Posted on April 4, 2013 by Tim Posted in Issues regarding US persons abroad 12 Comments http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=F-rsqi9IwoE MEP Sophia In’t Veld speaking on FATCA in February. Share this:TwitterFacebookEmailLike this:Like Loading...
I can’t get any audio on your upload. Would love to hear what this champion of privacy and civil liberties is saying!
Its been changed to Youtube. Should work now. Works for me.
Ms. Int’ Veld is incredibly articulate, astute, and strong. Would that I had a representative of her calibre. Amazing to see her in action.
Go, Ms. Int’ Veld!!
What a champion for our cause, highlighting and asking the common sense, critical questions that every country needs to ask — instead of the complacency and rolling over we see.
So, she favors transparency and information sharing, if it is regulated?? So, the FATCAnatics would say, that is what FATCA is, so what is wrong with that? It is 544 pages of regulations! All she seems to want is a unified EU approach, and not member countries signing “bi-lateral” agreements of questionable legal authority. I guess I was expecting something more.
@Just Me, here are some of Ms. In’t Veld’s really good questions raised in the EU, re FATCA:
7 February 2013
Question for written answer
to the Commission
Sophia in ‘t Veld (ALDE)
Subject: Intergovernmental agreements on the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act
The United States Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) requires that foreign financial institutions register with the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and promise to identify, collect and report information on US clients’ offshore bank accounts. According to Financial News, entities must register by 25 October 2013 in order to be included on the IRS’s list of compliant institutions to be released in December 2013(1). In order to facilitate this process and ease the burden on financial entities, a number of countries have embarked on negotiations on so-called intergovernmental agreements (IGAs) with the United States on how to implement FATCA rules.
1. Can the Commission clarify which Member States have to date concluded IGAs on FATCA?
2. Can the Commission clarify on what legal basis it is ‘coordinating’ the bilateral agreements and conducting talks with the United States? What mandate does the Commission have to engage in talks with the United States?
3. Can the Commission clarify whether these IGAs can be modified or suspended unilaterally by the United States?
4. Can the Commission clarify whether, in its view, the reciprocity clause does indeed mean complete symmetry?
5. Can the Commission clarify the situation for foreign financial institutions from Member States that have not concluded an IGA? Would the foreign financial institutions in these countries be at risk of violating European law, notably data protection law?
6. Can the Commission clarify whether the European Data Protection Supervisor and the article 29 Data Protection Working Party (WP29) have been consulted on the model agreements, and whether they approve?
7. Can the Commission explain how FATCA and the IGAs relate to the new EU proposals for fighting tax avoidance and tax evasion?
8. Can the Commission clarify whether, once the Savings Tax Directive is in force, the United States could theoretically gain access to data from all the Member States through a handful of bilateral agreements?
9. Can the Commission clarify whether it has conducted an assessment of the financial, administrative and economic impact of the FATCA on European businesses, and whether European businesses are potentially at a competitive disadvantage compared to their US counterparts?
If only more of our own politicians would ask those questions. To date, there is NDP MP Mai – with the questions asked in Parliament – in the Hansard record (the Canadian Federal government did not answer all/most of them).
See MP Mai’s questions:
Q-4122 — January 26, 2012 — Mr. Mai (Brossard—La Prairie) — With regard to the Canada Revenue Agency’s (CRA) responses to the provisions of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regarding the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR): (a) according to the government’s analysis, do the IRS provisions comply with the provisions of the Convention Between Canada and the United States of America With Respect to Taxes on Income and on Capital and its amending Protocol (2007); (b) are there Canadian exemptions to FBAR; (c) has Canada negotiated the FBAR provisions with United States Treasury Officials or the IRS, (i) at what time was the government made aware of these provisions, (ii) how long did it take for Canada to respond to the changes made by the IRS and the United States Treasury; (d) how will the government ensure that the CRA does not act on behalf of the IRS to collect revenues and penalties; (e) has Canada informed dual citizens about their tax obligations resulting from FBAR; (f) what was the number of exchanges of information between Canada and the United States of America this year and during the past ten years regarding FBAR, (i) has the CRA set internal deadlines to be able to respond to exchange of information requests in a timely manner, (ii) will Canada work to improve bilateral cooperation on this issue, (iii) has there been an increase of exchange of information requests at the CRA due to FBAR; (g) will the government lose revenue as a result of the implementation of FBAR; (h) what are the cost implications emanating from FBAR (i) for the government, (ii) for the CRA, (iii) for Canadian banks, (iv) who will absorb these costs, (v) are there other types of non-financial costs such as efficiency or fairness reductions; (i) how many complaints has the CRA received regarding FBAR or related vexatious inquiries by the IRS, (i) what are the main complaints, (ii) what has the CRA done concerning these complaints, (iii) what department at the CRA is in charge of dealing with complaints of this nature, (iv) will the CRA cut Full-Time Equivalents from that department or reduce its funding, (v) has the office of the Taxpayers’ Ombudsman looked into the matter; (j) will FBAR prevent double taxation of pre-migration gain; (k) has there been an increase in arbitration cases due to active procedures by the IRS, (i) what departments are most affected, (ii) has the CRA cut Full-Time Equivalents from each of these affected departments or reduced their funding; (l) will FBAR affect different saving vehicles such as, but not limited to, (i) Registered Retirement Savings Plans, (ii) Registered Education Savings Plans, (iii) Registered Disability Savings Plans, (iv) Tax-Free Savings Accounts; and (m) how many Canadian-American dual citizens are affected by FBAR and does Canada have contact information for the dual citizens affected by FBAR?
Q-4132 — January 26, 2012 — Mr. Mai (Brossard—La Prairie) — With regard to the Canada Revenue Agency’s (CRA) response to the provisions of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regarding the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA): (a) according to the government’s analysis, do the FATCA provisions comply with the provisions of the Convention Between Canada and the United States of America With Respect to Taxes on Income and on Capital and its amending Protocol (2007); (b) how many citizens from the United States of America will be affected by FATCA, (ii) are there specific Canadian exemptions to FATCA; (c) has Canada negotiated with United States Treasury officials or the IRS following the announcement of FATCA provisions, (i) at what time was the government made aware of these provisions, (ii) how long did it take Canada to respond to the initial creation of FATCA and its implementation, (iii) are there ongoing negotiations in this regard; (d) will Canada inform dual citizens about FATCA and, if so, (i) how, (ii) at what time, (iii) what department or agencies will be responsible; (e) has the government conducted any studies or mandated a task force to look into how much FATCA will cost Canadians and, if so, what are the cost implications resulting from the additional regulations and demands, (i) for the government, (ii) for the CRA, (iii) for Canadian banks, (iv) who will absorb these costs, (v) are there other types of non-financial costs such as efficiency or fairness reductions; (f) which Canadian civil liberties associations or other types of association has the government met with to discuss the privacy implications of FATCA and what actions will the government undertake to protect the fundamental civil liberties of all Canadians in this regard; (g) according to the government’s analysis, do the FATCA provisions comply with the provisions of the Privacy Act or the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, and if so, which department undertook this assesment; (h) in order to discuss the implications of FATCA, who within the government has met with (i) Canadian banks, (ii) other financial institutions, (iii) insurance companies; (i) how many complaints has the CRA received regarding FATCA, (i) what are the main complaints, (ii) what has the CRA done concerning these complaints, (iii) what department at the CRA is in charge of dealing with complaints of this nature, (iv) will the CRA cut Full-Time Equivalents from that department or reduce its funding, (v) has the office of the Taxpayers’ Ombudsman looked into the matter; (j) has Canada ever studied the development or implementation of a process similar to FATCA to improve tax compliance involving foreign financial assets and offshore accounts; (k) who will be most affected by FATCA and have concerns been raised by entities such as, but not limited to, (i) interests groups, (ii) stakeholder groups, (iii) hedge funds; and (l) will FATCA affect different saving vehicles such as, but not limited to, (i) Registered Retirement Savings Plans, (ii) Registered Education Savings Plans, (iii) Registered Disability Savings Plans, (iv) Tax-Free Savings Accounts?
and there is the anti-FATCA statement by
Green Party MP and Leader Elizabeth May
On the EU Commission webpage with MEP Veld’s question, in the upper right is a button that will lead to the answer she received. See below;
Here is the EU Commission answer to Ms. In’t Veld’s questions:
11 March 2013
Answer given by Mr Šemeta on behalf of the Commission
1. So far, the United Kingdom, Denmark, and Ireland have signed FATCA Model 1(1) intergovernmental agreements (IGAs) with the US, while Germany, Spain and Italy have initialled such IGAs. .
2. The US is negotiating with each Member State on a bilateral basis; the Commission is not involved in these negotiations nor is it coordinating them. .
3. A FATCA IGA may be amended by written mutual consent of the Parties; either Party may terminate the IGA by giving notice of termination in writing to the other Party. .
4. The reciprocity clause included in the Model 1 IGA commits the US to achieving ‘equivalent’ levels of reciprocal automatic information exchange with FATCA partners. .
5. See response to Question E-2760/12. .
6. The Commission consulted the article 29 Data Protection Working Party (WP29) on FATCA and the Model IGAs. The opinions provided by the WP29 can be found on the Europa website(2). .
7. FATCA and the IGAs, as US initiatives, are not part of the recent Commission Action Plan(3) to strengthen the fight against tax fraud and tax evasion. However, the Model 1 IGAs are in line with one of the proposed actions i.e. promoting the automatic exchange of information as the future EU and international standard of transparency in tax matters. .
8. No, that will not be the case. .
9. The Commission has not conducted such an assessment but several EU businesses have done so(4). FATCA IGAs will also affect US businesses which will be required to act as withholding agents and also to report certain information about EU residents.
(1) The US has developed two Model IGAs as a basis for cooperation with other countries on FATCA. Model 1 provides a framework for reciprocal cooperation whereby financial institutions established in one of the contracting countries would report information to their own tax administrations, which would pass this information automatically to the tax authorities of the other country. Model 2 provides for direct reporting by financial institutions to the US and would not involve reciprocity on the US side.
(2) http://ec.europa.eu/justice/data-protection/article-29/documentation/other-document/files/2012/20120621_letter_to_taxud_fatca_en.pdf http://ec.europa.eu/justice/data-protection/article-29/documentation/other-document/files/2012/20121001_letter_to_taxud_fatca_en.pdf
(3) COM(2012) 722 final of 06/12/2012.
(4) See, for example, the KPMG report on ‘FATCA and the fund industry’ which is available at the following link:. http://www.kpmg.com/Ca/en/IssuesAndInsights/ArticlesPublications/Documents/fatca-and-the-funds-industry-defining-the-path.pdf
Last updated: 14 March 2013
The Treasury and IRS have absolutely NO desire to negotiate a single agreement with entire EU that would be vetted and approved by the European Parliament(including Ms. In’t Veld). Negotiating a EU US single agreement would essentially be a dealth knell for the IGA’s because at the very least the European Parliament would demand full reciprocity which Treasury can’t deliver.
Here is an article from January about impending Austria IGA (I don’t know what the current status of it is).
Autriche fait de la resistance en matière de secret bancaire
Essentially, if Austria signs an agreement with the US, and continues to refuse direct information transmission with other EU countries, this could be grounds for a complaint before the European Commission.
Latest re FATCA and Sophie in’t Veld of EU:
“Hopefully EU Commission will now finally grant my request for disclosure of thousands of docs relating to #FATCA . Transparency long overdue”
Will those documents contain items of interest to those of us outside the EU as well?
new tweet from Sophie in’t Veld: https://twitter.com/SophieintVeld/statuses/323650792093540354
“Hoop dat spotlight op #FATCA ertoe leidt dat EU Commissie eindelijk de stukken vrijgeeft die ik vorig jaar via #Eurowob vroeg #openbaarheid”
google translate version:
Hope spotlight on # FATCA leads to EU Commission finally releases the pieces that I did last year through early Eurowob # # public
Another tweet re FATCA:
SophieintVeld (Sophie in ‘t Veld)
D66, politici-europa / 15/04/2013 06:14
[SophieintVeld (Sophie in ‘t Veld)] EP hoorzitting over #FATCA eind mei, op aandringen D66. Nu ineens hoog actueel http://t.co/A9c914eEjX
from Google translate;
“EP hearing on # FATCA late May, at the insistence D66. Now all of a sudden high current http://t.co/A9c914eEjX“