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.
From Osgood regarding a review of the submissions…
Not scientific, but out of the hundred or so I would say about 15-20 were unrelated. About another 5-10 were from FI’s or FCC members. They had mainly the same comments. They don’t like the fact that there are criminal penalties for non-compliance (LOL – if we have to put up with FBAR that is nothing!), and other comments related to permitted choices. The rest were all from individuals, without exception opposed to FATCA. Many were short, only a few detailed responses.
I plan to attend on Wednesday so will make a report.
I modified my 10 Options list, and submitted it as an addendum as you requested. I made it slightly more diplomatic, but did not pull any punches. Of course, I see I made a typo or two, but I think they will get the point…(just sent in Rev 1) No, they will NOT pay any attention, but maybe some journalist can find a quip to use.
Yesterday, I attended the 2nd New Zealand Select Committee meeting to hear oral submissions on this bill. The meeting was well attended and I heard somebody mention that “half the IRD are here”. It was basically a bunch of bankers and tax policy makers.
The ANZ bank spoke first, followed by the NZ Bankers Association. It was the usual party line, “we don’t want to comply but we have no choice”, blah blah. From listening to them speak it was obvious how closely they have been working with the IRD. They have clearly been fully briefed and consulted all along and their submissions were mainly for simple fine tuning of the proposed legislation. They do NOT like the fact that there are criminal penalties for non compliance (failing to register) and complained about how complex it all was and that innocent mistakes could be punished with severe penalties. Tough luck buddy – welcome to FATCA fun !!
Both parties were asked how they plan to handle the issue of joint accounts and gave mis-leading answers that only the US person would be reported on, which has subsequently been published here: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=11205829. Both stressed the awful consequences of not entering into the IGA and the NZBA even mentioned that “China and India” will be signing up soon.
I was called up to speak next. I had prepared a statement in advance, and launched into it. I was a bit nervous but absolutely determined to leave them in no doubt about where I was coming from. I opened with some personal family information so they knew why we were affected. The rest of my statement is below (you will have to imagine the verbal emphasis):
I could tell right away that everyone was listening very intently. I have to say it was one of the hardest, but also most rewarding. things I have ever done. When I finished there was a round of questions. I was asked about the renunciation process, and also some other questions about my family situation. As I got up to leave one of the other committee members passed me a slip of paper asking for my email and phone number. When I sat down, a journalist (Adam Bennett from NZ Herald) immediately asked if I would meet him after the meeting for a discussion. The next presentation was nothing to do with FATCA, and I was exhausted, so I left the room for a break and went for a long walk to calm myself!
Overall, I believe the members of this Select Committee are honourable people who are trying to find a solution that is best for the country. Unfortunately, because the IGA is going to be presented to them as a signed “done deal”, the situation is black and white. It can be accepted, or rejected. They are keen to understand the details of the IGA but they are essentially newbies to the whole thing. I think they sincerely do want to help if they could and spoke of trying to find a “balance”. As we all know that is not possible. Winston Peters (NZ First) “gets it” as he asked me what I thought of a parliamentary process that allowed legislation to be brought before parliament concerning an agreement that would only be signed by cabinet. He was using me to score some political points but I was quite happy to say that I did not agree with it!
Overall, I am not sure that anything will stop the IGA freight train in this country but I am sure that I have given them some food for thought. On reflection the entire thing was surreal. Even 2 years ago, I could never have imagined feeling so passionately about any subject that would have resulted in a personal appearance before the parliament. Hell, a year ago, I didn’t even know Select Committee’s existed! So goes life …..
@ Osgood – That is just amazing! What a fantastic job you did! I wish I could have been there. I wish we all had the opportunity to get up and speak like that.
Fantastic job, @Osgood. At least, in NZ and Canada, public input was requested, which I have never heard of such a thing for some other countries that signed, like the UK, Germany of France.
Great presentation. Thanks again. Was it recorded? It should be broadcasted on all mainstream news in New Zealand.
Excellent submission Osgoode! And good job on getting through to some of them, even if the FATCA train does not get derailed in New Zealand.
You should be very proud of yourself!
Well done Osgood!
You and anyone else could not have said it better. Having your poignant and unerring presentation on record means they can push this appalling capitulation to US economic might through the NZ legislative process but now they will have to do it with a very guilty collective conscience.
On behalf of US persons and their families everywhere, THANK YOU.
Good job Osgood. Just to make you feel better (that is sarcasm directed towards the Europeans) The European parliament.was much much worse. Every single European parliament member stood up and chimed in their support of this law. You got a much better response to your issue. Congrats.
My MP in Canada, John Weston, is apparently “thrilled” with the IGA!
Thanks for your responses. Unfortunately, these oral presentations are not recorded. I guess they feel that it might put members of the public off. However, they support written submissions, which are in the public domain here: http://www.parliament.nz/en-nz/pb/sc/documents/evidence/?custom=00dbhoh_bill12926_1. Submissions are now closed but there were over 50 from individuals about FATCA, every one of them opposed. Some of these came from Brockers and I am grateful to everyone who took the time to do this.
Simply tremendous. Great content, great presentation, great effort and all for a great cause.
On behalf of all “US Citizens Abroad” this “USCitizenAbroad” thanks you!
osgood — BE PROUD!!!
Our thanks from whatever country we are US Persons Abroad.
EXCELLENT!! Perfect speech! I applaud you! It must hve been satisfying too to get that all out and heard by the people who matter.
If only it could do something to change the tide….
If only some country would stand up for its sovereign rights against the bully.
I can honestly say that I felt the support of everyone at Isaac Brock while making this presentation. There is no way in hell I would ever have been able to educate myself and have the confidence to speak with such authority on this topic without the sharing and knowledge that has come from this community.
Please NOTE THIS EXCELLENT additional submission to NZ Select Committee by John Richardson.
The U.S. Exit Tax, U.S. Tax Compliance and implications for FATCA IGA
@ Just Me
I read it earlier when you tweeted the link. It is indeed an excellent submission. The example of Mr. Middle Class was the best way to illustrate the complexity and perplexity of being “habitually resident” in NZ when someone has a US taint. Ending it (except for the after thoughts) with Dr. Young’s words was perfect. Please all Brockers take a look at this. If you haven’t found the words to express how this has been affecting you, you’ll find that John Richardson has found them for you.
Thanks, John Richardson, author, and to Just Me for highlighting it here. Another excellent, common sense explanation — no beating around the political bush.
We need a Canadian version of John Richardson’s additional submission to NZ Select Committee.
If every Canadian MP (or other country government representative) would read the document as it pertains to Mr. and Mrs. Middle-Class Countryman, they would understand what FATCA really means for Canada, New Zealand or any other country.
The emotional trauma of FATCA combined with US citizenship-based taxation law for a so-defined ‘US Person Abroad’, as described by Dr. Donald Young and understood by Mr. Richardson, is the missing link and not dealt with anywhere else.
The US tax compliance professionals assisting us in with US tax law or US accounting for our US tax returns OR the media person trying to tell the FATCA story so the general public can understand OR government representatives deciding what to best do for their country OR our family and friends really DON’T KNOW. The only ones who know that aspect are us — the persons living the horror of the US Person round-up.
It is as essential for others to know this aspect of FATCA as for us to somehow effectively deal with our never-ending up’s and down’s of the emotional trauma we experience. There is an IQ needed to understand all this and I think, more importantly, an EQ (the Emotional Quotient of Intelligence).
(Perhaps some of you don’t experience this aspect. I can’t imagine — if so, you are exceptional.)
Perhaps a separate post should be created for Jon Richardson’s submisstion so it is not lost in the comments.
I finally got around to reading it. Switch out the name of the country and send it to your local government!
Osgood just alerted me that John Richardson’s and my supplemental submissions were finally loaded onto the IRD web site.
Also he drew my attention to KPMGs additional submission that are well worth reading…
They begin on page 2 of Foreign income tax sharing agreements..
The Finance and Expenditure today released it’s report back to Parliament on this bill, including the FATCA enabling legislation. I have not had time to read it in full, but the short version is that all of the submissions opposing FATCA and the IGA were rejected.
The report states:
The full text can be found starting on page 12 here: http://www.parliament.nz/resource/0002241958
Perhaps of more interest is the IRD report on the submissions, which can be found here: http://taxpolicy.ird.govt.nz/sites/default/files/2014-or-arearm.pdf. The FATCA section starts on Page 109. Asking the IRD to review this was pointless in my opinion, it should have been done by an independent group. Some excerpts:
I would like to thank everyone here that made submissions to this bill (to no avail).
@Osgood, You have now seen a complete failure of Leadership. That was not leadership.
New Zealand will jump with a 30% threat, how high can they jump with a 65% threat?
On these boards and from phone inquiries, I/we have now learned that regardless if you have a CLN and are not a US Person, but solely because you were born in the USA that your financial information will be handed over to a foreign power.
People need to pick up weapons and destroy the New Zealand government… sorry to say that, but true.
I submitted a request to Finance Canada for copies of all of the submissions they received. They are processing it now, but I don’t know if I will have copies before the enabling legislation is passed.
However, we have seen a very similar response from Canada. It is clear from the 280 pages of heavily redacted information I received from them, the contents of the IGA and the enabling legislation that the Canadian government is siding with the banks and not with Canadians.
How can these elected officials in New Zealand, Canada and around the world really support this as in New Zealand’s “best interests?”
Do you have any recourse through the courts?