Intense Focus on Foreign Accounts – Beware the Whistleblower! https://t.co/RrJxDwySuH
— V. La Torre Jeker JD (@VLJeker) December 29, 2014
In addition to all the invasion of privacy we now experience directly via the NSA (phones, internet, email) and indirectly (FATCA, etc-anything with an intermediary involved), we can now count on our fellow family members, friends, co-workers and neighbors to see dollar signs when considering whether to turn us in to the IRS.
Mind you, most of us minnows will not meet the monetary standard for being turned in ($200,000 income per year or taxes, penalties, interest and other amounts in dispute exceed $2 million). However, an image of a much-disliked previous next-door neighbor deliciously phoning the IRS in order to get back at me brought memories of the tv-show The Prisoner as well as the oft-quoted Orwell novel 1984. In this episode, Number 2 is trying to extract “information” from Number 6 (Patrick McGoohan)
From Fear And Terror Caused by America:
What is required in order to obtain an award?
The law provides for two types of awards. If the taxes, penalties, interest and other amounts in dispute exceed $2 million, and a few other qualifications are met, the IRS will pay 15 percent to 30 percent of the amount collected. If the case deals with an individual, his or her annual gross income must be more than $200,000.
The IRS also has an award program for other whistleblowers – generally those who do not meet the dollar thresholds of $2 million in dispute or cases involving individual taxpayers with gross income of less than $200,000. The awards through this program are less, with a maximum award of 15 percent up to $10 million.
All whistleblower claims must be submitted under penalty of perjury.
Individuals must submit information on f211 application for Award for Original Information.
Would anyone with knowledge who did not turn in anyone be guilty of Form Crime?
Form 211’s would have to be completed in FATCAspeak or, if truly advanced, via Form Dreams.
Or perhaps, our salvation lies in being Whistleblowers ourselves? In case you need instruction, go here.Just imagine, we could meticulously figure out who among us would be the smallest possible victim, adding up the awards as we worked our way up the scale and in the end, fund the lawsuit against CBT!
Hat tip to US Taxation Abroad (@TaxationAbroad)
Blackmail was always a consequence of FATCA.
Also China has signed 3 more currency swap deals with Malaysia, New Zealand, and Russia. Apparently that now makes 11 countries.
If this keeps up you won’t need the US dollar. Keep some funds in Yuan with the knowledge it’s easily convertible into, for example, Canadian Dollars.
Yes the OECD is pushing the Common Reporting Standard, but with every currency swap deal sign, it’s a step backwards for the US Dollar.
I imagine that any awards from Rats R Us are payable only upon collection, which would be futile against Canadian citizens. Perhaps the CRA itself would like to get in on the action.
Some of us used form 211 to rat out the bank that started our whole IRS OVDP nightmare.
You would do it in a heartbeat if your in the midst of hell and you realize a big American bank has reported income incorrectly on a tax form. I was accepted into the program and have been in in for about a year.
I have mentioned this before.
Next on the menu, special arm bands mandatory for all US expats so that we can be easily identified.
No. Pink piggy bank badges sown onto you’re jackets.
Totally understand how you’d want to turn in a bank, but I could never bring myself to turn in an accidental American no matter how rich they are, and regardless of the fact that I chose to make myself compliant. Any choice we make has it’s price and is ours and only ours to make. Mine just happened to be monetary.
@Tricia, re; “Or perhaps, our salvation lies in being Whistleblowers ourselves?” Interesting idea!
IBS and the rest of us have already become whistleblowers of a sort – sounding the alarum as much as possible on the sneaky implementation of FATCA in Canada via the stealth IGA, and by bringing as much unwanted public attention as possible to the disingenuous and unethical tactics of the Mythster Stack, etc.
How does the whistleblower program of the IRS fit with the CRA’s disingenuous claims here:
Read this and then re-read the CRA FAQs. See: Cockfield, Arthur J., FATCA and the Erosion of Canadian Taxpayer Privacy (April 1, 2014). Report to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, April 2014. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2433198 .
Someone needs to blow the whistle on the CRA’s baseless and disingenuous assurances – which were just updated a few days ago.
Start with this from the preamble to the Cockfield paper cited above;
“…This report discusses how FATCA and
the IGA unduly harm the privacy interests and rights of Canadians in part because detailed
financial information concerning hundreds of thousands of Canadians would be transferred to a
foreign government for the first time. Canada is getting nothing in return for this privacy
giveaway other than the relief of the threatened economic sanctions. The Canadian government
should not implement the IGA until these privacy concerns are addressed….”
“…the IGA appears to bypass rather than meet the data protections afforded under the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). The government should undertake a review and explore amendments to the IGA or some other means to forestall a grave erosion of the protections afforded by that Act. Second, the IGA appears to introduce violations of other individual rights protections, including those accorded under the Privacy Act. Here too the government should undertake a review and explain why the use of the CRA to furnish information to a foreign sovereign does not constitute a significant erosion of the protections afforded by Canadian law. Finally, the government should delay passage of the Implementation Act until: (a) the issues surrounding Charter protections, other taxpayer protections, and global cooperative efforts have been thoroughly studied and addressed; and (b) the U.S. government agrees to reciprocal treatment with respect to the tax information reporting system that has been unilaterally imposed on Canada. Until these events occur, Canada should only transfer FATCA required data associated with U.S. persons who are not Canadian residents.”…..
“……. more specific concerns have been expressed with respect to U.S. government information collection practices. In particular, U.S. government agencies such as the National Security Administration (NSA) via its signals intelligence operations collects mass information by surveilling, for instance, telephone and internet usage. As previously noted by Canadian policy reports from the Office of the Privacy Commission of British Columbia and other privacy commissions, any personal information about Canadians that is sent over the U.S. border may be accessed by U.S. authorities under the Patriot Act, without a warrant or notice.27 Tax information provides another source of information that the U.S. government could use for anti-terrorist or anti-crime purposes even if no crime has been committed in Canada.”….
So all; donate now http://www.adcs-adsc.ca/DonateADCS.html and help to blow the whistle on the Harper government FATCApologists, and the disingenous attempts by the CRA to camouflage its new role as an arm of the US IRS and Treasury – a new role paid for with the hard earned money of the Canadian taxpayers whose interests the federal government and its institutions like the CRA are supposed to serve above and before the vested interests of rapacious foreign countries – like the US.
via the ADCS legal challenge http://www.adcs-adsc.ca/Issue_Cost.html .
Got to love V. La Torre Jeker JD’s even handed approach of warning potential targets and informing potential whistleblowers in the next breath. I suppose it is good for business either way.
Just how long to do we expect the provision that the CRA will not help collect IRS levies against those who were Canadian citizens when the debt arose if the U.S. passes another bully law demanding that assistance. How quickly would it become a matter of “All Canadian citizens are equal but some are more equal than others”?
This could also be good for reality TV. I can see a new style “Dog The Bounty Hunter” type show. Maybe “Dog The Expat Hunter”.
“World-famous bounty hunter Duane “Dog” Chapman pursues a diverse slate of American Expats from his international home base in London. He’s joined on the hunts by his wife and business partner, Beth, and his sons, Leland and Duane Lee. With 15% of the take for every Expat capture this is our most exciting Season yet!”
“Whether tis better to work for a living or steal for a living”
A post on this site from February 2013 about the Cornell law school course in Whistleblowing:
The post is significant only because it shows the extent to which the law school and academic culture is embracing this sort of thing. Do a Google search “law school whistleblower”. You will be amazed to see how the legal academic community endorses this concept.
I would expect Governments to be corrupt and immoral. But now the law schools and the legal profession itself are part of this corruption. Partly because the law schools capitalize on “societal trends” and partly because “Law has become a substitute for morality”.
(As victims of your place of birth, you may have discovered that there are few lawyers who view your persecution as a moral issue.)
Here is the History of America:
In the beginning, people would “work for a living”.
Then gradually some people stopped working and began to “vote for a living”
And now, we have reached the final stage where people will “steal for a living”.
Whistleblowing is a government created theft program where the government simply enlists partners in its criminal activity.
So, the question in the America of today is:
Why would you work for a living, when it’s easier to vote for a living or steal for a living? In any case if you work, the fruits of your labor will be confiscated by those who “vote for a living” or “steal for a living”.
This is the result of two trends:
1. The extent to which big government is terrorizing it’s own citizens. This is hardly surprising in a world where everybody is shackled down with thousands and thousands of penalty laden laws and regulations that they either can’t understand or couldn’t be imagined. Once everybody is afraid of government it becomes important to achieve the favor of government. You want to help the police, help the IRS, etc. Not only will you get a monetary reward but you will get recognition. To put it simply: The government has created an environment where NOBODY CAN BE TRUSTED (that’s the true effect of a culture of Whistle Blowers) and you must protect yourself from government.
2. Speaking of law schools. Law students (early on) learn the difference between an action against a person (in personem) and an action against property (in rem). There was a time when most lawsuits were of an “in personem” nature. Now, much of what is happening is “in rem” – attempts to go after property directly – which is pure confiscation. Understand that a “Whistleblower program” is really an attempt to confiscate assets and share a percentage of the take with the “Whistleblower”. Therefore, Whistleblower programs should be seen as just one more instrument of asset confiscation.
A partial list of U.S. Government asset confiscation (“in rem”) programs includes:
– FBAR penalties
– other information return penalties
– FATCA From 8938
– OVDP for people
– OVDP for Swiss banks
– OVDP for financial planners and lawyers (arguably Birkenfeld himself was part of this group)
– FATCA IGA (which I have argued is an OVDP program for countries)
– Obama levying a 10 billion dollar fine by Executive order on a French bank
– and the complete list of idiotic penalties imposed every day
– sustained and deliberate below market interest rates which transfer the savings of those who are financially responsible to those who never bothered to save or invest
– Civil Forfeiture (see an earlier post on this topic that identifies this as an important tool of Government asset confiscation
Now as people outside “Form Nation” – AKA the “Land of ConFORMity” you are getting an early look at where this is going. We are moving to a world of a war NOT with the government, but with each other, which has been incited by the government.
Somehow the image of the movie “The Hunger Games” comes to mind.
In any case, I think that Cornell Law School should move to the next step and offer an LL.M. (Legal Masters Degree) in the ‘Law of Confiscation”. The content will NOT be so much about the “law” as it would be about the “lawlessness” of it all.
And meanwhile, for those with a U.S. birthplace, who are currently subject to “FATCA Hunt”. Well,
You just could be someone’s retirement/confiscation plan!
I just went to the renounceuscitizenship.wordpress.com (to see how much this theme has factored into previous posts) and did a search on “Whistleblower”. I am amazed at how much comes up.
It’s everywhere! Yes!!!!!
Pingback: Brandeis: The right to be let alone, to have privacy, is the most comprehensive and valued right | U.S. Persons Abroad – Members of a Unique Tax, Form and Penalty Club
America promotes whistle blowing when it suits the government in this case the IRS, but blow the whistle on the government you have to hide out in Russia never to be heard from again. Funny how that works!
@Neill: “Some of us used form 211 to rat out the bank that started our whole IRS OVDP nightmare.”
Rat out? or sue them?
In French, but you can use google translate:
Some French rebel against their swiss bankers.
Basically, they lawyers up and sued the banks who advertises privacy yet ratted them out to the French authorities. Not sure about their chances to win…
Good point @Ann;
“….but blow the whistle on the government you have to hide out in Russia never to be heard from again….”
In the Snowden case he made extraordinary personal sacrifices to do so.
So how likely is it that taxpayers and citizens wil ever obtain the true backstory – where it appears that the regimes in power wield and misuse the instruments of government against citizens – (note that in both examples below, it is the revenue agency using/witholding charitable status) against critics?
In the US:
“… ….The deletions come as the CRA faces scrutiny over its ongoing audits of charitable organizations as part of a $13-million special fund from the Harper government to investigate whether any are engaging in excessive political activity.
The agency has denied the audits are politically motivated, but some groups say the deletion of logs could erase possible evidence that the government is using the agency to target Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s harshest critics. …..”
Dec 23, 2014 Hamilton Spectator
‘Canada Revenue Agency destroys staffers’ texts’
By Mike De Souza
Then there is the fact that the Harper government in Canada is using our own taxpayer funds against Canadian citizens and legal residents using the CRA ( http://maplesandbox.ca/2014/fatca-will-cost-cra-15-7-15-8-millon/ ) which is now helping the IRS and issuing nonsense assurances to Canadian taxpayers re FATCA:
as well as wielding the full power and resources we paid for (ex. the DOJ https://adcsovereignty.files.wordpress.com/2014/11/2014-11-10-statement-of-defence-agc.pdf ) to force us to go to court to obtain justice and recourse against an unconstitutional and illegal FATCA IGA:
In the absence (so far) of any whistleblower who has access to useful information about the machinations of the government of Canada and the US Treasury to force a foreign law onto the backs and savings accounts of Canadian citizens, residents and taxpayers, funding this challenge is our only recourse.
Help blow the whistle on the unconstitutional/illegal tactics being used by the Harper government in collaboration with the potentially unconstitutional and unauthorized tactics of the US Treasury department ( See ‘The Dubious Legal Pedigree of IGAs (and Why it Matters)’ Allison Christians, McGill University – Faculty of Law, February 11, 2013 Tax Notes International, Vol. 69, No. 6, 2013
fulltext at http://ssrn.com/abstract=2280508 ).
We have two brave plaintiffs that need your help to defend Canadian taxpayers, citizens and Canadian sovereignty;
Donate NOW to the ADCS legal challenge.
Blow the whistle on this abuse of citizens and taxpayers by both the US and Canadian governments via the FATCA IGA.!
Although I have been repeatedly assured that the CRA will not collect, or aid in the collection of, taxes and penalties for the IRS if the person was a Canadian citizen at the time the debts were incurred, I have recently been told by a cross border tax specialist with a major Canadian accounting firm, as well as a U.S. tax lawyer also specializing in cross border tax issues, that the IRS can still use the courts to force Canadians to pay.
If this is true then none of us is safe!!
Rat out. The bank was not tax compliant. Form 211 is to report the fact they are not compliant and claim any reward.
@ rob Not sure the US has the resources to take all to court but may make an example of some of us. It is a worry for sure. I also don’t trust our government. They are already “helping” a foreign government collect taxes by using FATCA to seek us out so the harassment can begin.
@Rob: Let them take us to court. It will be years before they will recoup any financial gain at all. It’s already suspect how much the US government will gain chasing down all their minnows. The US is a great nation to inflict fear on people. Scare everybody into compliance! The IRS is good at that. So glad we have a bunch of people willing to stand up for our rights without having the US tanks roll in.
@Rob and heartsick
Canada-US Tax Treaty
ARTICLE XXVI A
Assistance in Collection
8. No assistance shall be provided under this Article for a revenue claim in respect of a taxpayer to the extent that the taxpayer can demonstrate that
(a) where the taxpayer is an individual, the revenue claim relates either to a taxable period in which the taxpayer was a citizen of the requested State or, if the taxpayer became a citizen of the requested State at any time before November 9, 1995 and is such a citizen at the time the applicant State applies for collection of the claim, to a taxable period that ended before November 9, 1995;
Technical explanation (Fifth Protocol, 2007): In general, new subparagraph 8(a) provides the circumstances under which no assistance is to be given under the Article for a claim in respect of an individual taxpayer. However, the revised subparagraph also provides that no assistance in collection is to be given for a revenue claim from a taxable period that ended before November 9, 1995 in respect of an individual taxpayer, if the taxpayer became a citizen of the requested State at any time before November 9, 1995 and is such a citizen at the time the applicant State applies for collection of the claim.
The additional language is intended to avoid the potentially discriminating application of former subparagraph 8(a) as applied to persons who were not citizens of the requested State in the taxable period to which a particular collection request related, but who became citizens of the requested State at a time prior to the entry into force of Article XXVI A as set forth in the third protocol signed March 17, 1995.
I am trying to make what is above as readable as possible. For the full text, see: http://www.fin.gc.ca/treaties-conventions/unitedstates-etatunis-eng.asp
Of course, the IGA is touted as a Treaty and can be changed at the whim of the US. This is why Allison Christians’ concerns about the validity of the process and dubious nature of the IGA matter.
RE VAN DEMARK ET AL. AND TORONTO-DOMINION BANK
April 19, 1989
Joint accounts are maintained at 77 Bloor St. W. by Kenneth Van deMark, Alanna Van deMark and Haley Van deMark….. With respect to the last three mentioned accounts, the applicant Kenneth Van deMark claims no interest whatsoever and is a signatory as a matter of convenience, the funds being the property of Alanna Van deMark and Haley Van deMark in the one case, and Alanna Van deMark in the other.
It is stated that the United States Internal Revenue Service has made the allegation that with respect to the funds still at issue in this application, Kenneth Van deMark holds as nominee for his parents and, under United States law, such funds can be seized as though they were funds of the parents.
The applicant Kenneth Van deMark is a Canadian citizen, a businessman and has never carried on business in the United States.
The “notice of levy” purports to attach any assets of the parents held by the Toronto-Dominion Bank in or out of the United States and purports to attach any assets in possession of the bank, of which Kenneth Van deMark holds title as nominee for his parents.
No evidence that such relationship exists has been placed before me or, apparently, furnished to the bank.
It is stated that if the bank does not deliver the funds, it will be liable to pay the United States Government something like 200% of the value of the assets claimed.
There is no dispute between [**7] the bank and Kenneth Van deMark and the dispute, if any, is between the bank and the Internal Revenue Service of the United States.
The effect of what has occurred is that a Canadian citizen has placed assets in a branch in Canada of a Canadian chartered bank. The bank also does business in the United States and is being threatened by a United States authority.
How it began in NAZI Germany. Neighbor telling on neighbor, who was Jewish, who was not a good German, who hadn’t paid their taxes, who spoke out against Hitler, who was a Gypsie and as each group was eliminated another was chosen.
If we fall for this trap we are no better than Hitler’s National Socialist Party, Yes Hitler was a Socialist and they hated anyone who disagreed with them—sound familiar—? it should, we have a party who has degenerated since the hero’s of my youth—Truman and Kennedy—we are on the threshold of a really good period or fated to destruction.
If we stop the perinoid behavior we can get the Fairtax passed and a really prosperous period will ensue. It is your choice. Pepper congress with emails, post cards, letters and anything else you can think of demanding the FairTax (HB25 and SB122) and watch history be on our side.
I have my doubts that anyon here is likely to “fall for this trap.” Not one case of a Brocker “ratting out” another to the IRS has occurred, as far as I know. 😉
The Fair Tax does nothing to help us (as in expats). If you mean “it is your choice” as in vote, that is meaningless.
What is it that you think is useful to expats in your suggestion?
Are you saying that the IRS cannot touch us while we are in Canada? I was quite certain as well that they could not, and I had forgotten about the Van deMark vs the TD bank case, but the US lawyer was adamant that the IRS would prevail in court. It has me thinking of joining the streamlined program.
It is my wife that is the accidental American. She was born in the U.S. of Canadian parents, registered as a Canadian born abroad, and came back to Canada with her family when she was 5 years old.
She was always under the impression that her U.S. citizenship would automatically lapse when she turned 22, provided that she live in Canada for 3 more years, which of course she did.
We were shocked to find out the other day that the law was changed in 1978, and would no longer apply to her, since that was the year she turned 22.
rob,, The IRS cannot touch you while you are in Canada. The IRS would have to do the following. Somehow discover your wife. Somehow determine she owes them some money. Somehow convince a US court and obtain a judgement. Somehow decide to follow that up with a canadian court. Somehow avoid being found in contempt by a Canadian judge for wasting her time.
I guess your tax specialists are hungry; maybe they need new cars. Your wife hasn’t been bothered for 70 years. Why start now?