I came across an interesting article on IPolitics.ca about a deepening mystery about Canadian’s holding bank accounts in Liechtenstein. I linked to article below but its behind a registration wall so I copied and pasted the most intriguing passage [Editor’s note: I’ve rerouted the link through google and so the entire article should be available]:
The mystery surrounding Canadian owners of offshore accounts in a secretive bank in Liechtenstein has deepened with the discovery by the Canada Revenue Agency that nearly half the names it was given are not the real owners of the accounts, iPolitics has learned.
CRA’s probe has determined that 51 of the 106 names it received of account holders in the LGT Bank in the tax haven of Liechtenstein “were not the true beneficial owners for the account.”
“With regards to the 51 cases that were not the true beneficial owners for the accounts, the CRA has determined, through audit actions, that they do not have any tax obligation in relation to the information obtained,” explained Philippe Brideau, spokesman for the Canada Revenue Agency. “However, the CRA has taken actions to determine the true beneficiaries and has taken audit actions to ensure compliance with the Income Tax Act.”
Brideau said further details are protected under confidentiality provisions of the Income Tax Act.
I am going to put out the supposition that whoever the “real” owners of these accounts are they aren’t Canadian and furthermore the real owners of these account are residents of a certain other country to the south and the premise of FATCA just got blown out of the water. (The information CRA got was stolen by a disgruntled bank employee so even the bank didn’t know who the real owners are). What is interesting is these “51” people appear to be free and clear as a matter of Canadian law so if a certain other’s countries Justice Department wants to do what it normally wants to do its going to have to pick the same type of fight with Canada that is currently ongoing with Switzerland over club “51”. I am going to post this over at Jack Townsend’s blog to see what he thinks of it.
Interestingly there were four account holders outside of the 51 that were fully compliant and 22 that were partially compliant.