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.