UPDATE: I received the following note from my contact:
1. I have arranged for a very experienced U.S./UK Tax Adviser to participate as well. This guy is very good – I have met him and heard him speak.
2. There will also be participation from an Investment Banker who has experience with a wide range of U.K. investments and has successfully navigated the Expatriation process. In other words – the attendees are going to have the chance to hear from people who really understand U.K. investment products and the like.
3. The session will still be in the overall context of dealing with the trauma.
The original Canadian meeting for those traumatized by the IRS in Canada took place in Toronto on June 15 with a clinical psychologist and a Toronto lawyer (read more here). Now, the Toronto lawyer will be available for a meeting in London, England, for one session:
Time: Sunday, 28 July, 2-5 pm
Location: The Church Hall, St. Pancras Church House, Lancing Street, NW1 1NA
Please note that The Church Hall is a separate location to the church itself and is located about 100m north of Euston Road and about 30m east of Eversholt Street on the southern side of Lancing Street
For access, please ring the “Church Hall” buzzer to the right of the entrance. The Church Hall is located on the second floor of St. Pancras Church House.
Transport: The nearest train station is Euston. The location is also within short walking distance of King’s Cross/St. Pancras train station. The nearest Tube stations are Euston (Northern and Victoria), Euston Square (Hammersmith & City, Metropolitan and Circle) and King’s Cross/St. Pancras (Piccadilly).
published on July, 15, 2013
The UK was the first country to roll over and sign an IGA without, to my knowledge, of any discussion or debate regarding the effect of FATCA on dual UK/US citizens or UK residents (approx 250K US citizens reside in the UK). I do not know the status of whether the IGA has now been approved and put into effect by the UK government. Are there any options at this point for legal opposition to the UK IGA?
I was trying to ascertain the status of this recently but am not up to speed on exactly where the legislation sits. I believe the relevant legislation is clause 219 of the Finance Bill 2013. As near as I can tell, clause 219 if passed authorises HMRC to come up with the rules to enable FATCA to operate in the UK. There isn’t any detail in the clause itself. Searches suggest that there was some debate on clause 219 in late June but I don’t know what happened after that.
At last the Long awaited London event. many thanks petros.
Indeed 😀 😀
It’s good to see you here. I hope you will be able to attend this London session. You could lend a lot and hopefully benefit as well meeting other US Persons Abroad friends there. Hope you are doing well!!!
I’m doing fine :D. I am much more optimistic and even feel blessed!! 😉
Really looking forward to it
Me too — what calgary411 just said. 🙂
That’s our gal. Good for you. Glad you going. I hope there is a good turn-out and people come away stronger as they did from the Toronto session.
@ Mona LIsa,
I”m delighted to hear! Nice to see you posting, too!
Just read/replied to you on another post. You’re all over the place! Great!!!
I would be curious to hear in what ways the Forum in London is/isn’t similar to the one in Toronto.
Any reporting much appreciated.
who is the toronto lawyer I would like to contact him?
@ Steve Klaus
A Canadian constitutional lawyer advised there could be no legal challenge to a Canadian FATCA IGA until it was officially tabled as a law or became law. A legal Charter challenge requires that plaintiff(s) be harmed by a discriminatory law, or at least that a harmful discriminatory law is proposed and potential plaintiff(s) object to its effect.
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms specifically prohibits any law that would discriminate or authorize discrimination on the grounds of “national or ethnic origin”.
Is there a similar constitutional anti-discrimination act in the UK?
Another leading Canadian Constitutional expert – Peter Hogg – wrote a strong opinion letter to the Canadian government. “To the extent that any implementing legislation adopts provisions similar to those found in the Model IGA, in my opinion, the legislation would violate s. 15 of the Charter,” he writes. “The source of this problem is the fact that the Model IGA requires financial institutions to treat people differently based on such innate characteristics as place of birth or citizenship.”
The Model IGA that is being proposed would compel Canadian financial institutions to disclose the private financial information of certain clients to a foreign state based solely on place of birth. In Mr. Hogg’s opinion this would be a clear violation of Section 15(1) of the Charter, which prohibits discrimination on the grounds of “national or ethnic origin”.
Apparently, the Canadian government has received many citizens’ comments noting this; Canada is an advanced human rights state with strong safeguards against discrimination and “activist” high courts. Also, it is home to as many as one million US-born Canadian citizens or residents.
This Green Party news release contains a link to Mr Hogg’s opinion letter.
Clause 219 is now Clause 222. The UK Finance Bill 2013 has passed all UK legislative phases and was given Royal Assent on 17 July 2013. It is now law. Clause 222 is the enabling legislation that gives the UK tax authorities (HMRC) essentially unlimited powers to enact the US/UK IGA and imposes FATCA on all UK banks and other financial institutions not specifically excluded by the IGA. Let the mayhem commence….
@ KingOfTheRoad, Steve Klaus
Does the US-born Mayor of London Boris Johnson know that his privacy rights and freedom to invest in markets as a British citizen are now reduced because of where he was born? Does he know that although he is a British citizen he is now – under UK law – disadvantaged because of his place of birth?
Someone in the UK – preferably a constituent or journalist – should reach out to Mr. Johnson on this. He made a strong public statement about “renouncing” US citizenship several years ago after being denied boarding to a US flight. Did he actually follow up with formal renunciation at a US embassy? That’s the question his bankers will ask.
The meeting yesterday went well, with more than a dozen individuals and couples, most very anxious and a number having already renounced or else planning to renounce US citizenship. David Treitel, a local US tax return preparer, was also there to answer questions. As several of the attendees mentioned, there are thousands of Americans and “US Persons” especially outside of London who have little access to information and professional assistance. The raw numbers and the much lower statistics of targeted persons who are doing anything suggest that FATCA and the penalties now associated with expatriation can only lead to disaffection, anxiety and worse. Of course (as it was said) the resources of the IRS don’t allow it to do much enforcement abroad: those with no contacts with or in the USA and no assets or heirs there, and the “minnows” with little income and, whether or not they have PFIC and FBAR issues, aren’t likely to be pursued.
On the other hand, David Treitel raised the issue, in the UK, of the very real Proceeds of Crime Act and other money laundering legislation under which, in his interpretation, evasion of US taxes — the Lord Mansfield dictum notwithstanding — could lead to arrest, prosecution and seizure of assets of the British “US Person”. And the prosecution of the professional as well, as even lawyers in such a situation must report “money laundering” to the authorities. (I wonder; must a priest do so if he learns of it in the confessional; whatever happened to lawyer-client privilege. Anyway it explains why the only lawyers advertising online do so with the expectation of demanding tens of thousands of dollars in fees, and promoting only OVDIs. Treitel suggested that there are 7 choices of action for targeted individuals to take with the choice depending upon status, wealth, appetite for risk, age and so on.)
As a former bankruptcy attorney I think that risk is exaggerated, but even so I decline most new clients on the basis that under US law I cannot assist a (non-)taxpayer in failing to declare revenue or foreign assets. On the other hand, a resident of England-and-Wales can file bankruptcy in England in the fond expectation that the IRS will not file proof of debt (“claim” in US parlance): were it to do so (as the USG did once in Canada with a bad result) it would find US law being interpreted by a foreign court, and it could be subject to a counterclaim.
Nobody denied that the unintended targets of Congressional legislation aimed at those who supposedly “owe allegiance” to the USA, now assisted by craven foreign governments anxious lest their financial services entities lose access to the US market, are mostly unlikely to do anything at all. But the whole idea of universal self-assessment of taxation is to keep the taxpayer in an anxious condition, to make him overpay if possible, but at least not to underpay. Those now faced with an unprecedented, even retroactive, enforcement campaign and who must, if they wish to become compliant and avoid penalty or even prosecution (should they be identified in the future), sacrifice much of their wealth, even become insolvent.
That, in many cases this embroils the non-American spouse in the case “is just too bad”. I noted that in Continental countries with civil-law systems and community property there could be anomalous results, even ones unlawful in the “other” country. Just as a QDOT is impossible in most places outside the USA, and forced heirship often prevents those in charge of succession from directing assets to the IRS upon death of a “US Person”.
Wondering – thank you for the concise summary. If/when the IGA comes in Canada, I hope Canadian legal, business and individual interests do not hold back and respond in a barrage of legal actions as permitted under Canadian law.
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