Thank you for your correspondence concerning the United States Foreign Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) and the stance of the Liberal party on the issue. Please excuse my delay in responding to your email – my office has been working to respond to correspondence that had been misplaced during a recent staff transition.
Liberals were the first to raise the issue some years ago, pressuring the Conservative government to pursue amnesty against penalties as the IRS’s Foreign Bank Account Reporting requirements were not adequately communicated to Canadians who would be affected. A two-year amnesty period was negotiated in the face of overwhelming pressure from Liberals and concerned Canadians. Together, we sent a clear signal that Canadians expect their government to stand up for the honest and hardworking people who have been caught up by overly complex American tax rules. Canadians are not international tax cheats and it was past time for Stephen Harper to stand up for them.
During the two year amnesty period, we also made it clear that the government should address the concerns of Canadians regarding the US taxation of tax savings vehicles like RRSP and RESPs and regulations under FATCA that will force Canadian banks to share personal banking information with the IRS. These issues present immense sovereignty and privacy concerns for Canadians. The IRS does not have the jurisdiction or authority to persecute persons living and working in Canada. These people are already paying taxes – in Canada.
Over the amnesty period, the Harper government appears to have made no attempts to safeguard the interests of Canadians who will be victimized by the IRS if FACTA is allowed to proceed. As it stands, FACTA will compel not just dual citizens, but persons known to the US government residing in Canada to report to the IRS. These include dual-citizens, Canadians with American spouses, Canadians who have worked in the United States, and others. I am deeply disappointed in the government’s inaction on an issue that so brazenly threatens so many Canadians. I assure you that the Liberal Party will continue to pressure the Harper Government to address these concerns instead of caving into American pressure as has been its past practice.
Thank you once again for your correspondence; please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of further assistance on this or any other issue.
Hon. Dr. Hedy Fry, P.C., M.P.
Health Critic – Liberal Party of Canada
Hedy doesn’t get it either. She talks about a ‘2 year amnesty period’ No idea what she’s talking about and neither does she.
Hedy, do you mean that amnesty that has Canadians paying 5% ‘in lieu of other penalties’ on their highest bank balance over an 8 year period?
First thing that went thru my mind as well – what 2 year amnesty? Is she talking about the Streamlined Program? I don’t recall seeing a time limit put on it.
Makes no sense whatsoever. 2 yrs-April 2011. Should go back and see what was happening then. 5 months before I had my “OMG moment.”
Thanks for posting this Joe Smith. It’s word for word the reply I received today from Ms. Fry. I too have no idea what this two year amnesty period is all about. When was it? Why didn’t anyone know about it? If it ever existed or is in existence at the moment then I have to say I am not impressed. What Canadian taxpayers with a US affliction want is for our government to tell the US government to cease and desist PERIOD and to tell Canadian banks they will lose their charters if they provide any information to the IRS.
Overall, it is good though to see the Liberals continuing to oppose FATCA. Its a marathon not a sprint.
I suggest that all IB commenters who are Canadian should email the opposition parties’ Finance/National Revenue Critics who “should have” more experience to understand our situation than a Health Critic:
-liberal MP Scott Brison Brison.S@parl.gc.ca email@example.com
-NDP MP Peggy Nash firstname.lastname@example.org
My argument to both would be to kill/”improve” FATCA and, much better, ensure that the US-Canada tax treaty is amended or unilaterally overriden by Canada prior to FATCA signing so that FATCA becomes irrelevant.
To talk about negotiating with the U.S. is just futile. Instead what the Canadian government has to do is to go head to head and toe to toe with the U.S. on this whole thing by writing a Canadian law that expressly forbids all lawful Canadian residents and financial institutions from complying with U.S. tax law.
FATCA is not an equal arrangement between sovereign or autonomous nations but is a blantant international power grab by the U.S. to exercise its jurisdiction on an extraterritorial basis. FATCA provides no sanctions for U.S. non-compliance but only imposes sanctions on the financial institutions of other nations. If anyone looks rationally at the mental calculations of the members of the U.S. Federal government it is easy to see that these people are completely self centered and ignorant.
There is no “POLITE” way to deal with ignorant people.
Check out this twitter tweet.
What is Justin Trudeaus position on FATCA ?