Tag Archives: IGA

Ginny Writes to London Mayor Boris Johnson. Help Stop FATCA with ADCS.

November 22, 2014
Boris Johnson
Mayor of London
Greater London Authority
City Hall
The Queen’s Walk
London SE1 2AA
Dear Mr. Johnson:
RE: IRS
Yes, Boris Johnson I know just how you feel.
But the article is incorrect about the amount for the cut off and you would owe a lot more than just the capital gains on your house. Fines and exit fees could amount to hefty penalties for failure to file income reports when you, like a lot of of us, didn’t know about these until recently. Because the IRS never informed anyone or published their regulations in any way that the public would see.
The USA is the only country in the WORLD that taxes by citizenship, rather than residence. They need $$$ to fund their deficit and they are now going after every person in every country that they consider American. Like you, many people who lived in the USA for a few years or more who had no choice where they were born, never have considered themselves US citizens. You are a British citizen clearly. You have no ties to the USA. I know that feeling too.
However, to date there are only two people in the world, my co- plaintiff and I who are taking on this issue (in our true home country Canada, as full Canadian citizens, in our courts) because Canada entered into an agreement with the USA which turns over our banking information via our CRA. Just as the UK has done by entering into a similar intergovernmental agreement. As you are now finding out. I am not saying that to toot my own horn. I am saying it so that you might consider another option.
You might consider launching your own legal protest in the UK on behalf of people there like you, that the USA deems to be tax invaders. I bet that might be an interesting political launching pad for you, considering the USA went to war with the UK over off shore taxing in the first place. As in the ‘real’ Tea Party Revolution. I assume you well know your history? And that you see the irony?
And you have political cache that I don’t.
It’s not easy and it sure is expensive. But principles and access to justice are very important things to stand up for, in my opinion. Your mentor, Mr. Churchill would no doubt be proud of you if you did.
All the best, Boris.
Ginny Hillis,
Windsor Ontario, Canada
[Plaintiff in Canadian FATCA IGA lawsuit against Government of Canada]

Concern from a Wild Rose Constituent re: FATCA/IGA

Today I emailed the following letter to my MP – Blake Richards Member of Parliament (Wild Rose Alberta).
Dear Mr. Richards
In the past month I have done two things you should know about, as my elected Member of Parliament:
1. I donated money to help fund a lawsuit against my own government to protect my rights as a Canadian citizen.
2. I vowed never to vote Conservative again.
As my elected official you should know that I believe that my government has taken the easy way out by placating the United States, and the big banks, rather than standing up for individual Canadian rights. And the consequence of that is the loss of my vote, and something I would never have thought feasible – my donation to a lawsuit to challenge my own government.
As a member of the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security, you should know that millions of Canadian citizens are now at risk for identity theft. As of July 1st, Canadian banks are forced to send the private information on ‘suspected US persons’ bank accounts, and those of their spouses and business partners, to the CRA. That information will then be sent on to the IRS, which has been repeatedly in the news about security breaches.
Are you not at all concerned that a foreign government will have the personal information on millions of Canadians?
Are you not at all concerned that millions of Canadians are at risk to have large financial penalties imposed by a foreign government?
Are you not at all concerned that millions of Canadian will have to take the onerous steps to relinquish or renounce US citizenship, creating a drain on finances, as well as health?
Are you not at all concerned that respected and renowned Canadian lawyers believe that the FATCA IGA is in violation of Section 15 of our Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms?
Mr. Richards, I am writing to you, not only to express my concerns, but to give you an opportunity to tell me what you are doing to protect the rights of Canadians in your constituency from a foreign government. If you want a chance to win back a voter, this is the time – tell me how you will protect Canadians like me – law abiding, tax paying Canadians – from the might of the United States government who are enforcing their laws in my country.
Regards,
Outraged Canadian

Legality of US IGA's Analyzed – and Debunked

It’s well worth reading some of the more recent posts and articles, to keep an eye on what is happening in the US regarding FATCA – as we’ve learned to our dismay, that what happens down there will ultimately affect what happens up here.
Forbes has published a piece by James George Jatras, in which he says.
“The trouble is, FATCA doesn’t authorize Treasury to make these agreements with foreign governments, nor are IGAs treaties that will be submitted to the Senate for advice and consent.”

Forbes: Unauthorized FATCA ‘Intergovernmental Agreements’ Are Part Of Obama’s Executive Overreach

Jack Townsend, on his blog ‘Federal Tax Crimes’, posted the letter responding to a US congressman question on whether the IRS/Treasury Dept can legally enter into these agreements with other countries.
http://federaltaxcrimes.blogspot.ca/2014/07/irs-letter-to-congressman-defending-its.html
And, finally, Allison Christian’s post analyzing the legality:
http://taxpol.blogspot.com.au/2014/07/irs-claims-statutory-authority-for.html
Although Ms. Christian’s post is speaking to the legality, it’s very readable and should make the signer of that letter, Alastair M. Fitzpayne. hang his head in shame for not undertaking the proper legal research. (That’s the charitable version, others think it was simply an out and out lie).
She says,
“Instead of citing non-existent statutory authority that is easily refuted by simple reading, Treasury should own what it is doing outright.”
Every day I am thankful we have such prominent, knowledgeable and well respected people shining the spotlight on FATCA and the IGAs.
 

Patrick Cain Article "Appalled, incredulous and angry"

On the Global Calgary website, I ran across a new article by Patrick Cain, called  ‘Appalled, incredulous and angry’: Canadians slam law giving IRS personal info
“More than 100 people wrote to the federal Finance Department in February and March slamming a new Canadian law that would require banks to give the IRS  financial information of clients with apparent U.S. citizenship.
They got no response from Ottawa.”

‘Appalled, incredulous and angry’: Canadians slam law giving IRS personal info


He mentions several letters, as well as the detailed analysis by Allison Christians and Arthur Cockfield.
Let’s hope this is just the first of many such articles laying out the truth of what the Conservatives have done.
(Do I detect an undertone of outrage and sympathy?  Or is it just wishful thinking on my part?)

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 
 

 
 

 

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.

House of Commons #FATCA Panel To Watch!

Woo Hoo. This will be the FATCA panel to watch Wednesday May 12 from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m.
John Richardson, a Vice-President of CBA and the Privacy Commissioner will all be on the same House of Commons panel on FATCA.  Intriguing.
Thanks to Noble Dreamer for posting this at Brock.
Update: Thanks to the Isaac Brock Society, video of the session is available on YouTube.

Will Canada's Privacy Commissioner Finally Speak on #FATCA?

Why has Canada’s Privacy Commissioner been quiet on #FATCA since the IGA was signed?
Her office has ignored four e-mails I sent.  Is she about to break her silence?
Chantal Bernier is scheduled to testify before Senate on Tuesday May 13 at 9:30 am.  I’m not available then. Can anyone record it and post it here?  (There always seems to be a problem with the video from Senate hearings afterwards that we don’t have with House of Commons meetings).
Thanks Tim for alerting me to this.

Canadians: Give Your #FATCA Briefs To Finance Committee

Canadians:  Make your voices heard at Finance Committee. Give the Committee your briefs!
In preparing my own brief for testifying next week, I learned all Canadians can submit briefs to the Finance Committee–not just those of us who will testify.
Here is what the Clerk of the Finance Committee replied to me when I asked:

Anyone can submit a brief on Bill C-31.  While there is no set date it would be best to get it into us at FINA@parl.gc.ca as soon as possible so we can have the briefs translated and distributed to the Members of the Committee before the begin Clause-by-Clause.

Here are the government’s Guidelines for Preparing Briefs. The Clerk of the Finance Committee has advised briefs must be limited to five pages.
I know many of you already made submissions to Finance Canada in 2012 and again when the IGA was announced.  However, those submissions are not being shared with the Finance Committee or with Parliament.
So, if you want those making the decisions to know what you have to say:  Give them your briefs.
This should be in your own words. Many of you will be able to adapt the submission you already made.
I have two suggestions:
1. Emphasize you are Canadian!
2. If you support the proposed amendment, include it in your brief.
“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.”
There is no deadline for this, but clearly, the sooner the better. It may be submitted in either English or French and will be translated. If you speak both languages, you could submit in both.
Tell them what you think.  Give Finance Committee your briefs!
 
 
 
 
 

Maple Sandbox Invited to Finance Committee on #FATCA #IGA in #C31

I just received the official invitation to appear before the Finance Committee as part of a panel. I will try to find out who the other panel members will be.  I am also trying to determine if I am able to participate via video or if I need to be in Ottawa in person.

Dear Ms. Swanson,
The House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance would like to invite the Maple Sandbox Blog to appear before the Committee, on May 13, 2014, from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. (Ottawa time) in relation to its study of Part 5 of Bill C-31 entitled An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 11, 2014 and other measures.
Your participation, as part of a panel, consists of an opening statement of up to five minutes, followed by rounds of questions from the members of the Committee. You are invited to review the attached document entitled Guidelines for Witnesses prior to your appearance before the Committee. You could, if you choose to do so, submit a 5-page brief to the Committee. It will be translated as soon as possible, distributed to the members and published on the Finance Committee Website.
 
Please confirm your presence by responding to this email, by May 6 at noon. Upon confirmation, we will provide you with further details regarding your appearance.
 
Here is the link to Bill C-31
http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=E&Mode=1&DocId=6495200