Tag Archives: Taxes

FATCA Centric Debate–Toronto Centre November 18

Toronto Centre Debates have invited all Toronto Centre candidates to a FATCA Centric Debate for Toronto Centre for November 18 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. The location will be announced by November 13.
The organizers say:

FATCA – The most important issue Canadians are not aware of and Candidates won’t talk about!
Continue reading FATCA Centric Debate–Toronto Centre November 18

Happiness Is A FATCA Sandwich (Baloney!)

This is a couple of months old, but Just Me sent it to me. You will probably all Bologna sandwichbe choking and spitting on Happiness Is A FATCA Sandwich.
This is from Bright!Tax, which they claim is “Loved By Americans In Over 50 Countries.”That must prove it then. I’m not American. I’m Canadian.

US expats can probably see this for what it is, FATCA is a sandwich – and Americans will be squeezed from both the top (your host country) and the bottom (your local foreign bank) and US Expats happen to be the prize.

The article goes on, extolling The Wonders Of Empire. And, of course, promising Bright!Tax is where you need to turn to help you surrender to the Empire so you can “get on with happier and more productive endeavors.”
This can only be a thick baloney sandwich (and there I go insulting baloney!)

As has been mentioned on another post, several activists with the Isaac Brock and Maple Sandbox sites have planned a demonstration in Toronto on November 13 and 14, on the sidewalk outside the convention centre where representatives of various Canadian financial institutions are meeting to discuss, among other things, “navigating the hurdles to compliance with FATCA.”
Five candidates for the Toronto Centre by-election, and their campaign organizations, have been invited to participate in the demonstration. They are the candidates for the Conservative, Green, Liberal, New Democrat, and Progressive Canadian parties. The Progressive Canadian party was included, in thanks for their support some months ago in organizing an excellent meeting in Toronto on FATCA and all that is wrong with it. The Greens, Liberals and New Democrats all have expressed major reservations about FATCA. The Conservatives were included in fairness and to signal that we are not partisans and represent a full spectrum of political views, while being united in opposition to FATCA and any Canada-US IGA.
We thought this would be an opportunity to learn exactly what degree of support these parties are, or are not, prepared to provide to those opposing FATCA and an IGA. After some discussion, a group of us agreed that all five of the mentioned parties should be contacted, but none of the other candidates on the ballot (eleven in total).
For those who are interested, attached is a PDF copy of the email that was sent to each of the five parties (with the organizer’s and sender’s personal particulars removed). generic candidate email
The Conservative email was copied to Jim Flaherty. The other four emails were copied to the parties’ leaders; also, the Liberal email was copied to MPs Ted Hsu, Scott Brison, and Irwin Cotler (Liberal justice critic and former Minister of Justice); and the NDP email was also copied to MP Murray Rankin.
We will keep you posted as to who does or does not accept the invitation. Draw your own conclusions from this information.
Linda McQuaig’s (NDP) campaign office is at this writing the only one to acknowledge and then reply; the reply says that Ms. McQuaig unfortunately “is unable to attend. Best of luck with your event!”
As replies are passed on to me, I will update in the comment thread to this post.
UPDATED November 9.  Progressive Canadian Party candidate Dorian Baxter has informed us he is attempting re-arrange his schedule in order to assist us in our demonstration; he considers FATCA to be “nothing more than an unethical money-grab.”  Details in the thread below.  So far no other invited candidates than he and McQuaig have replied.

FATCA Faces Tell The Real Story

“Their faces tell the story.  They show the real victims of FATCA”
FATCA Faces Tell The Real Story by Lynne Swanson (aka Blaze) was published in OpEd News today.
The article says:

The We Are Not A Myth Portrait Protest shows the world the Myth vs FATCA document released by Robert Stack, Assistant Deputy Secretary of U.S. Treasury, for what it actually is. A Stack of Lies.

It concludes with several suggestions about where he might find some revenue. It also sends this message:

Mr. Stack, please take the time to look at them. After doing that, if you still  insist they and the FATCA problems you have wrought on them are “myths,” US Treasury is even more of a corrupt bully than I thought.
But, of course that’s what bullies do. They harass the little guys while ignoring anyone they think will stand up to them.
Mr. Stack, I have news for you. We are and will stand up to you. That is no myth.

There is strength in numbers. Please join We Are Not A Myth by adding your own portrait and message on Tumblr or e-mail atticusincanada and she will do it for you: atticusincanada@gmail.com

Copious thanks to Jim Jatras for calling the following to our attention.
The government of Russia, and more specifically the Foreign Minister (and not, please note, their Finance Minister), has weighed into the FATCA discussion with this very forthright statement that any agreement between the US and Russia on FATCA must be fully reciprocal and must respect Russian sovereignty and must not impose foreign extraterritorial legislation on the actions of Russian institutions.
I urge everyone to write Flaherty, Harper and your members of Parliament along the following lines (please use your own words or modify mine, I don’t want this to become boilerplate text). I sent this to Flaherty with copies to Rankin, Brison, May and my MP Paul Dewar (also Foreign Affairs critic). Others might wish to send this as well to Harper (who’ll just bounce it to Flaherty if his office replies at all) and to Baird (who has never even acknowledged anything I’ve sent him, nor has his ministerial correspondence unit).
“Please note in the following news item today, that Russia has made it very clear that any agreement between the US and Russia over FATCA must be fully reciprocal and must respect Russian sovereignty. The statement also mentions that FATCA as currently formulated is an extraterritorial violation of the sovereign equality of other countries.
“It would be utterly unacceptable for Canada to accept or insist on less than what Russia does, in any agreement with the US over FATCA. As it is highly unlikely the US can respect or even get full reciprocity, which would require US Senate approval not yet forthcoming in even one IGA the US has signed, I think the most rational approach for Canada to take is to walk away from negotiations with the US over this, to insist on Canadian financial institutional compliance with current Canadian law and our Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and to contemplate protections or retaliatory sanctions against the US should it ever actually enforce the threatened sanctions against Canadian financial institutions that have branches in the US.
“Canada’s sovereignty is no less important than Russia’s, and I expect that my government will stand up for Canadians as forthrightly as the Russian government does for its own citizens and sovereignty. It would be a very sad, pathetic commentary on any Canadian government that would not do so.”

A Very Successful Two Person Protest!

Calgary411 and Outraged Protesting
Calgary411 and I set up on one corner of an intersection across from the BMO convention centre. Fortuitously, it was a great location, as anyone who wanted to go up to Macleod Trail to get a coffee had to walk right past us.
We got out there about 10am and immediately garnered a lot of interest from people driving by, as well as pedestrians. I quickly lost count of the thumbs up we received. Quite a few horn honks, as well.
Not too long after we got there, the first of the bicycle cops showed up. I was a little apprehensive, although we weren’t blocking Continue reading A Very Successful Two Person Protest!

FATCA Hat Trick

I sent an e-mail to Maura Drew-Lytle and Terry Campbell last evening suggesting we have a Canadian Hat Trick with three opposition parties resisting FATCA.
Here is what I said:

Some might call it a FATCA hat trick. Three opposition parties standing up for Canadians on FATCA.

First, it was Elizabeth May and the Green party.
A few weeks ago, NDP Revenue Critic Murray Rankin joined the resistance:
Shortly after, NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair sent e–mails to Canadians. Next was NDP Finance Critic Peggy Nash.
Now, two Liberal MPs, Dr. Ted Hsu (supported by former justice Minister, former law professor and international law and human rights expert MP Irwin Cotler) and Finance and Revenue critic Scott Brison have asked several direct questions on FATCA in an order paper.
Here are the questions in a more readable format than in the Order Paper.
 Canadians will not allow their banks and other financial institutions to violate their fundamental rights. We now have the clear support of three parties in our fight. We are also in ongoing contact with a prominent constitutional lawyer and Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA).

What will CBA do? Will you stand up for Canadians or will you capitulate to a foreign government?

“You have a choice, Sirs. You could do better.”

Maura Drew-Lytle responded this morning:

Thank you for the information.

Who is a U. S. person ( or has U.S. indicia) according to the IRS

For U. S. tax filing purposes the following are consider U. S. persons 

A citizen of the U.S., including someone born in the U.S. but living in another country, who has not renounced or otherwise relinquished their U. S. citizenship.

A lawful resident of the U.S., including a U.S. green card holder

A person residing in the U. S.

Someone spending a specified amount of time in the U.S., potentially including “snowbirds” who spend winters in the Florida or other warm climes.

A green card holder who never formally handed in their green card upon leaving the U.S. (even though the green card in no longer valid for U. S. immigration purposes).

The child of a U. S. citizen provided a parent lived in the U. S. period for a specified time period (with some exceptions, see T Dott comment)

All of the above would be affected by FATCA. Financial Institutions will also look for indicia including:

A U. S. place of birth

A current U.S. residence or mailing address ( including a U.S. PO Box)

A current U.S. telephone number

Standing instructions to pay amounts from a foreign (meaning non U.S.) account to an account maintained in the United States

A current power of attorney or signatory authority granted to a person with a U.S. address
A U.S. “in-care-of” or “hold mail” address that is the sole address with respect to the account holder
Special note

Others affected by FATCA include any non U.S. person who shares a joint account with a U.S. person or otherwise allows a U.S. person to have signatory authority on the account.

Any business or not for profit organization that allows a U.S. person to have signatory authority on a financial account.

What Would Einstein Think Of FATCA?

EinsteinAlbert Einstein said “The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax.”
He also said “This (preparing my tax return) is too difficult for a mathematician. It takes a philosopher.”
It takes much more than a mathematician or philosopher to deal with FATCA!Einstein simple
Einstein also said “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”
What do you think Einstein would say about FATCA?

It's Official: No American Reciprocity

Breaking News
Just in time for US Independence Day, there is a a major AM-138-0111blow for IGAs and perhaps for FATCA itself.
James Jatras at repealfatca.com is reporting It’s Official: There Will Be No American Reciprocity

In a letter to U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, Congressman Bill Posey (R-Florida 8th), a key member of the House Financial Services Committee, has turned thumbs down on Treasury’s public claims that the U.S. will impose on American domestic financial institutions the “equivalent” of FATCA’s ruinous reporting requirements on foreign financial institutions (FFIs). It’s now clear that is not going to happen.

We’ve known for ages Americans would never agree to real reciprocity. Congressman Posey now seems to confirm that.  Given the anger in Europe over NSA, this is just going to add fuel to the fire.  It could also give Canada every reason to walk away from whatever is happening with those IGA negotiations.
Congressman Posey says:

“Given the evidence above, it is difficult to conceive of any circumstance that would justify imposing such an expensive and counterproductive domestic mandate.

James Jatras says:

It needs to be understood that this is a denial that will stick…Thus, by sounding the death knell for reciprocal authority, Congressman Posey is sinking the IGAs, and in turn FATCA itself.

Here’s what Posey himself wrote:

“Further delay in FATCA enforcement and a moratorium on negotiating and signing additional IGAs is in order,” pending “substantial modification or, more likely, outright repeal.”


Congressman Posey further suggests Treasury does not have the authority to negotiate IGA and suggests

A cooperative scheme to penalizing tax evasion without harming the innocent.

We’re not free yet, but I hope this will be a great step on the road to freedom.
Happy Independence Day everyone!