There are a few people in Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) who believe that compliance with the U.S. FATCA law will harm the citizens of T&T.
— If you can spare a few minutes of your time to send an email — and feel that sovereign countries should not comply with the U.S. FATCA (extortion) law, because that law is harmful, then EMAIL YOUR THOUGHTS BY THIS FRIDAY to The Secretary, Joint Select Committee on Tax Information Exchange Agreements Bill, 2016, Office of the Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago at firstname.lastname@example.org
— See here and here for articles mentioned/authored by Jim Jatras on the attempt of this “tiny island nation” — that puts other countries to shame — to retain its sovereignty.
Consider the text of the T&T Constitution where you will find the statement: “1. (1) The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago shall be a sovereign democratic State.”
Go to the link found by Badger where you will find:
“The Joint Select Committee established for consideration of the Tax Information Exchange Agreements Bill, 2016 is calling for comments on the Bill.
The purpose of the Bill is to implement certain tax information exchange agreements entered into between Trinidad and Tobago and the United States of America.
The Committee is inviting members of the public to submit comments on the Bill, which includes proposed amendments and is available here. PDF Icon The report of the Joint Select Committee, which was laid in the House of Representatives on February 3, 2017 can be found here. PDF Icon
THE DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS IS FRIDAY FEBRUARY 10, 2017.
Written submissions should be addressed to the Secretary to the Committee as stated below or can be forwarded via email to email@example.com.
Joint Select Committee on Tax Information Exchange Agreements Bill, 2016
Office of the Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago
Levels G-9, Tower D
International Waterfront Centre
1A Wrightson Road
— My own email suggested to the Committee that any FATCA Compliance bill likely violates the T&T Constitutional provisions on Sovereignty and Equality — and that T&T cannot knowingly pass legislation that violates its Constitution.
An additional word on the SEC issue. The language is there mostly for the SEC to renounce – or shift – responsibility for any securities fraud outside US territories, so any possible victim(s) can’t sue the US government. This stemmed from the Bernie Cornfeld scandal of the IOS “Fund of Funds” fraud from the 1960s. You may recall their pitch: “Do you sincerely want to be rich?” When IOS went public in 1969, the elaborate Ponzi scheme started unraveling forcing an SEC investigation and lawsuits against Cornfeld and IOS. IOS was then bought by Robert Vesco who was an even bigger crook than Cornfeld without the charm of the latter. Despite the $1.2 billion in supposed assets, IOS was playing a shell game, but Vesco bilked it of over $200 million and hid out in the Caribbean escaping extradition to the US to face fraud charges by the SEC. I believe this was the cause celebre for the SEC to add this clause absolving them from any liability outside of the USA.
Jim – Great summary! As you know I suggest you also add to any further presentations the violations to the US Constitution imposes, to wit:
4th Amendment against “unreasonable searches and seizures” by the government without proper due process and duly served search warrants based on probable cause presented to a neutral judge. As you know FATCA provides for NONE of this although the Supreme Court has ruled several times how the Constitutional guarantees apply to US citizens viz. the government even if they reside outside of the US territory.
5th Amendment with its rules on indictment by a grand jury, protection of “due process” (i.e., the 4th Amendment” and from self-incrimination and double jeopardy.
8th Amendment which prohibits “excessive fines” as well as “cruel and unusual punishment”. FATCA imposes excessive fines just by forcing overseas Americans to spend more money in preparing and filing taxes than domestic citizens. “Cruel and unusual punishment” has never really been defined although it is usually used with respect to corporal punishment, esp. the death penalty. But FATCA is a case where the IRS is imposing compliance costs that any overseas American will argue are “cruel and unusual punishment” especially in lieu of being adjudicated a priori as “guilty until we prove ourselves innocent” without ANY due process at all!
Believe it or not, folks, I became involved with the issues of taxation of Americans overseas way back in 1976 with the “Tax Reform Act” [sic] of that year, and never in my life could imagine that 40 years later it remains an even bigger mess!!
“Despite the $1.2 billion in supposed assets, IOS was playing a shell game, but Vesco bilked it of over $200 million and hid out in the Caribbean escaping extradition to the US to face fraud charges by the SEC.”
Oops. Now homelanders won’t just think 100% of us are in the 1%, they’ll think 100% of us are in the 0.1%. We’re even bigger criminals than just tax evaders. Oops wait, didn’t homelanders know that already?
“4th Amendment […] As you know FATCA provides for NONE of this although the Supreme Court has ruled several times how the Constitutional guarantees apply to US citizens viz. the government even if they reside outside of the US territory.”
That was a different Supreme Court that ruled on it. A long time ago an even more different Supreme Court really upheld the US constitution, considering the US to be constituted by the US constitution, and the US didn’t have power to violate the US constitution no matter in what place or what kind of victim the US opposed. Later the evil twin of the US, constituted by something other than the US constitution, was allowed to do whatever it wanted outside the borders of the US and to victims who had no connection to the US. Now it’s all gone. An obsolete piece of paper written by dead white men has no control over what the US needs to do today.
I received an email this morning from Keiba Jacob, Keiba Jacob | Procedural Clerk | Financial Scrutiny Unit, Parliament of the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago, requesting I submit T & T government issued photo ID in response to my submission. I guess our experience in dealing with FATCA is not relevant to them.
This morning I received the same request. My submission made it clear that it was sent from a person in Canada.
I asked whether a photo ID of my Canadian passport would be sufficient. If no response, I will send it anyway.
I’ve assumed that they are only accepting submissions from locals, as she asked specifically for T & T government issued ID, not any ID.
Norman – When the Supreme Court issued it has little impact unless a subsequent one overturns it. That notwithstanding, that the US Congress and IRS continues to tax Americans overseas is based on SCOTUS’ acknowledgement that they have the Constitutional right to do so. Therefore, all US citizens maintain their other Constitutional rights without diminishment. In addition, we should all claim that the IRS and Congress can ONLY apply the same rules against us that apply to domestic citizens. Therefore, since they do not require ALL citizens inside the USA to comply in similar fashion to the requests of FATCA, therefore, they are treating expats as a discriminated minority in which case they are violating the 14th Amendment, too, that states:
Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
FATCA is perhaps the most un-Constitutional law ever “passed” – though it was slipped into an unrelated bill in the middle of the night – in modern history because of the violations of the 4 Amendments cited and its TOTAL violation of the clause on Treaties.
@bubblebustin. I received the same e-mail and ignored it because it proves that the request was for locals only.
“When the Supreme Court issued it has little impact unless a subsequent one overturns it. That notwithstanding, that the US Congress and IRS continues to tax Americans overseas is based on SCOTUS’ acknowledgement that they have the Constitutional right to do so. Therefore, all US citizens maintain their other Constitutional rights without diminishment.”
But we already know we (formerly including myself) don’t retain our other constitutional rights. US Tax Court allowed some testimony under seal and the IRS didn’t complain, but other US courts didn’t allow the same testimony under seal. US Supreme Court rulings in US v. Sullivan and Garner v. US have been consistently overturned by US circuit courts (appeals courts) and the 5th amendment is dead.
If I were a US citizen now, I would argue that the 16th amendment stops where the 5th amendment stops. But when I was a US citizen I did not even imagine disputing the 16th amendment. Of course I was weird anyway, trying to comply.
I didn’t receive any e-mail from T&T. Maybe my e-mail was clear enough that I have no connection to T&T so they don’t even want information from people who respect their efforts.
—- In response to the request to send my T & T ID I emailed:
“Dear Mr. XXXXX,
I do not have a T & T Government issued photo ID and am a citizen and resident of Canada. Would you like me to send you my Canadian (passport) ID?
I offered my suggestions to assist your Government in deciding whether to comply with the United States FATCA demand.
All the best,
[In my original email I included the Statement of Claim filed by our Plaintiffs in Canada’s Federal Court arguing that the Canadian FATCA IGA enabling legislation violates Canada’s Charter of Rights and the sovereignty of our country — and I asked T & T to consider that its proposed FATCA compliance legislation likely violates the T & T Constitution, which I quoted.]:
—- Today Mr. XXXXX responded to my email:
“Noted. Thank you.
Are supposed to take the “no” part of “noted” as their answer to your question?