Tag Archives: IRS

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]

FATCA Scams Already Starting

This is no surprise to us. The FATCA scams have begun.

IRS Warns of FATCA Phishing Scams in multiple countries and continets.

This clearly has thye potential for financial or identity theft, fraud or even worse. We can only imagine what groups like ISIs or Al Quaeda would do if they were able to get their hands on the financial and personal data od people born in the United States.

This is one more reason why we must ensure Canadian banks should not be allowed to ferret out “U.S. persons” for CRA and the IRS. Please donate to http://adcs-adsc.ca/

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.

 

2014 IRS Survey of Individuals Living Abroad – Maple Sandbox has it

As previously reported by the IRS, and several other sites, the IRS sent a survey to about 4,000 individuals ‘living abroad’, “regardless of whether or not you have filed a U.S. federal income tax return while living abroad.” This is being done through an independent survey firm, ICF.

(Updated)We have been requested to provide a specific link to the survey:
The IRS did it last year as well, and the 2012 survey results are available:
 
According to the Taxpayers Advocate Service 2013 Annual Report to Congress,
“The IRS has also contracted with an independent consultant to survey 4,000 individuals residing abroad who the IRS believes have U.S. filing requirement and did not file a return. The survey, to be conducted by mail and online, will “focus on why some individuals living abroad do not file a tax return, their awareness of certain tax provisions and forms specific to International Taxpayers, and how the IRS can encourage voluntary compliance among this population.” 
 
There is a lot to consider in this survey, and its ramifications, and much that I suspect people will find, at the least, questionable. Section 4E has 11 multiple choice questions around CBT, filing returns, etc. Section 4H is asking for ‘thoughts’ on what the IRS has done well, or how the IRS can “improve in communicating whether income earned outside the US is subject to US federal taxes”.
 
I am very, very curious to read the comments that this survey will generate!
 
(A password is required to access the survey).
Personally, I’m very interested to know if anyone who has never filed a U.S. tax return, and who thinks they should be filing, actually fills out the survey.

US Chamber of Commerce joins TAS in dumping on FATCA

In other very encouraging news today, yesterday the US Chamber of Commerce (a rather prestigious and heavy-hitting US institution) published the article linked below criticizing FATCA and suggesting that FATCA may be the next Obamacare-rollout-like catastrophe about to hit what is increasingly seen as an incompetent Democratic administration in Washington.

https://www.uschamber.com/blog/next-obamacare-fatca-roll-out-flounders

So, in one day, we have both the US Chamber of Commerce and the US Taxpayer Advocate report to Congress finally echoing many of the objections we, the NDP, in fairness Jim Flaherty himself, ACA, and others too numerous to mention, have been raising about FATCA for the past couple of years.

Metaphors spring to my mind. Like, “the emperor has no clothes and the crowd is starting to notice.” Like, “gee that onrushing freight train seems to be losing all its wheels and teetering on the edge of a very deep cliff.”

Unless our Finance Minister has taken leave of his senses, which I think extremely unlikely, I no longer think we’ll see a Canada-US IGA any time soon, if ever. With heavy-hitters like these in the US saying “wait a minute, what the hell are you doing and why?” why should Canada or any other country leap into an IGA with the US to sign onto something that seems to look like might actually get derailed or gutted PDQ.

Remember that previous US ambassador to Canada who, back in the Fall of 2011, advised everyone to “sit tight?” That’s starting to look like supremely good advice for many so-called US persons, especially “accidental” (I prefer “inadvertent” or “unwilling”) so-called Americans living in Canada (the parallels to Ted Cruz aka “border babies”). Let’s just wait and see how this train wreck is going to unfold now.

If I were one of that handful of countries that leapt into bed with the IRS via an IGA, or an FFI that has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on compliance mechanisms, I think I’d start to feel a bit foolish (and very hard-done-by) right about now. And if I were a compliance maven with visions of fat fees from terrified offshore alleged Americans dancing in his/her head, I think I’d see those visions turning to mush.

We don’t want to count our chickens before they’re hatched, but maybe it’s time to take a deep breath, ignore the Chicken Littles in the compliance industry, “sit tight” and watch with fascination what seems more and more like a FATCA train wreck.

Nice news for a wintery Friday, anyway.  Happy New Year, everyone.