I am happy to call your attention to an excellent post by our friend Jim Jatras on his Repeal FATCA website. This post is aimed at Americans in the US, and I think it’s important for you to forward this link to any friends and family you might have in the US. Jim’s post is a calm rebuttal of the wild claims the Democrats are making that the Republican National Committee is committed to letting “tax cheats” off the hook, and in the vitriolic political atmosphere in the US, it’s important that calm, reasoned and moderate statements like this get some attention. He makes some very telling points about how this law got through Congress with no debate or committee study. Sounds sadly familiar in Ottawa these days, unfortunately …
The link is here
For whatever reason WordPress doesn’t take the link and make it “live.” Please can someone who knows how do that?
Otherwise, to get to Jim’s bulletin block-select the whole http line, right-click and copy, then go to the address field at the top of your browser window, paste the link there, and hit Enter. Should work, it does for me.
I hate computers sometimes.
Maybe this link works?
Works for me Jim.
No idea why it didn’t work in the original post. It looks identical to me … except for the blue font.
Did you use the insert link (or something like that) function rather than just type in the text for the link?
I find many similarities between what is going on at the NSA and the IRS. FATCA is an attempt to amass a huge database of information with the assumption that citizens are guilty of tax evasion. This database will be mined to identify us-persons who have inadvertently failed to comply with some obscure tax law. The government’s approach is that all foreign banking information is essential to ferret out few tax cheaters.
The IRS should provide a reasonable argument that the information it is gathering is relevant to a specific infraction. As you are aware no humans or law firms can guarantee that an expat has correctly complied with all provisions of the tax code.
Once the database exists they will with out a doubt find tax cheats. Under criminal law the state must prove intent. Under tax law the onus the individual to prove a reasonable cause.
It would be interesting to see the two answers to Fatca that governments could possibly have. The first answer to Fatca would be a response to the implementation of Fatca as it stands now, by threat to their banking industries. This answer is causing the governments to make a decision to either throw the effected people under the bus or call the USA’s bluff on the 30%. The answer would be in the form of a “cooperative IGA) which would, in reality be an answer to an ultimatum or forced cooperation. But what would the other answer be? If the USA presented Fatca, without threat and offering to work with other countries privacy laws and act within human rights and international laws. The answer would likely be a firm “no” as they would feel they have a choice. Does this mean Fatca is an act of war based on the fact it destroys and supersedes all other countries laws?
FATCA: Sequel to the war of 1812 (Bubblebustin came up with this slogan)
I think you are exactly right. Just the accounts reportable under FATCA would be a powerful mapping tool for the intel agencies – to which the FATCA data provided to the IRS would be transferred.
But it may be even broader than that. FATCA compliance might expose the reporting institutions to cracking into ALL their data, not just FATCA-reportable ones. See: http://www.repealfatca.com/index.asp?idmenu=4&title=News&idsubmenu=137 .
Incredibly, privacy watchdog groups like http://www.eff.org and http://www.epic.org that have been all over the NSA continue to ignore FATCA. See, FATCA is a “tax enforcement” matter, nothing to do with privacy . . .
When I first commented I was only looking at the data mining issue from the personal level. Just think how the information could be use to impose 30% withholding on foreign banks!
BTW: I just got a letter from the IRS. Anyone notice the left hand corner of the envelope?
Penalty for private use $300
Better not use it to jot down a phone #
Interesting that someone has reposted this item on what appears to be a liberal Democratic site: http://www.democraticunderground.com/1009142 .
I hope this is an indication that while the GOP has taken the lead, not all Democrats will automatically oppose it. Note the poster’s interesting comment at the bottom of the page:
“Please Note: the OP Poster is NOT and NEVER will be a Republican and does not like Republicans but this is the ONLY stand that is sane. It would be good for the Democratic party to have FATCA looked at and corrected. AND that Citizen based taxation which the USA practices be changed to Resident based taxation which all the rest of the world practices. This poster is pro OBama, pro choice, pro women, pro gays, pro union, pro immigration, pro immigration, pro gun control, pro public schools, pro freedom of religion, pro teachers, against tax evasion. against drones, against corruption. believes in evolution. believes in increasing the minimum wage, believes in climate change, believes bankers are not too big to jail. supports OWS, I AM NOT A TROLL!!!!!!”
@ Jim Jatras
That is definitely one of our Brockers (northernstar). She got quite a conversation going before on DU too. It will be interesting to see what develops with this one. Your latest piece is excellent and I’m glad to see it getting spread around. Thank you for this and all your other good work at repealfatca.com. (And I’m sure in other places we have no idea about.)
HELEN BURGGRAF , CONTRIBUTING EDITOR , INTERNATIONAL ADVISER quotes Solomon Yue, the chief sponsor of the RNC resolution to repeal FATCA:
“Now that the repeal motion has been approved, the next step will be “to inform our grassroots membership and Congress [about] FATCA’s negative impact on 7.6 million overseas Americans’ lives,” he says.”
More importantly to those of us who wonder if the Canadian government is taking any of this in:
“The third step is to send this resolution to all the foreign embassies in Washington DC, so their governments see there is no need to sign intergovernmental agreements with the US. Without such agreement[s], it would be difficult to enforce FATCA globally.”
The RNC will be calling upon every government with embassies in Washington DC in attempt to dissuade each country from signing IGA’s!!! Seem to remember that Canada has a pretty nice embassy in DC! Also, thanks to the USG, Mr Yue can now drive straight up the Indian embassy, now that the US reopened the parking lot in front in retaliation to the Indians removing the concrete barricades in front of the US embassy in New Delhi. This just gets better. Mr Yue should be named Brock’s alpha-dog of the week!
Thank you for posting this excellent article. There is a weak point in “Costs outweigh benefits” argumentation: the estimated trillion dollars cost of compliance expenses is to be paid by foreign banks, and thus all citizens of these countries, whereas the one billion dollars gain is expected for the IRS…
Nice one! I have already posted it, emailed it, etc.
We’ve had a lot of success in persuading republican/libertarian leaning homelanders that FATCA is wrong but much less in changing the minds of democrats, particularly those on the left of the party. We need something customised for this group. Arguments about raising costs of doing business won’t work on them.
Just a brainstorm, but why not try flipping it about to project it onto a group they profess to care a lot about? And push the emotional aspect.
Why not ask them if they consider Mexican immigrants and their children born in the US to be evading Mexican taxes by living in the US?
Ask them if it’s right to confiscate 27.5% of the money that Mexican immigrants have sent back to their families back home through the OVDP/I “amnesty”?
Ask them what the “fair share” of taxes is for someone who has never lived in the US (e.g. accidentals, green card holders who never actually moved, etc).
Ask them why people who e.g. won a Green Card on the green card lottery should pay taxes to the US even before they actually move there – they receive no protection from the US, and are not even 100% guaranteed entry.
Or go all “soundbite” on them and ask them why they hate immigrants when those immigrants are FROM the US? “Why do you hate other countries’ immigrants so much?”
Ask them why they hate pensioners, as these people are the worst affected by CBT.
Ask them why Canadian government contributions to certain savings schemes should be taxed by the US.
Ask them if it’s right that someone on welfare outside the US should pay US tax on it.
Ask them what would happen if the whole world adopted the US approach, and went after its “tax evaders” in the US?
One common defence of FATCA says it’s not perfect but we have to do something about tax evasion. All the arguments against FATCA fall flat on these people because they see us as acceptable collateral damage. So we can’t simply propose dumping FATCA – we need to propose a reasonable alternative. One practical suggestion is that the US join the European Savings Directive(ESD)
Under this rule, income paid to non-resident accounts is reported to the country of the account holder. It’s been running for several years and has a functioning bureaucratic infrastructure. Some non-EU countries have already joined it. The USA should join the ESD which would create the momentum for many other countries like Canada to also join. Tax havens would come under strong multilateral pressure to join.
To make a link active in the publishing mode, you need to use the Link/Edit function button (the button with the little chain on it).
You can attach the link to a word, a string of words like this, (Why Republicans Are Right to Support Repeal of FATCA!or just add the link function to the actual inactive like that you copied and pasted in the text box.
In fact, you can go back and edit it now, if you like. When the pop up box is activated for you to paste your link into, be sure to tick the box for ‘open link in in new window/tab’
Hope that helps
The current administration in Washington won’t listen to your suggestion nor act on it. Fact is, Canada and the US have had EXACTLY such an agreement in place for about ten years now, our Finance Minister made that VERY clear in his opening volley (in a public letter he tried to get published in NY Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal but none of them took it, and I’m sure he raised this in the first meeting on the IGA discussions with the US). If you’re focusing (as you should) on genuinely FOREIGN accounts, i.e. accounts held in one country by someone who doesn’t reside in that country, then that’s going to catch almost all the real tax cheats and no one has a problem with that (except the tax cheats and their lawyers and accountants). Thing is, Canada has that with the US already, but the Obama administration is either too stupid, to stubborn, or just too interesting in robbing blind anyone they can to pay off the country’s huge debt (which is no one else’s fault but America’s), they don’t want to talk about it. They want FATCA instead.
I don’t think at this point with the vitriol that characterizes US politics that the Democrats are remotely interested in listening to anyone who disagrees with them. Not sure on some other issues the Republicans are any better in terms of listening, but on this one issue at least, the Republicans have it right, and the Democrats are dead wrong in the way they’re going about this. FATCA has become a huge complex typically American Rube-Goldberg creaking monstrosity that tweaking isn’t going to fix. It should never have been passed in the first place, it was badly thought out, never debated in committee, and the only sensible solution now is to scrap the damn thing and start over. Which is exactly what Jatras is saying, only more diplomatically than I am.
You are correct that the US administration won’t listen. But if you can only get the knee-jerk pro-FATCA types to listen for a minute, it’s good to get across that we’re not in favour of tax-dodging and that there’s a practical multilateral solution to the problem.