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UPDATE December 23, 2017: Please see the following post for the latest information: http://isaacbrocksociety.ca/2017/12/15/un-human-rights-complaint-quadruples-its-signatures/
UPDATE November 28, 2017:
Also, see MuzzledNoMore’s updated post, United Nations Human Rights Complaint: Seeking Advice and Additional Signatures
UPDATE November 23, 2017:
UN Complaint Final July 29 2014 – updated links November 23 2017
UPDATE JANUARY 10, 2017:
Just letting everybody know that we’re still waiting to hear from the UN about the status of our Complaint. With any luck we’ll have the matter taken care of within the next few months by the new Republican administration in Washington. Who knows? Maybe the UN is watching and waiting to see what happens as well. In any regard, the UN has informed us that it can take up to three years for a Complaint to reach the stage at which it will be considered or rejected.
If a “domestic” solution is possible, there will be no need for the UN to address the issue. When we filed the Complaint nearly two and a half years ago we could never have believed that repealing FATCA and switching to residence-based taxation would have made it to the 2016 Republican Party Platform. Now it remains to be seen if the party will follow through with its promises.
UPDATE MAY 21, 2015:
Today we received official confirmation from the United Nations Human Rights Council that our Complaint has been received and is in the queue pending approval (or not) for admittance into one of the Working Groups. The next session of the Working Group on Communications is scheduled from 17 to 21 August 2015. Further information will be shared with us after that date.
UPDATE NOVEMBER 6, 2014:
We have finally received confirmation that our Human Rights Complaint against the United States has been received by the United Nations. This is great news! But let’s not pop champagne corks just yet. There is no indication that the Complaint has been read or considered for acceptance into the complaints process in any way. That is all yet to come. But we have made a huge step forward! That deserves a few cheers all round … even without the bubbly!
UPDATE OCTOBER 27, 2014:
Permission has been given a university researcher to access to our UN Human Rights Complaint to analyze ethical assumptions on FATCA. That access will be used for academic purposes, content not to be released (as the UN has not yet acknowledged receipt of this UN Human Rights Complaint).
We view as a significant step that this document will be studied for moral dimensions and ethics. We continue to anticipate the time we will be able to publicly release contents of the Complaint, likely AFTER the next scheduled meeting to review such complaints, sometime in April 2015.
UPDATE SEPTEMBER 10, 2014:
“JC” commented, and he’s right:
Whenever that text for the human rights complaint comes out that, I believe, will be a big help at raising awareness.
The text of the Human Rights Complaint will be published when we know the UN has received and considered it. There has been no confirmation that our submission was considered for the meeting in August (…our submission was sent just before the August meeting so, just by number of other submissions received before ours, our Human Rights Complaint may not have been considered in the time allotted). It looks like the next UN meeting to consider Human Rights Complaints is scheduled for April of 2015 — that Committee meets twice a year.
In the meantime, our fundraising must be pinned to its stand-alone legal claim and importance which absolutely addresses our human rights issues.
Donate Now: http://adcs-adsc.ca/
August 7, 2014 UPDATE:
The Human Rights Complaint has been submitted. Thank you to those who worked on the document and made this happen. A very special thank you to all who came forward to put your names on this important document. We had a total of 41 signers, representing the countries of Canada, Germany, Japan, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, Estonia, Switzerland and Belgium.
August 5, 2014 UPDATE:
Note: there is a confidentiality clause in the document that your name / nationality / country be kept confidential. My name and address will be the only one that might not be confidential. I wanted to share with you two notes waiting for me this morning:
I am very disappointed that more people did not come forward and sign this document, I do not understand why people are afraid to speak up for what they believe. People are so afraid of the bully acts of the USA, We must stand together, I am asking all people that the US government deem US citizens to step forward and stand up against the US and the Harper government for allowing FATCA into the Canadian banking system.
I am not on facebook or twitter. I give you permission to post this.
I am surprised that so few people have signed. This makes me uneasy. People must be frightened. Do you expect repercussions against the signers? At the moment I don’t have the strength to deal with any more troubles. Would you please put a hold on my name until I can evaluate your assessment of possible repercussions.
I answered YYYY:
Absolutely. I can take your name off the list of signers if you are not comfortable with that — you must be OK with your decision. We will probably be sending the Complaint on Thursday, August 7th .
No, we don’t expect any repercussions against any of the signers. We will ask for confidentiality in one of the clauses.
As with everything else of this with this (persons on blogs, getting together for protest, etc.), people are afraid to step forward. The US weapon toward its people always is FEAR. That is what we see here. That is our biggest obstacle and what may defeat us in the end.
Dr. Stephen Kish, Chair of the Alliance for the Defence of Canadian Sovereignty signs his name on behalf of the millions of *US Persons* Abroad who are afraid to sign.
FEAR: the most effective tool the USA has at its disposal is at work in all we see regarding US Persons Abroad coming forward in unison to fight the good fight. If anything defeats us, it will be our FEAR.
As you all know, I fear too for my son’s name to be out there as it is my duty as a parent to protect his best interests. Because of my own fear, I went through all the complex back US tax filings through use of professionals in the US compliance industry. That was my choice as I could absolutely not do it myself and I so wanted this behind me, to stop the leak of my hard-earned retirement funds to be passed to the US IRS. I’m still in this game. I replied to a commenter at Isaac Brock yesterday and Stephen Kish picked part of what I said to update the ADCS-ADSC Charter Challenge post yesterday:
UPDATE August 5, 2014 (http://isaacbrocksociety.ca/2014/06/01/its-time/)
Carol, an ADCS-ADSC Board Director, explains why she donated to this lawsuit:
The purpose of the lawsuit, to me, is to stop the obscene injustice of all of this, regain rights waived by the Canadian government’s implementation of the US FATCA IGA, thereby putting the financial institutions before individuals and families who are being criminalized!
I’m in for that just as I’m on this blog, hoping people learn from all of the stupid mistakes I made along the way — I don’t want others to make those same mistakes.
It’s about people getting their lives back, along with their dignity and their mental and physical health and to stop the the handing over to the US a good portion of what they’ve saved for their retirements.
It is about wanting Canada to remain a sovereign country, not taken over by the USA. It’s about what I think is right and not wanting to silently stand by and let this happen. It’s because I believe in free speech and don’t want to be shamed into not speaking out, at this point especially for other families who have a family member with some developmental disability or some other ‘mental incapacity’.
My update for now and my regards to all,
August 2, 2014 UPDATE:
Thank you very much for everyone who has corresponded to me at email@example.com to request the password and give permission for your signatures to be added. Your supportive emails are wonderful.
He is what we have for signers to the Human Rights Document:
18 – Canada
2 – UK
1 – Australia
1 – Belgium (US/Dutch Citizen)
1 – Denmark
1 – Germany
1 – Japan
1 – Switzerland
Note that one of the Canadian signers is Dr. Stephen Kish (Canadian, US)–signing personally, and on behalf of the “Alliance for the Defence of Canadian Sovereignty” Board of Directors, and the millions of U.S. persons living abroad who are too frightened to sign this document.
Also waiting to hear back from 4 in Canada (one from Quebec) and one from New Zealand.
July 30, 2014 UPDATE:
Here is the FINAL Human Rights Complaint, available to those that are considering signing. To access the password for this document, contact and request from firstname.lastname@example.org.
Each person sending a request will receive a copy from calgary411 “in Confidence” with the CLEAR understanding that it is NOT to be published. For anyone who wants to have another person read/sign the document, that other person also needs to obtain it through the Isaac Brock Society or Maple Sandbox channels. Signatures will only be accepted from those who have gotten the document through calgary411. This stipulation is necessary to keep some lid on the proliferation of this information.
We will announce when we know the timing for the agency committee looking at this document for review. We will update on this post any feedback from the agency as it is received.
This document is the collaboration of contributors to both blogs and took over a month to write, discuss and edit in consensus with a group of 15 who have vetted and approved it in its entirety. It stands as presented to them. Bloggers can have their say but there will be no further changes to the document. It is what the agency says that matters.
Sign if you are in agreement and can do so by providing to email@example.com your name and your nationality and/or country of residence. The Human Rights Complaint will be submitted electronically. Submitters’ names and nationalities will be typed onto the lines provided on page 1. No physical signature is required.
If you are not comfortable with the document, you do not have to sign.
TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE.
Two dedicated individuals who participate at both the Isaac Brock Society and the Maple Sandbox blogs have prepared a comprehensive Human Rights Complaint that will be submitted on behalf of all *US Persons Abroad* the world over. Others offered suggestions on how that information should best be presented in the constraint of number of pages allowed for the Complaint. We appreciate the legal eye and suggestions for going forward with this Complaint from Professor Allison Christians.
The document now complete, I have been asked to post an announcement on their behalf. Unfortunately, because of their personal situations, they cannot lend their names to the document and this will be the end of Phase I, produced for all of us, with their great care.
I so appreciate the incredible work that has gone into this on behalf of all of us. Here is what they say:
A group of writers from the Isaac Brock Society and Maple Sandbox blogs has prepared a document that challenges citizenship-based taxation (CBT) as a violation of internationally recognized human rights. This document will be submitted as a formal complaint to a major international human rights organization within the next ten days.
Any readers who would like to support this effort by “co-signing” (having their names added to the list of those filing the complaint) should so indicate by sending an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Canadian writers of the complaint hope to make this a truly international effort. Bloggers from all over the world are welcome to lend their names to this historic document. Signers do not have to be US Persons.
Signers should feel comfortable with using their own names (pseudonyms are unacceptable in this instance) and should provide their nationality and/or country of residence as well.
Sorry here’s the link
@Badger, @Alby Great. Plenty to go through/use here.
@JC Just a couple comments RE the reply from your Australian Human Rights Commission:
They need to be educated that FATCA is not a “Treaty” – – it does not have the agreement of the US Government (not ratified by the Senate). They do investigate on cases of “discrimination in employment because of a person’s ……..social origin. Your right to full economic opportunity has been breached by the Commonwealth of Australia (USPersons are now under economic inequality. restricted employment opportunities) It may continue to be unclear to them, but they need further education and, if they continue to be unable to help, see if they can suggest other avenues (as we are doing in Canada, speaking to your member of parliament MAY BE a reasonable suggestion. These folks need +++ education; keep trying and let us know.
An interesting resource re US data demands and privacy concerns, which might be worth following:
This is a recent thread;
Back in 2008 (?) they posed these concerns about the right of Americans to travel in and out of the US, as well as unimpeded movement inside the US:
“Should US citizens be required to have a passport and/or obtain government permission in order to leave the USA? Why or why not?”
“Should US citizens be required to have a passport and/or obtain government permission in order to return to the USA from abroad? Why or why not?”
In 2011 I read some of the Identity projects entries re earlier proposals for applications for US passports to contain extensive biographical questionnaires
It is obvious by reading at the site above, that the US State Dept. violations of US citizen rights extend even further than the ones we are seeing re their increasing obstruction of the legal right to renounce US citizenship – for ex. by raising the fee to 2350. USD now for relinquishments as well as renunciations.
All of this speaks to an utter disrespect and disregard of the ‘rights’ that the US pretends it extends to those it claims as US citizens – according to the ‘benefits’ rationale that is so often cited in the ‘benefits’ arguments for US extraterritorial taxation – and its enforcement via FATCA, FBAR, and CBT.
The following is a reply I wrote to “The Mom” on the “Donations” thread:
Please let me address your concerns about the UN Human Rights Complaint. The United Nations process is very, VERY slow. We have learned that an application such as ours can take as long as three years to be heard. Furthermore, until the UN informs us otherwise, we are bound to keep confidential the contents of the Complaint and all matters concerning our communications with the UN. In other words we’re under a “gag order”. There is nothing the organizers of the Complaint can do about this. We are as much in the dark as you are and when the light is finally shone upon it we will be shouting it to the heavens, you can be assured of that.
What we are all involved in here requires the most steadfast patience any of us have ever known. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being one of the signatories. There is no need to regret your action. Hang in there with us!
Our Human Rights Complaint has been referenced in Allison Christians’ significant paper that you can read here: http://isaacbrocksociety.ca/2016/01/19/uncle-sam-wants-who-at-ubc-law-this-week-allison-christians-mcgill-university-faculty-of-law/#comments
A link to the following post was sent in a letter to the United Nations Human Rights Council last night urging its members to expedite our Complaint in the hopes that such action would help to prevent any further tragedies.
Thank you. That’s a great idea to send the link to UN Human Rights. These matters take infinite patience. As a signatory, I’ve wondered what the status of the complaint is from time to time. At least we have this and the lawsuit ongoing.
Did you see this:
‘CCLA Presents Concerns to the UN Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights’
February 26, 2016
“…….Privacy-invasive and potentially discriminatory tax reporting measures affecting a distinct group of Canadians as a result of an inter-governmental agreement between the United States and Canada to implement the former’s Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act domestically;”
@Badger and JC
I’m glad to see that you both posted this. Didn’t catch it till the second post. Good to see that the CCLA is bringing FATCA and the IGA to the attention of the United Nations committee.
@PatCanadian, I don’t know how I missed it as posted here first in the media open for comments page, and then in the discussion on the ADCS lawsuit main IBS thread, but was heartened to see it while doing another internet search. Hopefully the inclusion in the report by the CCLA will bolster this complaint to the UN.
@JC, thanks for finding and tweeting it. I still don’t understand how to use it, and sometimes can’t decipher it either. Interesting to see the CCLA responding to the tweets.
See post by Eric; ‘Almost no U.S. citizenship renunciation appointments left during 2016 in Dublin; other U.S. embassies also putting up various roadblocks’
April 7, 2016
What is / should be the priority of Canada and, similarly, of the UN Human Rights Commission?
Amnesty International highlights the Liberal policy to honour the previous government’s trade contracts over that of human rights which it also does with the implementation of US FATCA law in Canada. Canada’s Liberal government and its policy on violation of international human rights = shameful HYPOCRISY.
So difficult to understand as we also see the hypocrisy of the United Nations Human Rights Commission giving (still) no response to our latest requests on the status of our UN Human Rights Complaint.
As per information, outreach and services “benefits” to those in Canada, where the second largest population of those the US deems UStaxablecitizens are located, this note on the US embassy website confirms that:
“Please note that the Internal Revenue Service office at the US Embassy in Ottawa was closed permanently in June 1997.”
Archiving here the long standing notice to Canadians that there would be NO IRS help in Canada for those looking for information or to comply:
“The information on this page is intended especially for taxpayers residing in Canada. Note: Owing to budget cutbacks, the Internal Revenue Service will not/not be providing any in-person assistance or tax seminars at the U.S. Embassy and certain of the Consulates General in Canada.”
Current notice (May 2016 ) says:
“Internal Revenue Service (U.S. Taxes)”
Home / U.S. Citizen Services / Internal Revenue Service (U.S. Taxes)
“U.S. citizens residing overseas remain liable to pay U.S. federal taxes. For more information, please visit the website of the Internal Revenue Service. The U.S. Government recently enacted changes to foreign financial institutions’ requirements for reporting on accounts held by U.S. citizens. To learn more, please consult the Department of the Treasury’s website.”
As accessed May 2016
Again… *Still*… Another example of taxation without representation!
I didn’t realize that FAWCO has some dealings with the UN;
“FAWCO is a United Nations accredited NGO (non-governmental organization) with special consultative status to the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). FAWCO’s representatives at UN Headquarters in New York, Geneva, and Vienna attend UN meetings on behalf of FAWCO, focusing on issues related to women and children in the areas of education, environment, health and human rights.”
See their full statement on FATCA, excerpt only below;
…….”FAWCO’s sole concern is the financial, professional, domestic and personal well-being of people abroad who are being treated like “tax cheats” because of financial accounts they must maintain in their countries of residence.
Course they also say;
“We encourage Overseas Americans to plan their international financial lives and maintain compliant status with US regulations. “
Here we are, more than a year after the UN acknowledged receipt of our human rights complaint and….nothing.
The UN is a useless waste of money, just like the US and Canadian governments.
We’ve recently been presented with another opportunity to be in touch with another branch of the UN as well as the OECD, the World Bank and the IMF. Please check out the submission to these organizations that has just been made by the Alliance for the Defeat of Citizenship Taxation (ADCT). http://maplesandbox.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/You-Pay-for-What-You-Dont-Get.pdf
I should also mention that the ADCT submission mentions the UN Complaint and lists all the Articles of the Declaration of Human Rights that have been violated by CBT/FATCA/FBAR.
Additional evidence that the IRS/US Treasury is not even following its own rules – deliberately keeping information from taxpayers and practitioners:
“……….some internal OVD-related guidance directly affecting taxpayers was withheld from the public.29 Even information designated as “official use only” (OUO) must be vetted by and accessible to internal stakeholders, such as TAS. IRS business units are supposed to vet and distribute such information by incorporating it into the Internal Revenue Manual (IRM). Over the last seven years, however, the IRS has avoided publishing OVD-related guidance in the IRM, instead distributing program guidance using memos designated as OUO, training materials, technical advisors, conference calls, and secret committees. This lack of transparency and due process fosters the impression that the
IRS administers the OVD programs in an arbitrary and capricious manner, without regard to taxpayer rights. Moreover, when the IRS does not provide TAS with the same access to procedural information as other IRS employees, it obstructs TAS’s statutory mission to help taxpayers and address problems under IRC §§ 7803(c) and 7811.”…….
Link to Taxpayer Advocate report on OVDP – as cited above
Even the IRS own Taxpayer Advocate highlights additional evidence that the IRS/US Treasury is not even respecting the rights of ‘compliant’ taxpayers:
“………….While implementing FATCA and similar international withholding provisions, the IRS withheld refunds from tens of thousands of U.S. taxpayers who were entitled to them.”..
..”…..In one case, the IRS disallowed the refund claims of tens of thousands of foreign students at U.S. universities and colleges, most of who were fully entitled to those refunds.”………
…….. “The IRS’s enforcement-oriented approach to international taxpayers creates problems for taxpayers, representatives, and other stakeholders, and wastes precious IRS resources.
Limited Service Options for U.S. Taxpayers Living Abroad. The number of U.S. citizens living abroad was estimated at about nine million in mid-2016, and many non-citizens have a U.S. tax filing obligation, as evidenced by the nearly 642,000 Form 1040-series returns filed by nonresident aliens for tax year 2014. Yet taxpayer service options for these taxpayers are limited and continue to be reduced. Taxpayers located overseas generally cannot call U.S. toll-free telephone lines. Almost two years ago, the IRS closed the last four tax attaché posts abroad, eliminating face-to-face service as an option. For the 2016 filing season, the IRS eliminated its Electronic Tax Law Assistance program through which taxpayers could submit tax-law questions to the IRS and receive a response via email.
The report says: “The National Taxpayer Advocate is concerned the IRS is providing fewer options for international taxpayers even as the population of U.S. citizens abroad grows, and these taxpayers are facing greater challenges in voluntarily meeting their tax obligations, partly as a result of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) reporting rules, and the Affordable Care Act (ACA).”….”……..
source link for above is here;
link to TAS report is here;
Same country exception, and acceptance of the existence of FATCA in this letter by the AICPA renders its recommendations as only limited relief, but the forthright and strong wording from compliance professionals provides back up for our complaints to the UN on the extent to which the US is punishing those deemed USpersons – including the most vulnerable, outside the US, with no economic relationship, without cause:
and see also:
on the matter of the punishment of the education, disability and ordinary savings accounts of children and dependants outside the US;
Very valuable, Badger. Way to keep CBT alive, AICPA!