February 3, 2014 UPDATE: Urgent:
Public submissions can be made from anywhere in the world. All that is required is a name, email address and phone number. But you will have to be quick as the link will be closed at midnight on Wed 5th Feb New Zealand time. (That is actually 3 AM the morning of Feb 5th on the West Coast of America.)
I hope you will find time to express your opinion to them. It is very much appreciated. The link is here:
http://www.parliament.nz/en-nz/pb/sc/make-submission/50SCFE_SCF_00DBHOH_BILL12926_1/taxation-annual-rates-employee-allowances-and-remedial (scroll down to “make an online submission”)
Plainly put, FATCA is more Stealth in New Zealand than in America.
Osgood has provided us good informational analysis of the pending Legislation for New Zealand to capitulate without a fight to the FATCA IGA.
This inspired a good article at The New American but nothing in New Zealand media. The last article I have seen is this at Interest.co.nz from November.
The Ministery of Revenue has NO IDEA OF THE COST of what they are doing, or HOW MANY U.S. PERSONs in New Zealand! Nor, do they or the Ministry of Justice seem to care. All they care about is finding a way legislatively to comply. Banks want their bailout, and the government is determined to give it to them, it would seem. Let ALL Kiwi bank customers pay the cost.
Osgood has recently sent an email plea for submissions from over seas, as when it comes to media coverage in New Zealand, FATCA is operating like a Secret CIA covert operation that the citizenry is unaware of.
See below for his request for help. Submissions are easy to do! They are due by February 4th, USA time.
Just a quick catch up with regard to the NZ submission. The deadline for submissions is now
10 9 1 day away. I had a look at the submission process and it is very straightforward. All you need to provide to make a submission is your name, a phone number and an email address. You do not even need to make up an attachment. If the submission is short (4000 chars or less) it can simply be typed (or cut and paste) into the text box provided.
Submissions can come from anywhere in the world. The link is here and at the bottom of this email.
I have made some attempts to raise visibility of this on Brock, but I fear that it is being missed by the majority and in any case, most peoples attention is focused on Canada right now (understandably). However, I think it would be of great benefit if as many people as possible can put in some form of submission opposing New Zealand signing an IGA for FATCA. The more that come from outside New Zealand, the better IMHO.
The New Zealand government has gone to great lengths to cover this legislation up as much as possible. They are trying to hide it from the parliament, and the New Zealand public. If they receive submissions from overseas this will at least alert them to the fact that their actions have been noticed elsewhere (perhaps more than in this country!). Also, whether they like it or not all submissions received must be made public on the website, and they must be addressed in the Select Committee report to parliament (due in June). It carrys a lot more power than letters to Ministers which can effectively be ignored (as I well know).
They are relying on the fact that people are unaware or too busy to make a submission. This is an opportunity not to be missed!
Many people that make detailed comments on Brock could simply modify them slightly and cut and paste them into the NZ submission form. It really is not difficult. The detailed analysis that was posted on Brock was a great help, but may put a lot of people off due to its detail. It is not necessary to go into that detail.
New Zealand needs to be made aware that this is a global issue. Other nations, such as Canada are starting to stand up to the bully and need support from countries like New Zealand. Anyone that can report the shock, anxiety and horror at finding out about this would also make a good submission.
The other thing I thought of was that maybe a submission could also be made on behalf of “Isaac Brock Society”, but that may be too much at this stage.
Anyway, I would appreciate it if you wouldn’t mind forwarding this on to your network, particularly to those that you think would be willing to take an hour or so to make a submission. I am thinking the regular bloggers and also perhaps Jim (Jatras), and anyone else you think would be a candidate
The summary of the situation that I posted on Brock is below:
1. The NZ cabinet has already agreed to “negotiate” a Model 1 IGA with the US. This has not been subject to consultation or parliamentary process
2. NZ has extensive Privacy and Human Rights laws that need to be broken for our FIs to adhere to FATCA
3. The NZ gov has introduced a bill to force NZ FIs to comply with the (as yet unsigned) IGA. It does by defining the IGA as a Dual Tax Treaty which overrides domestic Privacy laws. It is not clear how this gets around the Human Rights issues.
4. The FATCA section (called Foreign account information-sharing agreements) is buried in the bill which contains much unrelated legislation.
5. The bill has been referred to Select Committee and is open for public submissions.
The link for submissions is here: http://www.parliament.nz/en-nz/pb/sc/make-submission/50SCFE_SCF_00DBHOH_BILL12926_1/taxation-annual-rates-employee-allowances-and-remedial
Scroll down to bottom and click the box “Make an online submission”. There is help available here if required.
Important: Submissions are due no later than Feb 5th, but due to time zones this will be February 4th in most places in the world.
Thanks a lot.
My Note: Even if you are not so inclined to make a submission on another Countries legislation, maybe you know a Kiwi somewhere who will. We see very few on Isaac Brock, so uncertain how to reach them. Please forward this onward to those who might be impacted and be so inclined.
Please note this:
The Ministry of Justice has determined via its recent Web announcement, the following:
We have concluded that the Bill appears to be consistent with the rights and freedoms affirmed in the Bill of Rights Act.
A letter to the Attorney General challenging that decision, and asking them to provide analysis has resulted in this simple dismissive statement:
I have nothing further to add to the consistency of the bill to the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act.
I think all countries should tell the USA, change your taxation from CItizen Based Taxation like rest of the world and we will Sign your FATCA to look for US homelanders who have accounts outside of the USA.
While I might still disagree with these Global auto exchanges which still have “due process”, privacy, and security concerns, a submission to New Zealand could be as simple as what you said. “Don’t sign up, until America follows ‘International Norms’ of Residency based Taxation!”
They don’t even have to do that – they just need to insist that the IGA refers only to US residents, and not “us persons”. If their true intention is to catch rich US tax cheats, there should be no problem.
However, if the US tries to force the issue, it is then known once and for all that FATCA is intended to be used to generate FBAR fines from ordinary citizens & green card holders abroad.
This goes a long way to explaining why NZ should not go any further with a FATCA IGA:
Perhaps a submission could include it, preface it, and add any other comments that the submitter felt needed elaboration or was specific re NZ?
Thank you for posting this.
Please consider making a submission, however short.
What is happening in NZ and what happened in the UK – countries rolling over and just throwing their citizens under the bus and changing their bank privacy laws to accommodate FATCA is a travesty. Now I understand that HSBC in the UK is requiring customers to give reasons why they want to withdraw cash in excess of say 5000 BP – and is refusing to allow withdrawal in certain cases. All in the name of taxes and anti money laundering – where does it end?
Snowden was interviewed on german TV last night. He said there is something called “5 eyes”.
After WW2, all the english speaking countries joined forces in espionage: USA, England, Australia and New Zealand among them- I forget the fifth. So there is an intimacy there- like this innate trust among teammates.
The germans are still quite enraged at the NSA listening in on Merkel`s cellphone. The american speaker basically made a comment which boiled down to “We protect you, so dont complain.” It is all bullying in my eyes. And protection? Sounds more like getting screwed. Snowden also confirmed industry espionage.
Make that six eyes because the NSA is sharing raw data with Israel with the laughable and not even legally binding caveat to not peek at anything they shouldn’t be peeking at. BTW, Canada is the fifth eye. 🙁
How could you forget the 5th Eye…????? It is CANADA of course.. 🙂
I sent a long list of questions to an Australian senator I know and got back a stock reply that his mind is made and his intentions are committed to the goverment line. I had some personal reasons to hope he would take a closer look. The reply included:
“In November 2013, Treasurer Hockey reaffirmed the Australian Government’s intention to conclude an IGA with the U.S. to improve international tax compliance and to address FATCA.”
It’s about China and Indonesia hovering just above and to the left on our map. Forget trade and domestic banking discomfort and the other reasons New Zealand and Australia comply so readily with US wishes. These 2 countries say “How high?” when the USA says “Jump!” for the sake of the defence alliances with America. Australia and New Zealand will comply with any US request because they simply do not provide enough for their own defence and domestic tax impositions would be iintolerable were they to do so substantially because the population base is so small.
That kind of mindset is really shocking but sadly so much the norm these days.
@ Just Me
Yes the Five Eyes is the new way to refer to the old ECHELON. About 8 years ago I wrote a song parody about ECHELON.
Ooops! Canada of course! My only excuse is that I dont think straight before coffee in the morning.
@ Steve Klaus -wow thanks for alerting IBS to this imposition of defacto capital controls by HSBC …… interesting!!
As I mentioned in a couple of other places on Brock, HELEN BURGGRAF , INTERNATIONAL ADVISER quotes Solomon Yue, the chief sponsor of the RNC resolution to repeal FATCA as saying that the RNC will be calling upon every government with embassies in Washington DC in attempt to dissuade each country from signing IGA’s!!!
“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.”
Sounds like Mr Yue should be informed that New Zealand’s embassy should be first on his list.
Adding Osgoods comment from another thread..
January 27, 2014 at 9:25 pm
IRD has provided updated guidance dated 13 January 2014 on how New Zealand FIs are to comply with FATCA. :http://www.ird.govt.nz/resources/f/d/fd5e6983-545e-44ef-b761-6d14c5ab739a/fatca-guidance-notes-january-2014.pdf
Dumb or dumber ….
FYI: The following from RepealFATCA.com was submitted to the New Zealand Parliamentary Committee site a few minutes ago. The arguments are just as applicable to Canada and other countries, substituting, for example, “Canada” for “NZ” and “CRA” for “IRD”.
To: Parliament of New Zealand, Parliamentary Select Committee
Re: Taxation (Annual Rates, Employee Allowances, and Remedial Matters) Bill
This is James George Jatras, Esq., in Washington, DC. I am a former US diplomat and long-serving US Senate staffer, now in private practice. I also am Editor of RepealFATCA.com, where further documentation is available.
I urge that legislation mandating New Zealand’s (NZ) compliance with FATCA not be approved, and that NZ not allow this imposition on your citizens and institutions, as follows:
1. FATCA has no legal authority in NZ: As the US Department of Justice admits, non-US financial institutions threatened by FATCA are “outside the United States’ jurisdiction.” NZ institutions are under no legal obligation to comply with FATCA. Thus, the 30% “withholding” of US-source payments to “recalcitrant” institutions is not a “tax” or a “penalty,” but a sanction or reprisal. A sovereign state has a duty to defend its institutions and citizens from foreign extralegal and extraterritorial threats, not capitulate to them. [Source: http://www.repealfatca.com/index.asp?idmenu=4&idsubmenu=146&title=why-republicans-are-right-to-support-repeal-of-fatca ]
2. The FATCA IGA’s main purpose is abrogate NZ privacy protections: The FY2014 Budget Submission to Congress noted: “In many cases, foreign law would prevent foreign financial institutions from complying […] Such legal impediments can be addressed through intergovernmental agreements under which the foreign government agrees to provide the information required by FATCA to the IRS.” Here “foreign law” and “legal impediments” primarily mean privacy protections of your citizens and residents. [Source: see above]
3. The IGA is not a “treaty” under US law and can be changed by the US at will: NZ would lock in its compliance with US demands through domestic legislation approved by Parliament; on the US side, no Congressional action would be taken to bind the US. The US unilaterally can cancel the IGA at any time with one year’s notice, for no reason whatsoever, and leave NZ and your institutions facing direct compliance with IRS regulations – the threat impelling you to consider the IGA in the first place. Thus, NZ would be forced to accept any future changes dictated by the US. [Source: http://www.repealfatca.com/index.asp?idmenu=4&idsubmenu=112&title=why-republicans-are-right-to-support-repeal-of-fatca ]
4. NZ would NOT receive “reciprocal” exchange of information: Under the supposedly “reciprocal” IGA, the Treasury Department promises (a) to report bank interest income on US accounts of NZ residents and (b) to seek legislation for FATCA-equivalent reporting at some unspecified future date. Even the limited bank interest reporting under current US regulations is questionable under Congressional and court challenge. FATCA-equivalent reporting would require new legislation, which Congress will not approve. [Source: http://www.repealfatca.com/index.asp?idmenu=4&idsubmenu=130&title=why-republicans-are-right-to-support-repeal-of-fatca ]
5. FATCA exposes NZ institutions to US intelligence agencies: FATCA data provided to the IRS would not be considered confidential under US law and would be reportable to US agencies such as NSA. Assurances in the IGA that information provided via IRD would be subject to tax treaty protections against non-tax enforcement use or transfer are not credible. [Source: http://www.repealfatca.com/index.asp?idmenu=4&idsubmenu=135&title=why-republicans-are-right-to-support-repeal-of-fatca ]
6. FATCA may be repealed in any case: A bill to repeal FATCA has been introduced in the Senate (S. 887). The Republican Party, which recently approved a resolution advocating FATCA repeal, will continue to control the House and is expected to capture the Senate this year. Why would NZ rush submit to an expensive, invasive, and anti-sovereign foreign demand that may be rescinded?
@James Jatras, I wish you had sent the same letter to the French Finance Minister prior to their IGA signing!
… and to the UK, which capitulated to FATCA with positively indecent haste.
@ watcher-you are right, I was very disappointed with HMG here in london, UK…… but at least we get services for our tax ££££ here and you can still just about cope on your own with a UK tax return!!!! only 8 pages. on the main form and decently spaced questions….
Lea just made a submission to New Zealand too, and with her permission, I reproduce here…
I am very sorry to hear that New Zealand is considering signing an IGA with the US Treasury in order to implement FATCA regulations.
FATCA is an over-reaching legislative move by the US government to create a database of the financial details of all US ‘persons’ with foreign ties, no matter where they live. While this is being done under the auspices of reigning in tax evasion, the fact is that there are no provisions for the collection of taxes from individuals in the FATCA regulations.
The definition of ‘US person’ is not limited to citizenship or residency status. A US person can also include dual US/New Zealand citizens, New Zealand spouses of US citizens, those who were born in the US, but moved to New Zealand as children, those who were born in New Zealand to a US parent and the list goes on and on. Consequently, FATCA will impact many people other than US citizens who happen to be resident in New Zealand.
Because a FATCA IGA will affect New Zealand citizens, it is important to remember that this legislation forces New Zealand’s financial institutions to behave in a way that is inconsistent with the Bill of Rights, in particular freedom from discrimination and unreasonable search and seizure. Even with an IGA, it is likely that these decisions will be challenged in court and will not hold up under New Zealand’s Bill of Rights.
Further to this issue, why is the signing of an IGA with the US not being subjected to public consultation, or the parliamentary process? My understanding is that there has been no cost/benefit analysis, nor has any impact analysis been done on the numbers of New Zealanders affected or the extent of harm that will be done to them. It is highly suspect when something as important as FATCA/IGA negotiations are carried out under a cloak of secrecy. One can only assume that Parliament is aware that an IGA would not survive public scrutiny and are trying to ‘slip’ this past their voting public in order to appease the lobbying force of New Zealand’s financial institutions who feel they need an IGA in order to comply with FATCA.
During Parliament’s IGA negotiations with the US, I’m assuming that the US Treasury is making an IGA deal more attractive with promises of ‘reciprocity’. It is important realise that there is currently no US regulations in effect that would require true reciprocity. Recent regulations now require US financial institutions to report interest earnings of non-resident aliens to the IRS. But as far as reciprocity is concerned, these requirements are absolutely ineffective and completely absurd.
The US is not showing its willingness to reciprocate non-resident alien information with foreign countries since it limits the reporting obligation to (a) US sources of interest, (b) individuals only, and (c) practically zero countries. Since the new rules only apply to foreign individuals who may easily remain anonymous by placing the interest earning securities in the name of offshore entities, the rules do not actually support the US government in its fight against the abuse of tax havens.
I understand that New Zealand participates in OECD initiatives to develop multi-lateral information sharing agreements, and these are to be encouraged, subject to the usual cost/benefit analysis. However, the US FATCA IGA contains many provisions that are not contemplated in the OECD initiatives and as such FATCA is not an appropriate roadmap for bi-lateral agreements on tax evasion.
I think everyone can agree that tax evasion is a crime and those who are evading taxes should be prosecuted within the law.. However, the wide sweeping nature of FATCA requires all countries to consider US ‘persons’ (and sometimes their own citizens) as guilty of US tax evasion before such a crime has been identified.
Signing a FATCA IGA would create a uni-lateral agreement with the US who will have complete control over the process, and leave New Zealand with vague promises of reciprocity and a system that overrides New Zealand’s Bill of Rights and New Zealand’s sovereignty.
I doubt it would have done any good with M. Moscovici . . .
I have made several submissions to the UK Parliament and bombard them with my RepealFATCA.com bulletins. Poodle is as poodle does.
Here is my Q&D attempt at a submission, only on one of the absurd aspects, as I see it:
@James Jatras has JUST sent out this email to his distribution list…
New Zealand Ambassador Alerted to Repeal FATCA Movement, Others to Follow
Republicans Launch ‘Abolish FATCA’ Petition Site
@Blaze just sent in this submission… As she said, she doesn’t know much about NZ legislative processes, so her’s was in the form of questions. It is posted below… It is VERY GOOD!
If China demanded New Zealand identify any New Zealand citizens who were born in China and report their financial activities to China, would you? What if Russia made such demands? Pakistan? Eritrea? Iran?
Yet, that’s exactly what United States is doing to New Zealand citizens and legal residents who were born in United States. Alarmingly, New Zealand is preparing to comply.
FATCA demands comprehensive financial information on honest, responsible, productive New Zealanders with various degrees of connection to the United States. This includes joint accounts held with New Zealand born spouses, family and business partners.
FATCA expects information on total assets, account balances, transactions, account number and other personal identifying information.
In addition, the Investigations Committee of United States Congress has demanded such information be provided “upon request” to U.S. national security and law enforcement for investigation of money laundering, terrorist financing, drug trafficking, corruption, fraud and other crimes and misconduct–without a warrant.
Why would New Zealand possibly consider providing such information to the US Internal Revenue Service, which readily admits to an “epidemic” of identity theft and which could compromise the safety and security of New Zealand citizens and residents?
NEW ZEALAND LAWS AND SOVEREIGNTY:
Recent reports indicate New Zealand plans to change its privacy and human rights laws to accommodate the outrageous demands of a foreign government.
It is truly a frightening and sad day when a respected, independent democratic nation plans to change its laws on the dictate of a foreign power.
New Zealand claims to be committed to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and has ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, both of which contain a right to privacy.
The New Zealand Bill of Rights 19 (1) provides Freedom from discrimination
(1) Everyone has the right to freedom from discrimination on the grounds of discrimination in the Human Rights Act
The Human Rights Act 21 (g) prohibits discrimination based on:
21 (g) ethnic or national origins, which includes nationality or citizenship:
Does New Zealand really think so little of fundamental privacy and human rights that they will simply change those laws for a foreign power?
Is New Zealand prepared to surrender its right to set its own laws in its own territory to a foreign country because of financial threats? Does sovereignty mean so little to New Zealand?
Many around the world respect New Zealand as a nation of inclusion, freedom, independence and democracy that will stand up for its citizens. Surrendering to FATCA will compromise all those values.
NEW ZEALAND CITIZENS AND RESIDENTS
New Zealand’s Revenue Minister Tom McClay recently said changing New Zealand laws would affect only a few New Zealand “US taxpayers.” There are approximately 60,000 “US persons” in New Zealand. That is hardly “a few.”
In addition, Mr. McClay wrote to a New Zealand citizen describing New Zealand citizens born in United States as “US taxpayers habitually resident in New Zealand.”
What an insult that is to people who have sworn allegiance to New Zealand, have integrated into their communities and contributed to the country economically, financially, professionally personally and socially.
Mr. McClay also insists the New Zealand “government is not doing any more than assisting these financial institutions to meet their obligations.”
How did naturalized New Zealand citizens become “US taxpayers” in the country they call home? And why do New Zealand banks have any obligations to a foreign government?
United States Department of State (7 Fam 080) says:
“b. It is a generally recognized rule, often regarded as a rule of international law, that when a person who is a dual national is residing in either of the countries of nationality, the person owes paramount allegiance to that country, and that country has the right to assert its claim without interference from the other country.”
“e. U.S. Policy on Dual Nationality: When a U.S. citizen is in the other country of their dual nationality, that country has a predominant claim on the person.
Why isn’t New Zealand recognizing the paramount allegiance that their naturalized citizens have to New Zealand? Why isn’t New Zealand asserting its claim on those citizens without interference from the United States?
Finally, if New Zealand laws are changed to single out “a few,” what group will be next? What other laws will become vulnerable to foreign demands?
STAND UP FOR New Zealand
New Zealand has two choices. It can capitulate to U.S. domination. Or, it can be a leader and stand up for New Zealand’s sovereignty, laws and citizens.
Which will it choose? The world is watching.
@Blaze Excellent submission!! One extremely minor point, if you have not already submitted the Minister’s name is Todd McClay, not Tom McClay. I particularly like the statement “Finally, if New Zealand laws are changed to single out “a few,” what group will be next? What other laws will become vulnerable to foreign demands?”
Mr McClay will eventually regret referring to Kiwis as “US Taxpayers habitually resident in New Zealand”. Weasel words that are beneath contempt.