I have been trying for months to educate people about FATCA at Garth Turner’s blog which focuses on the Canadian housing market, as well as investing. It has been a frustrating exercise. I am either ignored, or told to go find a FATCA blog somewhere to complain. After staying away for awhile, I could not resist today, when Garth wrote a post called ‘F’, especially since there were a couple anti-FATCA comments already there, which surprised me since I have never seen anyone dis FATCA there before (one was from BCDoc who referenced isaacbrock, YAY BCDoc).
Unfortunately, after I posted my comment, I got the usual negative feedback. Keep in mind this is a Canadian blog, frequented by Canadians, and yet rarely have I ever received a supportive reply. This makes me very sad.
Here is the link to Garth’s post about ‘F’: http://www.greaterfool.ca/2014/03/18/
You wrote some good comments. People most often do not comment on comments but do absorb them.
If it comes out of moderation you have my comment (#262) to back up your comments. You did a great job of trying to educate the Turnerites.
Just posted the following:
I am so happy that F is out. Now Harper needs to go too. The bunch in Government seem to have no respect for Canada’s Sovereignty and Charter of Rights. Nor do they seem to understand how much money (in the form of compliance costs and penalties … though not so much tax perhaps except on what are supposed to be tax deferred savings vehicles which the IRS do not recognize as such) will be sucked out of Canada due to the FATCA IGA they are pushing. The Conservatives are probably in their last term in office … for a century or more. So sad in my view as I am conservative in political terms … or was …..
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“Nor do they seem to understand how much money … will be sucked out of Canada due to the FATCA IGA they are pushing.”
While Canada’s former Finance Minister does not appear to be concerned about the US IRS raiding Canada’s tax base, Mark Mazur, Asst Treasury Secretary, noted in a written comments prepared for his confirmation hearing in 2012 that he wants to prevent an erosion of the US tax base: “The current U.S. international tax system creates incentives for U.S. companies to locate their operations and profits abroad, which leads to a loss of jobs here at home and an erosion of the U.S. tax base.”
This guy lives in la la land. Canada’s debt is the better part of a trillion, but it’s OK to share its tax base with the US. His judgment needs to be questioned.
@Em, and NervousInvestor,
Great comments at Garth’s ‘F’ post. Thanks for the support!
Glad to help spread the word about the terrible deal all Canadians are getting with the FATCA IGA and to promote the Isaac Brock Society!
At Garth’s blog I typically get attacked whenever I try to educate his readers on FATCA and CBT. For some reason they just come out snarling. I guess you missed the rude comments from AirHeadPrincess and SonOfPonzi which were made directly after my comments (further down from yours).
It makes me wonder if the ones who respond so viciously are in the banking industry. Garth himself, known for responding directly to readers comments, NEVER says boo to any of mine.
Whenever Garth has a relative topic that I can work into FATCA, I try to do this, or at least I used to, but it got so frustrating that I stopped. I was not even going to bother when he did the ‘F’ post until I saw your comment (that no one responded to). Perhaps we can both go there on a regular basis and start spreading the FATCA message. It helps to have a buddy system going, otherwise people think you are just a mad poster who doesn’t know what they are talking about.
I’m still ‘debating’ with Canadians who don’t get it over at Garth Turner’s blog. The same conversation on the ‘F’ post has spilled out into two newer posts. One commentor is also a dual citizen who tells me to be compliant if I have nothing to hide! How dumb can people be!
“Not having the Canadian Banks rat you out doesn’t mean the IRS won’t recognize gains in plans like TFSA and RDSP as non taxable from the US side. I cancelled my TFSA and my tax accountant is looking at my son’s RDSP. Be complaint! If you have nothing to hide, what is there to worry about? ”
If you have nothing to hide, why wear pants?
Seriously though, my situation is not yours, and we all have varying risk tolerances, and varying senses of injustice and ethical IQs.
I have never been US tax compliant since I have been unaware of my ‘US person for tax purposes status’ as a Canadian living in Canada for 50 years from the age of one. I had no clue that my birth in USA to Canadian parents while they worked there for a short stint, made me a US tax payer for life on my Canadian income.
Nor did I realize that my Canadian bank accounts up the street are considered ‘foreign’ bank accounts and required to be reported annually along with US tax returns. The fines for non reporting of ‘Foreign bank account reports’ (FBARS) were designed for money launderers and wealthy tax cheats living INSIDE USA, but are likewise applied to people like myself regardless that I live OUTSIDE USA and earn no US income.
To come into compliance now, is an expensive and risky proposition for someone who has never been in the IRS system and has lived life as a normal Canadian for decades. You cannot just call up the IRS and say, ‘ooops’, and all is forgiven.
Yes, I am well aware as I have repeated over and over in several comments here that gains from TFSAs, RESPs, RDSPs and other such ‘foreign trusts’ are taxable in the USA, and so are gains from RRSPS unless a special form is filled out annually.
My plan is to stay under the IRS radar. Its not that hard. It is brutally unfair, requires dealing with multiple financial institutions, keeping your savings in registered vehicles that are not FATCA reportable, relying our your spouse for protection, buying real estate (sorry Garth), etc. I figure FATCA will be a boost to the real estate industry in Canada.
I am confident that eventually the Charter Challenge that is underway by a group of concerned Canadians will strike down FATCA in Canada. Even IF my accounts get reported in the interim, Flaherty has said over and over that CRA will not collect penalties or taxes on Canadians who were assessed those penalties or taxes during the time they were also Canadian citizens. I have been a Canadian since birth so CRA will not collect on behalf of the IRS (at least this is what they say now – who knows the kind of arm twisting by IRS that will happen down the road).
If I was younger, and just starting out in life, and could easily come into compliance(no RRSPS, RESPs, TFSAs, or Canadian mutual funds – the dreaded PFICS), I would do that and then formally renounce US citizenship. Many are doing this now, and renunciations of US citizenship is soaring (though we have evidence it is being drastically under-reported by the US government – go figure).
It is impossible for me to be a good US slave and come into compliance at this point in my life without risking penalties for prior non-filing, huge accounting fees for catching up on past years of non-compliance, marital problems regarding my spouse’s refusal to submit our private bank account balances to the USA, etc.
So, yeah I have something to hide and not ashamed to admit it! The money in the bank accounts I hold jointly with my Canadian only spouse was earned in Canada (mostly by him!), and has already been highly taxed by the Canadian government. USA has no moral right to know what is in them, never mind apply penalties to them for non-reporting. USA is being a HUGE BULLY, and I have a HUGE PROBLEM with that (likely stems from being bullied as a kid).
Even if I did spend the 20K or so I have been quoted to come into compliance, I would likely owe no taxes, but risk penalties for prior non-filing, and risk the private financial details of myself and my spouse being shared with other 3 letter organizations in the United States (ID theft comes to mind).
With FATCA, the USA is looking for a penalty bonanza on the life savings of Canadians who did not realize USA was the only country in the world (with one exception -Eritrea, a dictatorship in Africa) that considers those who neither earn nor live there to be taxpayers based on an accident of birth.
All Canadians (not just those born in the USA) should be royally PO’d about theCanadian government agreeing to pass the account balances and transactions of Canadians with a US connection to the IRS. My spouse is not a ‘US person’, but his association with me makes his accounts FATCA reportable. If USA collected on the penalty bonanza, up to a million families could be wiped out financially, our tax base eroded, and our welfare system strained. As it is, bank customers and Canadian taxpayers are paying for Canada to become enforcers for the IRS.
IRS can go F8c& itself as far as I am concerned! If I get a penalty notice in the mail, I will happily frame it and hang it on my wall. It would make for an interesting conversation piece, don’t you think?