From the Government of Australia Treasury:
The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) was enacted by the United States Congress in March 2010. It is intended to assist US efforts to improve compliance with US tax laws and will impose certain due diligence and reporting obligations on foreign (non-US) financial institutions.
In response to concerns about the impact of these obligations on Australian financial institutions and the Australian economy as a whole, the Australian Government is exploring the feasibility of an intergovernmental agreement with the US. The objective of such an agreement would be to minimise compliance costs for Australian stakeholders while enhancing the existing tax cooperation arrangements between Australia and the US.
Source: Intergovernmental agreement to implement FATCA
Sometimes I really wonder if any of these countries seeking an intergovernmental agreement ever tell the US to come to their senses and do away with citizenship based taxation. This way the foreign govts. would probably have a lot less reporting to do, and on top of it US citizens abroad wouldn’t have such a hard time with their local banks. It would be interesting to hear what actually goes on behind closed doors.
*A personal thought on this: Canada remains the outstanding exception to countries negotiating bilateral agreements for sharing information with the IRS. You can be sure that the Canadian banks and other financial organisations as well as their trade and professional associations are lobbying intensely for similar arrangements leading up to January 2013. There is not, of course, an organisation representing the diverse million or so “US persons” in Canada. Are we going to be blind-sided?
‘Canada remains the outstanding exception to countries negotiating bilateral agreements’
The silence out of Flaherty and Ottawa has been so deafening, we don’t know whether Canada is negotiating or not.
As Tim said on another blog, the present Conservative government in Ottawa, could decide to ‘pass the buck’ and let the CBA make the decision. They do have a history of ‘offloading’ contentious issues.
One thought that I had was that so many of us were writing letter to MPs, Minister of Finance, NDP, Privacy Commissioner etc. That was many months ago. Although our answers to the letters were mostly vague, we did get answers. Now we have nothing but silence out of Ottawa. Perhaps it is time to step up letter writing campaigns.
Two days ago I received an email from my MP John Weston’s office asking me to resend them the copy I made of my submission to the Canadian Government Finance Committee regarding the 2013 budget, as the original I sent to Weston’s office did not transmit. As mentioned here,
John’s office wrote: ‘Should you proceed, John would back you up with a submission to the Minister of Finance in the Fall.’
I could assume that Mr Weston is currently preparing a submission in ‘back up’ of mine. In mine, I suggested (among other things) that the Canadian government allocate funds to determine what a FATCA intergovernmental agreement will cost Canadian taxpayers before entering into such an agreement. In this respect, I don’t see opening a dialogue on the possibility of an intergovernmental agreement as necessarily a sign of surrender to FATCA, but as perhaps a means by which to encourage greater scrutiny of it. As one Canadian investment manager said regarding FATCA, ‘this is not a war we can wage on our own’, which I took to mean that from the FFI’s perspective it must be resolved politically. I believe that the Canadian government is diligently working on this, although it’s hard to find any evidence of this. Don’t be surprised if the Canadian government makes a similar announcement to Australia’s ‘exploring the feasibility’ of an IGA. Sometimes you have to shine a light on the monster in order to slay it.
Applause for your taking the tiger by the tail. Thanks so much for your submission to Canadian Government Finance Committee regarding the 2013 Budget and your communications with your MP, John Weston.
And, that’s the kind of response and work for us that we should expect from our government representatives.
Good work, bubblebustin!
I’d be very surprised if it hadn’t crossed many minds in Ottawa that the American eagerness to make a deal on FATCA wasn’t the key to some serious trade concessions on the American side, most obviously on softwood lumber. I suspect that this is the way things will develop.
If I had anything to do with cross-border trade at DFAIT I’d see FATCA as a really valuable opportunity that should be ruthlessly exploited.
It will also have occurred to them that post-November may be the best time to deal with this, both because the concessions might go over with less electoral pain on the US side and because they won’t want to waste time dealing with a lame-duck administration, if things turn out that way.
Thank you. Sometimes with all the negativity I feel I’m being ‘Pollyanna-ish’ in thinking that our government will stand up to the US, but what other means is there by which we can fight this other than political? Imagine what would happen in Canada if our government asked Canadians what they thought about an IGA with the US on FATCA! They would be inundated by ALL Canadians, including those who would protest against the Harper government for once again threatening the sovereignty of Canada by even considering such a thing. I can’t wait for this bombshell to hit, really (figuratively speaking).
I saw on the news today that Harper stopped in BC on the way to the APEC leaders summit in Russia. He mentioned that Canada needs to develop more trade with Asia, and that we cannot continue to rely on traditional markets anymore, mentioning the US specifically. He seems determined that Canada do whatever it takes to push our goods to Asia as the US is weakening.
Northern Shrike etc – Good to see others piling on the doubts about Canada’s government in power ever doing anything for its hundreds of thousands of U.S. extraterritorials – other than reading the existing treaty out loud. Yesterday I spotted this recent dark speculation on the future.
I spoke to the AUS treasury and they said nothing was set in stone. They encouraged written submisions to explain our case. I hope people write in as this could help to minimise the damage of FATCA.
I spoke to local PM and he did not even know about FATCA. He did not believe me when I explained citizenship based taxation. He simply did not understand the issue!
Good information, upset, and another illustration of how can anyone believe when we try to get the story across? It all is so unbelievable, not easily understood.
I like to use word ‘incomprehensible’. This is encouraging, as the press alludes to it being done deal for Australia.
The MP thought I was a conspiracy theorist – that is: it was so unbelivable that how could this be true.
AUS Treasury understood much more but they still wanted submissions to state our case.
If FATCA comes in what is to happen to us? Will we lose our life saving for not filing a form? Will we be protected from our governments?
Once again, happy as hell to live in a country that is telling the US to go fuck itself over this crap.
*Canada like Australia does have procedures to ask for public comment before starting treaty negotiations. Here is a link below to a typical RFQ in fact for the Australia Canada Tax Treaty.
So the fact that no public announcement has been made in Canada is not necessarily a bad sign it is simply an indication that the Canadian govt has not wanted to go to the point yet that Australia has gone to.
I think we can reassign the Canadian government’s silence from being “deafening” to “pregnant” now. The suspense is killing me.
From Australian Brocker, Jak:
Calling those Brock readers from Australia:
Kim Beazley, American Ambassador for Australia in America; his email Kim.Beazley@dfat.gov.au
LET him know re: Australian Superannuation.
In response to correspondence:
To Australian Brockers and any others around the world (from JakDac):
Kim.Beazley to JakDac,
Email and ask Rand Paul to change treaty it NOW
Carolyn_Moffa@paul.senate.gov Office of Senator Rand Paul
Thank you for your correspondence to Senator Paul’s office regarding the US-Australia Tax Treaty and the affect it will have on Americans Abroad. Rest assured, as tax treaties are considered in United States Senate, we will be sure to keep your views in mind.
Office of Senator Rand Paul
Make Sure You File This Form by June 30
For all Americans and Canadians (everybody) overseas that want to call Senators or relatives for free by telephone on Android phones get GrooveIP lite at play store Gives you a local US tel # and lets you make calls to the US and Canada free
Interesting Summary with graphic
America’s Founding Principles: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you?
Simple yet explains it well
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