Category Archives: Canadian Information and Resources

Questions to Ask Cross-Border Lawyers and Accountants

Over at Brock, Wondering has put forward several excellent questions to ask cross-border lawyers or accountants before doing anything.

If you are a Canadian citizen considering engaging ANY cross-border lawyer or accountant, ask these questions at the initial conversation:

1) If I do not choose to comply with US extra-jurisdictional tax claims, what is the specific mechanism by which they will collect a tax claim from me using Canadian courts and laws? Can the US or any other foreign state garnishee my Canadian wages? Can they seize my Canadian bank accounts?

2) I understand that under the Canada–US Tax Treaty, Canada will not assist in collecting US taxes from any Canadian citizen, unless the tax claim proceeded their becoming a Canadian. How does this protection apply to my situation? Am I protected by this Treaty?

3) Do you know of any specific case where a Canadian court enforced a US personal tax claim or penalty against a Canadian citizen in Canada? When, where and who?

4) Do you know of any specific case where a Canadian citizen was detained the the US border because they had not filed US tax forms? When, where and who?

5) Are you prevented by any US law, professional certification, official registration or similar covenant with any US government agency from giving me full and frank advice?

I personally will not go anywhere near the cross-border folks. I already know the answers to most of the questions. My lawyer and my accountant agree with me that I have no obligation to do anything with the IRS.

If the cross-border specialist is honest, the answers should be:

1. There is no mechanism by which the IRS can collect tax claims in Canadian courts, The US cannot garnishee your Canadian income. The US cannot seize funds in your Canadian bank account.

2. If you are a Canadian citizen, CRA will not assist in collecting U.S. taxes–even if you are also an American citizen.

3. There is no known case of a Canadian court enforcing a U.S. tax or penalty against a Canadian citizen.

4. There are no reports of Canadian citizens being detained at the U.S. border because they had not filed U.S. tax forms.

5. Full and frank advice is greatly lacking from those in the cross-border compliance industry who are trying to suck Canadians in.

Don’t let IRS or the cross-border condors terrorize you. Know your rights before you do anything.

FATCA in Canada 2014: Year in Review

2014 was the year Canadians born in the United States became second class Canadian citizens. It was the year our own government betrayed our loyalty and violated our rights. It was the year discrimination based on a U.S. place of birth became mandatory.

It was the year we united to fight back. Here is the Year in Review.

JANUARY

IRS Taxpayer Advocate cites Maple Sandbox and Murray Rankin in her report to U.S. Congress.

NDP issues a news release Canadians Deserve Answers on FATCA. Murray Rankin says “Canada cannot accept an agreement that violates Canadians’ rights.’

From George in the UK, we learn of Paramount Allegiance-Predominant Claim and no requirement for a CLN on relinquishing.

John Richardson holds the first of his many information sessions on Solving the Problem of U.S. Citizenship.

FEBRUARY

On February 5, Canada Caves to FATCA.

The Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) is announced in a news release from Finance Minister Jim Flaherty and Revenue Minister Kerry-Lynne Finley.

Canadian Bankers Association issues a news release supporting the IGA.

Proposed legislation overriding all Canadian laws for FATCA violating Canadians’ rights is announced.

Canada Revenue Agency issues information on FATCA, including that financial institutions are not required to ask for place of birth.

Constitutional lawyer Joseph Arvay advises it is time for us to begin building our war chest. He suggests we first obtain a legal opinion.

John Richardson travels in winter weather to provide more information sessions. Here is a synopsis of one session in London Ontario.

Finance Canada (nearly invisibly) again asks for submissions from Canadians who will be impacted by FATCA.

The month closes out on February 28 with launching a fund raising drive at Maple Sandbox and Isaac Brock Society urging Canadians to stand up to the American bully by donating to the Charter Challenge Fund for a legal opinion.

MARCH

Six days after the fund raising campaign was launched, we achieve our goal and cease receiving donations.

Stephen Kish and Lynne Swanson retain Joseph Arvay for a legal opinion.

Allison Christians and Arthur Cockfield, John Richardson and Stephen Kish and B.C, Freedom of Information and Privacy Association make professional submissions to Finance Canada opposing FATCA and make then public,

Lynne Swanson submits an Access to Information request for copies of all of the submissions.

Jim Flaherty resigns as Finance Minister.

Joe Oliver becomes Finance Minister a day later.

John Richardson continues to travel.

March comes to a close with the Conservatives hiding the enabling legislation for the FATCA IGA in the budget bill C31.

APRIL

NDP, Liberal and Green Party MPs speak out against the FATCA IGA in the House of Commons.

Lynne Swanson and Schubert submit an amendment suggested by Anne Frank at Isaac Brock Society to opposition members of the Finance Committee that would exclude Canadian citizens and residents from FATCA reporting.

Jim Flaherty dies.

The legal opinion is received from Joseph Arvay on a Saturday afternoon.

On Sunday morning, Stephen Kish and Lynne Swanson announce they intend to commence litigation against the Government of Canada after the FATCA IGA legislation is enacted.

John Richardson is still on the move.

April closes out with the announcement of the establishment of Alliance for the Defence of Canadian Sovereignty. (ADCS)

MAY

Debate on citizenship based taxation is held at University of Toronto.

Finance Minister Joe Oliver and Conservative MP Gerald Keddy claim FATCA does not impact Canadian citizens.

Conservative Mike Allen says “Congress has spoken.”

Lynne Swanson asks if Finance Committee members or other MPs will receive copies of submissions made by Canadians. The answer is no.

Lynne Swanson asks Finance Canada for her March Access to Information requests to be provided to her before her testimony to Finance Committee. The request is denied.

Republicans Overseas announce they will launch a legal challenge to FATCA in the United States.

NDP and Liberal members of Finance Committee question the FATCA IGA, including whether it meets the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

NDP launches a Protect Canadians from FATCA petition.

Roy Berg testifies at Finance Committee and warns Committee members they will hear “jingoistic, hyperbolic rhetoric admonishing Finance for ceding Canadian power, ceding sovereignty and also encouraging Canada to stand up to FATCA.”

Allison Christians, Arthur Cockfield, John Richardson and Lynne Swanson testify in opposition to FATCA IGA enabling legislation. They do not disappoint Roy Berg.

Also testifying are the Privacy Commissioner and representatives of Canadian Bankers Association, Investment Funds Institute of Canada and others,

Canadians submit briefs to Finance Committee.

John Richardson journeys on.

May closes out with Finance Committee Conservative members voting against all amendments put forth by the NDP, Liberals and Green Party to uphold Canadian rights.

Here are clips of the Finance Committee events.

JUNE

Stephen Kish, John Richardson, Lynne Swanson and the Board of ADCS research and explore choices for legal counsel for our lawsuit.

ADCS launches a fundraising drive for the litigation.

Stephen Kish makes an appeal for money and for people to be plaintiffs in the lawsuit.

FATCA Warrior Don Whitley (Arrow) dies.

Many NDP, Liberal and Green MPs stand up and fight for us in the House of Commons.

Conservative MPs joke and laugh at the plight of Calgary411`s son and the rest of us in the House of Commons shortly before they vote for the FATCA enabling act.

BETRAYED! Cons pass FATCA law as part of C31. “Congress has spoken“ for Canada’s Parliament.

Three months after her ATI request, Lynne Swanson receives copies of submissions from Canadians to Finance Canada. These range from passionate one sentence submissions to comprehensive technical ones.

John Richardson is still on the go.

FATCA Act receives Royal Assent.

JULY

FATCA becomes effective on Canada Day.

The Maple Brock Sovereignty Alliance issues a Declaration of Independence on the Fourth of July.

ADCS and some Brockers and Sandboxers reach out to potential large donors and prominent Canadians affected by FATCA. The requests for help are ignored or declined.

It becomes apparent it will be Little People funding our legal challenge.

John Richardson is still on the road.

A Human Rights complaint is submitted to the United Nations. The complaint has 41 signers, representing the countries of Canada, Germany, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, Estonia, Switzerland and Belgium.

By the end of July, the first goal of $100,000 is met by donations from Canadians and friends around the world.

AUGUST

ADCS retains Joseph Arvay.

Joseph Arvay and David Gruber file the first lawsuit in the world challenging FATCA in Canadian Federal Court with plaintiffs Ginny Hillis and Gwen Deegan.

U.S. Department of State announces fee to renounce citizenship increasing from $450 to $2350.

Stephen Kish makes an appeal for witnesses.

John Richardson treks on.

SEPTEMBER

Stephen Kish continues to appeal for funds and witnesses.

Where in the world is John Richardson now?

OCTOBER

Joseph Arvay and David Gruber file an amended—and strengthened–Statement of Claim in Federal Court.

With donations from Canadians and friends around the world, ADCS reaches the goal of $100,000 ahead of the November 1 deadline. Stephen Kish quickly begins the fund raising drive for the next $100,000 due on February 1, 2015.

Despite CRA information that banks are not required to ask for place of birth, there are reports that some banks are asking about U.S. place of birth.

TD website identifies only a Certificate of Loss of Nationality as documentation that one is not a “U.S. person.”

John Richardson show is still on tour.

NOVEMBER

Muzzled No More receives confirmation that the United Nations received our complaint from July, but there is no indication that the Complaint has been read or considered for acceptance into the complaints process

Government of Canada files their Statement of Defence to our lawsuit.

Joseph Arvay and David Gruber reply to the Government Statement of Defence with three sentences.

Liberal MP Ted Hsu asks questions in an Order Paper about the IGA.

Fierce opponent to citizenship=based taxation Roger Conklin dies.

John Richardson is rolling on.

DECEMBER

Isaac Brock Society marks its third birthday.

TD declares itself as America’s Most Convenient Bank complete with image of two American flags proudly flying over a TD branch.

ADCS fund passes the halfway marks for both the $100,000 goal for February 1 and the $500,000 overall goal with over $50,000 raised for February and over $250,000 for the overall goal with donations from united Little People in Canada and around the world.

Republicans Overseas is still fundraising and has not yet launched any legal action in the U.S.

Despite numerous requests, American Citizens Abroad Global Foundation has not provided the video of the May CBT debate nearly seven months after the event.

Toronto Consulate is booking renunciation appointments for October, 2015.

Joe Oliver responds to letters sent to Jim Flaherty over a year earlier with Rah Rah Rahs for the IGA but no answers to the multitude of issues and questions sent.

John Richardson must be exhausted, but he journeys on.

Wondering outlines why the Canadian lawsuit is the one to support, including:. This is the only actual statement of claim against a FATCA IGA in the world. It has been duly filed in a Canadian Federal Court by expert counsel. It will advance.

Lynne Swanson dreams of a strong Canada just like the one we used to know.

WHAT’S NEXT?

2015 will be the fifth calendar year (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015) many of us have lived this nightmare. It will also be the year we should get our day in court. We can only do it with your help.

You are making a difference. Please continue to support the only lawsuit in the world challenging FATCA. Give us back the Canada we used to know.

Plaintiff Ginny says:

No doubt in my mind but 2015 will be a very interesting year.

Help Ginny and Gwen who are risking everything for us. Donate to ADCS now.

Happy New Year.

Here is What Canadians Said on FATCA IGA. The Cons Didn’t Listen.

Canadians told the government what they thought of FATCA. They told our government the emotional, financial, physical, mental, emotional, family, personal and human cost.

They told them the legal and political ramifications. They pleaded and they raged.  They sent short submissions and long ones.

They stood up for themselves and for Canada.

The Cons didn’t listen. In fact, they didn’t even receive the over 430 pages of submissions sent to Finance Canada.

In March, I made a request for those submissions to Finance Canada under Access to Information.

I asked if copies would be provided to MPs. The answer was no.

I asked what the purpose was of Finance asking for the submissions if our elected representatives would not see them before they voted. I did not receive a reply.

I asked for copies before my testimony at Finance Committee on May 13. That was denied.

I asked for copies before the MPs voted so I could forward it to them. That request was delayed.

I finally received over 400 pages of submissions almost three months after my request and on the very day (June 12) the House of Commons voted. I will let you decide for yourself if you think that delay was intentional or not. I know what I believe.

For privacy purposes, all names and identifying information were removed before sending it to me. The only names included were Allison Christians, Arthur Cockfield, John Richardson, Stephen Kish, Kim Moody, Roy Berg, Vincent Gogolek (Executive Director of B.C. Freedom of Information and Privacy Association) and Lynne Swanson.

The submissions all tell individual stories. Almost all are from long-time Canadian citizens–including some who have been Canadian citizens their entire lives. There are some duplicates in the submissions.

Most of the submissions are restrained considering what this has done to out honest, law-abiding lives as Canadians. One submission consisted of two sentences and may sum up what many of us feel:

“I am totally against this U.S. invasion of Canadians’ privacy. I can’t see it surviving a Charter challenge, so why not just tell the U.S. to shove it.”

Here are the submissions. Because the file was so large, Outraged had to break it into eight sections to post.

Access to Info – Section 1      Access to Info – Section 2     Access to Info – Section 3

Access to Info – Section 4      Access to Info – Section 5     Access to Info – Section 6

Access to Info – Section 7      Access to Info – Section 

 

 

 

 

Canadian FATCA IGA lawsuit: November 1, 2014 legal bill will be paid on time! / Poursuite canadienne contre la FATCA et le gouvernement canadien : nos frais légaux du 1er novembre 2014 seront payés à temps !

[We now have a new post taking us up to February 1, 2015. This post will be retired.]

THE AUTUMN 2014 UPDATE

Dear Donors,

Together, we reached our goal of $100,000 to pay the November 1 legal bill 11 days ahead of schedule!

Thank you Canadian donors from coast to coast and our friends from around the world for your generosity, support and determination — and especially for not being afraid.

The name of our non-profit corporation is the “Alliance for the Defence of Canadian Sovereignty.”

We were very deliberate in including in our name the word “sovereignty”, which forms a cornerstone of our Claims against the Government of Canada.

Canada and dozens of other countries throughout the world gave into a bully because their “leaders” were afraid of harm caused by a trading “partner” — and they gave their sovereignties away.

Help us convince by example the Leaders and Governments of all countries worldwide that they should return their sovereignties back to their Peoples.

Please continue to support our lawsuit.

“Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much.” (Helen Keller)

— Plaintiffs Ginny and Gwen, and the ADCS-ADSC team

Chers donateurs,

Ensemble, nous avons atteint notre but d’amasser 100 000 $ pour payer notre facture légale du 1er novembre 11 jours d’avance !

Un gros merci à vous, donateurs canadiens, et à nos amis de tous les coins du monde pour votre grande générosité, soutien et détermination. Et surtout pour votre courage.

Le nom de notre organisme sans but lucratif est « l’Alliance pour la défense de la souveraineté canadienne ».

Nous avons choisi délibérément le mot « souveraineté » puisqu’il constitue la base fondamentale de nos revendications envers le gouvernement du Canada.

Le Canada et des dizaines d’autres pays se sont pliés devant l’intimidation des États-Unis parce que leurs « leaders » ont eu peur des menaces de notre « partenaire » commercial. Ils ont donc vendu leur souveraineté à rabais.

Aidez-nous à convaincre les dirigeants et les gouvernements de tous ces pays qu’ils se doivent de remettre leur souveraineté à leurs peuples.

S’il vous plaît, continuez à soutenir notre cause.

« Seuls, nous pouvons faire si peu. Ensemble, nous pouvons faire beaucoup. » (Helen Keller)

— Ginny, Gwen et toute l’équipe de l’ADCS-ADSC

[There will be a new post to show our progress in making the $100,000 February 1, 2015 legal bill. The next three months takes us through the holidays gift-giving season.]

DONATE to www.adcs-adsc.ca (ADSC en français).

Lynne’s Opening Statement to the Finance Committee

Today, Lynne Swanson (Blaze) participated as part of a panel on the Finance Committee’s study of Part 5 of Bill C-31 – the Canada-United States Enhanced Tax Information Exchange Agreement Implementation Act (or, as I call it, the Canada-United States Abrogation of Canadian Rights Agreement’.

Essentially, Lynne was invited to speak about FATCA and the IGA. I, for one, admire her bravery and commitment to our shared cause and her willingness to appear before the committee and not only speak, but answer questions from the committee members.

She only had 5 minutes for her opening statement, and then was expected to answer questions from the members of the committee. At the time of this posting, I don’t have a full report on exactly what was said and asked. We will provide that as soon as we can.

What I do have is the speech Lynne prepared in advance. I most sincerely hope that her very eloquent statement fell on receptive ears.

Update: Watch Lynne’s opening statement on YouTube, thanks to the Isaac Brock Society. Again, thanks to IBS, watch the entire 2 hours of the meeting (Lynne at about 1:24)

LSwanson_2

I come before you as the voice of one million Canadians.

We are Canadians.  Many have been Canadian citizens for life or for decades. We chose Canada. We expect Canada to choose us and our rights over foreign bully demands.

“Why do our most heinous criminals have more Charter rights than I do,” asks a Nova Scotia police officer of 33 years. He was born in Maine almost six decades ago because his New Brunswick mother was sent there to give birth.

A Quebec woman who has been a Canadian citizen since birth says her ancestor who came to Canada in 1682 must be turning over in his grave at FATCA.

A widowed Grandma in Vancouver was told by US Consulate when she became a Canadian citizen in 1972 she was permanently and irrevocably relinquishing American citizenship. She insists, “My financial records are definitely none of the business of the IRS.”

An Ontario First Nations husband and father is horrified his Canadian government will help United States seize his family’s financial records because his Canadian wife was born there.

An Alberta woman reports her mother who upheld Canadian laws for many years as Justice of the Peace is now medically and physically too frail to deal with FATCA stresses.

They and one million other Canadians were betrayed by FATCA Intergovernmental Agreement. We were offended and insulted to hear Minister of State for Finance call us “American citizens abiding here in Canada” in the House of Commons.

If Canada mandated financial institutions to seek Canadians born in China, India, Iran or Eritrea for CRA to transmit private financial information to those nations, there would be outrage.

Canadians born in United States should have the same rights as all other Canadians.  Canada should strongly defend those rights and not sacrifice them to a foreign country.

Two prominent Canadians described FATCA well.  In 2011 and many times after that, Finance Minister the late Jim Flaherty said “FATCA has far-reaching extraterritorial implications. It would turn Canadian banks into extensions of the IRS and would raise significant privacy concerns for Canadians.” 

Terry Campbell, President of Canadian Bankers Association in 2012 called FATCA “the poster child for the problem of extra-territoriality…It threatens to erode Canadian sovereignty.”

Those statements hold true now. Under threat of economic sanctions and penalties, Canada surrendered its sovereignty to a foreign power with the IGA.

Canadians affected by FATCA were stunned last week when a member of this Committee said “Congress has spoken.” 

Canadians expect Parliament to speak for Canada. Canadians expect Parliament to uphold Canada’s laws, rights and constitution. Anything less is an affront and betrayal to Canada and to Canadians.

FATCA is complex. I give you a simple solution. I urge you to adopt an amendment to the Implementation Act:

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

I implore you. Do the right thing. Stand up for Canada and for all Canadians.