A couple of days ago, Tim posted the replies received from Canada Revenue Agency regarding FBAR, in response to a lengthy series of questions tabled in the House of Commons by Huong Mai MP (NDP), the NDP Finance Critic and the Vice-Chair of the House of Commons Finance Committee.
Mr. Mai had also posed a series of questions about FATCA. Today I received by email from Mr. Mai, in response to my email to him last Friday, PDF copies of the CRA and other Government of Canada replies to both series of questions. The answers concerning FBAR have already been posed on this website, but I haven’t seen the answers concerning FATCA. (Please forgive any oversight if they’ve been posted and I missed them.) So I am posting the PDF file of the replies on FATCA, below.
BTW the reply I received, from Mr. Mai’s Parliamentary Assistant, arrived in one business day (I sent my email at 14:22 on Friday and got the reply at 16:34 on Monday). That is spectacularly faster than any reply I’ve ever received from any government or MP office on anything, by email. Kudos to the NDP in general, and to Mr. Mai in particular, on this one!
The government replies aren’t especially informative. Basically all they say is that our government is aware of privacy, banking laws, and other concerns about FATCA. Our government isn’t happy about FATCA and continues discussions with the US government to try to get some mutually-acceptable changes. They don’t, and can’t, really say anything about how this will unfold until the final regulations are announced. For obvious reasons they aren’t going to publicize details of what discussions and proposals are still on the table.
However one interesting reply is the following:
“Insofar as Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) is concerned, CIC does not have a list of Canadian American dual citizens and has no information regarding the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).”
If CIC doesn’t have a list of dual citizens, I very much doubt any other Goverment of Canada agency does either. Which could make it rather difficult for any consistent search for dual citizens by IRS or anyone else, given the constraints of current privacy and banking legislation in this country. And I can’t imagine any Canadian government, including the present one, setting up a registry of dual citizens of Canada and any other country — for all sorts of political and legal reasons.
I wouldn’t want to be a banker or investment broker in Canada right now, facing the rock-and-hard-place choices that are going to confront them if they go foward into compliance under our current legal framework. And I wouldn’t want to be the politician, even in a majority government, that tried to change that legal framework significantly. (Even majority governments have to face voters eventually, and given the number of naturalized citizens in this country from all over the world, there are some potentially very hot-button issues here that any competant opposition party could have lots of fun with in an election campaign.) But that’s my personal take on things; read the Government’s reply to Mr. Mai’s questions for yourself.