We haven’t heard from Steven for a couple of days. I hope Jack and Jill haven’t turned Steven into Humpty Dumty.
Maybe Canadian border officials detained Steven at the Peace Bridge as he tried to sneak into Canada disguised as the Big Bad Wolf on his way to help Little Red Riding Hood’s Grandma (the one Ambassador Jacobsen insisted the IRS wasn’t after!).
We know for certain that Little Red Riding Hood and Grandma are Canadian citizens because Little Red Riding Hood wears only Red–not Red, White and Blue.
To Issac Brock Border Guards: I know you must deport Steven for trying to illegally practice law in Canada. First, please stamp Steven’s American passport with a big Red Canadian Maple Leaf. Steven will then, of course, be forever identified as a “Canadian person.” Under “reciprocity” between CRA and IRS. Steven will be responsible for Canadian income tax returns forevermore.
Although CRA Tax Code is much simpler than the IRS Code, Steven must retain a tax lawyer and accountant because he does not have a good understanding or knowledge of the Canadian tax laws or requirements.
In fairness, to prevent double taxation, Steven will, of course, receive credit for taxes he pays in U.S. Because Canadian taxes are much higher, Steven will still have a huge bill owing to Canada each and every year. Steven also cannot deduct mortgage interest from his Canadian income tax, so this will increase his annual tax owing. Steven, the good news is you won’t have to pay capital gains on your home when you sell it.
Steven must also report all his assets (including his foreign owned home where he lives) to CRA each year as off shore holdings. Failure to do so will result in massive penalties. Now, Steven, I realize you may not think this is fair, but it’s The Law.
Thanks, Steven, for your fine contributions to funding Canadian health care services for Little Red’s Grandma.
We really do like you Steven! We just don’t want you or the moral, intelligent, educated lawyers in Washington to illegally smuggle American values and laws into Canada in Little Red Riding Hood’s basket for export to the rest of the world.
We probably wore him out and he’s taking time off to get his sanity back!
@Steven* Come Back Steven we miss you!!!
I hope we did not wear you out, we need your expertise here..
Steven has enrolled himself in a Hollywood drama class because he has agreed to play a taxman in your movie.
I love your sense of humour. Of course, Steven must be in that drama class!
i hope we did not wear Stephen out. It is always good to get a lawyer’s opinion/view, more so when such a person has a long involvement with IRS. I appreciate Stephen taking time off his busy schedule to comment/post. Granted, many of those opinions may not resonate with us, nevertheless it is ok to disagree. I hope Stephen is back sooner than later.
@Blaze! You are TOO funny. I am alive and well and I have not been arrested at the Canadian border. I read up on Cecelia’s facts and I would be happy to consider representing her pro bono on her tax matters. From what I read from Cecilia’s post on one of the threads on February 24 she said she filed ten years of past US tax returns on behalf of her daughter who is developmentally disabled and that her daughter has a Registered Disability Savings Plan and tax free savings accounts.
I can certainly help if the IRS is trying to reach her RDSP to collect a tax debt from the self-assessed (?) amounts shown on the ten years of tax returns. Is that the case? Is that actually happening now?
Unfortunately I cannot offer my services on a citizenship or Consular matter since my practice is limited to Federal tax matters only, but if Cecelia would like to contact me privately and let me know what the IRS is up to I would be happy to get inovlved and take a look; firstname.lastname@example.org.
30 Year IRS Vet
That’s very kind of you. 🙂 perhaps they could make a special ruling in her case
Welcome Back Steven! I’m glad you’re a free man, but I’m so disappointed you escaped becoming a “Canadian person.” I would have gone to the Peace Bridge myself to meet you and stamp your passport with the Maple Leaf to welcome you as a “Canadian person.”
Thank you so much for agreeing to work with Cecelia. I knew you were a good soul under that Big Bad Wolf disguise! (Why else would you be here putting up with the Isaac Brock Warriors?!?)
Can someone make sure Cecelia sees this?
Not sure where Mr. Mopsick is but I have decided to try to escape from America… as my luck is, here is what I see going down. I move to Somalia to become a goat herder on a dusty mountain side. I work real hard and save to purchase a herd of ten goats. One of them gives birth and bam…I got eleven goats now. IRS decides I am still a U.S. Person and implements a new reporting requirement called Goatbar. You only have to report if you have more than ten of the suckers. I am out of compliance but can join the Goatbar amnesty and give them 27.5% of my goats. I quickly do the math and figure out I can give the IRS 3.025 of my eleven goats and move on with my life. IRS issues a FAQ on how to give up .025 of a goat but its complex. They do however say that if you give up the hind quarter they will be more lenient. Now I only got 7.975 goats left but I am a free man on my dusty mountain side in Somalia. Gyros anyone?
Stephen… You are a good sport. I am not giving up on you!
@goatman: I love goat cheese. Will you and your goats be making it?
Do you think Somalia will comply with FATCA? If not, you’re off the hook.
If you don’t know how Steven Mopsick is, you’re definitely new here. Welcome!
“When a man is out of sight, it is not too long before he is out of mind.”
– Victor Hugo
@ Steven @ Blaze, @All
I passed on Steven’s generous offer to Cecilia. She contacted Steven and he promptly corresponded with her, offering his pro bono services were her daughter to have a tax problem, which she doesn’t. She may have a FBAR problem, a cost-of-administering her tax compliance problem for sure, along with the stress of her family having to deal with this for her year in and year out — for what — “$0.00” taxes owing to the US. Since her mother and her sister (her guardians) have successfully renounced their US citizenship in Calgary, her father (who is a Canadian) or her mother, one of whom I think would be the Holder of their daughter’s RDSP, will not be taxable in the US for the Grants and the Bonds that the Canadian government provides to the daughter’s RDSP. The problem here is clearly, as Mr. Mopsick said he could not help the family with (Citizenship). It is the absurdity of the daughter not being able to renounce her US citizenship (because she doesn’t understand what citizenship is or why it would be detrimental to her should she be able to renounce) and the very people who look out for her interests on a day-by-day basis cannot renounce on her behalf.
Yes, the problem lies with the CITIZENSHIP aspect, as I have asked about and will continue to ask about. I, and for other families who do not have a voice (or indeed don’t even yet know this affects them), would like to know what steps are being taken on issues regarding US citizenship and the disabled population in Canada (and other countries) — from the US and from the country where I (we) reside.
o Developmentally delayed persons cannot carry out the responsibility of administration of a US citizenship (lack of perceptual capacity to be able to complete US returns or to understand the consequences);
o The benefits the developmentally delayed person gets from the Government of Alberta (or any other province or any other country) should never be used for tax compliance in a second country to the one he lives in and receives benefits from.
• Absurdly, for these developmentally delayed dependent persons to have the RIGHT to renounce US citizenship if they did indeed have the perceptual capacity to make that important decision or realize the actual consequences of renunciation of US citizenship, they would have to apply for a US social security number, back file at least five years of US returns (for which they would owe $0.00), file Foreign Bank Account Reports (FBAR) as their financial accounts would go over, with the generous savings plans the Canadian (and other plans from other countries may give), $10,000 with Tax Free Savings Account and Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP). There could also be resulting financial penalties. (As I understand it, I, as his parent (or other US person) as the Holder of their RDSP, am taxable to the US yearly for the Grants and Bonds that the Canadian Government has contributed to his RDSP since it was opened.)
• These developmentally delayed persons are already discriminated against because his benefits to the Canadian Registered Disability Savings Plan are negated from that of a Canadian without a US connection — when these US persons start collecting from the savings plan in place for them. In fact, will he or she be able to have an RDSP or a TFSA when FATCA is put in place and someone has to truthfully answer the question — ‘are you a US citizen?’.
• Because of health concerns (besides developmental disability), most of these developmentally delayed persons have, it makes no sense for them to ever live in the US where they would not have the health care insurance or benefits they have in Canada (or most other countries).
• Who will administer the responsibilities of their US citizenship when the US parent is either incapacitated or deceased? To have an executor carry on this pointless yearly exercise is a further expense charged to their government disability benefits.
I have also asked the following questions:
o If the US Department of State will not let us relinquish or renounce on behalf of our disabled children when we have been granted trusteeship to look after / manage their finances by our province in the country where we live and have become citizens, will they also accept that we, their trustees, will not file our children’s US tax returns and FBARs?
o If this is the case, are these dependent individuals at risk of being arrested upon crossing the border into US territory because they have not filed US tax returns and FBARs?
o In order for our dependent children to be able to have the same benefit for their registered accounts (Registered Disability Savings Plan and Tax-Free Savings Account) as does a disabled person with only Canadian citizenship, under FATCA will we have to adopt for them a “don’t ask / don’t tell” / fly under the radar policy?
o Should cost of the administration for compliance of US tax returns (with $0.00 owed) be borne by the agencies that serve the disabled in Canada (or any other country)?
o Should cost of the administration for compliance of US tax returns (with $0.00 owed) be borne by the estate of our disabled sons or daughters?
o Who in the States will look after the needs of our disabled sons or daughters when their parent or trustee or guardian is incapacitated and not able to do so? Will the US move our sons or daughters to the States for their care when we become incapacitated — and what better benefits would they have there? Would the parent, indeed, have the peace of mind that their family member will not end up homeless and struggling under a bridge somewhere? Believe me, all parents of developmentally delayed persons want and absolutely need that peace of mind!
o What benefits are our disabled sons or disabled daughters receiving from the US? Would it not make more sense for these dependent individuals to be cared for in the country of their birth? Is common sense used at all in determining the law for these individuals?
o How does the US determine that this is not discrimination on the basis of citizenship, i.e. our dependent children have additional compliance requirements, additional expense of administration, all for $0.00 owing to the US, because they are considered US citizens in addition to the citizenship of their birthplace? They are also denied assistance in choosing or renouncing US citizenship when they have assistance in decision-making of trustees and/or guardians where they live.
o As far as I can tell, dependent individuals are denied any health care assistance from the US in the country of their residence. Additionally, it appears they are denied being able to access financial benefit of legal tax laws provided by their country to save for retirement in their resident and citizenship country, in this case Canada, afforded to others who hold only Canadian citizenship.
o In addition to all of the expense we have incurred so far in defense of our dependent children, must we also incur expense of consulting with a Human Rights lawyer to determine our children’s human rights?
Canada Ratifies UN Convention on Rights of Disabled
OTTAWA, Ontario, March 16, 2010) – The Canadian government announced that they have ratified the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
The Hon. Lawrence Cannon (CPC-Pontiac), Minister of Foreign Affairs, ratified the Convention at the UN headquarters in New York on Thursday. “Canada is committed to promoting and protecting the rights of persons with disabilities and enabling their full participation in society,” he commented in a press release beforehand. “Ratification of this convention underscores the Government of Canada’s strong commitment to this goal.”
Why should the parents’ retirement resources be committed to maintaining US tax compliance responsibilities for our US sons and daughters? Is this not, too, discrimination and an unwise use of our savings — for no benefit to the US?
Again, where is the common sense in not having a choice:
o Keep the US citizenship for our developmentally delayed dependent family members and carry on year after year after year — for whatever we may think is( patriotically?) important
o Let those of us who look out for our developmentally delayed dependent family member’s well-being EVERY DAY be allowed to renounce that US citizenship on their behalf — and continue in the important things in our lives, like the “quality of life” for our sons, our daughters.
Mr. Mopsick, I do thank you for your generous offer to me and to Cecilia’s family — or any other such family. I’m sorry you are not able to help with the aspect we need help with — the right to be able to renounce our children’s US citizenship on their behalf — if that is our choice and what we think best for their interests.
@Steven: Again, thank you for agreeing to see if you can help Cecelia with this issue. Calgary411 had provided some information. In addition to the RDSP issue, it is my understanding that IRS does not provide anything similar to the disability tax credit which las long been in existence in Canada to help Canadians with disabilities offset some of the expenses associated with a disability.
Although this is a serious tax discrepancy between the two countries, it also points very strongly to the fundamental difference in the way Canadians with disabilities and Americans with disabilities are accepted and integrated into their respective countries. The US is ahead of Canada on accessibility because of Americans with Disabilities Act (ACT). Yet, my personal experience, along with what I have learned from others on both sides of the border, is that Canada offers greater inclusion of Canadians with disabilities in everyday life. The RDSP and disability tax credits are reflections of those fundamental differences.t,
I think you may be interested in this article from Globe and Mail about Canada’s Finance Minster when he spoke about the RDSP shortly after he introduced it.
Jim Flaherty (Yes, the same JF who is speaking out about FATCA, etc.) is–like your Washington lawyers–moral, intelligent and highly educated. He is also compassionate and caring with good solid common sense. He has a trait we often don’t see in politicians. Jim Flaherty listens to the people he serves. Don’t be deceived by the tearful emotions JF displayed in announcing the RDSP. Jim Flaherty is also a fighter who stands up for what is for what he believes is right and fair.
In the article, Mr. Flaherty said “This is an initiative that other countries in the world are looking at so again Canada has shown leadership on an important subject, as we do on some other issues, and I’m very pleased that it is being copied in other countries.”
Like he did on the RDSP, I believe Mr. Flaherty will provide leadership for Canada (and an example to other leaders throughout the world) on the FATCA) issue as it affects Canadian citizens, residents and financial institutions. (Yikes! I’m praising a Conservative politician. The world really has gone topsy turvy!).
Cecilia’s daughter has no problems re the US Gov. or the IRS. They can safely forget about it and move on.
Flaherty is a graduate of Princeton just to let everyone know although his law degree is from York University.
Flaherty even has a legal textbook he was co-author of.
Families who have a dependent adult with disabilities, and have legal guandianship and/or trusteeship for that person well understand the issue of planning for his/her future. They become passionate and vocal, and will do anything to safeguard their loved family member, including renouncing U.S. citizenship. Personally, for my daughter, Canada has done a tremendous amount in ensuring her future, and continues to support her financially, in daily living, and in health. I am very disappointed that I are unable to renounce U.S. citizenship for my daughter, as her legal guardian and trustee in Canada. The U.S. does not recognize my authority to do so. It is definitely a human rights and social justice issue. I should be able to exercise all the same rights on my daughter’s behalf that I do for myself. Since I have renounced for myself (and the alternate guardian/trustee of this dependent adult has also renounced), there is even more reason that I should be able to renounce for this disabled daughter, to keep her safely in Canada with her entire support system. Deciding where this person shall live is in the guardianship court order.
Right on, Cecilia. There are at least three families here saying this same thing, but my gut feeling is there are many, many other families out there the same as us. Thanks for your input.