Barrie McKenna, Globe & Mail 30 July 2014, p. B3
“A leading accounting firm is taking the unusual step of urging Canadians to double-check their citizenship status, warning there may still be thousands of accidental Americans in Canada oblivious to their U.S. tax obligations.”
Only three comments so far. I made a comment, calling attention to the ADCS.
What had you planned to say if they asked? I struggle with this situation and have thus far only gotten close enough to use the bank machine…when the bank is closed!!!! My paranoid fantasies see the teller coming out to the machine during banking hours asking me to fill something out. (I can make myself crazy with “what ifs”).
I think Barrie McKenna should check to see if he’s an accidental Canadian because he doesn’t sound much like a “real” one to me.
Good one, Deckard1138
Good news, mettleman.
If only the U.S. had to pay a fee for these compliance forms to be completed – to put compliance burden back on them – then maybe there would be some incentive to streamline and minimise compliance requirement.
As the Canadian government did not protect its citizens from this extraterritorial law and rely on PWC to spread the word then they should provide a generous deduction for US compliance expense, if not pay for all of it.
It was actually Roy Berg who suggested the Canadian government make filing US taxes a tax deduction in Canada (unable to find link). The thought of it is repugnant to me, but might be a practical solution to the added expense many Canadians will incur at the hands of our facilitating government. I wonder how the rest of Canadians would feel about that? Would they even care?
@Bubblebustin Canadian government deduction for filling US compliance. Just a partial solution and it depends on your Canadian marginal tax rate. Much less a benefit from low income retirees who incur expense primarily compliance related.
At least then that would put some “cost” of Canadian policy back on Canada and they would less likely to consider that the whole issue does not impact on them..
Here is the post and discussion of that subject, bubblebustin: http://isaacbrocksociety.ca/2012/10/18/moodys-tax-advisors-proposes-legislation-to-allow-canadians-to-deduct-professional-fees-paid-in-irss-voluntary-disclosure-programs/.
…it would also sanction (in the permissive sense of the word) US tax compliance in Canada. Not good, IMHO.
What kind of alchemy do you use to conjure this stuff up? Whatever it is, thank you for your skill and dedication!
prior to the start of this week i thought i had all my banking needs taken care of for the forseeable future and would not have to really actually set foot in a bank for quite a while. the situation i found my self came out of left field and was caused by circumstance far beyond my and my accountans control.
when i found out i was going to have to go into the bank and open a new account i was extreemly stressed. i found out tuesday p.m. that i would have to go and open the new account wensday p.m. i vacilated between anger and fear. i really was a mess leading up to having to go into the bank.
i took my certificate of citizenship with me and was prepared depending on how the conversation with the bank went to either just show my certificate or tell them none of their business what my citizenship was. i really was not 100% sure what i was going to do.
if i had to do this all over again i still am not totaly sure just what my course of action would be. i do know however i would not be admitting to being an american! and if required to sign anything to that effect i would be walking out of that institution.
That was a good plan, mettleman.
@mettleman – that happened to me recently as I wanted to open a fixed deposit. They handed me the onerous FATCA form and consent to waive every right I might have and I walked out of the bank. When I say every right I mean every possible right of privacy – the bank is now just an agent of the US government. The bank is now your enemy and holds your money.
@Steve the bank is a hostage of the USG with a Canadian government gun to their heads. Do you think a hostage likes being a hostage? The banks will not be happy with those who want them to break Canadian Law while the law stands.
Banks need to experience some anger yet to help atone they could also donate to ADCS. ADCS will help free these bank hostages along with the USP impacted.
So I think the best way to handle it is yes be angry, but recognise that there may be some common ground with the banks – and give them this out.
@JC -yes, the bank personnel who knows me (but not that I am a ‘US Person’) said that the bank was forced to get the forms filled out. I understand your point, but the practical reality is that the bank is no longer your friend and is effectively an agent of the USG. Also, I should have clarified this did not happen in Canada and while I am a dual US citizen, I am not a Canadian dual. Still, it happened, and I made an excuse, took the FATCA form, said I would think about the fixed deposit and walked out of the bank. I see no good reason to ‘self disclose’ waive any and all rights I have, and throw myself right into the pot exactly like the USG wants me to.
@Steve, “Also, I should have clarified this did not happen in Canada and while I am a dual US citizen, I am not a Canadian dual.”
Are you a dual because the US says you are a US Citizen or are you a dual who holds themselves out to be dual?
I ask that because some countries would consider me to be a multi-national. Two of them are by second generation descent and frankly I do not consider myself to be one of them.
Concerning the US, I relinquished and otherwise no longer have any trappings of USness. Though they may consider me to be one of them.
The nationality that I hold myself out as is with a country that signed the 1930s Convention on Nationality and is firm in the Master Nationality Rule camp.
So are you a dual or someone with clinging nationality?
@mettleman, why did you take a certificate of citizenship? I am not Canadian so there may be a Canadian specific reason.
@Brockers, its absolutely fascinating to watch posting times as it gives you an idea on the sun rising,
As they say, The sun never sets on IBS.
@George- I am a dual because I acquired my second citizenship (after my US birth citizenship) and have not renounced by US. My issue with renouncing is that I worry that out of vindictiveness the US will not issue a US visa for me to visit my mom, brother and attend business meetings. The US law is intentionally designed to be a one way street – and to lock you into their system. The exit tax is a good example of how the USG views expats living abroad….we are treated as financial slaves to the US.
i took it if for no more of a reason that it was a comfort “blanket” to have with me but i think more so to have it with me to act as some sort of proof to the bank in place of a passport to prove citizenship.
i really did not know what to expect however and was prepared for any eventuality considering i was still not firm in my mind as to what i was going to do
If the banks are purely victims, what would they have to atone themselves of? The way I see it, our banks wished for the IGA, because I see little evidence of any effort to find an alternative to it, even when it was placed under their noses.
Further to Steve’s comments on this post, see more detail of the paperwork referred to in his experience at: http://isaacbrocksociety.ca/2014/07/02/a-cln-certificate-of-loss-of-nationality-alone-may-not-guarantee-your-data-wont-be-reported/comment-page-2/#comment-2432555.
FATCA Form for SCB Financial Group, Thailand
Further data point – today I closed a fixed and savings account with no indicia of US Personhood the manager tried to get me to keep the account open. No FATCA questions arose in closing the account.
I agree with mud thrown Harper’s way on this issue, but I object to the homophobic language it is expressed in. Not cool.
My comment above was in reference to the post of http://isaacbrocksociety.ca/2014/07/30/barrie-mckenna-pwc-suggests-a-check-to-see-if-you-are-an-accidental-american/comment-page-1/#comment-2429926
I guess PWC must have finally seen the Rick Mercer video…