All posts by OutragedCanadian

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 calgaryfouroneone@gmail.com. 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 calgaryfouroneone@gmail.com within the next 10 days.
Note: email address has changed

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

Global News TV Reports on FATCA! Finally!

Finally, FATCA hits TV news!
Early this morning I caught a portion on Global News Calgary TV about FATCA, with short interviews/quotes by John Richardson and Arthur Cockfield and an accountant whose name I didn’t manage to catch.
However, I can’t find any reference to it on their website.I don’t know if the interview clips were from the previous interviews with BNN, or were new for Global News.
Anyone have any more information?
Interview Clips Updated video link here
(14:44-17:30)

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?)

Lynne Swanson Appointed Chief Jingo 4 Canada on #FATCA "Hyperbolic Rhetoric"

In celebration of Canada’s Victoria Day long weekend, Outraged Canadian and Maple Sandbox are delighted to announce the promotion of Lynne Swanson (aka Blaze) to Chief Jingo for Canada.
This appointment was inspired by Roy Berg’s warning to the Finance Committee prior to Ms. Swanson’s testimony:MapleJinga

“This Committee is likely going to be aware of jingoistic, hyperbolic rhetoric admonishing Finance for ceding Canadian power, ceding sovereignty and also encouraging Canada to stand up to FATCA.”

In making the announcement, Maple Sandbox co-founder Outraged Canadian affirmed her belief in Ms. Swanson:

I know Lynne will handle this awe-inspiring promotion with grace and dignity and won’t let it go to her head. I have complete faith that she’ll continue to spout jingoistic hyperbole with all of the fervour and dedication that will be needed as we fight for our rights as Canadians. I’m really proud of her. She’s earned this honour.

Upon learning of her new appointment and title, Lynne said,

“I am thrilled and honoured to take on this important role.  I will work hard to represent the interests of Sandboxers, Brockers and one million honest law-abiding Canadians .and their families.”
 

With Blazing eyes, Ms. Swanson swore the following oath on the Canadian flag.

” I promise to faithfully fulfill my duties as Chief Jingo of Canada (CJC) by spewing ‘hyperbolic rhetoric’ about how FATCA is an affront to Canadian citizens, residents, laws, constitution and sovereignty.”

canadian flag

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.

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.

Free to Oppose FATCA

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms came into force on April 17, 1985, 29 years ago last week. And since then, I’ve been pondering on how our current government could have strayed so far from what I believe is the intent of the Act, as well the intent of its precursor, the Canadian Bill of RightsOutraged Protesting
The Canadian Bill of Rights, introduced back in 1960, stated, in part,
“It is hereby recognized and declared that in Canada there have existed and shall continue to exist without discrimination by reason of race, national origin, colour, religion or sex, the following human rights and fundamental freedoms, namely,
(a) the right of the individual to life, liberty, security of the person and enjoyment of property, and the right not to be deprived thereof except by due process of law; Continue reading Free to Oppose FATCA

Fraser Institute report – no mention of FATCA

I was reading through the Fraser Institute report from January 2014 “Canada’s Catch-22: The State of Canada-US Relations in 2014”
The report mentions several disputes and barriers, such as the Keystone pipeline, the softwood lumber dispute, and intellectual property rights, but there is not a single mention of FATCA.
According to their website “The Fraser Institute measures and studies the impact of markets and government interventions on the welfare of individuals” (emphasis is mine)
Can anyone tell me why and how they can just ignore the impact of FATCA?
report link:
http://www.fraserinstitute.org/uploadedFiles/fraser-ca/Content/research-news/research/publications/canadas-catch-22-state-of-canada-us-relations-in-2014.pdf
 
 

A Place to Share Our Letters

We’ve had some requests to post the letters people are writing. Some of the letters are from people pointing out facts and information, some are angry letters, and others are heartfelt pleas.
Reading what someone else has written can help us figure out what we want to say, so Blaze and I thought it would be a good idea to have a place where people can share their letters.
You can cut & paste into a comment, but if you want to submit a PDF or Word document, just email it to me and I’ll get it in and create a link to it.
Thanks to Petit Suisse for the inspiration for this. Petit Suisse has added the letter to the comments on the FATCA Information from Canada Revenue Agency thread.
I’ve uploaded it here, and it’s a great way to kick off this thread.
Reminder of address:
Email: IGA-AIG@fin.gc.ca
Snail Mail address:
Tax Policy Branch
Department of Finance
140 O’Connor Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0G5