Cross posted from RenounceUScitizenship
Well, at least according to former IRS lawyer and Florida based lawyer Richard Lehman. This video is worth the hour it will take to watch. Those considering a FATCA IGA with the U.S. should watch it as well.
It explains how:
If Canada enters into a FATCA IGA, it will help the U.S. “trap” almost one million Canadian citizens. Once “trapped”, Canada will turn its own citizens over to the IRS for processing.
This is definitely one of the better presentations I have seen on the OVDP program, on form 8938, and the obligations of non-US banks under FATCA. He also does a good job outlining the incredible range of penalties that US citizens abroad may be subjected to. Mr. Lehman skillfully presents the threat of FATCA and introduces OVDP as the only way to save yourself. Although the video was made in October of 2012, it includes no reference to the “streamlined procedures” and no reference to the December 2011 FS. This makes it a very skillful ad for OVDP.
Examples of interesting language include:
– the reference to OVDP as an “Amnesty”. I don’t see how a “shakedown” could be referred to as an “Amnesty”. But, remember this is a US based lawyer.
– the reference to FATCA as setting the “trap” for U.S. citizens. It’s as though he sees them as animals. He notes that by the end of 2013, the “trap” will be completely set around the world. Once the “animal/US persons” are “trapped” one wonders what will happen next.
– he reminds us of IRS “Whistle Blowers” (turn yourself in before somebody calls the IRS) and the general Birkenfeldation of the world.
– the purpose of FATCA is of course so that “at the push of a button” the IRS will know the exact wealth, assets, income and source of income of any U.S. citizen. (On this point he is absolutely correct.)
– he confirms the Orwellian nature and objective of FATCA.
He does a very good job of outlining the OVDP program. He does NOT however explain the 5% option that may be available to U.S. citizens abroad.
Verdict: A good infomercial for OVDP. Those who don’t have time for the video will find most of this information in written form at LehmanTaxLaw.com for
Most important thing learned: Renounce U.S. citizenship as quickly as possible. Do you really want to be “hunted” like an animal the rest of your life?
Also hot off the press from MaCleans.ca:
“Banks bracing for U.S. law requiring they inform on dual citizen accounts”
From the article:
“Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has said Ottawa is “nearing a conclusion” on the issue, suggesting a similar arrangement as reached by the U.K. is in the offing.”
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*John Brown: Thanks for sharing that link; I had not seen it yet. I shall be greatly disappointed if Canada caves.
Does anyone think Canadians will be able to challenge an IGA in the courts?
What a disappointing start to my morning, to hear that Canada appears very close to caving in to the bully USA!
I am more convinced than ever, to do everything I can to avoid allowing the IRS privy to my personal financial information. I OWE THE US NOTHING! I am so outraged, that even if the IRS came up with a newer amnesty/disclosure program offering 100% guarantee of no penalties, I would not bite at this point.
If Canada won’t tell USA to ‘bug off”, then I will. If that means continuing to hide for the rest of my days, for example, by putting my hard earned retirement savings under my spouse’s name or in a safety box in my home, moving to a credit union, etc, then that is what I will do. I believe it IS possible to stay one step ahead, although not without pain and effort.
I hope more ‘US persons’ feel like I do, and do not get frightened into ‘compliancy’. What the US is doing is immoral, but won’t stop on its own. THERE IS POWER IN NUMBERS AND IN TRUTH.
IGA or not, the fight is far from over!
Kathleen, if you hide money in safety deposit box, make sure it is in precious metals not currency: nothing that these governments would like better than for people to sit on worthless bank notes.
I have to give it to you @renounceuscitizenship for listening through one that video. To say that Mr Lehman is not the most scintillating of presenters would be a gross understatement! I couldn’t bear to go any further than his explanation of FATCA, but I did catch him mentioning in the first segment something about a reduced penalty of 5% for some taxpayers, and how it may be unnecessary to enter an amnesty program if you don’t owe any US tax. I may finish listening the next time I have insomnia 🙂
@bubblebustin I was not very impressed with the video presentation either, a lot of blah blah and yadda yadda. I wasn’t sure I even found all of the mentions of FATCA. Were they in one place? Did somebody note at what point in minutes/seconds the discussion of FATCA was made?
I don’t think I can bear to watch it again to tell you where the FATCA segment is, I if I was to guess, I’d say it was about 1/4 in.
*I almost feel he’s basically just advertising, offering a ‘honeypot’. I don’t believe he’s targeting minnow expats or accidental Americans. I also believed that US Persons living abroad could qualify for a ‘mere’ 5% misc. FBAR penalty if their U.S.-sourced income was under $10,000 per year, though this may no longer pertain to the 2012 OVDP.
Regarding the thresholds for FATCA reporting (8938) wouldn’t say that $200,000 was exactly a large amount of assets, especially considering that many merely middle-class people will have this amount saved up in their pensions and also if they’ve received an inheritance.
Yes, well I was having trouble sleeping last night, so it was a good time to watch it. The objective content of the information is good and it is well organized. That said, the presentation itself is horrible. It is a very slick infomercial for the OVDP program.
I think we may want to make a list of lawyers who seem to be focused on getting people into OVDP as opposed to bring them into compliance. The former IRS lawyers are seem to be in the former camp.
Another thought though: It is becoming increasingly clear that “Homelanders” believe “Americans Abroad” are nothing but tax cheats.
My advice: Don’t use U.S. based lawyers.
I’ve just started listening to this video. It is agonizing to listen to this man drone on and on so I probably won’t finish it. However just the first “inch or so” made me resolve to do everything I can think of to protect my inheritance from my Canadian parents. I will not dishonour them by having their final gift to me stolen by a foreign government. There are no taxes owed or owing and I will pay no penalty. Perhaps FATCA is another means for the USA to “cull the herd” and suck even more wealth into the deep pockets of the chosen elite. I can see divorces, suicides and people “going postal” because of this.