Monthly Archives: July 2014

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.
And, finally, Allison Christian’s post analyzing the legality:
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.

CBT Human Rights Complaint – Signers Wanted

A group of writers from the Isaac Brock Society and Maple Sandbox blogs has prepared a document that challenges citizenship-based taxation (CBT) as a violation of internationally recognized human rights. This document will be submitted as a formal complaint to a major international human rights organization within the next ten days. Any readers who would like to support this effort by “co-signing” (having their names added to the list of those filing the complaint) should so indicate by sending an email to The Canadian writers of the complaint hope to make this a truly international effort. Bloggers from all over the world are welcome to lend their names to this historic document.
Signers should feel comfortable with using their own names (pseudonyms are unacceptable in this instance) and should provide their nationality &/or country of residence as well. Signers do not have to be US persons, just people who support the cause.
In order not jeopardize the success of our complaint process we are unable to publish the document itself at this time.
Again, if you’re interested in signing (with your real name), please send an email to within the next 10 days.
Note: email address has changed

Lynne Blaze Had a Great Fall: July 28 UPDATE

July 28 UPDATE:
I spoke to Lynne today. She thanks everyone for their good wishes, but still is not feeling well enough to have visitors.
We all want her back with us soon.

July 25 UPDATE:
Many of you know that our warrior Lynne Blaze sustained a serious injury.
Lynne is still in an acute care hospital, will probably be there for awhile, and then will likely move to a rehab setting. I expect that she will return to us in about six weeks or so.
for lynne Lynne used many very colorful words to describe her situation in hospital, that I cannot repeat.
The nurses at the hospital refer to Lynne (who I have always described as “Kindly Lynne”) as “feisty.” Lynne herself explains to me that “My inner bitch has now come out!”
So, I send flowers — for Lynne
…or for her nurses…

She is the same Lynne again that we all know, and she knows that we all miss her.

You Can't DoPS: No, No, Lynne — not yet!!!


Vancouver Sun: Metro Vancouver Woman Joins Movement to Drop US Citizenship

Thanks very much, PatCanadian, for doing this interview!
Vancouver Sun: Metro Vancouver Woman Joins Movement to Drop US Citizenship
The author, Douglas Todd made contact with Pat, due to Pat having contacted the Vancouver Sun regarding their coverage of FATCA/US tax policy on Canadians. He also asked Pat if she could help him get in touch with other people affected by this – several other Sandboxers/Brockers have – and also at the end of the article asks people to get in touch with him.
I’m wondering (hoping!) that’s because he plans to do more coverage of this important issue. It’s a complex issue with several, if not many, facets. If you’d like to share your story, or general information about the issue, and/or suggest another article focusing on a specific aspect/s of the problem, it may well be worth getting in touch with him.

Solving US Citizenship Problems, Toronto- Beaches, August 25, 2014

Life planning, Career planning and the Reality of U.S. Citizenship for Americans Abroad including Life Preparation for U.S.Citizen-children of U.S.Citizens
These seminars will include discussion and analysis of the IRS “relaxed opportunities” for people to come into compliance.
It is estimated there are 7 million U.S. citizens living outside the United States. Some of these people don’t know that the U.S. may consider them to be citizens. The vast majority of these Americans abroad (according to U.S. law), are required to file tax returns and complete information reporting forms to the United States. Although “citizenship-based” taxation has existed for years, what is new is the enforcement. Continue reading Solving US Citizenship Problems, Toronto- Beaches, August 25, 2014

Renounce, Relinquish or Do Nothing

I am convinced I gave up my US citizenship decades ago, but the US State department may not agree with me, so I waffle about what I should do.dither
The way I see it, there are some real uncertainties in our future:

  • Enough money may not be raised to see the Charter challenge through to completion.
  • The Charter challenge may not win.
  • The Canadian government may cede even more to the US and stop what little protection Canadians have from IRS collection of taxes and fines.
  • Bank may or may not start asking all account holders if born in the U.S.
  • Customs officials at border crossings may intensify hassles crossing US border on Canadian passport, or even deny entry.
  • Don’t know what further actions the IRS may take to press the FATCA/FBAR/tax return issue.
  • Have no way of knowing whether coming to the attention of US State department will put family members at risk of being identified as possible US persons.
  • Have no idea of level of communication between US State department, IRS and Canadian banks.

To try to help me see things more clearly, I drew up a list of pros and cons. I’m sure I haven’t thought of all the possible ramifications of each action, since I’m still dithering. At any rate, here’s my list. Continue reading Renounce, Relinquish or Do Nothing

Lynne Blaze Had a Great Fall

Some of you might know that Lynne Blaze has a pre-existing medical condition. Unfortunately, Lynne just sustained a serious injury to her shoulder and won’t be fighting the FATCA fight for awhile.

She cannot predict where she will be in the immediate future and I expect that she will not be able to communicate with us for some time.
We all know Lynne’s determination to make our lives better. Her spirit shines through her pain.
Lynne asked me to pass on to us the following poem:

Lynne Blaze gave Stephen a call
Lynne Blaze had a great fall
Her Sandbox and Brock friends
Hope Lynne will be put back together again.

Yes, Lynne will be put back together again, but she will be missing in action for awhile. All of us wish her the best and her quick return to fight the FATCA fight once again.
Note from Outraged Canadian: This picture, with the fairy princess wings and the black eye embodies to me the essence of Lynne. She’s a fighter! I’m going to miss her terribly while she’s away and healing, and I hope she comes back to us soon.

OMG! IRS Wants Me!

We have all had our OMG Moment. Now that the FATCA rollout has begun, there will be many more “OMG Moments”. This past weekend, I heard about a particularly egregious, frightening and unfair situation (yes, some are worse than others). In response to this,  John Richardson suggested that I post the following:

If you are newly in your OMG Moment, we hope this will help.You are among friends here. Thanks John!


Have you just been told that you are required to file U.S. tax returns?

I am hearing more and more reports of people having their OMG (“Oh My God”) Moment where they are hearing for the first time that they may be required to file U.S. tax returns.

You are experiencing one of the most terrifying, confusing and disorienting moments that you will ever have in your life. The range of emotions you are feeling are so difficult to manage that you are having difficulty responding.

Some simple advice.

1. You are NOT in a position to make any quick “commitments” which are NOT REASONED decisions but are REACTIONS to a frightening and confusing situation.

2. Only “U.S. persons” are required to file U.S. tax returns. You may NOT be one. Your first step is to take steps to determine  your citizenship status.

A. Being born in the U.S. is NOT conclusive proof of U.S. citizenship. You may have relinquished it along the way.

B.There is NO presumption whatsoever that somebody born outside the U.S. is a U.S. citizen.

3. Since you have not been in the U.S. tax system you do NOT have a tax problem. Therefore you do NOT begin by calling an accountant/tax preparer/tax lawyer. (Once you are in the U.S. tax system you will be rewarded with “tax problems”. At the moment you have a “possible compliance” problem (if it determined that you are a U.S. person).

Accountants, tax preparers, your bank and the vast majority of lawyers are NOT qualified to advise you on the starting question:

“Are you in fact a U.S. person?”

4. The advice “What To Do Before Contacting A Lawyer” is important and applies to to contacting accountants as well.

5. You are NOT alone. Estimates are that there are at least one million  Canadian citizens affected by this injustice and unfairness. Remember that you are NOT alone.

6. You have done NOTHING WRONG. The U.S. has never made any effort to educate Canadians of U.S. origin that their laws levy taxes on the basis of citizenship and those born in the U.S. begin life as U.S. citizens.

You did NOT choose where you were born.

Being born in the U.S. means that you started life as a U.S. citizen. You may have relinquished U.S. citizenship.

7. Information sessions are available to you that you can attend anonymously at a very small fee.

Why Does U.S. Congress and IRS Want a Canadian Cop?

Why does U.S. Congress and IRS want a Canadian Cop asks an article by Lynne Swanson in Tax Connections.

“My only crime is my birthplace, something I had no say in,” insists this Canadian cop.

The article gives other examples of Canadians hunted by IRS and says:

These Canadians think it is arrogant, imperialistic and indefensible for Congress and IRS to demand they have any “obligations” as “U.S. taxpayers.”

The article concludes Canadian Cop and Canadians just want one thing from the United States:

They want the United States government to leave them alone.


Britain Playing Poodle to Uncle Sam For FATCA

British public footing a £1bn bill – to aid the US taxman

As of this month businesses and consumers face a multi-billion pound bill to satisfy new US tax laws: another case of Britain playing poodle to Uncle Sam?

Playing poodle? British businesses have spent years and hundreds of millions of pounds preparing for these new US tax rules

The Telegraph is telling Brits;

Your bank and investment provider are now officially working for the United States tax authorities – and you’re footing the £1bn bill.

Well, maybe the British are ahead of Canada.  Finance Canada and CRA do not seem to know how much FATCA will cost Canada.