This session was very relaxed and consisted mostly of Questions and Answers. There were a variety of “U.S.Person-types” – An older gentleman who was a border baby (literally spent days in the US) and only recently found out about his “obligations.” He was certain there just had to be an “exemption” for someone in his situation. Clearly in the midst of a long “OMG” moment. A middle-aged woman born in the US while her Canadian father was stationed at a base there. A couple (who it turns out I knew from years ago when our kids were in kindergarten together; we NEVER would have imagined meeting again under these circumstances) who came in the early 70’s long ago relinquished yet had received a 1099 from a CDN banking institution. Some people already compliant but unsure how to proceed.
A recurrent theme in the answers given was to “prioritize the stuff you can control.” A lot of discussion about whether or not it was worth it to allow this situation to run one’s life. Make a decision, act and move on. In some ways, this meeting more than others I have attended was more like a therapy session.
Phil gave a brief outline of this began back in 2008/09 with the issues of Swiss banks, etc.
There are still some cases from 2009 that are just clearing. (!) The reality is there are HNWI’s who are doing Quiet Disclosures who likely have prison problems, as well as money problems. Importance of establishing a good “reasonable cause case if choice is QD. OVDP/OVDI programs are great deals for those who would otherwise, owe much more if they were penalized in the standard way. It was clarified that the in-lieu of FBAR penalty, was one penalty per year, end of story. Not per account per violation per year. If one’s net worth is under a million dollars, there is no need to fear audits, penalties, etc.
Concerns about the exit tax if applicable. Big problems since pensions are deemed paid out in full. Including RRSP’s. This can trigger “bad tax stuff.” Exemption for $680,000 worth of capital gains. It was stated that generally, if the net worth is 7 million or less, there are ways to engineer a way out of some of the problems involved. One person wondered if it were worth it to renounce, get a TIN/SIN, file once and just let it go (equivalent of conceding “covered “ status). You make decisions you can live with. Important to follow the law. Know what the law is. Part of the problem is the industry and even the government departments tend to determine procedures which may not necessarily be the law.
Discussion of the badly-drafted 4079. Originally intended to determine that one had not lost US citizenship and now being used for the opposite purpose. The original intent of the questions: “Have you ever worked for a foreign government?” What they were aiming for was “were you a general in a foreign army” or “were you the president of another country?” Nothing like the lengths to which this question is being taken. (understandably, since it is badly-drafted).
For past relinquishments – one should not take the position one is American. Stick firmly to this. Bank employees unlikely to know much about citizenship issues. There was never a requirement then, to obtain a CLN. RBC is apparently a big problem right now.
Being rich or needing to remain American for employment situations are about the only reasons where there is a good point to keep USC. No indication of difficulties crossing the border, so not a reason to retain.
Presenter: John Richardson, B.A., L.L.B., J.D., is a Toronto lawyer and a member of the Ontario Bar. Citizenshipsolutions.ca
When: Sunday, November 30, 2014, 6:30 – 8:30 pm
Where:Carr Hall, St. Michael’s College, U of T, 100 St. Joseph St., Toronto ON M5S 2C4
Admission: $20 individual or $40 for a family of up to four people. Payable in cash at the door, please (to cover costs). Hope to see you and your families on November 30. Spread the word!
This session will feature a very special guest speaker!
Is it possible to get a copy of the video, or perhaps a word report? I am not sure whether there may be a web-cam there, and will it be available for viewing through my computer?
Thanks a lot Tricia. Regards,
See comment made above.
Awesome guest speaker.
Agree with The Mom – awesome guest speaker! Should be another great information session.
Really looking forward to it.
May was excellent and this will be a bit more-hands-on if you will.
I don’t think we can manage a webcam or video.
But I will do my best to provide a written report.
Roger Cohen has an op-ed (typically bad) in the NYT about Boris Johnson. It is not (yet) available for comments.
Thanks for planning a copy for me.
I am very upset about these people charging $20.00 for info , solving us citizenship … sorry , but this group is preying on the weak for money..
@ Leroy Davenport ??? You do realize that the $20.00 or $40.00 for a family covers the cost of the rental for the hall and possibly handouts if they provide them. I wouldn’t be sad if they did cover their costs and they had extra to go towards the law suit.
@ Leroy Davenport
Sorry, you are way off base. The kind of information you will get at this $20 meeting is similar to what you might get in a $400 per hr. consultation with a cross-border law firm – and possibly more frank and actionable.
Been there… done that.
IMHO, the $20 fee (to cover facility rental) is possibly the deal of lifetime considering:
– what’s at stake; and
– how rare actual expertise in this field is.
Conduct yourself accordingly.
Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience
variously attributed to Mark Twain, George Carlin, Greg King and Proverbs KJV
@ Leroy Davenport
i went to the session in vancouver in the spring. the $20 i spent saved me in excess of several thousand dollars that i would have spent on compliance had i made the mistake and decided to become compliant.
i will be forever indebted to john richardson and the IBS for organizing these sessions.
Larry Davenport: Although John Richardson lives in Toronto, he has traveled across Canada and overseas to tirelessly give of his own time to present more comprehensive, honest and helpful information than anyone else in the world has done. The fee for attending does not cover even a fraction of his costs. The fee is also required to cover the cost of room rental. Or maybe you think John should pay that out of his own pocket too.
This particular session will also have the additional expertise of Phil Hodgen who will be traveling to Toronto from the U.S. (I believe he lives in California). I have no idea who is paying Phil`s travel costs, but I assume he is not getting a free early trip on the back of Santa`s sleigh.
Maybe you would prefer to deal with the likes of Roy Berg who will suck you dry with his fear mongering instead.
I do not know how John does it emotionally, physically or financially. I am grateful he does these sessions, operates his own website (citizenshipsolutions.ca) and serves as Co-Chair of ADCS. I shudder to think where we would all be without him.
I think you may be aware that I am involved with these meetings tho I don’t travel to the ones far away. I am delighted that you found the information useful and it enabled you to come to a decision that worked for you. I wish to point out that the sessions try to make as much information as possible. However at no time has anyone been directed to not comply
with US laws.
If you are very upset about *these people* charging $20.00 for info, solving US citizenship, then the choice is yours how to better spend your $20. There is a wealth of professional expertise and time so many people have taken from their own lives in helping the whole of US-defined *US Persons* with information to help them make the decisions they, individually, need to for themselves and their families. This is done by information sessions all over Canada and into Europe, one-on-one peer conversations and the time and cost of maintenance of this site and others like MapleSandbox.
What I’m very upset about is persons like you suggesting *these people* are preying on the weak for money. You couldn’t be more wrong if you tried. I hope *these people* take your comment as the ignorance it is rather than the insult you’ve given.
In the meantime, please feel free to search the Archives and the many resources here to help figure out what you need to learn for you and your family. Some others might even help you with any questions you have, gratis. You might then decide to throw a $10 or $20 in now and then to help the fight against extra-territorial US FATCA law implemented in Canada — the fight on behalf of you and other Canadians who have that problem of *US Citizenship* and US citzenship-taxation law to solve: http://www.adcs-adsc.ca/
Those preying on others for money are the US government, specifically the IRS and the Dept. of State.
$20 is a lunch, or a few days worth of coffee.
@TheMom: Add to that list the compliance condors who insist we must “come clean” when they are the ones after dirty money.
John Richardson is definitely NOT one of them. On the contrary, he has only our best interests in mind. Any suggestion that he or “these people” are preying on people is despicable.
Full disclosure: As Chair of the ADCS Litigation Committee and co-founder and co-administrator of Maple Sandbox, I could be one of “these people.”
I hope Leroy will clarify who he refers to as “these people.” It appears to be anyone associated with the $20 Information Sessions and not the real predators.
I also hope this debate will not deter people from attending and learning from John’s expertise and experience–with the added bonus of Phil Hodgen on Sunday. What an amazing duo that will be. I wish I could be there.
@Blaze, right you are, I forgot the COMPLY!-ance vultures.
Anyone can read various personal stories here (Calgary 411, Bubblebustin, Neil, etc.), and see that a $20 entrance fee for a Richardson/Hodgen info session can save a lot of heartache and possibly tens of thousands of dollars.
If that’s not a great investment, I don’t know what is.
The only way I can make sense of your comment is to speculate you are a condor, and add what you might have left out…
“I am very upset about these people charging [only] $20.00 for info , solving us citizenship … sorry , but this group [that I am part of] is preying on the weak for money [and we don’t like anybody spoiling it for us]..”
Alternatively if you truly are in financial hardship and would like to attend but can’t afford it, I’ll pay your way in.
Ask the administrators of this site for my email, and we can arrange it.
The fee is quite reasonable for what it is. To put it in context, American Citizens Abroad is holding an event in London in the UK on the 2nd of December and the fee for that is 30 pounds, which is around 50 US dollars or about three times the cost. Getting reliable advice in this area is costly and these big events are the only way the average person can afford help. The guest speaker is very well respected.
absoutly there was no council to not comply to american laws at the session i attended.
after the meeting i was able to work to come to peace with my self and mine and mine alone decision to preform an act of civil disobience and not comply with an unjust law.
@Mettlemen, let me rephrase your last comment;
after the meeting as a canadian citizen resident in canada, i was able to work to come to peace with my self and mine and mine alone decision to preform an act of civil disobience and not comply with an unjust foreign law of a foreign government.
Try $1,000 an hour. Yes that’s what I paid back in early 2012 to get advice from a specialist accountant within a week of my OMG moment. Then another $500 for a consultation with a lawyer.
How grateful I would have been back then to be able to attend a $20 information session with professionals.
Thank you to John & all those giving so much of themselves in order to help other people by offering these sessions.