Please don’t give up. Keep pushing forward. A Canadian Court needs to rule that this Canadian FATCA law violates the Charter rights of all Canadians.
CANADIAN FATCA LITIGATION UPDATE September 30, 2019: Gwen and Kazia file Notice of Appeal
A brief Notice of Appeal was just filed today (September 30, 2019) with the Canadian Federal Court of Appeal. The grounds for appeal will evolve and be broadened with detail at later stages. For the appeal process to continue we will need to raise monies quickly to pay for the legal costs.
—- I believe that the ongoing lawsuits (or just successfully completed — the Eshel litigation below) worldwide involving FATCA or aspects related to U.S. citizenship-based taxation are the following:
— Our Alliance for the Defence of Canadian Sovereignty (ADCS-ADSC) Federal Court Canadian lawsuit targeting the Canadian FATCA IGA legislation as violating privacy and equality Charter rights of Canadians. The lawsuit began in 2014. Canadian Federal Court trial with Gwen and Kazia as Plaintiffs already held last week of January, 2019. See key court submission link. Federal Court decision by July 31, 2019?
— Monte Silver’s (plaintiff) U.S. lawsuit focused on a procedural challenge against U.S. transition tax. Here is the lawsuit. Ongoing discussion on Mr. Silver’s American small businesses for tax fairness FB site.
– In ten year old litigation in the United States (Ory and Linda Eshel v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue in U.S. Tax Court) the “Internal Revenue Service said in court filings that it should have allowed U.S. taxpayers resident in France to deduct so-called Generalized Social Contribution taxes, a levy imposed on income in France…The case grew out of an audit of the 2008 and 2009 tax returns of the Eshels, U.S. citizens who reside in France”. See Bloomberg and CBANQUE and the Local.
See part of the reason why the Eshel lawsuit took so long in a January 23, 2018 DC Court ruling. From American Expat Financial News Journal: “Horwich, the attorney who represented the Eshels, said there was scope for other France-resident U.S. taxpayers who, like the Eshels, had also followed the erroneous IRS guidance and failed to claim a credit for CSG and CRDS on their U.S. tax returns. He noted that the statute of limitations to claim CSG and CRDS as foreign tax credits “is 10 years, so we anticipate large numbers of refund claims will be filed to recover taxes that the IRS should never have collected.””
— A lawsuit in France (Fabien Lehagre, AAA, Association des Américains Accidentels) against the banks on discrimination on the basis of nationality by the banks. Pleadings not yet available.
– There is a second lawsuit in France (Fabien Lehagre, AAA, Association des Américains Accidentels) against the FATCA IGA between France and U.S. in which a motion was brought before the Conseil d’Etat for the cancellation of the decree of 25 July 2017 amending the order of 5 October 2015 creating by the General Directorate of Public Finances an automatic processing of automatic exchange of information (EAI). The Association claims that the contested decree is unlawful in that: on the one hand, the above-mentioned agreement, of which it constitutes an implementing measure, is not reciprocally implemented by the United States; on the other hand, the massive nature of the storage and transmission of tax data to the American tax authorities, which it authorises, ignores the right to privacy and the protection of personal data. Pleadings not yet available.
—- What other lawsuits are out there? If you are aware of others, or know that the status has evolved on the lawsuits (e.g., interim court decision), please comment on Brock with an update. Thanks.
EmBee said (on Tricia’s post):
“Seems as good a place as any to put this …
Right now I’m feeling the need for some relief from the Brock bickering because it is making me weary and sad.
I am oldstock Brock and will continue to watch for updates on the progress of the Canadian trial (my heart is committed to that challenge) but I’ll try to leave the commenting to the newstock Brockers.
I sometimes wonder if there is some Tavistock-like undermining or manipulation going on here because the atmosphere has changed.
If the site managers ever feel they’ve had enough and elect to shut down Brock I would completely understand. However I want them to know how much I appreciate all the work they have done behind the scenes since all the way back to 2011. My how time flies and ever more quickly as you get older (read an article recently attempting to explain why this is so).
I wish everyone well and thank everyone who has worked or is still working to make things right for those who are threatened by the US tax regime. I’m particularly mindful of those who passed away during the struggle.
The cause is just. It always will be.”
UPDATE: FATCA IGA litigation in Canada Federal Court: The guts of our Plaintiffs’ (Gwen and Kazia) arguments and those of the Government we oppose (for simplicity, “Canada”) can now be found in four court documents (that our supporters paid for) submitted between October 3 and December 13, 2018 (see below for some excerpts). The Court submissions can be found on our ADCS website.
The trial, which fleshes out the written arguments in orals in Federal Court, has been held the week of January 28, 2019 in Vancouver.
OUR TRIAL WOULD NOT HAVE HAPPENED WITHOUT THE GENEROUS SUPPORT OF BROCKERS. Somehow you found the monies to pay for this trial.
THE FEDERAL COURT DOCUMENTS THAT OUR SUPPORTERS PAID FOR:
1. October 3, 2018 Plaintiffs’ Complaint. We argue in part that Canada’s FATCA IGA legislation violates Sections 7, 8, and 15, of our Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the sovereignty of our country. Includes: ” …the principle of nonintervention between states is a cornerstone of the international order and intrinsically connected to state sovereignty; it is undoubtedly considered by all Canadians to be fundamental to their notion of justice that Canada will not expose them to enforcement of another state’s laws; and it is predictable and easily applied – simply, Canada may not allow other state to enforce their laws on individuals residing in Canada.”
2. November 21, 2018 Canada’s response to Plaintiffs’ Complaint. Many arguments including: Canada argues that it responded wisely to a threat from a bully:“…severe consequences to the Canadian financial sector, its customers and investors, and to the Canadian economy as a whole if Canadian financial institutions were unable or unwilling to comply with FATCA.” “…the plaintiffs have no standing..” because their accounts were not turned over, etc. “The CRS has been adopted by over 100 countries, including Canada…” “While it is acknowledged that the Impugned Provisions cause the seizure of information for the purposes of s.8, the plaintiffs do not have an objectively reasonable expectation of privacy in that information.” “The plaintiffs argue for the recognition of a novel principle of fundamental justice “that Canada will not deny its citizens the protection of Canadian sovereignty”. This proposed principle does not meet the requirements of a principle of fundamental justice as outlined by the Supreme Court of Canada.” “Avoiding the possibility of such catastrophic effects as a decline in GDP, labour income, employment, a depreciation of the Canadian dollar and a lowering of the standard of living of Canadians, are certainly sufficiently pressing and substantial to justify any minimal limitation on rights which may be found to a be result of the Impugned Provisions.”
3. December 7, 2018 Plaintiff’s response to Canada’s motion to strike out some testimony of our witnesses. Includes: “Canada seeks to strike the entirety of the Second Nightingale Affidavit based on a lack of relevance. The Second Nightingale Affidavit concerns the Exit Tax. As explained in the plaintiffs’ Memorandum of Fact and Law, the Exit Tax is relevant context in this constitutional case because it constitutes part of the burden faced by some individuals of avoiding exposure to the Impugned Provisions.” “The out of court statements referred to by Ms. Tapanila to which Canada objects are not adduced for the truth of their contents, but rather for the fact that they were made. The plaintiffs do not rely on the legal advice lay witnesses were given for the truth of its contents. Rather, the plaintiffs rely on the fact that these witnesses sought and paid for legal advice, in many cases from multiple lawyers and at significant expense. This evidence establishes that it can be onerous and costly for an individual to determine whether and how they may be affected by the Impugned Provisions – and if they are affected, whether and how they may avoid this by changing their immigration status under US law – as referred to in the plaintiffs’ Memorandum of Fact and Law, at paragraph 19. The specific legal opinions lay witnesses received are not relevant to this point.” [I will not provide a link to this short submission, which includes the names of witnesses other than that of Carol Tapanila, whose name is already in the public domain.]
4. December 13, 2018 Plaintiffs’ reply record for the Summary Trial. Includes: “This is the first time Canada has raised standing as an issue. It does not plead that the plaintiffs lack standing in its Amended Statement of Defence. Canada’s assertion that the plaintiffs’ rights have not been affected by the Impugned Provisions is incorrect. It is undisputed that the plaintiffs bear US Person Indicia, since they both have an unambiguous US Place of Birth. As a result, any Low Value Accounts they own now or in the future may be reported and shared pursuant to the Impugned Provisions. For Lower Value Accounts or High Value Accounts that they own now or in the future,the relevant FIs are required pursuant to the Impugned Provisions to obtain or review the plaintiffs’ Proof of Loss of US Citizenship.” “Further, or in the alternative, the plaintiffs have public interest standing to challenge the Impugned Provisions…Relatedly, in an earlier summary trial in this proceeding, this Court declined to grant costs given “the public interest involved in clarifying the scope of novel provisions affecting hundreds of thousands of Canadian citizens.” etc. “Canada relies on the expert report of Matthias Oschinski for the proposition that if all of Canada’s big banks did not comply with FATCA, and the Impugned Provisions were not implemented, Canada would face significant negative economic impacts. In fact, Mr. Oschinski agreed that the severity of those impacts was subject to a “great deal of uncertainty” More importantly…” “This Court has already observed that the Common Reporting Standard is different from FATCA in “significant ways”. Comparing the CRS and the Impugned Provisions – as Canada does in various parts of its argument – does not aid in the resolution of this case.”
“…the record before the court actually does not establish that the plaintiffs have US tax reporting obligations [!]. There is no expert evidence before the court that considers the plaintiffs’ immigration and citizenship status under US law. The plaintiffs are affected by the Impugned Provisions because they bear US Person Indicia, not because they are US citizens. This is important: it is the presence or absence of US Person Indicia – as defined in the Impugned Provisions – that determines whether an individual is affected by the Impugned Provisions, not their citizenship status under US law. As noted above, Canada’s submission unreasonably assumes that the two are perfectly correlated.” “Canada states that its primary purpose in enacting the Impugned Provisions was to “avoid the potentially catastrophic impacts of FATCA on Canadian financial institutions, their customers and the Canadian economy.” It says its secondary purposes were to (a) lessen “the burden of the direct application of FATCA on Canadian financial institutions and their customers” and (b) “obtaining additional automatic exchange of information from the US to Canada for Canadian taxation purposes.” Assuming that the first of the secondary purpose is different than the alleged primary purpose, we do not accept that lessening of an undefined “burden” would be a legitimate objective for purpose of s. 8 or s. 1. As to Canada’s secondary purpose (b), while it is supported by one paragraph of the preamble to the IGA, it is undermined by all other relevant evidence and the effect of the law…Third, and in any event, Canada’s articulation of its “primary purpose” is too general to be accepted. A purpose that is articulated in too general terms will provide no meaningful check on the means employed to achieve it. Not only is the threat of economic harm Canada refers to amorphous and highly uncertain, it is so general that it could justify any rights infringement arguably motivated by such a threat from a foreign state…Canada effectively maintains that it enacted the Impugned Provisions under duress from a foreign state. The Court should be very slow to accept this as a justification for infringements of the Charter. Canada is expected to defend the constitutional rights and freedoms of its citizens and not bargain them away or capitulate to threats from a foreign bully state. The notion that a foreign state could indirectly cause the violation of a Charter right in circumstances where Canada could not do so directly simply cannot be accepted. This is a deeply illiberal proposition and it would undermine the principle of the rule of law which explicitly animates the Charter. ”
“Further, even if a desire to avoid financial punishment by a foreign state is accepted as the actual objective underlying the Impugned Provisions, and is considered a valid basis to violate a Charter right, there is significant uncertainty surrounding (a) whether the United States actually would have inflicted that punishment if Canada did not abide, or would do so now if the Impugned Provisions were declared of no force or effect, and (b) the severity of the financial consequences if they were to materialize.” “Canada does not deny that the CRA will use Accountholder Information obtained pursuant to the Impugned Provisions for domestic tax compliance work, nor does it refute the plaintiffs’ contention that such use is unrelated to the objectives of the Impugned Provisions. However, Canada relies on Jarvis for the proposition that “once information is validly gathered by the CRA any reasonable expectation of privacy in the information is lost.” On this basis, it suggests that the CRA’s use of this information is not unreasonable. Jarvis cannot be applied to the present case in the manner suggested by Canada. First…”
“In asserting that the Impugned Provisions are minimally impairing, Canada states that it is not the court’s role to speculate about whether Canada could have achieved a better deal through negotiations with the United States. We disagree. It is Canada’s onus to prove that the Impugned Provisions are minimally impairing and if its claim is that it had no choice because of US demands then it must prove that by appropriate evidence.”
“Finally, the plaintiffs do not assert, as Canada suggests, a right “to avoid the consequences of choosing to violate US law.” The plaintiffs claim their Charter rights, and they claim that they have been breached by Canadian law for the reasons set out above.”
There is much discussion now on ending imposition of U.S. birthright citizenship for persons born in the US whose parents do not have a meaningful relationship with the country.
This discussion does NOT involve, as some very sloppy journalism suggests, ending ALL birthright citizenship, but rather, interpreting part of the already existing section one of the U.S. 14th amendment to mean that children born in U.S. to (e.g., Canadian) parents who do NOT have a legal/permanent/meaningful relationship with the U.S — should not receive U.S. citizenship at birth:
They are not actually subject to the jurisdiction of/allegiance to the U.S. — they are, for example, Canadians and they don’t deserve the benefits or negative consequences of U.S. birthright citizenship irrespective of consent or whether some might like the idea of having a second passport.
“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…”
I hope that the United States Supreme Court will confirm this common sense interpretation of the U.S. 14th Amendment.
Here is the Memorandum of Argument of our Plaintiffs (Gwen and Kazia) for our FATCA IGA legislation lawsuit that was submitted on October 3, 2018 to Canada’s Federal Court. [Note that text is limited to 30 pages.]
The Memorandum can be found HERE.
The gist of our argument (page 12) is that the FATCA IGA legislation is inapplicable to Provincially regulated institutions and violates Sections 7, 8, and 15 of Canada’s Charter of Rights.
— “The Impugned Provisions trench upon the core of the provincial power over property and civil rights because they constitute the regulation of a particular industry – the financial industry – and the regulation of this particular industry is an exercise of the provinces’ core powers over property and civil rights.40″
—”…although some US Persons in Canada have obligations under US law to report their Accountholder Information to the IRS, they generally do not have an obligation to report this information to Canada.”
…“Canada admits that it does not know how many account records have been shared with the IRS which are associated with individuals who are not US Persons.49…”
—”That the Impugned Provisions authorize warrantless searches without any notice or means of judicial review of any kind is undisputed and fatal to their reasonableness.”
—“But Canada has admitted that it does not oversee – meaningfully or at all – the conduct of Canadian FIs in determining whose Accountholder Information will be reported to both Canada and the United States.”
—“…it is impossible for Canada to establish that its own use for domestic tax compliance purposes of Accountholder Information obtained pursuant to the Impugned Provisions (to which it admits63) is reasonable because Canada’s use of that information is unrelated to the objective underlying the Impugned Provisions.”
— “The plaintiffs and other reasonable hypothetical individuals have a reasonable expectation of privacy in their Accountholder Information. Canadian courts have observed that personal financial information prima facie attracts a reasonable expectation of privacy, and that individuals can reasonably expect their financial institutions to keep their information confidential.
—“Canada cannot justify the s. 8 infringement under s. 1 of the Charter because it cannot demonstrate that the Impugned Provisions minimally impair s. 8.”
—“Most importantly, the Impugned Provisions undermine the Group’s access to a basic aspect of full membership in Canadian society by denying them the protection of Canadian sovereignty by exposing them to the extraterritorial enforcement of another state’s taxation and tax compliance regime.”
— Canada responds to our Memorandum of Argument by November 21, 2018.
— We reply to Canada by December 7, 2018.
— Trial is held in Vancouver beginning January 28, 2019
cross posted from Quora
NB: This title comes from the question asked
at Quora and represents that individual’s
President Kennedy at the “Berlin Wall”
— John Richardson – lawyer for "U.S. persons" abroad (@ExpatriationLaw) April 9, 2018
On June 26, 1963 President Kennedy gave his historic “Ich bin ein Berliner” speech. After World War II, the administration of the City of Berlin was divided among the allied powers (Soviet Union, USA, Britain and France). In 1961, the Soviets created a wall in order to prevent their people from leaving the Soviet Sector. (The City of Berlin was actually inside East Germany). Among other things, President Kennedy’s speech included the line: “We have never had to put a wall up to keep our people in – to prevent them from leaving us.”