Americans living in Switzerland seem to have been hit the hardest of any with reports of banks there closing accounts of US-born Swiss residents and even refusing to renew mortgages because of IRS efforts.
An Americans in Switzerland Letter has been sent to Congress. Will it make a difference? It doesn’t seem much will budge Congress or IRS, especially when you consider Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin said in July:
“You either get a Swiss bank account to conceal what you’re doing, or you believe the Swiss franc is stronger than the American dollar.”
Then, of course, Obama’s former press secretary Robert Gibbs said;
“I pick a bank because there’s an ATM near my home. Romney had a bank account in Switzerland.”
Well, guess what? People living in Switzerland get bank accounts with ATMs near their homes too. It’s not convenient to get on a plane, fly across the ocean, use an ATM in Washington (which IRS considers the official residence of Americans living outside US), take out US dollars, fly home to Switzerland and convert the money into Swiss francs to spend where you live.
And, Senator Durbin, there is a third reason for Swiss bank accounts. People living in Switzerland need them for normal everyday banking–like deposits of employment income, payment of bills and mortgages and saving for children’s education and retirement.
Those are also the reasons people living in Brazil, China, India, Mexico, Canada and elsewhere have bank accounts in the countries where they live (and where many of us are citizens).
Go after the real tax cheats. Certainly find out why Romney and others living in US have Swiss or Cayman Island accounts. Make them file FBARs. Leave the rest of us alone to pursue our normal, honest, law-abiding tax-paying lives in other countries.
Democratic Swissophobia is hurting “US persons” throughout the world. The witch hunt is causing Amerophobia around the globe. .
There have been very few comments from Jim Flaherty or the Canadian Government, in general, for many months regarding FATCA or the situation of so called USPs in Canada.
Mr Flaherty’s comments last Fall were quite strong. As you all likely know, he made it clear that FBAR penalties would not be collected in Canada and that Canada was not a tax haven. He seemed to be strongly backing USPs in Canada. His comments were very reassuring.
There have been some hints that an IGA ( Intergovernmental Agreement) over FATCA is being negotiated, but nothing concrete has been said, to my knowledge.
Often, the Canadian government gives in to the elephant next door. Just look at what has been done to satisfy the U. S.over border security issues. However, there have been other issues such as softwood lumber where Canada has stood its ground.
My question is- will the Harper government give in to the Americans or will it vigorously protect the rights of its citizens?
According to The Sun, IRS Targets Yanks In Canada.
I think this relates to the regs which were just released. Are these the ones Flaherty said he was “happy” with? I haven’t seen the regs yet, but I wanted to post this.
Despite the Sun headline, it is my understanding this does not just apply to Canada, but is, of course, worldwide.
Before anyone panics, remember, CRA will not collect any penalties for IRS for failure to file a report with IRS. CRA will not collect any tax liability on any Canadian citizen even if that person was also a US citizen at the same time.
Also remember what Steven Mopsick said. IRS is unlikely to pursue those of us who have been citizens elsewhere for years or decades. Michael J Miller said those of us who expatriated before 2004 were not required to advise DOS.
Calgary411 has posted a Moody’s Announcement at Brock. There is discussion going on there. Calgary’s conclusion is “Good luck roping more in.
For those of us who have been around, this is really nothing new. More scare tactics. It’s going to do exactly that for those who are first learning of it.
This is going to cause a stressful long weekend for a lot of people. If they find their way here, we need to reassure them. Don’t Wake The Sleeping Bear.