This might be old news, but thought I would share my concerns and recent information to fellow Canadian/US citizens.
My position as a Canadian/US citizen is that these Financial Institutions in Canada will have to start putting pen to paper on this US legislation less than 5 months away, and not a single bite of information has been forthcoming from my Bank verbally or otherwise other than the generic drips of information one can readily find on the internet.
if I am to consider signing away my privacy rights then I should be afforded the opportunity to consult a Lawyer to look over the legislation to ascertain what exact information i am allowing the IRS to digest from my accounts.
My fear is that the banks, having at least 2 years to think about this and devise a plan of attack, will one day send me paperwork which has to be completed in a timely manner or else I will be labelled as a recalitraint account holder.
After many calls and emails regarding any updates regarding what my Financial Institution was going to do about FATCA and how it will effect me. I finally received a response via telephone.
Basically in a nutshell, FATCA is coming and there is no way to stop it. Although the US Government does recognize the problems some countries will have (Canada in particular) with privacy rights etc, this will not be a show stopper.
The individual in question eluded to two possible solutions to the bank privacy laws, one was a possiblility of entering into a same country exception which would allow your information to be tabulated by the Canadian government, (i think thats how it works), and the other is to manipulate language for those of us who are also US persons and re-classify us under a new title called Unique Citizenship Status (her words not mine). Although she would not entertain much discussion on this matter, she did say that if you could provide a certificate of lost nationality prior to or during the implementation of FATCA, you would be relieved of this extra reporting criteria….(essentially giving you back your rights and freedoms!)
Finally, and the only question she could definitely not answer, is if FATCA is a forward looking legislation, or if it will be available to do past audits on certain account holders without there knowledge. In other words, once you sign away your privacy, could this new legislation be used by the IRS to start fingering through your past bank records to try and uncover, or discover something you may have forgotten to place on your FBAR etc?
In closing, I will tell you that the above information was derived from a phone call from someone high up in my personal Financial Institution….not sure if I can say the name of the institution but it starts with an ‘R’.
Also, not even sure if this individual is privy to all of the ‘goings on’ of FATCA or the direction there institution will take…..i will tell you that they refused to send me an email regarding my questions, so my assumptions were that they did not want this conversation to come back and haunt them from a liability perspective.
I am just sick and tired of going into my bank branch and getting the RCA Victor look from financial advisors when I ask about FATCA,
Thanks for posting this update. Your comment ‘FATCA is coming and no way to stop it’, is just about the same wording that my financial advisor gave to me in a face to face conversation about 2 weeks ago. – Institution starts with an R!
When I pointed out to her that gleaning the necessary information would result in a conflict with Canada’s charter and Privacy laws, her response was that she did not know how they would ‘get around’ those issues but she was absolutely certain, a way around would be found. She did tell me sometime ago, that in my case, as I had my Canadian citizenship file, which contained a ‘renunciatory oath’, she thought that would be sufficient for the bank to accept that I was no longer a U.S. person. This conversation, however, was a deciding factor in my booking an appointment to file for my CLN.
*1. When will the Canadian banks be sending out their paperwork or letters to “US Persons”?
2. What answer do we provide to the Canadian banks if our CLN has not yet been received yet?
‘When will Canadian banks be sending out their paperwork…….to US persons’. I doubt they even know that as yet. I believe the date of January ,2013 is the date the FFIs start the registration process.
‘What answer do we provide to the Canadian banks if our CLN has not yet been received?’ – I believe they would accept as proof of non-US status, evidence that you have applied for the CLN.
Here are questions, still unanswered, I posed to Maura Drew-Lytle of the Canadian Bankers Association on the following thread:
Canadian Bankers Association’s Maura Drew-Lytle responds to the Isaac Brock Society
‘At what point in the critical path of FATCA’s implementation will any attempts to change legislation become futile? At some point you will need to make more responsible efforts to reach banking customers than to post information on your web site. Is it not the CBA’s responsibly to give banking customers sufficient warning to prepare what’s expected of them? US citizens in Canada need time to have mortgages and investments transferred to more ‘US person friendly’ financial institutions. The CBA should be running releases in all major Canadian newspapers NOW, as to not blind-side your customers and leave you open to lawsuits for leaving your customers in the lurch!’
Some of the recent actions by the Canadian government is leading me to believe that efforts are being made to find a diplomatic solution to the problem, if it’s at all possible.
A bank in Switzerland is requesting the below information from its customers to update its customer master data. I would expect that Canadian banks will ask the same or very similar questions to determine the account holder’s US Person/ Non-US Person status. It would seem to me that a Canadian citizen, if requested, could tell the bank that he/she is a Canadian citizen and deny that he/she was born in the US, using a Canadian provincial driver’s license or other official ID that identifies the Canadian as a Canadian resident but does not list the place of birth. Just my opinion.
– Of course, a naturalized Canadian from Texas who still talks like a Texan should be prepared to show a CLN.
“Bank Relationship Basic Data Declaration
Type of Bank Relationship: Single-Owner in Person’s Name
Document Status: First Declaration
Owner of Bank Relationship:
Title, Name, First Name, Street/ Nr., Postal Code/ Town, Country
Date of Birth, Nationality
Telephone Home, Telephone Business
Declaration of Status of Customer as Non US-Person or US-Person (ID)
1. Are you a US Citizen? Yes/ No
(You must answer with “Yes” in the event that you possess more citizenships including US citizenship)
2. Were you born in the USA (or in one of the US Territories)? Yes/ No
3. Are you in possession of an American “Green Card” (independent of expiry date)? Yes/ No
4. Do you have residence in the USA from a US tax perspective? Yes/ No
5. Irrespective of the above Substantial Physical Presence Test are you resident still in the USA? Yes/ No
The customer is obliged to inform the bank immediately if his status as a
Non-US Person changes per US tax law. The customer acknowledges and
accepts that the neglect to inform the bank immediately of any change in
his status as a Non-US Person, respectively, any misrepresentation in
connection with his status as a Non-US Person, is justification for the
bank to cancel the bank relationship without notification.”
mach73 – You are too modest. This is not old news. The quality of your source and the detail of the reporting make it breaking news. Further detail needed. One example: will a flimsy little $450 receipt for a CLN that, like the famous cheque, is out there somewhere “in the mail,” suffice to exonerate the bearer from the stigma of US personhood? Won’t the banks have loads of fun with assessing degrees of evidence? Or will they just take your “word” and retail that to the foreign overlord?
For former holders of long expired green cards will proof that the USCIS received the I-407 be enough? All I have is a screen shot of the tracker information on the I-407 package I mailed because the USCIS ignored the return receipt. I’ve been waiting almost 4 months now for them to mail my I-407 back with their official stamp of approval on it. All my attempts to get a status update from them have been fruitless so far.
I wish that this problem would just go away. But my feeling is that it will not and I hate it. The banks seem to feel there is so much value with trading with the US that they will comply at the expense of the people.
As it turns out history does repeat and human rights does not seem to mater any more as long as the banks can make money!
*It seems to me that the point where Canadian banks and other institutions begin to ask for proof of non-US personhood is the point where class action suits get rolling.
My understanding is that investment advisers with the private wealth management division of a Canadian bank whose name starts with an R (I wonder what bank that might be?) have not received any official or unofficial information on FACTA as of yet.
This information came from a dual who has a special interest in the subject since she herself would be affected.
Time to remind Canadian bankers of the role that is being asked of them and the barriers to their playing this role.
@Joe, Welcome back.
Yes, Joe, welcome back. The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.
*To the previous comment:
The individual in question eluded to two possible solutions to the bank privacy laws, one was a possiblility of entering into a same country exception which would allow your information to be tabulated by the Canadian government, (i think thats how it works),
I believe this solution is a definate Charter violation and I increasingly don’t see the government going down that road(It also requires legislation in Parliament). I really don’t see how option two works and I don’t get the impression the banks know either. I am coming to the conclusion the Banks are the ones that screwed they just don’t realize it yet. What the hell is unique citizenship status??