This is good in a twisted way. Canadian politicians don’t go after their “own.” Real embarrassing for Liberal Senator Percy Downe of PEI to have a fellow party member in this situation.
A prominent Canadian lawyer, husband to a Liberal senator, moved nearly $2 million to secretive financial havens while he was locked in battle with the Canada Revenue Agency over his taxes, according to documents in a massive leak of offshore financial data that were shared exclusively in Canada with CBC News.
Senator Pana Merchant, left, was named as a beneficiary of a trust set up by her husband, lawyer Tony Merchant.
Tony Merchant of Regina, dubbed Canada’s class-action king because of the large settlements he has won for his clients, transferred money to a tax haven in the South Pacific and then onward to an account in the Caribbean, according to the files. His wife, Senator Pana Merchant, as well as their three sons are named in the documents as beneficiaries of the funds.
The transactions are detailed in a huge leak of offshore financial information received by the Washington, D.C.-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, a non-profit group that has shared the records with CBC News and media outlets in 35 other countries. It is thought to be one of the biggest ever leaks of financial data.
A couple of thoughts.
Art Cockfield is on OUR side. I am pretty certain of that. I watched the clips I didn’t really see anything new vis a vis FATCA. I am beginning not to trust Murray Rankin though. I know him and Elizabeth May don’t like each other and think that is starting to show. Ranking is pushing Automatic Exchange of Information very hard I think many including Art Cockfield would be much more cautious on that.
You nailed it again! I won’t even try to explain this situation to anyone unless I have at least an hour to do so. Anything short of that and you risk leaving that person with the impression that you are a) a whiner, b) a tax cheat, c) a nutcase or d) all of the above. I really don’t know how to put any of this into a neat, compact package and I guess there are those who think that’s darn handy to advance the FATCA cause. There is definitely not a 25 words or less explanation of why the US tax system sucks. Maybe the best way is to say the USA is trying to bail itself out by bailing into legal, fully taxed, Canadian bank accounts.
You’re right, Em — badger did nail it and so did you.
Any abbreviated explanation of the problem leaves those you are conversing with no longer able to look you in the eye, instead looking over your head, thinking she protests too much and surely is a whiner, a tax cheat AND a nutcase. Even I come to that conclusion and can no longer listen to myself talk.
Perhaps we could hand out business cards with your words “The USA is trying to bail itself out — robbing Canada’s treasury and economy by siphoning legal and fully taxed (in Canada) Canadian bank accounts. Call me at ***-***-**** to learn how Canada could let this happen.”
Sometimes I ask people what country their parents may have emigrated from and ask them how they would feel about that country charging them income tax on their Canadian earned money.
For some reason IBS has not worked for me the last couple of days, and I did not have access to recent posts, hence my (separate) posting on this issue a couple of hours ago. Now I do seem to have proper access. Go figure. Anyway, I’m not nuts! Lots of good comments there.
Sorry. My bad. Email isn’t revealed, but name is. Just that it (my name) came out differently this time for some reason. Ignore my babblings.
I deleted your comment with your “other” name.
@Em, I like your explanation; “… Maybe the best way is to say the USA is trying to bail itself out by bailing into legal, fully taxed, Canadian bank accounts.”
or they [Canada] will do something brilliantly heroic and save us from the jaws of death. Or, maybe they’ll let the IGA chips fall where they may and stick with the status quo and not comment at all. They’ll quickly learn though, that 1M Canadians and their families make a hell of a speed bump when they’re thrown under a bus!
O the fantasies! (1) Heroic? Canada is an historical accident of fortuitous colonial appropriation that has allowed a genocidal handful of industrial revolutionaries to pillage new territory to the fullest extent made possible by current technologies. Every self-satisfied beneficiary should be forced to dog paddle across a tar sands tailing pond – and to gulp toxicity every few strokes. (2) Self-induced road kill status as ultimate revenge? Ooh, there’s a quintessential adoptive Canadianism. Meanwhile, those who are tainted with US personhood will do the ostrich until every feather is plucked, each with head tucked into isolated silo, except of course for the anonymized choruses of chirpings into electronified aether and a few scattered lobbyings lobbed at decorative elected puppets. The truly miniscule compliant minority enjoy the option of embarking on a tortuous quest for the fabled CLN. Those under the sign of the yellow star do not gather to revolt. Sauve qui peut.
Thank you for contributing your fantastical prediction into what I am struggling to create as a list of possible outcomes. In a contest of metaphors yours would surely win, but as far as a predictions go: the fat lady hasn’t yet sung.
one wonders who revealed all the this info to the press. hmmm….The release of this info seems to coincide and ? relate to the problems the US is having with countries who have not signed an IGA for FATCA. What better way to gain popular support for the IGA in Canada and other countries than to release a bunch of info on the real tax evaders?
@ downtherabbithole, good points!
Toronto Gobe and Mail – Friday April 5, 2013
Front page – Right Column
“$53.3 billion – Canadian funds stashed in 2011 in Barbados, this country’s top tax haven – Folio, Pages A10 – A11”
The folio is two full pages of unbelievable sensationalism – you would have to see it to believe it.
IMHO this is clear evidence of an attempt to “prime the FATCA Public Relations Pump”.
Where do they get these figures?
From Diane Francis, fellow US Person in Canada? http://opinion.financialpost.com/2013/04/05/tax-avoidance-becoming-bigger-than-the-u-s-economy/
Diane Francis is quick to state: “It’s important to distinguish between tax avoidance, which is legal, and tax evasion, which is not”, but devotes the entire piece to blurring the difference between the two. Get ready for the trial by media in bringing to justice anyone who’s held an offshore account.
@ Calgary, Bubblebustin, re Diane Francis article:
Holy crow, talk about a lynch-mob mentality — the replies to this guy “Incredulous”‘s comment ….
The blurring of the lines in the concepts of tax avoidance vs tax evasion is taking place. Is it any wonder that the public as a whole is confused?
and we have with the 2013 Budget:
What of the things we discuss here — capital gains on sale our personal homes, TFSA’s, RESP’s, RDSP’s, RRSP’s, RRIF’s, etc. are considered ‘aggressive tax avoidance’? Are they just plain vanilla “tax avoidance”, introduced and use encouraged by our governments to help us with our financial planning?
On that Diane Francis piece, commenter “Incredulous” could use some up arrows (hint, hint). I can’t believe the ignorant and judgmental replies. Being a housewife or a stay at home mother is as much a benefit to society as a women who chooses to work in addition to maintaining a home and raising a family.
I’d like to know how any Canadian journalist will be able to say with a straight face that Canada is a tax haven for 1M US persons, knowing that it is only the US’s ridiculous extraterritorial tax laws that make it one. That is unless they of course they’re idiotic enough to believe that Canada too should adopt citizenship based taxation.
Re the lynch mob mentality, Canadian will be pit against Canadian, I’m afraid.
@Em, Yeah, that really irked me, too, that jab at mothers. I’ve never been a stay-at-home mom myself, yet still found that diss infuriating.
Good you hint-hinted that people go over there and give “Incredulous” some more up-arrows. Those “It’s your fault for marrying a lazy American,” bozos have abt a 4-to-1 ratio of people people agreeing with them, lynch mob, argh.
Re: the jab at stay-home mom’s, agreed that was totally rude and ignorant. Diane probably pays people to do the job that she can’t do at home because she works (childcare, housekeeping, restaurant meals). Families who make a choice to have someone be the full-time homemaker should not be made to feel less than for that choice.
I did the working mom thing for 20 years (had 3 kids during the last 7 of those), and have been a full-time homemaker for several years since then by choice. The years at home have been much less stressful, healthier, happier years for everyone in my family, and I consider our family extremely lucky that we were able to do that. Sometimes I think people who make comments like Diane’s, are deep-down, just jealous.
Em @ pacifica
Another hint, hint 😉 — I posted a comment there myself because of this DF statement: “Frankly, Canadians and others should adopt American tax laws where citizens are taxable irrespective of their residency.”
Great response to the DF (which at first I thought stood for dumb f*ck) statement!
@Em, @ bubblebustin,
totally a DF statement, unless of course you are 200 years behind in history and cannot understand why citizenship-based taxation is just, well WRONG!