UPDATE 2: This post has been upgraded to a press release at newswire.ca and digitjournal.com. Thanks go to Jim Jatras.
UPDATE: Jim Jatras has provided an revised Word Version of the text below for mass distribution.
The following is a message from Jim Jatras:
Please review that following and submit comments. I hope it’s more or less self-explanatory.
As indicated in a previous comment, it’s in effect a kind of ad or statement inviting people to contact Harper, Flaherty, MPs and oppose FATCA/IGA. Ideally, it’s the kind of thing that would be posted online or even in print publications as an ad, if there were money for that. (If Canadian industry weren’t spending money trying to get the “best deal possible” from the Americans under an IGA instead of fighting.) Certainly individual comment letters to the Finance Department should be sent, but let’s not kid ourselves they will pay much attention them. What we need is a groundswell of outraged Canadians to contact Harper, Flaherty, and MPs as soon as possible with a simple message: NO!
I realize that it’s always risky to hang a draft out where anyone can take a whack at it, but feel free. Also, any ideas on where and how it can be posted and distributed are welcome.
BTW, this is the kind of thing that routinely gets placed in DC in publications like Politico, The Hill, Roll Call, and other pubs aimed at Congress. Picture a similar message aimed at Congress but making an American argument against FATCA, as this makes a Canadian one. That’s how we get things done – if we had someone with money and willing to fight.
Call or email Stephen Harper, Jim Flaherty, and Your MP Today!
Call or email Stephen Harper, Jim Flaherty, and Your MP Today!
STOP an Impending Massive Handover of Canadian Sovereignty to the United States!
Tell the Government: Canada Must Say NO
to the United States on ‘FATCA’
Recently the Department of Finance invited comments on what was characterized as “an agreement to improve cross-border tax compliance through . . . the provisions enacted by the United States commonly known as the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).” This eleventh-hour invitation came as sources in both Ottawa and Washington announced that they were close to finalizing an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) that would, in effect, deputize the Canadian government to enforce this American law in Canada.
The Department’s invitation is to “persons whose interests are affected by the provisions of FATCA” but does not spell out that each and every Canadian citizen would suffer from FATCA and from an IGA to implement it:
Canadian citizens have an interest in preserving Canada’s sovereignty against US encroachment. However it is disguised, FATCA is a unilateral U.S. initiative. The U.S. didn’t negotiate a global tax scheme with Canada and other countries but instead enacted an unprecedented extraterritorial law and demands that Canada comply and bear the costs. An IGA simply puts a Canadian glove on the hand enforcing American law.
Canadian taxpayers have an interest in a tax policy that benefits Canada’s needs, not America’s. Sold under the guise of “reciprocity” and “partnership,” an IGA in reality would be a costly one-way street imposed by the U.S. Given the differences between the two countries’ tax systems, FATCA would accelerate a zero-sum game that siphons wealth from Canada and robs the Canadian treasury.
Canadian consumers have an interest in avoiding foreign schemes that impose costly non-economic regulations on Canadian firms (banks, insurance companies, pension funds, stock and investment companies) – who will then pass those costs on to consumers. With or without an IGA, FATCA’s costs will be in the billions of dollars (for example, one major bank alone would pay an estimated $100 million in FATCA compliance!) These costs would be non-productive as regards the Canadian economy and a waste of human and material resources. Imposing these costs on Canadians supposedly is justified by the unproven hope that FATCA may trip up American “tax cheats,” even though FATCA does little specifically to catch such people.
Canadians as human beings have an interest in ensuring their rights are protected under sovereign Canadian law. FATCA demands extraordinary disclosure of private information of U.S. citizens in Canada in violation of Canadian laws, such as the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, whose application Canada would be forced to alter under an IGA. Many of these resident Americans are Canadian dual citizens who would be denied protection of Canada’s laws to appease the U.S. Once it’s established a foreign government can demand abrogation of such rights, even of Canadian citizens, where’s the limit?
So why is the Government considering an IGA with the United States? Because of the very real fear that Washington otherwise would unilaterally impose FATCA on Canada at ruinous cost, especially a 30% withholding penalty on Canadian firms’ U.S.-derived revenue. Simply put, this is a threat of U.S. economic sanctions against Canada.
Finance Minister Flaherty and industry leaders publicly have talked a good fight on FATCA while in private negotiating Canada’s capitulation under an IGA. Canadians must not let that happen! Instead:
Contact Prime Minister Harper and tell him No on FATCA, and No on an IGA with Washington!
Contact Minister Flaherty and tell him No on FATCA, and No on an IGA with Washington!
Contact your Senators and MPs and tell them No on FATCA, and No on an IGA with Washington!
Get the FATCA facts! Find more information at [Isaac Brock Society and Repeal FATCA]
I’ll be facetious and say this. Being born in the USA is a negative and since proving a negative is impossible then the banks cannot expect anyone to prove they were born in the USA. Seriously though, I think the first step the banks would take would be to ask everyone opening new accounts to produce a birth certificates (despite it currently being against the law to do this) and the next step would be for the banks to search in their databanks for US indicia and ask those clients to produce birth certificates. It would be a massive undertaking to haul all clients into the bank to show their birth certificates to prove they are not born in the USA. To further complicate things, the USA deems some people who were not even born there to be “US persons for tax purpose” so the banks have their work cut out for them (cost to be borne by ALL Canadians) to comply with FATCA, with or without and IGA. That is why we say NO to an IGA, NO to FATCA. We just don’t think the Canadian government is listening well enough.
I just received an email from the Finance Ministry re: a submission I made a month ago. This surprised me since I received a confirmation email a while back.
I am wondering if something is up, and that maybe submissions are no longer being accepted. The email I just received had an attached pdf, that was basically a copy of Flaherty’s letter from over a year ago with a stamp on it of today’s date.
@WhiteKat, re the Flaherty letter from previously, with a current date on it is what they have handed out to those who have written. That is when they bother to respond at all. If you want to compare the text of yours, look at one sample posted at Maple Sandbox, under the heading ‘Gov’t of Canada’ Flaherty letter (there are two). IBS has some Min. of Finance/Flaherty correspondence too – here is one http://isaacbrocksociety.ca/2012/11/08/letter-from-flaherty/ . There may be other slightly different versions, but haven’t finished looking. Also the Conservative MP John Weston refers to Flaherty’s letter here http://isaacbrocksociety.ca/2012/06/26/a-response-from-john-weston-mp-on-fatca/
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It looks like we have a 6 months reprieve: http://www.businessweek.com/news/2013-07-12/irs-treasury-delay-fatca-tax-evasion-law-by-six-months
Well, it is almost September, and if I recall, there was an IBS commenter who contacted someone at CRA a couple months ago, and was told that in August there would be more details on the apparently inevitable Canada IGA.
Does anyone want to guess whether this CRA announcement will be postponed for another 6 months, or will I be protesting on parliament hill soon? I live in Ottawa, so don’t have far to walk. Hopefully, I won’t be there alone. 🙂
I will definitely be going to my MP office tomorrow. I was there earlier this week in a panic because I had just found out I was “American” and need to claim taxes. She just read my quotes off the internet and took my name and number. She mentioned maybe my MP can write an article on this issue, I will bring that up as well.
Hopefully, your MP knows what FATCA is. If not now (which all SHOULD know), they must be held accountable for knowing and sharing with you / us what their stand will be re FATCA, something we all need to know if they expect our vote. Q121 and Q127 should be / better be one of the first orders of business when Parliament resumes on January 27th. Do ALL Canadians have the same rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms — or will the rights of supposed ‘US Persons’ be waived by the Canadian government signing an intergovernmental agreement with the US on FATCA?
Confused. Chances are good your MP will be less informed than you are. Caveat emptor.
I reported the preceding two spam sites to their ISP at firstname.lastname@example.org
The two spam comments have been removed. The spam filter traps several thousand spams every day, but sometimes a spam, or in this case two, gets through, so we delete those manually.