12 thoughts on “What You Should Consider Before Contacting a Lawyer

  1. Now that Canada and the United States have signed a FATCA agreement its time to think about your reporting options. The U.S. IRS operates on a first contact basis. If you contact them first, you generally get a much better deal than if they find you or get your name from a Canadian bank. Banks wont be turning over information until 2015, however.
    There is no need to panic but don’t put off doing some research for too long. Many lawyers – our firm included – will provide general advice without charge.
    Although compliance might be costly for some, it is possible for most folks to comply with little or no penalties.

  2. @Brian: The only lawyers I will consult are Canadian ones like Joe Arvay and John Richardson who care about Canadians and Canadian rights.
    Do you tell your clients that Canada does not and will not collect taxes for IRS for any Canadian citizen and will not collect penalties for IRS for any Canadian citizens or residents? This was reconfirmed by our Minister of National Revenue this week.
    Plus, at the present time, Canadian banks have no way of knowing or asking where someone was born.

  3. Hi Mr. Mahany–do you remember me?
    I’m Brad Smith, the fellow who wrote you on your tax blog. I asked you to help me out with the IRS so I can start paying my fair share and sleep at night.
    I told you I am a Canadian citizen here in Toronto who just found out I am a U.S citizen. No way I want to be sent to that new IRS jail that Canada will be building for us up here in Sudbury Ontario. You said as long as I am not a Bill Gates or Buffet type person who are these people anyway are they tax crooks? you could find honest people like me a tax firm that would file my return for about $300. I’m sure I am one of those most folks you always keep talking about.
    But the two tax firms you came up with cost a LOT more and I mean a LOT at least a thousand dollars for EVERY year and $3000 to file past returns. I am a part-time musician who makes only $19,000 a year if I am really lucky and all I have is one measly little Canadian mutual fund ($100) and one measly little TFSA ($150). I won’t give these up because my family gave them to me. I have NOTHING in my bank account and only a lot of debt on my credit cards.
    Brian, where am I supposed to find this money that I don’t have??? I don’t want the IRS to come after me. Especially now that Canada just changed the law to turn me over to these people who don’t seem that friendly as fast as possible. I’ve done nothing wrong! How can this be happening to me? Is all this because the U.S needs money from little Brad Smith to pay for that nice U.S. consulate in Toronto?
    Brain, I know you tax people always look out for us, so please post a comment on this site right now I mean TODAY telling me and other scared people like me where we can get our U.S. taxes done for $300? Please help me.
    Thank you,
    Brad Smith

  4. Nope, no advertising, but if someone is willing to come here and allow us to ask their questions, and engage them, just as Brad Smith has, then perhaps they will also be good enough to provide real answers, and not ‘advertising’ answers. Let’s see if and how Brian Mahany responds.
    Brian – over to you?

  5. Mr. Mahany,
    Filing taxes should not be about getting a “better deal”. When I file my Canadian tax returns I declare all my income, all my deductions and pay the tax I owe. It is not up to the CRA to give me a “good or bad deal”. I was born in the US but have lived all of my life (childhood and adulthood) in Canada. I have never received any services or benefits from the US. Many former Americans who came to Canada years or decades ago have long since given up any economic ties to the USA.
    Can you please explain to me if you would feel right about paying taxes to a foreign country where you had never lived or worked. Citizenship based taxation is unjust and this is just extortion – both you and I know this but are you able to admit it? Are you ashamed that your country (which prides itself on being the home of truth, freedom and justice) is perpetrating such injustice? Looking forward to your comments.

  6. Bravo Mr. A.
    Just yesterday, the lawyer who presented the information session (himself a proud dual citizen called U.S. citizenship the “most toxic citizenship in the world.”
    I will be interested to see what Mr. Mahany says. I often wonder if people like him really believe in citizenship based taxation stalking people who have no economic ties to US or if they promote it because they make money off it.
    I don’t know how they sleep at night. Unfortunately, it’s us who aren’t sleeping well because of the fear mongering.

  7. @Mr. A.
    Like Mahany, Robert Woods (who also makes money in the compliance industry) never comes out and says what he thinks about CBT from a moral perspective. In fact, he deleted a comment of mine recently at one of his Forbes articles (the one that came out right after Canada signed the IGA) that went something like this:
    “For a smart man, I don’t know why you have a harder time understanding that citizenship-based taxation is immoral, and a human rights violation”.

  8. Hi Mr. Mahany,
    This is Brad again. I hope you are well.
    I went to your website today and found out what you do.
    I know you defend people who do this criminal white collar crime stuff and I worry a lot when you say on your website that not filing an FBAR could be a FELONY! Brain, what is an FBAR? I never filed one of these. Am I going to jail a long time for not filing this FBAR? Will you defend me? Wow! A real Felony like in the movies! I’m not sure what a Felony is but it does sound serious. Do we have Felonies in Canada too?
    I know I don’t have a lot of money, but even unemployed musicians like me deserve some respect and help. Can you please answer my question about finding someone real soon to file my U.S. taxes for $300?
    I know you have the answer and I don’t know who else I can turn to.
    Thank you,
    Brad Smith

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