18 November: ONLY 27 Days Left to Make $29,456 Payment for Canadian FATCA Lawsuit: Canada AG/Revenue Minister confirm intention to “participate in this appeal” — Thanks for Monday donation from long-time Brocker and renunciant
Some will remember that it was the Harper Conservative Government that signed off on imposition of the U.S. FATCA law on Canadians. It was interesting then that CBC reported that the Conservative (now in Opposition) revenue critic Pat Kelly just called for parliamentary committee hearings into the FATCA transfer to IRS of information from 900,000 financial records:
“Conservative revenue critic Pat Kelly is calling for parliamentary committee hearings into the transfer of Canadian banking records to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, saying he wants to know why the numbers have risen sharply.
“I think that it’s a big number and the trend of ever-increasing transfers is going to be a concern to many Canadians,” Kelly told CBC News. “I think that the Canada Revenue Agency should be able to give a better explanation than they have so far about what’s driving the ever-increasing requests for record transfers.””
Mr. Kelly kindly spoke to me today and provided more clarification of his position:
— He said that he wants an explanation for the increasing turnover numbers, the correction in number of transfers for 2017 tax year, whether some accounts were transferred that should not have been transferred, and the issue of uncertain U.S. reciprocity — but Mr. Kelly confirmed that he does “not advocate repeal of FATCA“.
What really do you expect from an opposition parliamentary committee? If you are interested in a Canadian Court striking down the entirety of the FATCA IGA legislation, Please donate to our Canadian FATCA lawsuit.
RefugeeFromAmerica was in contact with BMO’s President’s Office about BMO’s FATCA policies and also with the CRA Commissioner’s Office and has sent in the following report.
In response to the CBC story about the vast number of bank accounts reported to the CRA/IRS, I thought I’d share an experience we had at a BMO branch back in August. In particular, I wanted to provide a data point to corroborate the suspicion that at least some Canadian financial institutions are not observing FATCA reporting minima and that, at least at the local level, they are violating Canadian law by not readily providing information to customers about FATCA reporting. Quoted below is a previously composed account of what transpired during our branch visit [and the events that followed it]
“The Canada Revenue Agency sent 900,000 financial records belonging to Canadian residents to the Internal Revenue Service in September — nearly a third more than it sent the previous year. The records were for the 2018 tax year.
If you are interested in ending the Canadian legislation that enacted the Canadian FATCA “agreement”, Please DONATE to our Canadian FATCA lawsuit.
Last year Laura Snyder asked visitors to the Isaac Brock website to participate in a survey about FATCA and the taxation of US citizens living overseas.
In addition, in early December the report will be the subject of a presentation at a conference in Prague on the subject of diasporas. Snyder’s conference paper that specifically addresses the myth of the wealthy American expat is available here .
The survey report corroborates and complements the results of other surveys demonstrating that US citizens and green card holders living outside the United States experience a wide range of hardships as a result of US non-resident taxation and banking policies.
Further, as discussed in detail in Snyder’s conference paper, the new survey data dispels the myth of the wealthy American expat whose principal purpose in living overseas is to avoid US taxation.
Notably, among the 602 survey participants living in 47 different countries:
- 67% have an income of less than $70,000 per year and 90% have an income of less than $150,000 per year;
- 39% left the United States to join a romantic partner in another country, 28% left to pursue professional opportunities, and 2% were born outside the United States and have never lived in the United States; just one participant reported leaving the United States in order to avoid US taxation;
- 48% of those with annual income of $21,000 to $40,000 and 41% of all participants pay significant fees for professional tax preparation despite owing nothing in US taxes;
- 32% of those with annual income of $1 to $20,000 and 38% of all participants are unable to reconcile the US tax system with the system of their country of residence, with the result that their investments and retirement vehicles are harshly penalized by the US system;
- 37% of those with annual income of $41,000 to $70,000 and 30% of all participants have been unable to open one or more bank accounts because they are a US citizen or green card holder;
- 19% of those with annual income of $1 to $20,000 and 13% of participants overall have been removed from one or more joint accounts with their non-US citizen spouse because the survey participant is a US citizen or green card holder. With respect to unemployed participant, the number experiencing this problem jumps to 26%.
More on the insatiable US search for information. First, your bank accounts. Second, your mail: U.S. customs officials have been searching packages bound for a community that, for most of the year, can only be reached from Maine – and locals aren’t happy. https://t.co/UVIJ5UMriR pic.twitter.com/lVIFTLxjHp
— U.S. Citizen Abroad (@USCitizenAbroad) October 28, 2019
The above tweet references an article in today’s Toronto Globe and Mail about the tiny New Brunswick island of Campobello. Basically, the issue is that the primary access from Campobello is through the state of Maine. A recent article in the National Post included:
— U.S. Citizen Abroad (@USCitizenAbroad) October 28, 2019
But despite Campobello’s postcard-worthy attributes, the 23-year-old Matthews has pretty much had it with the place. It’s not that the island doesn’t feel like home. It’s that Campobello makes her feel as though she is a Canadian living in exile — physically, politically, practically, medically and economically separated from the rest of the country — which, more or less, she is since the bridge is the island’s only physical link to mainland North America and it’s not to Canada.
The bridge goes to the State of Maine in the United States. This means that all mail sent to residents of this Canadian island must go through Maine for delivery to Canada. According to the article, a disproportionate amount of this mail is being searched by U.S. customs officers.
It also means (as noted by the National Post) that:
“The residents of Campobello must travel through a foreign country while transporting goods and services from one part of N.B. to another,” Richards said in an email to the Financial Post. “The regulations imposed and the new regulations enacted will make it almost impossible to conduct daily affairs.
(and you think you have problems …)
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A great FATCA backgrounder from John Richardson, published in American Expat Finance yesterday. FATCA articles aimed at the general public often focus on the impact on individuals, but this one primarily covers the macroeconomic impact. It packs a lot in a short article, good for sending to people who want to know more about FATCA (friends) or who should know more about FATCA (policy makers).
American Expat Finance Editor’s introduction below, article itself continues next page. Reprinted with permission of American Expat Finance.
Over the last few weeks and moths, more media attention than usual has been paid to the 2010 Obama law knows as the Foreign Account
Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). And invariably, we have been noticing, journalists from respected media organizations like The Guardian and Financial Times newspapers in London keep referring to it as a “tax evasion law,” no doubt because that was its original purpose.
That may well have been true in 2010, says Toronto-based expat lawyer and expat rights campaigner John Richardson…
But, he argues here, as anyone familiar with FATCA’s massive impact on individuals who don’t live in the U.S. now – and indeed haven’t for decades and possibly never did, and are tax residents of other countries – it has evolved into an all-but- impossible-to-avoid “extra-territorial money-sucking machine.”
It has also made it very difficult for such individuals to engage in normal financial and retirement planning – or even to get, and keep, a local bank account.
And while it may remain a disincentive for Homeland Americans to attempt to hide their wealth (the way some used to) in Swiss banks, FATCA (along with the Common Reporting Standard, as the OECD’s global version of FATCA is called), is now playing a role in enabling the U.S. to act as a tax haven to wealthy individuals in other countries who are seeking to keep their personal wealth from their own tax authorities.
The fact that the U.S. hasn’t signed up to the CRS, arguing that it has no need to – because FATCA gives it all the information it needs to know about its own citizens – helps to make this possible, Richardson points out. Continue reading
Thanks to Calgary411 for posting this on the Media thread. There’s been a lot of discussion on this, so I’ve created a separate post for it and moved the comments here.
Please don’t give up. Keep pushing forward. We are in the right.