Tag Archives: citizenship

Invitation to participate in Carleton University study

A student at Carleton University has asked if we would allow him to use our blog to find volunteers for a study on the experiences of American/Canadian duals and former American/Canadian duals. Lynne and I have agreed to this, and we are very interested in the results. I’m not going to say much more, as the student, James Eastman-Timmons, will provide an introduction. I will say that I checked the Carleton U site and did some Googling, and did confirm that the professors who he listed as being on the ethics board who approved the project really are on the board, and that James has a profile on linkedin.
I hope many of us do take him up on this as, from my perspective, it’s an opportunity to help educate and inform a whole new set of people, who may, after this study comes out, join us in our fight.

US Citizenship & Young Adults: Navigating The Special Rules Imposed Upon US Citizens

“Life planning, career planning and the reality of U.S. citizenship for Americans abroad”
“Everything I wish I had known, but couldn’t even have imagined to ask!”
During the winter, John Richardson presented a number of seminars for those concerned with the obvious problems of U.S. citizenship (including the “threshold question” of whether you really are a U.S. citizen).
Seminar topics have invariably included the problems of: FBAR, FATCA, investing, retirement planning, mutual funds, U.S. tax compliance, renunciation, etc.The official “FATCA Launch” of July 1, 2014 will surely make the existing problems worse.
U.S. citizens living outside the United States are subject to a regime of rules that diminish their “life opportunities”. These rules are such that U.S. citizens abroad live at a disadvantage relative to the citizens of any other nation. Those attending previous seminars have been primarily “middle aged” people, who have attempted to plan for their retirement, only to find that their retirement plans are threatened, because of their birth in the United States.

A shared sentiment has been:
“If only, I had known about these rules earlier … This is information that my children and other young adults need to hear! What does all this mean for my children?”

Continue reading US Citizenship & Young Adults: Navigating The Special Rules Imposed Upon US Citizens

How Eritrea Does #CBT. No #FATCA #FBAR

eritrea flagIf the US really must do Citizenship Based Taxation, I have a recommendation.
Adopt the Eritrean model.  It would be far more efficient and effective.
One simple form. Two percent of income. Send the check.
This will save the IRS far more money than they currently raise through CBT and will significantly reduce costs.  One downside is it will put lots of IRS Agents, lawyers and accountants out of work.
My consultant fee for this advice to US Treasury:  A significant donation to our Canadian Legal Challenge of FATCA Fund.
Oh wait.  If they simplify CBT, they don’t need FATCA and we will not need to challenge the Canadian government. Unless, of course, FATCA is about something other than taxes.
Many thanks to Em for the great find of the Eritrean tax form.

NDP Charlie Angus: Citizenship is Sacred

Today, it was Charlie Angus of the NDP speaking out.
Here is a video of his comments in the House of Commons.

Canadians should look to Parliament to say citizenship is something that is sacred, that is something that the role of Parliament will stand up for…
They’ve just decided to slip in the bill that will make it possible and legal for US government to demand demand personal financial information of Canadians who have lived their lives their lives in this country, who pay taxes in this country, who have been excellent citizens of this country, all because they happen to have been born in the United States.

There’s much more. All worth listening to. I will post the actual text tomorrow after it is available through Hansard, along with anything else that was said in the House today.

Let's send Finance Canada OUR comments on the IGA

Below is a link to the Dept of Finance Canada site, with information about the IGA and how we CAN SEND IN OUR COMMENTS!
We need to JUMP on this and pepper them with letters and emails on how we feel about what they’ve done to us and our families. Note that the deadline is March 10th.
Email: IGA-AIG@fin.gc.ca
Snail Mail address:
Tax Policy Branch
Department of Finance
140 O’Connor Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0G5
“An Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) between the Government of Canada and the Government of the United States for the enhanced exchange of tax information under the Canada-United States Tax Convention was signed on February 5, 2014, in Ottawa.”
Comments on the legislative proposals can be submitted to the Department of Finance at IGA-AIG@fin.gc.ca or to the address below. The closing date for comments is March 10, 2014.”

Canadian Government Proposing Changes to Citizenship Act

According to several sources this morning, our government is going to be announcing changes to our citizenship act today. I think we will all be anxiously waiting to see how this affects us.
The Toronto Star: Conservatives set to announce ‘comprehensive’ changes to Citizenship Act
Macleans: Conservatives set to announce ‘comprehensive’ changes to Citizenship Act
CTV News: Tories to unveil ‘comprehensive’ changes to Citizenship Act
The Globe and Mail: Tories’ citizenship revamp to lengthen permanent residents’ waiting period
The Macleans Article:
Conservatives set to announce ‘comprehensive’ changes to Citizenship Act
“Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander will detail the changes at a Toronto news conference. The government is calling the overhaul the first comprehensive reform to the Citizenship Act in more than a generation. Alexander recently said the government planned to implement new rules that will ensure Canadian citizenship “has value.” Among the reported changes is one that would allow Ottawa to revoke the citizenship of dual nationals in “extreme cases,” such as in cases of treason or acts of terrorism.Alexander also suggested recently the government will try to give citizenship to those who have been wrongfully denied it in the past, such as the children of war brides.”
Don’t know about anyone else, but I am very afraid, considering how they caved so absolutely yesterday.

Have you just learned that the United States considers you a US person? (Updated February 6, 2014)

February 6, 2014 Update: Yesterday, Finance Canada announced an IGA with the United States that may change some of the information presented here.  We will update as more information becomes available and we better understand what it may mean.

Perhaps you’ve just read one of the sensationalist IRS-propaganda articles in the media that says every person born on US soil is a US citizen and must file income tax reports to the US, and are at risk for huge penalties. Perhaps you heard about this situation through another person who has a US connection. Either way, you’re probably confused about what this means and what you need to do about it.  Continue reading Have you just learned that the United States considers you a US person? (Updated February 6, 2014)

Cruzing in Reverse

Canadian immigration lawyers have said U.S. Ted Cruz should be able to renounce Canadian citizenship “lickety-split” if there are no security or mental health issues.
Cruzing Out of CanadaA letter/article from Lynne Swanson (aka Blaze) to Senator Cruz asks him what’s taking so long to shake his embarrassing Canadian citizenship.  Cruzing In Reverse also tells Senator Cruz how different the situation is for “accidental American” Canadians who simply (like him) want to shake free from their country of “technical” citizenship.
Continue reading Cruzing in Reverse

FATCA Protest at the Conservative Party Convention in Calgary

There are a few of us (yes, a very few, but I hope more will join us), who plan to protest against FATCA at the Conservative party convention in Calgary this week. I’ve NEVER done anything like this, ever, but I feel strongly enough about this to get out there. I’ll make some big posters and stand out in the cold hoping that someone actually notices us and pays attention. Although, even if they don’t, I’ll feel like I’ve done something positive and made a statement that I needed to make.
The convention runs from Thursday, Oct 31 to Saturday, Nov 2 at the BMO Centre. The address is 20 Roundup Way, Calgary, AB T2G 2W1
Calgary411 has been instrumental in setting this up, and I’m linking to the post and comments on Isaac Brock Society. BorninCanada will try to be there, as well.

Calgary protest to FATCA outside the Canadian Conservative Convention, Calgary, AB

Calgary411 is creating FATCA sheets to hand out.
She says, “My plan at this moment is:

Thursday, October 31: by 11:30 a.m. at spot suggested by Calgary Police Service, across the street from Victoria Park / Stampede LRT Station (west side of northbound Macleod Trail). Convention registration starts at noon.
Friday, November 1: arrive early enough to get a parking spot nearby and be on above spot sometime before 8:00 a.m. / tentatively going to one or more hotels to try to catch delegates to hand out information.
Saturday, November 2: arrive early enough to get a parking spot (should be easier than on Friday)and be on the above spot sometime before 8:00 a.m. — then play it by ear for Saturday afternoon.
I also made a trip past the recommended place for demonstrations for the Conservative Convention. This is a link for the LRT Station, Victoria Park/Stampede. http://www.lrtincalgary.ca/VictoriaPark.html. You can actually see the “grassy spot” recommended as the best place by Calgary Police Service. I will try to nab the southeast corner of the grassy spot as close as possible to the overpass over Macleod Trail (northbound), which is public property. The Stampede Grounds where BMO Centre is = private property — so we’re not allowed there.” Continue reading FATCA Protest at the Conservative Party Convention in Calgary

Who is a U. S. person ( or has U.S. indicia) according to the IRS

For U. S. tax filing purposes the following are consider U. S. persons 

A citizen of the U.S., including someone born in the U.S. but living in another country, who has not renounced or otherwise relinquished their U. S. citizenship.

A lawful resident of the U.S., including a U.S. green card holder

A person residing in the U. S.

Someone spending a specified amount of time in the U.S., potentially including “snowbirds” who spend winters in the Florida or other warm climes.

A green card holder who never formally handed in their green card upon leaving the U.S. (even though the green card in no longer valid for U. S. immigration purposes).

The child of a U. S. citizen provided a parent lived in the U. S. period for a specified time period (with some exceptions, see T Dott comment)

All of the above would be affected by FATCA. Financial Institutions will also look for indicia including:

A U. S. place of birth

A current U.S. residence or mailing address ( including a U.S. PO Box)

A current U.S. telephone number

Standing instructions to pay amounts from a foreign (meaning non U.S.) account to an account maintained in the United States

A current power of attorney or signatory authority granted to a person with a U.S. address
A U.S. “in-care-of” or “hold mail” address that is the sole address with respect to the account holder
Special note

Others affected by FATCA include any non U.S. person who shares a joint account with a U.S. person or otherwise allows a U.S. person to have signatory authority on the account.

Any business or not for profit organization that allows a U.S. person to have signatory authority on a financial account.