your financial information is if Ginny and Gwen (whose history matches yours) win their court case against the Canadian government’s signing of the intergovernmental agreement with the US re FATCA. Please read the threads relating to the ADCS legal challenge and consider contributing to the fund established to help pay the legal costs of this action.
However if you get a Certificate of Loss of Nationality of the United States (aka CLN) due to a relinquishment or renunciation, your financial information is not reportable under FATCA. Whether you’d be able to get a CLN, even through a renunciation, before your bank figures out you were born in the US (if they can find that out) and has to report your information, is an open question at this point, given the time delays being experienced in getting CLNs now and given the banks have to start reporting next summer (I think) if not sooner. The court case might be a better bet, or not, depending on how long that will take (probably longer than it will take to get a CLN if you started that process asap).
Best of luck. Cases of duals-at-birth who haven’t lived in the US or considered themselves to be or acted as US citizens in adulthood are IMO the most outrageous and saddest cases in this whole mess; you have my sympathy for all the good it will do you.
I was just requested by TD Waterhouse to sign their IRS Waiver, which I refused. Doing so would acknowledge that I was a US person in the eyes of the IRS?
Bio; born 1946 in US to US parents, moved to Canada in 1955-56.
became a Canadian citizen in 1968. Have no known US interests, ie stocks, US banks etc. Travel to US for short periods once a year.
Trying to sort out my options. Over the last week I have read a lot of articles. It seems that since I was pre 1986 I should relinquish US citizenship or do I need to? – Gary
Do you travel on your Canadian passport, Gary? i.e., you haven’t done anything “US” since you became a Canadian citizen in 1968? If so, you should be able to claim that as a relinquishment if you intended to do so. You likely, as so many others of those times, knew nothing of a CLN requirement.
It is debatable whether or not you need to do that. You may be able to prove your relinquishment of US citizenship to your local Canadian “foreign financial institution”. It may be more than likely a problem for you at some future point, though, to continue to cross the border without a CLN when your Canadian passport shows you were born in the USA.
I have done nothing American. I travel with my Canadian passport. I have my Certificate of Canadian Citizenship which has no info on denouncing my prior citizenship. I will apply for the other records. Gary
Gary1968 Welcome to Sandbox.
You seem to have a clear cut case for applying for a CLN based on a pre-1986 relinquishment when you became a Canadian citizen and you were not a minor.
Under FATCA regulations and the IGA, you should be able to provide TD Waterhouse with proof of your Canadian citizenship and a reasonable explanation of why you do not have a CLN. However, over at Brock, there is a report that TD will only accept CLNs.
Because you became a Canadian citizen prior to 1973, your Canadian citizenship oath required you to renounce other citizenship. You can obtain a copy of this from your Canadian citizenship file. It has been stored on microfiche, so it is difficult to read but it should be legible.
I got my copy about two or three weeks after I applied almost three years ago. I think it is now taking about one month.
I am aware of a man in B.C. who obtained his this summer and CIBC accepted it as evidence he is not a “U.S. person.”
I have no idea if TD will be as reasonable, but I do not understand how any Canadian financial institution can refuse to accept a document signed and witnessed by a Canadian citizenship official as evidence you renounced your U.S. citizenship.
The cost is $5. Here is how to apply:
I am curious, How does TD Waterhouse know you were born in the United States?
Thank you for your quick reply. Recently I applied for a trading account. They asked for proof of whom I was. Mistakenly I gave them my passport as ID. They asked for me to sign their IRS waiver. I refused to sign and cancelled my application. Gary
Gary, unless you did something in the meantime like obtain a US passport or vote, you are no longer American. You relinquished in 1968. At that time the US frowned on duals and should have denied you a passport if you had asked for one. At that time, there was no obligation to obtain a CLN.
You can either make an appointment , document your relinquishment and wait a year or more for a CLN. You have no need to file anything with the IRS. Or you can tell TD Waterhouse why you are not a US person. They are supposed to accept a CLN or a reasonable explanation as to why you don’t have one.
As Lynne mentions, with a 1968 Canadian citizenship you had to swear an oath of renunciation of your previous nationality before swearing your loyalty to the Queen. That oath is almost certainly on Gary’s citizenship file, which as Lynne mentions he can get a copy for $5 and maybe a wait of a month or two.
Given there was not at that time any obligation to obtain a CLN and given he swore that oath in 1968 and gets a copy, that copy and the previous info should IMO be a reasonable explanation as to why he doesn’t have a CLN. He didn’t know back then he needed one, in fact didn’t need one, cut his US citizenship more than 40 years ago, so why should he have to apply to State Department for a piece of paper that could take more than a year to get, when he already has a renunciation oath from 1968? State and Border Patrol might or might not accept that, but as Lynne says it’s hard to see how a Canadian FI can’t accept it. Sign the self-certification form, attach a photocopy of the copy of the oath of renunciation from 1968, and don’t accept “no” for an answer from them.
@Gary That was a wise move to cancel the application with TD Waterhouse.
I hope you may be willing to keep us informed about what you decide to do about formalizing or not formalizing your relinquishment from 46 years ago.
Also, I hope you will be willing to help us fight FATCA by donating to our legal challenge fund at Alliance for the Defence of Canadian Sovereignty http://adcs-adsc.ca/
Will keep you informed. Will be making donation next month. I just sent in my request re oath. We will see how long it takes. It sounds like it should be fairly quick. I have a plan now. Gary
1. If one has renounced their U.S. citizenhip but has not received their final papers, can they change their mind about renouncing?
2. Alternatively, if one gave up their U.S. citizenship on January 15, 2015, but doesn’t have their final papers, can they still proceed with doing their taxes from January 1 – January 15? Or, do they have to wait for the end of of 2015 and do taxes for the whole year?
Jim: That’s a new one! Can someone change their mind about renouncing after renouncing?
I don’t know the answer but my gut feeling would be no. I would think once one takes the oath,it is final. I think that is why some Consulates required two appointments before a person could take the renunciation oath.
However, that is simply my feeling. I have no idea what the accurate answer is. I hope someone else may be able to answer that question.
I also hope someone else can answer the question about whether you can file now for the period January 1-15 rather than waiting until the end of the year. Again, I do not know the answer.
You can’t file until the 2015 tax forms are available, which is usually around the end of the year. The regular 2015 forms are due to be filed by June 15, 2016. Also, for a 2015 renunciant, the 8854 exit tax form is due to be filed by June 15, 2016.
Re: “If one has renounced their U.S. citizenship but has not received their final papers, can they change their mind about renouncing?”
This hasn’t come up here before, so I haven’t heard of anyone doing it or attempting to do it. I have the same gut feeling as Lynne has in her above comment.
I found this on the State Dept’s website:
“G. IRREVOCABILITY OF RENUNCIATION
Finally, those contemplating a renunciation of U.S. citizenship should understand that the act is irrevocable, except as provided in section 351 of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1483), and cannot be canceled or set aside absent successful administrative or judicial appeal. (Section 351(b) of the INA provides that an applicant who renounced his or her U.S. citizenship before the age of eighteen can have that citizenship reinstated if he or she makes that desire known to the Department of State within six months after attaining the age of eighteen. See also Title 22, Code of Federal Regulations, section 50.20).”
A source for more detailed information are the Dept of State Foreign Affairs Manuals on Loss and Restoration of US Citizen. If an exception is possible, that would be a good place to look to look for it. http://www.state.gov/m/a/dir/regs/fam/07fam/c22713.htm
I have researched deeply to find the exact wording of the old oath prior to the federal court case of 3 April, 1973, Ulin v. The Queen, 35 d.l.r. 738. This particular case led to an amendment to the oath, effective 30 April 1973, to remove the declaration of renunciation. I have not be able to find an official copy of the old oath.
I have read that the old oath was as follows:
I hereby renounce all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign sovereign or state of whom or which I may at this time be a subject or citizen.
I swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth the Second, her Heirs and Successors, according to law, and that I will faithfully observe the laws of Canada and fulfil my duties as a Canadian citizen.
So help me God.
I would be grateful if someone can confirm and/or post the old oath. It appears that anybody abiding by this oath can make the case that they expatriated at that point in time. There are indications that the Department of State from 1988 to 1992, took the view that individuals abiding by the old oath to naturalise to become a Canadian, had expatriated herself or himself.
@ John Silver,
Of the pre-1973 people I know, DoS has been issuing the CLNs for persons who acquired citizenship here prior to 1973 under s. 349(a)(1) (naturalisation), same as with the persons who naturalised after 1973. I think DoS doesn’t consider it to be a renunciation per Immigration and Nationality Act, s. 349(a)(5), because s. 349(a)(5) specifies renunciation to be:
“making a formal renunciation of nationality before a diplomatic or consular officer of the United States in a foreign state, in such form as may be prescribed by the Secretary of State.”
7 FAM 1222(d):
“By way of clarification, though all losses of citizenship under INA 349 involve relinquishment of citizenship, for purposes of this FAM chapter, “renunciation” refers to the expatriating act under INA 349(a)(5) of taking a formal oath of renunciation of citizenship in accordance with law and prescribed procedures, whereas “relinquishment” refers to the expatriating acts specified under INA 349(a) (1), (2), (3), or (4) voluntarily taken with the intent to relinquish citizenship. . . .“
It sure doesn’t hurt to have a renunciation oath in your citizenship oath – to my way of thinking, it would be an indicator toward intent, that the person really believed they were relinquishing at the time the act took place — but when it comes to intent, the person’s actions (and non-actions (not acting like a US citizen after performing the potentially relinquishing act)) is what really carries weight with DoS.
7 FAM 1225.2(b)(3)
“The Supreme Court has rejected the argument that acts such as a foreign oath renouncing all other nationalities are so inconsistent with retention of citizenship that they bespeak intent to lose nationality. The Supreme Court jurisprudence makes clear that there is no such thing as a ‘presumption of relinquishment.’ “
As for the oath to the Queen, which occurred and occurs both pre- and post-1973, it would appear it could fall under s. 349(a)(2) (oath to a foreign state). But despite that, the CLNs get issued as s. 349(a)(1) (naturalisation) as when the oath occurs with another potentially relinquishing act, the oath is considered auxiliary to the other act.
7 FAM 1252(d):
“An oath of allegiance to a foreign state is often taken in connection with naturalization, service in the armed forces of a foreign state, or some other act that is also, in itself, potentially expatriating. A finding of loss of nationality, if made, generally results from the principal act, for example, military service, rather than the oath.”
Re: “I would be grateful if someone can confirm and/or post the old oath.”
I can’t really help with this. I got my CLN a few years ago and now I can’t remember where I found the oath. But, FWIW I just took a look at my 4079 – apparently I couldn’t remember where I found it then, either – turns out I wrote:
Q. “(9)(a) If you checked YES to question 8 or 9 or both, what was the nature of the oath you took? What were the words used? If you have a copy of the oath please attach it.”
A. “I don’t remember the exact words, but, through an internet search, I found that the following was the oath used in 1978, ‘I swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, the Second, Queen of Canada, Her Heirs and Successors, and that I will faithfully observe the laws of Canada.'”
Re: “There are indications that the Department of State from 1988 to 1992, took the view that individuals abiding by the old oath to naturalise to become a Canadian, had expatriated herself or himself.”
In 1990, DoS reversed its administrative presumption on loss of citizenship due to several Supreme Court decisions. Prior to then, with potentially relinquishing acts, the presumption was that the person intended to relinquish citizenship, and since then the presumptoin is that the person intended to retain it. Both before and after, it was a rebuttable presumption. Today, they seem to be using the current presumption even for old relinquishments, but it’s easy to rebut, on the DS-4079, if the person has had no US citizen-type behaviour since the date of the relinquishing act. If it’s clear cut, the 4079, which is sent to the consulate in advance, speaks for itself and the face time at the consulate meeting consists of about 10 minutes, mainly signing papers.
Immigration and Nationality Act
7 FAM 1220 Developing a Loss of Nationality Case, Foreign Affairs Manual, Department of State
7 FAM 1250 Naturalization and Oath of Allegiance to a Foreign State, Foreign Affairs Manual, Department of State
DS-4079 Loss of Citizenship questionnaire, Department of State
@John Silver: The words you posted are the exact words from my renunciation and Canadian citizenship on April 27, 1973. just below the English words is the same renunciation and oath in French.
Do you know you can get a copy of your signed records and anything else in your citizenship file by submitting an Access to Information request to the Ministyr of Citizenship and Immigration?
Mine took under three weeks to arrive in 2012 but it may be longer now. It is difficult to decipher because it was stored on microfiche, but it is legible.
I don’t see how any Canadian bank can refuse to accept that as proof of renunciation. I know of someone in BC who gave his to CIBC. It was accepted. TD’s website says they will only accept a CLN-no reference to a “reasonable explanation” of why someone does not have one.
So I closed my 32 year account with TD Canada Trust and moved to a local credit union that made it clear they have no interest in knowing where I was born.
Here is how to submit a request for information from your citizenship file. It is faster if you apply online and ask them to e-mail the file.
CIC website now says:
CIC is receiving more requests than usual and is working to respond to them as quickly as possible.
@ Lynne and John,
Don’t blame you for taking your business away from TD if they have that attitude (I’m a credit union member too – way to go! 🙂 ).
I agree with you that this person should be fine in Canada without a CLN.
Lack of a CLN seems to be more problematic in other countries, Switzerland for example, from what I’ve been reading and hearing. It hasn’t been coming up much here at all (hope it stays that way!)
I can only think of one case here where a relinquisher was told by their bank that they were a “US person” because he didn’t have a CLN, and he was able to get it straightened out with evidence of his relinquishing act (s.349(a)( 4)), and printouts of s. 349(a) and the CRA guidance on pre-2004 relinquishers.
Also, while DoS is picky about the meaning of the word “renounce” (has to be the formal procedure for them), I think FWIW, it’s likely that a bank would take the “I hereby renounce . . .” sentence of the oath at face value. (And even if for some reason the bank were to get picky about it, the person could use the same evidence (along with a printout of s. 349) to demonstrate to them that he relinquished by naturalisation as he’s pre 4 Jun 2004.)
Canada FATCA IGA, Annex I, B.(4)(a)(3) – page 21-22
“A copy of the Account Holder’s Certificate of Loss of Nationality of the United States or a reasonable explanation thereof:
(a) The reason the Account Holder does not have such a certificate despite relinquishing U.S. citizenship …”
CRA Guidance on enhanced financial accounts information reporting – s. 8.28 (excerpt on reasonable explanation and pre-4Jun2004 relinquishers) http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/nnrsdnts/nhncdrprtng/gdnc-eng.html#Toc390079633
“The CRA’s views of what may be accepted as a reasonable explanation for not having a CLN despite relinquishing U.S. citizenship for purposes of Part XVIII and the Agreement are informed by certain practical realities and how changes in law over time would have influenced reasonable courses of actions taken by individuals. Generally, it is the CRA’s view that an explanation demonstrating a relinquishment of U.S. citizenship (other than by a renunciation before a U.S. consular or diplomatic official) before June 4, 2004, and in accordance with the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act (Title 8 of the U.S. Code) as it existed at the time of relinquishment, is sufficient to demonstrate a reasonable explanation as to why an account holder does not have a CLN. Financial institutions are not expected to be experts in U.S. nationality law; any such explanation accepted by a financial institution is accepted for the purposes of Part XVIII and the Agreement only and is not finally determinative of tax or nationality status.”
Ran into the US Indica this morning in the process of wanting to open an account at a local credit union. (Note – – – LOCAL CREDIT UNION) where I was going to be asked to sign this form. Was told it was some kind of reciprocal agreement between our Federal idiots and the government of the USA (likely read the IRS). Took all the documents that were presented to their shredder and don’t think that I will be able to open an account with an institution that is preemptively already reporting to the IRS on a solely Canadian citizen. Any idea on what can be done besides ‘suck it up buttercup!’?
Just want to make sure I am understanding correctly.
You are a Canadian citizen only? No US “taint?”
Whether or not you are Canadian only or Canadian with US taint, you can try a credit union like Vancity, if you are in BC. Vancity states its FATCA policy quite clearly:
“By registering as a Local Client Base financial institution, we believe we have significantly reduced the impact of FATCA on the majority of our members. As a result of our Local Client Base classification, Vancity only needs to collect FATCA information and report on member accounts held by non-Canadian residents.”
When it comes to FATCA, not all credit unions have the same approach. At one like Vancity at least you won’t be asked about US Indicia so long as you reside in Canada. Read more here:
It would be nice if all local credit unions took advantage of the “Local Client Base” status but it seems they don’t, for whatever reason.