This is a re-post of a mass emailing by James Jatras of RepealFATCA.com which was sent out over the weekend. If it was mentioned on IBS, I might have missed it. Thought it should get headline billing here, so it is picked up by other FATCA watchers.
. FATCA Fact Finding Forum Report Part III
We took a break after Professor Christians’ presentation and began again with a brief talk by Anglican Archbishop Dorian Baxter who is the President of the Progressive Canadian Party. He related a very funny story of a conversation with an older member of his congregation who lamented that we no longer had Steve Jobs, nor Johnny Cash or Bob Hope. They talked a bit about this and then applied to current state of Canada – we have no jobs, no cash and no hope!
He emphasized that we need to hold the CDN govt accountable to the standard of the Westminster model of Parliamentary Democracy. This relates to a core principle of the Progressive Canadian Party and the illegal “merger” of the Canadian Alliance Reform Party (aka “CRAP”). This provoked much laughter. Then he applied the Westminster ideal to the fact that FATCA is an invasion of CDN Autonomy as well as the Canadian Treasury as it is a money grab of millions of dollars from Canadian families, their children and their children’s children.
We then started with this video:
The emphasis on how bizarrely the indicia rules could be interpreted began to be a framework of the discussion.
We then heard from Professor Allison Christians. She studied tax law in the US and has an LLM from New York City University. Point was made that this university has some sort of monopoly on producing international tax lawyers.
I’ve just returned from the program. I’m not sure I can really catch all of the most important aspects but the good news is, there were two people recording the proceedings and one plan is to post on YouTube, so you all will be able to hear the presentations as well as capture the spirit and intensity of the meeting. I was quite struck by the difference in how it feels to connect with others about this in the way we are accustomed to; i.e., in the sort of impersonal, anonymous feel to posts on the internet and how much stronger the impact of peoples’ words are, when you are actually experiencing them, face-to-face. Hopefully, this will be the first of many, many more meetings for those of us trying to get FATCA repealed.Please note that I am trying to paraphrase what was said and any mistakes or wrong impressions given are due to my failings. It is impossible to correctly quote everything that was said. I am refraining from mentioning any personal information that was given, though awareness of this during the meeting strongly influenced the impact each speaker had.
It’s an oft-told political joke: “If things don’t go my way, I’m moving to Canada.” You hear it every election, but do people actually mean it when they say it?
There’s a chance Hannah Frame might be one of those people. She’ll be watching the upcoming election very closely from her dorm at Kalamazoo College in Michigan, as the outcome could have major ramifications for the rest of her life.
I thought some of you Canadians might want to use this opportunity to inform Market Place Radio about the “other” realities they did not mention. I notice, yet again, there is not a FATCA in the story or anything related to the issues of US Citizenship taxation. It is written from the perspective of difficulties with Canadian immigration, the legal issues and associated expenses of those hurtles. So, a one sided and narrow perspective. That said, here is the opportunity to educate a wider audience of the other difficulties Hannah Frame has never considered.
Hmmm, gearing up for FATCA implementation?
“The Federal Government has proposed a new regime for the handling of complaints by customers of banks. While banks are already required to have a consumer complaints procedure in place and to be a member of an external complaints body where unresolved complaints can be referred, the current system has not been satisfactory to many of the banks or consumers.” http://www.bankingfinancialserviceslaw.com/
Department of Finance: http://www.fin.gc.ca/n12/data/12-079_1-eng.asp
A new complaint procedure/policy for bank customers – coincidental timing? Or is our Canadian government anticipating the flurry of complaints when FATCA comes into force?
According to their website, “The Canadian Bankers Association works on behalf of 54 domestic banks, foreign bank subsidiaries and foreign bank branches operating in Canada…to promote an understanding of the banking industry and its importance to Canadians.”
It is all the more disappointing to find the following information on their site, intended for us Canadian consumers (says last updated July 5).
- For a US person – “If you do not complete IRS Form W-9 or provide your consent to disclose information to the IRS, your financial institution may be required to withhold a tax of 30% on any U.S. source payments that you receive and send this money to the IRS. Also, your financial institution may refuse to open an account or may be required to close existing accounts” (emphasis mine).
- For ‘non-US person’ clients, the repercussions of not providing further documentation, if requested, are, “If you choose not to provide this additional documentation upon request, at a minimum, your financial institution may be required to withhold a tax of 30% on U.S. source payments1that you receive and send this money to the IRS.”
So, a Canadian born in Scotland that has US indicia who refuses to provide documentation will have 30% US source income withheld. A Canadian born in the US who refuses to provide documentation will not only have 30% withheld, but may have their account closed? Yet, if both refuse to provide further documentation, then how the heck will a bank know where a person was born? And how is this not discrimination? Continue reading
Back on June 1st, under the ‘Thank you from a Fellow Brocker’ thread, I posted a question to other Canadian Brockers. There was enough interest and response that we decided to make a new thread to make it easier to follow through on the idea. Below is my original question, and then the comments by other Brockers. (Apologies for the format, did not find the copy post plugin here which allows comments to be copied, so have cut & pasted them into the post.)
July 1 is Canada Day. Can we Canadian Brockers take advantage of this date to encourage/demand our government stand up for our rights? To refuse the US attempt to reclaim our citizenship? To refuse the US attempt to invade our privacy? To refuse the US attempt to take our money? To say no to the US bullying? Can, or should, the Society come up with a message that we all send to the Minister of Finance, the Privacy Commissioner, the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism?
Americans abroad — frustrated by the uncertainty of what FATCA will do to their financial lives, and facing repeated delays of the IRS’ promises to bring some clarity through proposed regulations — are increasingly turning to the politicians of the places where they live in an effort to get some answers. In the past week several government officials at the national or supranational level have brought up the issue of FATCA, in response to concerns expressed by constituents — both dual citizens who elected them, and banks and other institutions for whom FATCA amounts to yet another extra-territorial unfunded mandate by the US. A number of scholars have also released draft papers about FATCA and FBAR. Here’s the roundup for the past week or so. If you see any more, leave them in the comments: