G-20 Pushes for Measures to End Tax Evasion — NYT’s David Jolly
NY Times journalist, David Jolly (as well as NYT’s Brian Knowlton on related stories) — ahead of the pack on reporting the FATCA, DATCA, GATCA scenario. Can’t other journalists see it?
The Group of 20 countries called on Friday for a coordinated effort to stop international tax evasion, urging governments to systematically share bank data.
Finance ministers and central bankers of the G-20, meeting in Washington, said in a communiqué that automatic exchange of tax-relevant bank information should be adopted as the global standard.
Under an automatic exchange, governments would routinely transfer all foreign taxpayers’ data to their home governments, making it far more difficult to hide assets from the tax collector.
The impetus for the new approach is an American law, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, called Fatca, requiring Americans with overseas accounts and non-American financial firms to meet tough financial disclosure requirements. In practice, Fatca conflicts with privacy laws in many countries, so Washington has been working out bilateral deals in which overseas financial institutions share that data first with their own governments for transmission to the Internal Revenue Service in Washington.
Isn’t it ironic how the world’s biggest tax haven so self-righteously leads the charge against tax cheats in other countries? Even the Roman Empire wasn’t that hypocritical.
Can’t wait until the FATCA chickens come home to roost.
The G20 works for the good of its corporate masters and the elite 1%. No surprise that this is their stance and even less surprise at where this idea probably originated.
Great minds – a couple of hours ago I made this comment on a Linked-In FATCA discussion group in response to a post there by Just Me:
“The FATCA chickens are finally coming home to roost. I think I’ll make some popcorn.”
… and http://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/2013/04/20/the-g20-gives-another-win-to-tax-justice-automatic-information-exchange-is-now-the-required-standard-to-beat-tax-evasion/
Well FATCA’s devil has always been in the details, hasn’t it. I have a mental picture of Dick Harvey rubbing his hands together with a sinister laugh, mwahahahaha!
Thanks for your alert on David Jolly’s piece. As I said on another thread, I have had email exchanges with him in the past, so just sent him an email about the Bankers Association lawsuit to be sure he sees the dots connected…
This was also the story that was written about in the Financial times and kcnileg made the comment about it here
BTW, David does a better job of making the FATCA connections than this story from last week at the Times.
A Push Against Tax Havens Gains Support in Europe
By JAMES KANTER
No mention of FATCA, but FATCA is what has been driving this…. the “Tip of the Spear” in the war.
damn, that means Sweden Finance Minister Anders Borg and Jack Lew are sitting in some sports bar now, laughing it up over my email on Anders Borg’s smartphone.
To: Finance Department of Sweden: Anders Borg, Susanne Ackum,
Cc: Tax ledamot: Leif Jakobsson (S), Henrik von Sydow (M), Andrén, Gunnar (FP)Folkpartiet , Pertoft, Mats (MP)Miljöpartiet (Green), Alfsson, Thoralf (SD)Sverigedemokraterna, Ceballos, Bodil (MP)Miljöpartiet, Olle SCHMIDT Folkpartiet, Sophia in ‘t VELD (European Parliament)
cc: Dagens Industri, Aftonbladet, GT Expressen, Sydsvenskan, Göteborgs Posten
I would like to understand why you are pursuing an intergovernmental agreement with USA regarding FATCA, and why you are allowing FATCA to be implemented in Sweden against all existing Swedish law, Swedish grundlag, and EU law.
Don’t forget the a US person is
–A Swedish citizen, born in USA of Swedish parents, while living temporarily in USA
–A Swedish citizen, born in Sweden, with one US parent, who has lived his entire life in Sweden
–A Swedish citizen, not a US citizen at all, who has a green card which he has not paid $450 to USA to renounce
–A Swedish citizen, living in USA, who needs a bank account to receive rent payments upon his rented house while on expatriate work assignment for Volvo in USA
Already today, US persons living in Sweden are not allowed to use most Swedish banks.
This is the policiy of the only bank in my Town, Kullavik. The policy applies to these persons living in Sweden, who are Swedish Citizens and Swedish residents:
“The Bank does not offer or sell investment deposit to US persons and the Client hereby confirms to the Bank that it is not a US person. The Bank has the right to terminate the agreement immediately if the Client is a US person or becomes a US person during the term of the agreement. The Client undertakes to inform the Bank immediately of any circumstances which could cause the Client to be qualified as a US person. The Bank can also use public information when assessing the qualification of a client as a US person. A legal person can be a US person, among other things, when it is established in the US, acts in accordance with US law, has a US postal address or has some business activities in the US. A representative office or a branch of a foreign legal person can be qualified as a US person on same conditions. A natural person can be a US person, among other things, when it is considered a US resident for tax purposes or if the person stays in the US for some time for educational or work purposes. A person can be considered a US person also under other conditions deriving from US laws. The Bank shall not be liable for any loss which the client may suffer as a result of termination of the agreement.”
Nordea: If you are in the United States, or a U.S. Person (any US Citizen or greencard holder living in Sweden), but you are not a QIB, you may not access the following materials. https://www.nordea.com/Investor+Relations/Debt+rating/Nordea+Bank+AB+US+MTN+Program/1150742.html
SEB: Varken materialet eller de produkter som beskrivs häri är avsedda för distribution eller försäljning i USA eller till person bosatt i USA, s.k. U.S. Person (anyone with citizenship or US green card living in Sweden), och all sådan distribution kan vara otillåten. http://www.seb.se/pow/wcp/index.asp?ss=/pow/wcp/templates/sebcollection.cfmc.asp%3Fduid%3DDUID_400D336DF6DB9912C1257A690029C31D%26xsl%3Dse%26sitekey%3Dseb.se
(Don’t let the punctuation of the below information fool you. The sentences are written with “or” which means that they will discriminate against US persons who live in Sweden.)
Sweden will help to enforce these penalties according to the tax treaty with USA and according to a new Intergovernmental agreement which regeringen is getting ready to sign
Here is the fate that will happen to the persons who are to be found:
USA IRS Example 1: The taxpayer was born in the U.S. to parents of foreign citizenship. She grew up in a foreign jurisdiction (Sweden), unaware that she had been born in the U.S. She has a $60,000 account in the foreign jurisdiction. She has never filed U.S. returns or FBARs. She became aware she was a U.S. citizen when she had to get a birth certificate in order to obtain a passport from the foreign jurisdiction (Sweden) where she resides. Unless she decides to opt out, she is entitled to the reduced 5% offshore penalty”
I am aware of how Sweden acted during the 1930’s, cooperating and enabling the actions of a foreign power’s treatment of one race of persons. I am very much aware of the actions that Sweden is taking now in order to implement discrimination against a race of its Citizens born under the extra-territorial reach
of a foreign power. With implementation of the IGA, the discrimination will be anchored in Swedish law. In addition, the discrimination will become reciprocal, and Swedish Citizens in USA will likely suffer the same consequences which have already begun in Sweden..
What actions is your party going to take in this regard? Are you going to require that this discrimination continues? Are you going to enable it further with an IGA? Or are you going to stand up for the sovereignty of Sweden and the rights of ALL citizens and residents of Sweden and ensure that no FATCA discrimination occurs within the borders of Sweden?
With all of this hubbub about FATCA, DATCA and finally we gotcha all with GATCA (thank the G-20 for that discussion), I wonder how those with large, bordering on obscene, amounts of money and a mansion in every port will fair when their detailed financial reports start whizzing around the globe? Or, will they become like the large banks, too big to touch? Will they get some sort of favourable status based on security issues? Will size matter when it’s their privacy at stake? After all, these big cats are celebrities, royalty, potentates, politicians and all manner of high flying financial wizzards and corporate heads. I can’t see these types taking kindly to the intrusions of a GATCA for themselves but I can see them saying ho-hum, sounds just fine … as long as it’s just for everyone else. The Rothschilds and the Rockefellers and their ilk are not going to give it up for the sake of a global war on tax evasion.
This was inevitable. Why stumble through bilateral treaties with quirky and outright obstinate sovereign attitudes to civil rights, facing off against institutions, opposition parties and other forms of resistance against governing parties,,,, when it is much easier to gather finance ministers in secret discussions and coerce them all at once toward a uniform policy all agreeing with one voice. No nasty minority opinions or special arrangements. G20 is an economic forum of invited guests, where members can reap all sorts of benefits such as a consideration to access big consumer markets for select products — or a continuation of such access — as long as they are willing to give up the little things that are asked of them.
Swedish Citizen – great letter. It would be wonderful if that letter, and similar letters, were “Open Letters” in the major newspapers and/or were picked up by knowing and tuned in journalists who would write articles in Sweden to accurately raise these issues.
MSD – what I find amazing is how quickly governments push aside or ignore national privacy laws, bank secrecy and other legal protections to enter into IGAs and roll over to accommodate the US/EU and discriminate against their own citizens. Obama’s proposed legislation to require US banks to report to the IRS does not cover US dual citizens (i.e. the US is not throwing its dual citizens living in the US under the bus to foreign governments but is requiring exactly that from other countries).
Don’t really know where to put this. Don’t pay your US tax bill in your local currency:
“The IRS is often unable to process tax payments made in foreign currencies on a timely basis or at favorable exchange rates, according to a report from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).
TIGTA said, as a result, foreign currency payments that are not processed timely or are processed at lower exchange rates can cause undue burden on taxpayers and additional work for the IRS, and there is increased risk that taxpayer payments and information could be lost, stolen, or misused; taxpayers could be unnecessarily burdened; and the federal government could be charged with excessive or incorrect check conversion fees.”
“TIGTA’S testing of 393 checks totaling $1.4 million submitted in a foreign currency identified the following internal control issues that adversely affected the processing of the payments:
Procedures did not exist for the type of documentation to maintain for taxpayer receipts and other information collected and processed by the Manual Deposit Unit in the five Submission Processing Centers.
Procedures did not exist to ensure that taxpayers were provided with accurate foreign currency exchange rate information when submitting checks in a foreign currency.
Collection notices were not always suspended after taxpayers submitted payments to fully satisfy outstanding liabilities.
Procedures were inadequate for monitoring whether taxpayer payments were timely processed and credited to their accounts.
Procedures did not exist to verify the accuracy of bank processing fees charged to the IRS.”
Meanwhile, the US Treasury Department continues to promulgate the “Big Lie” theory:
US Treasury Believes Momentum Building For FATCA
by Mike Godfrey, Tax-News.com, Washington
12 April 2013
The article begins with the Treasury Department’s standard delusional spin:
“As offshore tax evasion comes under increased international scrutiny, the United States Treasury Department has continued to ramp up efforts “to promote global tax transparency” through implementation of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), and believes that its efforts are building momentum worldwide.”
But ends with a thud, as the impending reality of DATCA rears its ugly head once again:
“However, the inclusion in President Obama’s budget this week of “reciprocal” regulations which will impose FATCA-style disclosures on US financial institutions directed at benefitting foreign IGA partners may set the cat amongst the pigeons in Congress, where there is already a head of discontent in respect of FATCA.”
All in all, it’s getting hard to find “positive” coverage of FATCA that doesn’t sound completely forced and rather desperate – in the entertainment business we call it flop sweat.
@Steve Klaus, it’s not all that amazing. The US is broke but to think that they are the only country struggling with funding issues is just wrong. Even those that weathered 2008 more or less well (and that’s a whole other discussion), no country really escaped. They are all hunting about for new revenue and the average citizen’s earned income and meager investments (compared to the truly rich) are mighty tempting. This will get worse before it corrects itself and eventually citizenship anywhere is going to be considered a pay as you go membership with some of the countries being better clubs to be in than others.
The world’s financial grid is basically being held together with duct tape right now. What’s to come is anyone’s guess. But given the growing trend toward being taxed coming and going based on your whose passport you hold, dual citizenship is likely to get very expensive.
More hype on the G20 Crusade against tax evasion:
“Austria alone is still defending its bank secrecy, but is under very strong pressure.”
The usual tumbleweeds and crickets from the Canadian Press on this!
And there is this:
‘World powers urge ‘automatic’ swap of bank data as FATCA’s roots and bankers’ plight grow’
By: ACFCS Staff
Date: April 23, 2013
“The Group of 20 nations, which represent the world’s major powers, took a major step last Friday toward making a global standard of the handful of recent bilateral bank information exchange agreements spawned by the US Foreign Accounts Tax Compliance Act of 2010.
In a communiqué released April 19, the G20 urged global adoption of a “standard” that would create a system for the “automatic exchange of information” on the bank accounts of persons that may be evading taxes that they owe in their home or tax domiciles.
The G20 announcement in Washington, issued at the end of their semiannual meeting, is more than mere words because it is meant for public consumption but is directed at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which they control.”……….
Except, as we know, despite being transparent, and paying all tax due to our country of residence, since the US asserts the ‘unique’ powers to tax us based merely on parentage or birthplace, the effect of any such global system on those deemed to be ‘taxable persons’ by the US is to be held in thrall, shackled for life to a country which respects no ethical or just boundaries to tax, and refuses to accept our lack of any relationship with the US economic system. Our accounts are held locally, where we live. We’ve already been taxed by the non-US country where we live, and may have been born, and our accounts are local, and registered with our home country’s tax agency – ex. the Canada Revenue Agency. And any such global system of automatic information exchange will further punish us merely for being deemed US citizens or ‘US taxable persons’ (including expired greencard holders).