Posted on March 29, 2012 by bubblebustin Posted in Issues regarding US persons abroad 68 Comments I posted this on another thread, but it’s worth repeating as it is an indication that our concerns are reaching those who are in charge of watching those who are in charge: NDP Position on the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) Share this:TwitterFacebookEmailLike this:Like Loading...
My suggestion – start with a clear statement of the situation and why it’s a crisis:
The US asserts a taxing jurisdiction on millions of offshore “US persons”, which it defines as anyone born on its soil, the foreign-born children of same, and former green card holders.
As a result, it is asserting an unusual extra-jurisdictional tax and penalty claim on hundreds of thousands of law abiding Canadian citizens. This is not based upon US-based assets, residence or economic activity, but upon birthplace.
US-born Canadians affected by this are mostly law-abiding tax-paying Canadians who earn, bank and invest their incomes in their home country of Canada. Many are long-term Canadian citizens with no US economic ties. According to then-existing US law they relinquished their US citizenship by swearing the Canadian citizenship oath, only to be repatriated ex post facto. Many are senior citizens and retirees.
Some are Canadians who have never worked or lived in the US. They were simply born there while their parents were visiting for travel or education, or due to cross-border hospital arrangements (common in the Eastern Provinces). Also affected are Canadian-born children of US-born Canadians who were now US “tax evaders” simply because of their lineage.
Especially distressing is application of obscure US money laundering laws to effectively criminalize everyday Canadian banking and investing activities. Local bank accounts and retirement savings are now “undisclosed offshore accounts” subject to outrageous and disproportionate penalties.
@CanadianPat, just re-read your last paragraph, and you express very eloquently how I also feel. Thanks for getting that on here. I do like the way you write!
@All, One of the things I like best about this site is that it has been clear from the start that there is room for all of us, those that want to or must remain US persons,those that do not, and those that feel that they are NOT US persons. Most of us have a couple of things in common for sure, the complete belief of the idiocy and simple wrongness of citizen-based taxation, and lso that what the US is doing right now is foreign aggression and must be stopped, as it is likely just the tip of a very large iceberg. I don’t think it will weaken our message or effect if we fight on several fronts at once, in fact, I think we have to. Fight to get our governments to protect us as against a foreign aggressor, fight to get the media to stop spouting IRS propaganda and to write the real story, fight to get the world to take off the blinders and see what the US is really doing….
I have heard a rumor the MP Hoang Mai is going to make a motion to have this issue put on the agenda of the House of Commons Finance Committee when the committee has there next meeting on Tuesday.
Now if you actually go to the committee website there is section on the planned agenda for Tuesday which DOES indicate Mai is going to make a motion about “something”.
I agree with outragedcanadian at what Canadianexpat says – it is eloquently put and says what most of us feel.
I seemed to align with Joe Smith in what I am doing. I had never been questioned crossing the border, in fact if we put my passport on top – it usually assured a lack of questions and going right through. Then in 2008, I went to Connecticut on business with 2 of my employees and thought I was going to get stripped and get a cavity search by a young obnoxious Immigration officer. He made a scene in Immigration telling me I should be ashamed of travelling on a Canadian passport, that I was insulting him and my country. I must at first looked at him like a deer in the head lights as I had NO IDEA what he was talking about. My two employees are behind me wishing they didn’t know me because they knew I was NOT going to take that laying down. I politely but sternly said – I may have been born there but I am NOT American and have NEVER travelled on an American passport and not one person ever said anything before him so wanted to speak to his supervisor as he insulted me and the country I am a citizen and call home. An older guy came over and instead of the cavity search – I think they just wanted me out of there as people were starting to listen and stare, so he stamped my passport and waved me through – but always wondered if I had a wanted poster at Pearson with my name on it:-)
At the time I just thought – what an Ass and didn’t think more of it until someone else told me they had a similar experience and the only time I crossed the border afterward was by car. I did have another Immigration officer in NY when I was young and just got a Canadian passport basically cuss me out telling me I was not a patriot and lectured me for quite awhile – he was an ex-marine.
We are still with a charter bank for now and am told I am down as Canadian, but am going to move all accounts with “just” my name to a credit union. My husband has decided to leave the mortgage as he has printed out the charter of rights and consumer advocacy board information saying he wants a Canadian bank to refuse him service as wants to take them to task of violating privacy by asking my birth as it says on the sites he found – anyone can open a bank account in Canada with a photo id and only reason to be turned down is a crime against the bank itself. I keep asking him how happy he is now he married someone born in the U.S. now as he thought he hit the lottery when we married:-). He so wanted to live in the south in warm climate – but not me – he got offered a job there years ago and he had to turn it down as I wouldn’t budge. Told him I would go most anywhere in Canada minus maybe Yellowknife or Whitehorse – but would not return to the U.S. and that was before I had this axe to grind.
I like outragedcanadian respect the decisions everyone has had to make and are very personal based on circumstances. I believed I relinquished when I became a citizen and don’t consider myself American since that time so I refuse to comply and even if I wanted to in order to travel – I financially will not put my family at risk based on here say of they “may not” impose fines. I understand those that have chosen to renounce and relinquish to just be rid of the burden as well as those that have complied and paid up for their own reasons. It has been a very hard and deeply personal decision that each of us has had to go through lately and not one I ever expected to have to think about. If I still have direct family and emotional ties – it would have be tough and may have made a different decision.
I have made it clear to family and friends I will never go to the U.S. again and even if this all blew over – just out of principle. The things I miss I have re-created here. I smoke my own pork shoulders, make my own bbq rub and sauce, and even have friends in Canada eating fried green tomatoes, okra, catfish, hush puppies and even the Cincinnati Chili that I love and miss – I have gotten pretty close:-)
I have a friend – Canadian but born by fluke in the U.S. that has her head in the sand thinking this is all blown out of proportion. She has spent thousands for a trip to the south the end of April and thinks that telling the Immigration officer at Pearson she didn’t know about this and hasn’t lived in the U.S. since she was 8 will save her. I have a sneaking suspicion she will be turned away and will let you know on here if that happens and have the feeling she will start picking the sand flakes out of her hair and get on board the reality train that everyone on here is on.
@Proud Canadian: Please let us know what happens to your friend who will be crossing the border at the end of April. We have a trip planned in August to visit relatives in the US, and I’m becoming terrified. I’ve never been questioned at the border about my Canadian passport which I’ve used many times and I don’t intend to get a US one, but I know I won’t be able to get a CLN in time for our August trip. I’m sure a lot of us would be interested in hearing anyone’s experiences entering the US with a Canadian passport. I wish I could say I will never cross the border again, and maybe I will have to. I really resent that we are treated like criminals for wanting to visit the country of our birth.
I don’t know about everyone else, but Proud Canadian has left me salivating! 🙂 BBQ your place PC?
I am sure you will be fine, But keep us informed.
You have applied for a CLN and gone through the process so like Joe says – you will probably be fine. My friend just thinks the more she denies her ignorance of this going on – it will save her and we all know that ignorance is not a defence anywhere.
It would be nice after we all go through this and end up on the other side by either Canada and other countries putting their foot down or the U.S. only focusing on who they said they were (one can hope):-) – it would be nice for us all to come out of hiding and celebrate. The pork shoulder and bbq ribs with meat falling off the bone are on me – someone else has to bring the cold slaw, potato salad and fries. No southern meal is complete without peach cobbler dripping with home-made (not electric) churned ice cream with a quart of cream.
@anyone wishing to continue discussing the use of the word “diaspora” should go to:
as we have two parallel discussions going on the same subject…
The cole slaw’s on me! Friggin awesome ehhhhhhhhh!!!!!!
I make a mean peach cobbler, and my beans and cornbread are pretty darn good if I may so so myself 🙂 Thanks for reminding me that it’s not all bad, having roots in another country/culture…
Please don’t forget Collard Greens!! Cornbread is my favorite with Pinto Bean juice.. HA!!
And MoonPie and Pepsi for afternoon snack!
🙂 Clear! I’m in!
When I was a teenager, my favourite hangover remedy was left over bean juice, cornbread and velveeta cheese all heated together. Sounds revolting now, but I swore by it…. And, me, I still have trouble eating a sandwich without potato chips. My mom never served a sandwich without chips.. for me they go together like cheese and crackers.
Us’ns has learnt to make collard greens out of kale. Had some a couple of weeks ago. Necessaries still not on the table: baked beans and bourbon.
PS What does Je me souviens remind you of?
Folks – I have completed some initial work on a 2-page “Charter”. It’s ready for an initial review if you are interested. I followed the instructions to start a new thread however I have not been given permission to do so as yet, so I’ll just post the link here for now (sorry it’s ugly – need to determine how to make it an active link)
I think a little context is necessary. First, the word “Charter” – I’m not married to that term. I’d be happy to use another term to describe this thing.
Second, this document is aimed at a group of people who share common values and objectives. That said, I wrote Version One in the first person because at this point, the document is entirely subjective.
Third – many questions. Can the first-person “I” be changed to “We” given sufficient input and modification? Or is the essence of this document simply not aligned with your values and thinking at all? Or do you think we even need something like a “Charter” to help us move forward? I would appreciate your feedback.
You’ll have to cut & paste the following link into your Browser. Sorry.
Pretty good so far. One more thing I’ll mention is that all Double Taxation Treaties Canada agrees to should based on the United Nations or OECD models which prohibit taxation based on citizenship.(All of Canada’s 80 or so treaties other than the US one are based on OECD or UN model treaties).
Thanks very much for the input, I will definitely work your point into the document.
Also need to thank Joe Smith and Roger Conklin for their input (seen early-on in this thread)