UPDATE July 23 2014
Donate by Paypal, send cheques, email/wire transfers, send cash. If you are afraid of disclosing your name, have someone else donate for you or go the post office and send a money order. If you are a “covered expatriate” AND WISH TO BECOME UNCOVERED you may wish to donate a lot more.
Donate ANY amount by going to: www.adcs-adsc.ca
Plaintiffs: Thank you “border baby” who tried to contact me yesterday. I will call you today. More plaintiffs please. People, please appreciate that plaintiffs willing to disclose publicly are as important as funding for the high legal costs.
If interested, contact me on the ADCS website.
Why am I involved? The answer is in this submission by a Canadian, and others like her, to the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee.
Stephen Kish, for the ADCS-ADSC Board of Directors
Worry and concern but no actual statement on what the Liberals will do (or would have done) about the FATCA IGA implementation in Canada.
From: Alex Lysyshyn
Sent: Wednesday, July 23, 2014 10:39 AM
Subject: Re: Re: Leaders lead. You make it happen.
... Be part of the change | Faites partie du changement ...
Alex Lysys Alex Lysyshyn (Liberal / Assistance)
23 Jul 12:39
Thank you for taking the time to write to us regarding the implications the U.S. Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) has on some Canadians.
As you may know, in February of this year the Government of Canada entered into an intergovernmental agreement with the U.S. regarding FATCA requirements. Under these rules the Canada Revenue Agency will collect tax information on Canadians who are U.S. citizens and then hand that information over to the IRS.
Before the agreement which came into effect on July 1, the Liberal Party of Canada raised the issue in Question Period, pressing the Conservative government to do the right thing for Canadians. We believe that the Government of Canada should stand up for honest, hardworking people who have been caught up by overly complex American tax rules. They are not tax cheats and we encouraged Stephen Harper to stand up for them.
We have concerns that the agreement reached with the U.S. may not stand up to a Constitutional challenge given that it forces the banks to treat clients differently based on their national origin, something forbidden by Section 15 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Liberals believe Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird should have asked the U.S. for amnesty against penalties as the IRS’s Foreign Bank Account Reporting requirements were not adequately communicated to dual-citizens living in Canada. In addition, we encouraged Finance Minister Joe Oliver to work to amend the agreement so that the IRS would not tax savings vehicles such as TFSAs and RESPs. We were pleased to learn these registered plans have since been exempted from reporting by the banks but continue to worry that the IRS may view them as taxable when dual citizens file their returns.
For more information on how FATCA affects Canadians, you can visit the Department of Finance website at: http://www.fin.gc.ca/n14/14-018-eng.asp
Thank you again for writing.
Liberal Party of Canada
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And I heard all Europeans loved Obama. The shipyard workers are worried though that their own president is spineless.
The owner of Le Ralliement, a café patronized by shipyard workers a few hundred metres from where the Vladivostok is docked, bristled with anger at Mr. Cameron and Barack Obama, the U.S. president.
“Obama should get off our case and concentrate on solving America’s problems,” said the burly 62-year-old, who declined to be named.
Thumping his hands on the bar for emphasis, he added, “As for Cameron, he should stop being the voice of his master and obediently repeating everything Obama says. If he wants to be heard in Europe, he should act as if he’s part of it.”
He stroked his moustache before going on, “The British should have been kicked out of the European Union when they chose not to take the euro like everyone else. And that soft president of ours hasn’t got the guts to stand up to anyone.”
Asked if it was morally justifiable to sell sophisticated warships to Russia after the downing of Flight MH17 by a missile which Washington says was fired from an area in eastern Ukraine held by pro-Moscow rebels, the café owner replied, “If we don’t sell ships to them, someone else will.”
Around the port, used by the Nazis as a submarine base in the Second World War, many shared his opinion, even if they expressed it less vehemently.Stephane Gohaud, a 46-year-old taxi driver, described the MH17 disaster as “horrifying and tragic”, but added, “[The plane] should never have flown over a war zone. I don’t believe the Russians wanted it to be shot. It was a horrible mistake.”
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.
On February 5, Canada signed an Intergovernmental Agreement with the United States concerning the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act. This enables the US to receive enhanced financial information of Canadians (account numbers, balances, deposits, withdrawals); information the Canadian banks were never permitted to send to the CRA due to our privacy laws. This reporting applies to those deemed “US Persons” which includes citizens, green card holders,”Accidental Americans,” “border babies,” and will affect the families of anyone considered as such by the US. On Canada Day, July 1, 2014, Canadian financial institutions began to determine what accounts are “reportable accounts.” Information regarding those accounts will be passed on to the CRA who will, in turn, pass this information on to the IRS. The late Finance Minister, Jim Flaherty emphasized that the CRA will not collect taxes for any person who was a Canadian citizen at the time the tax was incurred, nor will any penalties be collected concerning FBAR (Foreign Bank Account Report). This situation is causing confusion and concern for anyone who may have a US connection, whether it be actual citizenship, a member of the family, etc. This information session will focus on these issues which include:
Are you a US citizen?
Are you still a US citizen?
Are your children US citizens?
What is an Accidental American?
Filing US tax returns
What is involved?
Filing information returns (FBAR, 8938, 3520A & 3520, 5471, 8621 etc)
Reasonable cause (avoiding penalties)
Financial Planning Issues:
Treatment of tax-deferred savings plans
Treatment of Mutual Funds (PFICs)
What might FATCA mean for me?
Will FATCA make it harder for me to cross the border?
Does it make sense to give up US citizenship?
Presenter: John Richardson, B.A., L.L.B., J.D CitizenshipSolutions.ca
John Richardson is a Toronto lawyer and a member of the Ontario Bar. He is also a member of the American Citizens Abroad (ACA) Professional Tax Advisory Council (PTAC).
When: Monday, August 25, 7:00 – 9:00 pm
Where: Beaches Presbyterian Church, 65 Glen Manor Drive, Toronto M4E 2X2 MAP
Admission: $20 individual or $40 for a family of up to four people
Hope to see you and your families on August 25. Spread the word!
Brockers, we have had very little luck in finding Francophone volunteers to translate the Alliance For the Defence of Canadian Sovereignty website for us.
This is principally because FATCA is unknown in Quebec. And, it will never be known in Quebec, if we cannot get the website translated. This is the quintessential ‘Catch-22’ situation!
We have had a few leads, but each of them have fizzled out for one reason or another. Please, if anyone is fluent in French (Quebecois), message me on this post and I will contact you. I have word files all ready to go. The task could even be divided up between a few people, so as to keep the task more manageable for each person.
Please take a moment to look over the site and get a good idea of what you will be undertaking before you volunteer.
A couple weeks ago, I sent this comment via email to my Conservative MP of Nepean-Carleton, Pierre Poilievre (thank you to Deckard1138 whose wording I borrowed from one of his Brock posts):
Only one week after ushering-in FATCA on Canada Day, Canada’s government is warning the Eritrean consulate to stop harassing Eritrean-Canadians or risk closure of its consulate. Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird made the announcement today in Ottawa.
Fair enough to say that this is certainly one of the most egregiously hypocritical moves the Conservative government has ever made – and there have been far too many to count over the years. I would love to hear Mr. Baird explain to Canadians how it is acceptable for the United States to impose its infinitely more invasive extraterritorial tax laws in Canada but Eritrea’s amateur-hour 2% shakedown warrants impending closure of its consulate? Could it be that Mr. Baird is in fact preparing a subsequent announcement that he will be ordering the immediate closure of the US Embassy as well? Should we give him the benefit of the doubt?
Today I received this ‘enlightened, and well argued’ (NOT) response back:
The United States collects taxes based on citizenship, rather than residency. This means that a US citizen living in another country must still file and pay taxes in the US for as long as they remain a US citizen.
There is no equivalency between this and the actions of Eritrea.
Pierre Poilievre, P.C., M.P. Nepean-Carleton
We and many commentators lament the USD dominance that allows it to conduct its global financial wars, and leverage this power to impose a global FATCA dragnet via sanctions. While this is the reality of the world today, how did this come to be? It wasn’t by accident. The history of how this came about is a fascinating one with an ironic twist.
Thought I would share this recent NPR @planetmoney podcast called….
John Maynard Keynes vs the almost unknown Treasury official, Harry Dexter White
As World War 2 was ending, world leaders realized they had a problem. Countries no longer knew how to trade with each other. Their economies were devastated. So representatives from 44 nations gathered in the small town of Bretton Woods, New Hampshire to come up with the solution.
It came down to two different plans put forward by two very different men. One was the most famous economist in the world. A British aristocrat. The other was an American that no one remembers. But it was the American that won the day and put the U.S. dollar right in the middle of world trade.
Today on the show, how the US won. The story involves a carefully laid trap, late night dancing and copious amounts of alcohol.
Internal White House emails obtained by BuzzFeed appear to show that the White House knew shortly after the crash Thursday that there were not 23 Americans aboard the plane, as had been widely reported on Thursday.
President Barack Obama made very brief remarks about the crash on Thursday afternoon before a pre-planned speech in Delaware.
‘Obviously the world is watching reports of a downed passenger jet near the Russia-Ukraine border. And it looks like it may be a terrible tragedy. Right now we’re working to determine whether there were American citizens on board. That is our first priority,’ he said.
It is tragic that this young man was on the Malaysian MH17 plane and now gone.
If this were so many of our families, we would hate to have our children identified as a US citizen at all, let alone a possible pawn, a pretext for aggressive posturing towards Russia, (and a possible reason to go to war).
Quinn Lucas Schansman’s citizenship status would be like the many others: “Accidental Americans” born in the US but who left with their other citizenship parents as infants or young children to live in other countries — raised in and with the cultural identity of the country still lived in. From the above news article:
[Quinn's family is from Hilversum (the Netherlands) in the north of the country. It was not immediately clear where his family was from in the United States.]
Quinn Schansman was born in Fort Lee, N.J. to Dutch parents. He lived in the U.S. for five years before moving to Holland with his family. Quinn was a dual citizen of the United States and the Netherlands./
Was Quinn in the count of those who died from the Netherlands?
There is a report that the US State Department has been instructed to look over the passenger manifest with a fine-tooth comb to see if there are any further dual citizens.
‘The Animal’ (who sent this to me) and I can see the ramifications for our own children. We know as we have been told:
“You are American until we tell you you aren’t”
My children and The Animal and his US-born wife’s children were born in Canada (but to US citizen(s) – how hard would it be to pin that US citizenship label on them?
This (I think exploitative) news story gives even more reason to have only citizenship we want to be identified with, excluding automatic “dual” U.S. citizenship status passed on to our children. With the qualifications to be able to claim such, should they not have that choice to make when they are adults and with ‘requisite mental capacity’ to be able to do so? Until then, hands off labeling our children.
[I have to ask myself, "If it were my child born and raised in Canada that was the victim of such a tragedy, would I want him or her identified as a US citizen or even a dual "US/Canada" citizen?" My answer to myself is "NO". Others, though, might wish that US/Canadian duality highlighted in some news story. Interesting question to ask ourselves.]
Or, at least that’s the way I see it.
Some 15 years after the Big Five banks’ urge to merge was doused with ice water by Ottawa, don’t be surprised to see a renewed merger campaign, sooner rather than later.
In order to keep growing — or prevent a decline in their capabilities — Canada’s largest banks must become much bigger players outside Canada, and reduce their over-reliance on a small, slow-growing domestic Canadian market. To do that, they need to combine into fewer and larger entities with the heft and staying power to thrive in the most promising offshore markets.
At the ACA event in Toronto someone asked whether the State of Vermont and its residents were somehow more “pro Canada” than the rest of the United States. I just laughed. Hell no.
Perhaps though Senator Sanders(and former Mayor of Burlington, VT) might enjoy if the one and only natural gas pipeline that services Vermont(running from Montreal to Burlington, VT) were to be “shut off” on the Canadian side on the coldest day of next winter. Senator Sanders might start discovering some new definitions of patriotism.
Recently we’ve seen a number of disturbing stories come to light that underline just how important this campaign is. It can sometimes be difficult for everyday Canadians to see privacy as an issue that impacts their everyday lives — when in fact the human consequences of privacy breaches can be immense.
Here are just a few concrete examples of Canadians who’ve had their lives turned totally upside down because of this government’s privacy deficit.
No mention of omnibus Bill C-31 implementation of FATCA in Canada, erasing privacy rights for *US Persons in Canada* as their Canadian “foreign financial institutions” and the Canada Revenue Agency become arms of the U.S. IRS to turn over their private financial information to a foreign country.
Huffington Post where this article appears requires commenters through Facebook.
Author: David Christopher, @dchristopher_bc
PR guy, history grad and politics geek – from Ireland, now living in Vancouver in beautiful British Columbia. Tweets are my own, RTs are not endorsements.