Cross-posted from MapleSandbox with permission
Finance Canada–244 Pages Access to Information
Posted on February 10, 2014 by Blaze
A few months ago, I submitted a request to Finance Canada for records relating to FATCA through Access to Information.
After several delays, I finally received 244 pages about 10 days ago. I’m still awaiting several other pages. I was holding off posting these records so I would not jeopardize the remaining records.
With the signing of the IGA, that concern is now irrelevant, so I am uploading the pdf documents here. You will notice some pages have been withheld entirely. Other pages have been partially redacted.
James Jatras has seen these and says the Canadians use nifty blackouts where the American just use black magic marker.
So, what have I learned from these documents?
1. Finance Canada has been far more concerned about the banks than they were about Canadians.
2. Canadians are neater at withholding information than Americans.
I also have a request in to Justice. They sent me some information in print, so I can’t post it here. However, the only information they provided was copies of laws, procedures, etc. Essentially everything to date was completely withheld. I am still awaiting more information, but I expect most will be withheld or redacted.
(Note – had to split into 4 parts)
FATCA Update from Access to Info Request_Part1
FATCA Update from Access to Info Request_Part3
The links to the pdfs don’t seem to be working.
Try taking the trailing slash off the URL in your browser’s address bar, so that …/whatever_Part1.pdf/ becomes just …/whatever_Part1.pdf. That works for me.
@Kathy @Watcher If you can’t open the documents here, try checking the links in the original post at Maple Sandbox.
Because of the volume of the documents, Outraged needed to split them into four groups to upload them. I found on the second group, the first two pages seem blank, but the rest appear with no problem
It may take a couple of minutes before the documents open–again due to the sheer size.
Sorry guys. I’m new with some of this stuff. I think it works now.
Besides the pages of blank pages and marked out items, the first section tells you that the Canadian government was fully informed of the potentially 400% penalties to be reigned down upon Canadian systems.
This certainly illustrates Blaze’s conclusions.
Between the tidy, grey redact boxes …
From Michael Horgan
SUBJECT Meetings with Bank CEO’s and the CBA
February 7, 2011
Part 1 Page 18
Suggested Speaking Points
* I am supportive of efforts to have citizens meet their tax obligations, but concerned about the extensive reporting requirements and administrative burdens that Fatca would impost on Canadian banks.
* I am worried that banks, while properly following Canadian law with respect to access to banking and the protection of privacy, may be deemed subject to FATCA’s withholding tax.
* I have written to U.S. Treasury Secretary Geithner expressing my concerns.
* My officials are working with the U.S. Treasury and the IRS regarding FATCA implementation.
” My officials are working with the U.S. Treasury and the IRS regarding FATCA implementation.”
Senator Rand Paul
Investor’s Business Daily Op-Ed: Limiting Foreign Access To Your Bank Accounts
May 17, 2013
Earlier this week, I introduced a bill that would reform the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (Fatca).
Originally tacked on as the “pay-for” to a 2010 bill to incentivize hiring, Fatca was intended to crack down on overseas tax evasion.
That’s not been the reality, however.
Instead, the Treasury Department has chosen to manipulate Fatca to establish an international financial snooping scheme that violates the Constitution, disregards the mutual respect of sovereignty among nations, increases the national debt, and threatens America’s economic competitiveness.
Fatca, with little fanfare, made sweeping changes to privacy laws.
It required every non-American financial institution – banks, credit unions, pension funds, stock and investment firms, etc. – to register directly with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and agree to provide specified financial data on the accounts of any “U.S. Person.”
What came next was all too predictable: rather than expose themselves to Fatca’s new withholding penalties, these overseas financial institutions simply began shutting down the accounts of their American depositors and selling off American investments.
However, once this initial coercion effort by the IRS began to backfire, the Treasury Department decided to work around the problem by cutting deals with foreign governments instead of each individual foreign financial institution.
These deals, known as “intergovernmental agreements,” are not nearly as innocuous as many Fatca supporters would have you believe. Indeed, they are a significant departure from normal standards and practices.
Before, the IRS would exchange financial data with overseas revenue services once some sort of “suspicious activity” signaling tax evasion had been identified.
The intergovernmental agreements that Treasury is now negotiating (again, under the guise of Fatca) would erode this already dubious standard even further by agreeing to share any and all information that “may be relevant” to an investigation.
This phrase – “may be relevant” – actually replaces the suspicious activity standard with no standard at all, and provides no protections regarding what information may be exchanged with a foreign government.
In other words, the Treasury Department, without the consent and authority of Congress, will force U.S. financial institutions to provide the bank account information of private customers to foreign nations upon demand.
This is a blatant betrayal of privacy, and it must not stand. These intergovernmental agreements automatically assume that any individual who holds an asset in a foreign institution is trying to evade taxes.
The IRS cannot be allowed to betray the confidence of the American people in this way without (at the very least) the assent of their elected representatives in Congress.
Congress has never authorized the Treasury Department to make such all-encompassing commitments on behalf of the United States, under Fatca or any other law.
It is an abdication of duty for Congress to stand by idly while the Treasury Department unilaterally rewrites our tax treaty obligations and compromises the private data of millions of law-abiding Americans.
This is why I have for many months objected to the passage of the U.S.-Switzerland tax treaty: the U.S. Senate is not the Treasury Department’s rubber stamp.
By introducing this bill to repeal part of Fatca, I am not championing “offshore tax evasion” by rich American “fat cats.” Nor do I oppose legitimate tax enforcement.
What I oppose is a law that is claimed to fight tax evasion but does not do so. I oppose a law that runs roughshod over constitutional standards, not to mention common sense.
There are reasonable – and constitutional – ways to combat tax evasion. But Fatca is neither reasonable nor constitutional, nor is it workable in any meaningful sense.
My bill seeks to restore the privacy protections that have been put in jeopardy by the Treasury Department’s unconstitutional actions, and to limit the impact of Fatca’s most harmful provisions.
Ultimately, my bill seeks to restore and protect the privacy protections that are a birthright to every American.
In my opinion, that is the very least that the Congress should be able to do.”
Senator Rand Paul announced yesterday his lawsuit against President Obama , NSA and others on the 4th Amendment ( right to privacy)
Congress has never authorized the Treasury Department to make such all-encompassing commitments on behalf of the United States, under Fatca or any other law
And therein lies the rub. Treasury and IRS illegally negotiating with sovereign nations with NO authority to do so, meaning our representatives have NO authority to negotiate with any other than Congress has authorized. I would have thought the Conservative government would have know that and used it as their base for saying a loud and unequivocal NO.
I am new here. So, probably didn’t post my comments correctly.
Right now I am so furious as to be rendered almost speechless. All I can say is that I find the Issac Brock Society , Petros and all members a God Send right now. I have read til my eyes are crossed and researched until my butt aches ! One thing is clear: Criminals of any stripe will steal from you and kill you if you don’t stop them.
Isaac Brock may well be our ” open carry” !
As our heroine said in “The Blind Side” in response to a thug threatening her.
He taunts her with carrying a .22 ‘Saturday night special’- She replies:
“yeah, it is a .22. I am ALWAYS packing and it shoots JUST FINE all the other days of the week , too!”
And what was it Ronald Reagan said? Something like: ‘the worst sentence in the English language- “I’m from the government.”
Yes, Isaac Brock is our information open carry. Be armed with every bit of information we can muster.
Theo Caldwell has been outstanding. Perrin Beatty , too.
But have you noticed the strange silence overall in the media?
TOO immersed in the Olympics ? I want to thank MapleSandBox and OutragedCanadian too for all the information and solace I have found within all the pages.
Thanks for being here. I couldn’t STAND it otherwise!
Thanks for the encouraging words. The support that both Isaac Brock Society and Maple Sandbox provide is priceless to all of us going through this. Stay with us: you’ll be an excellent contributor.
Thank you for the welcome. I appreciate it so much.
@furious You are not alone my friend. together we ALL have the strength to do something. This government is hoping we NEVER get together and take action. We are proving them wrong. The Native community is among us as well in support….
Yes. We must fight this. For ourselves. Our families. Our future. Our Sanity for Gawd’s sake!
I must say again: THANK GOD for Isaac Brock Society!
Thanks for the link.
This all goes back to warrants. Constitutions 4th Amendment.
Basis for the lawsuit filed by Senator Rand Paul and Freedom Works and Matt Kibbe. Warrants include privacy of the person, papers and home.
Probable Cause. This is directly related to how the IRS is violating the law in the way they have written FATCA and worked to coerce the IGAs on countries. They intend to carpet bully anyone and everyone into getting the information they want without cause.
Basically there MUST be a reason for obtaining the information and that reason has to be good enough to take to a judge before they can go snooping around.
Basic stuff but they have been breaking the law for a very long time,
In addition to his work to repeal FATCA and now the lawsuit against Obama regarding the 4th Amendment Rand Paul is doing a service to all of us, Americans and Canadians. His lawsuit aims to have over 400
million in the class. A Class Action lawsuit of this magnitude, encompassing the entire country and anyone harmed by this action by the NSA is something that might take some time but has the potential to be devastating to the aims of those abusing the laws at the NSA and IRS and other departments run amok following the admistrations lawlessness.
Although I distrust Rand Paul I have mentioned in my Dept. of Finance letter that he is trying to get FATCA repealed in the USA.
Here’s Rand Paul’s site: http://www.paul.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=793
I have also mentioned that FATCA reporting by our banks is in essence a discriminatory warrantless search. My letter might be a bit too blunt but ever since the IGA betrayal I haven’t been inclined to be too kindly in my e-mails. I also said FATCA is extortion and the IGA is capitulation to extortion.
Now that my Finance Canada letter is ready to e-mail can anyone suggest the best day of the week to press SEND? The day most likely for someone to actually read it? Monday (Tuesday this week due to holiday) probably has a flood of e-mail waiting for the staff and Friday they are on their way out the door. My husband says Wednesday could be their snow golf day. 🙂 Just wondering if anyone has worked out the best day or is there even such a thing? And as a reminder, the deadline for submissions is March 10th (IGA-AIG@fin.gc.ca). After reading Dual Senior’s story over at the Maple Sandbox I devoted a section of my e-mail to the effect of FATCA on those nearing or in their retirement years. I also put in a key excerpt from the Access to Information request that Blaze received recently. This felt so much like homework piled on homework but it also almost seemed like a Hail Mary pass. Next step, for me, is to tackle what I hope will be OPPOSITION MPs before the IGA legislation gets to parliament. Wonder when that will be? JULY 1st, FATCA HAMMER DAY, will soon be here. 🙁
Thank you for addressing the headaches this is causing for the elderly in your Finance Canada letter. Very, very much appreciated.
A new headache for me:
Was chatting with my son in Massachusetts today, telling him the FATCA/FBAR story and hoping he could email Elizabeth Warren, his US senator about the blight of his mom. (She is a VERY cool lady). He is most upset as he was hoping, as I am becoming increasingly unable to live on my own, that I might think about coming to stay with him. Now that Obama Care is going forward I could buy my own insurance and life would be good. That option is sure closed for me now. Of course I would rather stay here but sometimes as you age these aren’t choices made of wants but rather on needs. The dilemma of renouncing just got more complicated for me. UGH, I’m going for a long nap! Please tell me that when I wake up you will have fixed this. I’m counting on ya gal!
“… blight of his mom”? No. “… plight of his mom”? Yes. 😉
I like Elizabeth Warren. I’ve watched her for many years and I think she is a sharp thinker and quite compassionate. She’s someone who can make a person squirm when they are being questioned in front of a committee she is on. I hope your son does write to her. He’s lucky to have her as his US senator. Definitely take a nap … I just got up from one. Sometimes it helps.
One more submission, oh what the hell.
Yeah, I feel the same way. (sigh)