This week I had a chat with a kind donor to our Canadian FATCA IGA lawsuit. She is a Canadian citizen who has lived in our country for more than four decades.
I asked her (as I now ask many) to predict what Canadians will do when the FATCA law identifies them and turns them over to a foreign country.
This Canadian told me how she will respond when her neighborhood bank turns her over to the United States Internal Revenue Service. She said:
“First time visitors to the “Isaac Brock” and “Maple Sandbox” websites are regularly advised to “Read, read, read before you take any action” when you discover that the IRS wants you.
Generally good advice, I would say, except that I would change the channel a bit and say “Read, read, read, and then take NO action“.
I would strongly urge people to read, read, read, and then take the time to live with the injustice, the absurdity, the absolute moral bankruptcy of FATCA before they commit themselves to any course of action.
Live with the feelings of unfairness and discrimination that surround FATCA; let the oppressiveness of the situation really take hold. Then take a deep breath, and another, let the fear subside, and then let the outrage and anger come forth and “Just say NO”.
We all know that the whole premise of FATCA (Citizenship-Based Taxation) is fundamentally wrong, so why do so many of us so readily agree to participate in a system that is “wrong”? Fear, anxiety, expediency, whatever?
When I am faced with a really complex situation that is impossible to figure out, and FATCA would be one of those, I try to pare things down to fundamental principles that let me see things more clearly. Really, in my mind, FATCA is no different from the scenario of the school yard bully.
The Harper Canadian Government should have stood up to the U.S. bully’s threat of sanctions and said “No”. It didn’t.
Canadian banks and financial institutions should have refused to become agents of the IRS. They didn’t.
Our Members of Parliament should have challenged the government to address issues of sovereignty, privacy, and equality of ALL Canadians. By and large, with a few notable exceptions, they didn’t.
So now it’s my turn; it’s my turn to stand up and say “No”. And I will.
I will refuse to fill out any “foreign” tax information forms, I will refuse to give my financial institutions any information on place of birth, and, if necessary, I will lie with an absolutely clear conscience.
I will refuse to let the bully play in my yard.
I realize that this is a course of action (or inaction) that might make some people feel uncomfortable. But, speaking personally, I feel much more uncomfortable being forced to do things that I know are wrong, and I know that FATCA is wrong.
It’s just wrong, plain and simple. So I’m not doing it.
I am now, and will remain, willfully non-compliant. End of story.”