UPDATE: Jim Jatras has provided an revised Word Version of the text below for mass distribution.
The following is a message from Jim Jatras:
Please review that following and submit comments. I hope it’s more or less self-explanatory.
As indicated in a previous comment, it’s in effect a kind of ad or statement inviting people to contact Harper, Flaherty, MPs and oppose FATCA/IGA. Ideally, it’s the kind of thing that would be posted online or even in print publications as an ad, if there were money for that. (If Canadian industry weren’t spending money trying to get the “best deal possible” from the Americans under an IGA instead of fighting.) Certainly individual comment letters to the Finance Department should be sent, but let’s not kid ourselves they will pay much attention them. What we need is a groundswell of outraged Canadians to contact Harper, Flaherty, and MPs as soon as possible with a simple message: NO!
I realize that it’s always risky to hang a draft out where anyone can take a whack at it, but feel free. Also, any ideas on where and how it can be posted and distributed are welcome.
BTW, this is the kind of thing that routinely gets placed in DC in publications like Politico, The Hill, Roll Call, and other pubs aimed at Congress. Picture a similar message aimed at Congress but making an American argument against FATCA, as this makes a Canadian one. That’s how we get things done – if we had someone with money and willing to fight.
Call or email Stephen Harper, Jim Flaherty, and Your MP Today!
STOP an Impending Massive Handover of Canadian Sovereignty to the United States!
Tell the Government: Canada Must Say NO
to the United States on ‘FATCA’
Recently the Department of Finance invited comments on what was characterized as “an agreement to improve cross-border tax compliance through . . . the provisions enacted by the United States commonly known as the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).” This eleventh-hour invitation came as sources in both Ottawa and Washington announced that they were close to finalizing an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) that would, in effect, deputize the Canadian government to enforce this American law in Canada.
The Department’s invitation is to “persons whose interests are affected by the provisions of FATCA” but does not spell out that each and every Canadian citizen would suffer from FATCA and from an IGA to implement it:
Canadian citizens have an interest in preserving Canada’s sovereignty against US encroachment. However it is disguised, FATCA is a unilateral U.S. initiative. The U.S. didn’t negotiate a global tax scheme with Canada and other countries but instead enacted an unprecedented extraterritorial law and demands that Canada comply and bear the costs. An IGA simply puts a Canadian glove on the hand enforcing American law.
Canadian taxpayers have an interest in a tax policy that benefits Canada’s needs, not America’s. Sold under the guise of “reciprocity” and “partnership,” an IGA in reality would be a costly one-way street imposed by the U.S. Given the differences between the two countries’ tax systems, FATCA would accelerate a zero-sum game that siphons wealth from Canada and robs the Canadian treasury.
Canadian consumers have an interest in avoiding foreign schemes that impose costly non-economic regulations on Canadian firms (banks, insurance companies, pension funds, stock and investment companies) – who will then pass those costs on to consumers. With or without an IGA, FATCA’s costs will be in the billions of dollars (for example, one major bank alone would pay an estimated $100 million in FATCA compliance!) These costs would be non-productive as regards the Canadian economy and a waste of human and material resources. Imposing these costs on Canadians supposedly is justified by the unproven hope that FATCA may trip up American “tax cheats,” even though FATCA does little specifically to catch such people.
Canadians as human beings have an interest in ensuring their rights are protected under sovereign Canadian law. FATCA demands extraordinary disclosure of private information of U.S. citizens in Canada in violation of Canadian laws, such as the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, whose application Canada would be forced to alter under an IGA. Many of these resident Americans are Canadian dual citizens who would be denied protection of Canada’s laws to appease the U.S. Once it’s established a foreign government can demand abrogation of such rights, even of Canadian citizens, where’s the limit?
So why is the Government considering an IGA with the United States? Because of the very real fear that Washington otherwise would unilaterally impose FATCA on Canada at ruinous cost, especially a 30% withholding penalty on Canadian firms’ U.S.-derived revenue. Simply put, this is a threat of U.S. economic sanctions against Canada.
Contact Prime Minister Harper and tell him No on FATCA, and No on an IGA with Washington!
Contact Minister Flaherty and tell him No on FATCA, and No on an IGA with Washington!
Contact your Senators and MPs and tell them No on FATCA, and No on an IGA with Washington!