We already have Witnesses for our Canadian FATCA IGA lawsuit, but are now seeking a few more. If you are a Canadian who supports the major aim of the lawsuit (to return Canadian sovereignty back to Canada) and are interested, see below:
The May 31 2017 Canada Federal Court Order gives us 60 days to comply by providing additional information to Government as part of our lawsuit.
This delay may give us time to provide to the Court additional evidence, from new witnesses, of harms caused by the Canadian FATCA IGA enabling legislation. If:
— You are a Canadian resident (and possibly a U.S. person as well) who has experienced difficulty, uncertainty, or perceived risk of personal harm, in acting as an executor of the estate of a U.S. person in Canada, or you are someone who has refused to act as an executor for the estate of a U.S. person in Canada because of the risk of harm; or
— You are a Canadian citizen and resident who the U.S. deems a U.S. citizen, and you would like to renounce your U.S. citizenship and tax citizenship, but cannot because you would have to pay a U.S. “exit tax” because of the value of your assets (see link) — or you renounced and DID pay an exit tax; or
— You are a Canadian citizen and resident and a U.S. citizen who had your bank account information turned over to CRA/IRS and the U.S. IRS has now contacted you about your account.
AND you are willing to provide a written, public (your name will be disclosed) affidavit to Canada Federal Court explaining your situation,
– please contact me at Stephen.Kish.Chair@adcs-adsc.ca
The Federal Court order asks for a list of all specific harms caused by the Canadian FATCA IGA enabling legislation, that contradict our Canadian Charter rights and nation’s sovereignty (our Claim) that have been or are certain to be experienced by our three Plaintiffs but also by “anyone else” (i.e., I interpret this to mean other Canadian residents).
We already have Witness affidavits detailing harms that cannot be disclosed publicly at the present time. But if you have experienced a harm or know that you will experience a harm related to the above legislation, that you suspect that we might not have addressed, AND ARE A CANADIAN CITIZEN AND RESIDENT WILLING TO FILE A WRITTEN AFFIDAVIT TO FEDERAL COURT THAT WILL DISCLOSE YOUR NAME, then please contact me.
From a practical point of view that I have to deal with, making suggestions is fine, but we need to provide the Court with written affidavits of harm in which your name will be disclosed. If you can’t disclose, perhaps you know someone who might. The time opportunity for this is short.
The IGA is a form of appeasement. And when we appease a bully and pay an extortionist, or blackmailer there is no end. That is why what might be presented by the federal government as a ‘good’ thing for the financial sector is not necessarily ‘good’ for the majority of Canadians re FATCA in the short or the longterm. All Canadian taxpayers are funding the implementation and compliance costs (constitutional, social, legal, economic and taxpayer revenue costs) associated with implementing US FATCA in Canada. And in the meantime Canadian banks are increasing their US exposure ( http://globalnews.ca/news/3171749/royal-bank-of-canada-donald-trump-us-growth/ ).
I want to stop the Canadian government from abusing Canadian taxpayer revenues by diverting them from our own domestic use – and instead using it as protection money and feeding the US our data in order to forestall the US from its threat to knee-cap our financial sector unless Canada hands over some Canadians and their data as hostages.
A question for Anthony Ellis Parent in response to his posting of this on the American Expatriates FB page regarding an update on US passport revocation:
Question from FB poster: “FATCA coughs up US citizen and IRS sends notices to citizens which he does not receive. What is the likelihood of the IRS creating a substitute return with outstanding tax debt for the citizen? At this point citizen is unable to enter Streamlined because of the fact that the IRS has already assessed the citizen. True?”
…”you can go streamlined with SFRs [Substitute For Return]. No willfulness is lynchpin over all else. Yet the fact is I have yet to run into an SFR that included FATCA information banks have reported to the IRS. It appears the AUR (automatic underreporting unit) does not have access to that info. And FATCA info will not appear on a W&I transcript. Just like FBAR data, FATCA info is collected at a huge expense and the IRS does not do a damned thing with it. I have yet to run into an audit that was initiated by FATCA reporting or FBAR. Sure the IRS will penalize the snot out of you for not filing the form they don’t care about unless you don’t file it. It’s depressing to think that previous sentence makes perfect sense to me.”
“It appears the AUR (automatic underreporting unit) does not have access to that info.”
AUR is enormously defective. Part of the way the embezzlers are able to work is that AUR doesn’t catch a return that declares correct withholding when embezzlers have altered records of the payer’s report.
“And FATCA info will not appear on a W&I transcript.”
Yeah, because the IRS puts the entire US diaspora into Small Business / Self Employed when we are neither. When the IRS lawyer who helped cheat me identified himself as Small Business / Self Employed, I thought the IRS hired a small business or self employed lawyer to represent them. I didn’t guess he was an IRS employee. I should have put him on the witness stand and got some answers under oath in my first trial. In my second trial I got a subpoena served on him so he wrote a settlement reducing all alleged penaltis to $0.00. The IRS doesn’t dare send me a statutory notice for the remaining alleged penalty because they know I know how to get a subpoena served now.
The IRS doesn’t put us in Large Business & INTERNATIONAL because some of those guys might know how to do their jobs right.
Forgot to mention: The reason we get hurt by AUR not catching what they should is that the IRS doesn’t send us a Notice CP2000 when the law requires them to do so. If the IRS sent us CP2000 then we could start to figure out what they’re accusing us of.
When I figured out they owe me some Notices CP2000, required by law even when I don’t demand them, I did demand them, and they refused. This ought to be a smoking gun. But no, courts are protecting their embezzlers too.
Here’s a bit of philosophising I did regarding our situation. If anyone feels it would make a good post, feel free to post it.
WHOSE SITUATION IS WORSE? THE SLAVE OR THE US CITIZEN WHO LIVES ABROAD?
People have described US Citizenship-Based Taxation as similar to slavery. But in many ways, US Citizens who live abroad can look upon the slave with envy.
Slaves pay with their labor, but receive benefits and services in return: free housing, food and medical care. US Citizens who live abroad pay money to our massa, Uncle Sam, but have to pay for our own food, housing and other benefits that the slave takes for granted. When we are unemployed, Uncle Sam provides no money to help us survive. No welfare, no food stamps. No medical assistance. Nothing.
Slaves can watch the sun set in the field and have peace and contentment at the end of the day, and a good night’s sleep. They are not kept awake by anxiety about having to fill out complex and intrusive forms under threat of severe punishment. They don’t worry that their banks will decide to close their accounts.
Many slave owners in the antebellum south were kind to their slaves and treated them like family. Our master is never kind and seems to delight in inflicting pain.
One might argue that we’re better off than slaves because we have the freedom to leave our job and seek more fulfillment in another one. But we can never leave our second job that consumes so much of our time and resources — the job of satisfying the ever-increasing demands of our menacing US massa. This job consumes nights and weekends when we should be relaxing and enjoying time with our families. It provides us with no income, indeed unfairly subtracts from the money we need to survive.
So, slavery is not the proper analogy for the situation of US citizens abroad. One must come up with another word to describe a class of people who are lower than slaves.
The comparison is offensive. You can’t seriously believe this. Slavery (in several forms) still exists, you know, and we should blush to compare our first-world problems with theirs.
No. Just no.
“But we can never leave our second job that consumes so much of our time and resources — the job of satisfying the ever-increasing demands of our menacing US massa.”
Yes we can, for a fee of US$2,350. Except that if we made the mistake of investing in shares of US companies, and selling those shares before renouncing so the stockbroker reported withholding on Form 1099-B, then the job never ends.
Slavery is offensive, the US’s abuse of its diaspora is offensive, and the comparison is unpleasant, but that doesn’t make the comparison offensive.
Lots of participants in these discussions have compared our situation to slavery. They’ve also compared our situation to other kinds of offences that some other countries engaged in. Think about it and have unpleasant thoughts, but the comparisons aren’t so off target as they appear at first glance.
Such comparisons are hyperbolic, and made without much appreciation for the actual plight of slaves. This kind of rhetoric does not help your case. Have you considered the likely reaction of black people?
Having worked and lived in places where governments turn a blind eye to what is, in essence, modern day slavery, you completely loose me making that particular comparison. As others above have stated, it does not help your case or your argument.
Serfdom is perhaps a far better and more fitting analogy.
“Have you considered the likely reaction of black people?”
Would it suffice to consider the reaction of other people whose ancestors were slaves? Would it help to consider the reaction of other people whose ancestors were subject to some of the abuses that other Brockers have compared this problem to? At first it does look hyperbolic. After observing a bit more, it isn’t hyperbolic any more.
If you wish not to make those comparisons yourself, don’t make them.
Your comment seems to assume a very narrow definition of slavery (rooted in the American experience) and an assumption that slavery is not a first world problem. There are many different kinds of slavery and slavery as an institution is easily adaptable to the times. I think that your point is that the use of the world “slavery” is not an effective way to convey the message.
The specific application of U.S. laws to different people varies widely.
The willingness of different people to obey those U.S. laws also varies widely. (Perhaps obedience to U.S. laws from abroad should be characterized as a “self inflicted wound”. There is no objective evidence that disobedience is likely to be punished.)
If we look at the situation objectively, it’s pretty clear that the USA will NOT allow it’s citizens to leave the United States and live a life that is not subject to U.S. regulations. In fact, all forms of “personal finance abroad” are subject to punitive retaliation. This is an indisputable reality. In many cases, people are able to buy their freedom from this situation. In others not. (It all comes down to whether they can afford the financial cost of the Exit Tax, etc.)
The question is:
How should this despicable situation be characterized? It certainly does have some of the characteristics of slavery. The basic difference (I think) between “slavery” and “U.S. citizenship abroad” is this:
In most cases one who was characterized as being a slave was prohibited from doing anything without the permission of the master (but is this really true)?
In most cases an American living abroad is FREE to do anything he wants. It’s just that he will be punished for it (mutual funds, marrying a non-U.S. spouse, etc.)
Both cases are characterized by a denial of freedom. What is that makes the first case slavery and second cased merely a “first world” inconvenience?
I think that there is an answer. The answer is this:
Slaves have little or no opportunity to enjoy any kind of freedom. Americans abroad are perfectly free to NOT obey the restrictions (because they choose to or because they don’t know about the rules).
In other words, Americans abroad have the opportunity to disobey and are free to disobey. It’s just that they “may” be punished if they disobey. (They will certainly be punished if they obey – the people who have suffered the most are the people who have tried the hardest to comply.)
Slaves (the way you seem to define them) do NOT have the opportunity to disobey.
Is this the difference?
Why should the United States be permitted to control the lives of people who do NOT reside there? If there is no moral justification, then what should this type of control be designated as?
Thinking about the question of the appropriate characterization of the U.S. Government treatment of Americans abroad and an appropriate characterization of Americans abroad.
Four questions come to mind:
1. How should Americans abroad be characterized if the U.S. Government is able to control their lives when they do NOT live inside the United States?
2. How should Americans abroad be characterized if they are NOT free to renounce U.S. citizenship without paying an high fee to do so?
3. How should Americans abroad be characterized if (as is the case for many), in order to renounce U.S. citizenship (to get back to the original purpose of this post), they have to pay the U.S. Government an “Exit Tax” based on assets what are NOT U.S. assets? (For example the confiscation of a pension earned in Canada?)
4. How should the people be characterized – who are residents and citizens of other nations but were born in the United States – and are subject to all of the considerations raised in questions 1 – 3 above?
The answers to these questions suggest that the U.S. Government owns its citizens who do NOT live in the United States and owns their assets that are NOT located in the United States?
How should the form of this arrangement be characterized? What should the people who are subject to this arrangement be characterized?
(insert Gene Wilder image here.) Yes, tell me more about how the citizenship problems of expats or “accidental Americans” are similar to those of sexually trafficked women, or third-world people forced into debt bondage. Did you find the analogy of Jews and the Holocaust too restrained? Whatever injustices we face, we have to recognize that most of the world would regard us as living charmed lives.
The US regards us as still living on the plantation. Very egalitarian of them.
I understand your reaction – this has come up many times since Brock started. I shall have to find for you a comment from a Brocker who is Jewish and had no problem with comparing the “labeling of US Persons” with the Yellow Star that was imposed by the Nazis upon Jewish people.
It’s all well and good to be concerned that Homelanders and others see us as privileged people. However there is a problem with that and it is that it is inaccurate. How many of us match the stereotype of one who stashes money abroad to evade tax? And more importantly what is gained by continued inaccurate labeling?
Would one say to a gay person or a transgender person that he/she/they were exaggerating the harm they feel? One probably wouldn’t, if for no other reason than to do so would show ignorance (or worse judgement) of what has become acceptable to society. It is expected now, for people to deal with any bias or disapproval regarding the LGBT experience. While I am certain this is a welcome change for anyone in that community what needs examining is the fact that there are many many people who will say they accept it when they don’t. What is achieved by such behaviour is avoidance of being judged by others through an expression of moral outrage and a continuing of the problem. It just becomes more difficult to deal with since it is not acknowledged.
Think of the plight of African Americans. Is it helpful to them that it is PC to deny racial prejudice? What happens as a result? Innocent black men being killed by police because underneath, they are still presumed to be doing something wrong because they are black. Pretty serious misjudgements eh?
To underestimate the harm felt by a community is to minimize their experience. How much good has it done say, over the last 5 years, for expats to engage with Homelanders via commenting on articles? “They will understand if we point out rationally, the harms being done” – then they “will see the Light.” Have very many minds been changed? It seems not. So is it useful for us to expect we will get them to change their minds with non-threatening, PC type language? I think not.
If WE minimize the extent of what is happening to us, that is what THEY will see. We will make it easy for them not to change. Psychologically., the effect of being violated is the same, regardless of whether it is rape, torture, slavery, etc. The only difference is the degree. And anyone in therapy can tell you, if they cannot acknowledge the TOTAL effect the abuse has had, they are “in denial” (which very beautifully tends to match where society is on the issue). Think of the resistance society has to sexual abuse. “She asked for it” or “you made it up, parents don’t do things like that.” The problem is that to acknowledge means to come face to face with the fact that people knew and they DID NOT choose to do the right thing and protect, to admit and put an end to the behaviour at the expense of the one bring abused.How many avoid that level of confrontation, letting the ones who abused (and or those who allowed it to continue) to continue to get off the hook?
The experience of the African Americans or those taken for human trafficking are NOT the only people in the world to experience slavery. If we allow the others to think it is not slavery to have to pay tax where one does not live, to give up the benefits of tax-deferral bc we have to “pay our fair share” etc then that is exactly what they will think.
And then, who’s mind is it that needs to be changed? Ours or theirs?
I’m all for the hyperbole of using the word “slavery” but I know other people are sensitive to analogies deemed to be politically incorrect. We could, as Moulard suggests, use the word “serfdom” (less emotional, perhaps due to its Middle Ages origin) but we would have to jigger with its definition from being bound to the land where one lives and works for one’s overlord to being bound to the tax laws of a nation where one has citizenship but no residence. I just know that the restrictions and penance imposed by FATCA/FBAR/CBT feel like slavery or serfdom or whatever you want to call it but please don’t tone down the descriptions of this inglorious injustice to the point where people could shrug off the harm as being inconsequential. It is real. It is relevant. It deserves redress.
I am reminded a bit of Ronald Reagan’s “There he goes again comment” …
Once again you define slavery very narrowly. Are you suggesting that UNLESS the problems of Americans abroad are similar (or identical) to those of sexually trafficked women or those forced into “debt bondage” that it cannot be slavery. (Although in some cases Americans abroad who attempt U.S. tax compliance ARE forced into something close to debt bondage. Is the difference that Americans abroad are NOT subjected to physical violence? Or are you suggesting that if it is governmental conduct that something cannot be slavery?)
Secondly, although there are certainly conditions in life that are worse than attempting to live as an American abroad (and this should be remembered by all), your statement that:
is highly questionable. There are two reasons:
First, (since we are talking about language – you take issue with the word “slavery” regarding it as exaggeration/inaccurate/offensive/not politically correct), your use of the word “most” is clearly a gross exaggeration. A more appropriate word, at best, might be “some”.
Second, the rest of the world does NOT understand the problems that Americans abroad face. In fact, “most” Americans abroad do not fully understand the U.S. laws that govern their lives. These “most” people to which you refer don’t understand the circumstances either. But, okay let’s work with your word “most”. The question then becomes:
Would “most” people want to be Americans abroad if they actually knew that being an American abroad meant that their life was completely regulated by U.S. laws AND that the effect of these laws was such that it was not possible to fully integrate into the economy of the country where they may reside? American citizens are NOT free to leave America and become complete residents and citizens of other nations. They are required to live under EXACTLY the same rules (FEIE exclusion excepted) as homeland Americans. People move from countries because they perceive better opportunities in another country. Americans (unless they do NOT comply with U.S. laws) are NOT free to leave America and experience better opportunities in other nations. Furthermore, U.S. citizenship is a characteristic that is very difficult and expensive to shed. (If one is a U.S. citizen, then one must pay the U.S. government to NOT be a U.S. citizen.)
Finally, what is this statement about?
I don’t recall anybody in this thread suggesting an analogy between the Jews and the Holocaust., In fact, I don’t recall any comment on Brock EVER suggesting this analogy.
I am not saying that Americans abroad are “slaves”. I am saying that there are some overlapping circumstances and that the overlap deserves to be considered.
A type of ‘Debt bondage’?
ex. “……The services required to repay the debt may be undefined, and the services’ duration may be undefined. Debt bondage can be passed on from generation to generation.…..”
According to the ‘benefits’ rationale for US extraterritorial CBT, we’re held in an involuntary lifelong debtor status whose terms we cannot control – a status acquired by default, merely because we were born with US citizenship status (via birthplace or PARENTAGE). To CBT rationalizers this citizenship-birthright provides us with illusory and undefined ‘benefits’ wherever we (and our assets) are located in the world which the US demands annual accounting for and taxation of – and which in the case of those deemed legally incompetent is a lifelong (and beyond) involuntary status and relationship that cannot ever be dissolved by those so bound or their legal guardians. The same applies to minors up to an age of maturity. And the US reserves the sole right to recognize or to refuse to recognize an individual’s expatriation despite their intent or actions, and to deny it unless it is performed or adjudicated at a US embassy or consulate before a US official in a prescribed rite.
From Cook vs. Tait;
“…the principle was declared that the government, by its very nature, benefits the citizen and his property wherever found, and therefore has the power to make the benefit complete. Or, to express it another way, the basis of the power to tax was not and cannot be made dependent upon the situs of the property in all cases, it being in or out of the United States, nor was not and cannot be made dependent upon the domicile of the citizen, that being in or out of the United States, but upon his relation as citizen to the United States and the relation of the latter to him as citizen……”…
Or indentured servitude? Peonage?
There have been many forms of those practices;
Historically, there is a group of people with whom we share a great deal in common: the 18th-century residents of colonial America. In order to find terms by which we can safely define our current relationship with our “mother country” we could certainly look to the words of those who wrested their freedom from the iron grip of Great Britain at that time. Patrick Henry had no problem using the word “slavery” to define their situation if they were not to fight tooth and nail against their oppressors.
“There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged. Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston!” …. “Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! — I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”
I don’t think the term slavery itself (it seems to get used a lot in discussing this situation) is problematic. I think where problems come in is when making a specific comparison between this and other instances of slavery or persecution.
One thing that strikes me about slavery (or persecution) comparisons in terms of efficacity is that not everyone will feel that this situation is worse than what Country X did in 1996 or what Country Y did in 1958, or what Country Z is doing right now . . . . . . And if a person feels that the situation you’re comparing this to actually was/is worse than this one is, they tend to think “Oh, these US persons don’t have it so bad.”
IMO, this situation a form of slavery. It shares characteristics with general definitions (and even with general perceptions) of slavery, a concept which takes many forms. So, to me the word fits. But I don’t think it’s worth making comparisons.
You make an excellent point. That said, there were plenty of 18th century colonists who would would have said:
Colonial subjects are NOT slaves – that’s an offensive comparison. The slaves are those (life forms who are not human beings) who work our fields and serve us in our palatial homes.
Assuming (without deciding) that Americans abroad are 21st century slaves, there will always be people who will not or cannot view their condition as that of slavery. Clearly the “Loyalists” did NOT see their condition as slavery. They were loyal to the King or as some would call them “The King’s Friends”.
It is very difficult for some people to recognize their condition as “slavery”. The reason is that the recognition of one’s slavery implies the moral obligation to attempt to “break the chains”. That requires a courage that most people simply do not have. Furthermore it requires an adjustment in the way that people view themselves in relation to others. Homelanders abroad simply cannot see their condition as that of slavery. For the most part, they view the restrictions on them as “necessary to preserve their freedoms” or “necessary to fight terrorism” or the price they must pay for the “privilege of living abroad”.
Here is a sampling from a Michael S Kirsch paper from last year.
Seems like some of the advocacy groups helped to put the nails in the coffin for people with no desire for US ties .
CITIZENS ABROAD AND SOCIAL
COHESION AT HOME: REFOCUSING A
CROSS-BORDER TAX POLICY DEBATE
Despite this range of subjective circumstances, it is possible to make
general observations that apply to a significant portion of citizens abroad. Indeed,
organizations representing the interests of U.S. citizens abroad frequently do so,
particularly in the context of congressional hearings for legislation that would
benefit overseas citizens.For example, a representative of one such
organization, after noting that she had been born and raised in the United St5ates
but had moved to France for business reasons nineteen years earlier, observed:
Most Americans living overseas are just as “home grown” as I am,
and many have family situations similar to mine. We have
accepted or chosen to live overseas to represent our businesses or
to follow our dreams, but we are also conscious of the fact that we
are unofficial representatives of the United States in everything we
do and say while there. We keep our links to the United States as
strong as possible, visiting “home” as often as possible, educating
our children in U.S. schools if we can afford it and if they are
available where we live. We go to great lengths to make sure5 that
our children have U.S. citizenship and valid passports. We
struggle to ensure that our U.S. tax obligations are met. We vote in
U.S. elections despite the difficulties with absentee balloting.23
23 U.S. Citizens Overseas: Hearing Before the Subcomm. On International Operations of the H. Comm. On
Foreign Affairs, 102d Cong. 65, 38 (1991) (statement of Stephanie H. Simonard). Ms. Simonard was
testifying on behalf of the World Federation of Americans Abroad, an umbrella organization whose
membership included a number of other advocacy groups for U.S. citizens abroad, and which she described
as representing “by far the largest group of non-U.S. government individuals and businesses that exists
overseas reaching all parts of the earth where Americans congregate.”
After noting that overseas citizens advocacy groups had convinced the State
Department to reverse its longstanding policy that presumed that a U.S. citizen
who acquired foreign nationality intended to relinquish her U.S. citizenship, she
observed that this “wonderful” policy change not only would eliminate “heart-
wrenching cases where U.S. citizenship could have been unintentionally lost, …
[but also] symbolically it goes much further, for it indicates that at least one part
of the Washington establishment recognizes that our presence overseas in no way
diminishes our deep emotional attachment to our country.”24
24 Id. at 39 (statement of Stephanie H. Simonard).
Muzzled: “Historically, there is a group of people with whom we share a great deal in common: the 18th-century residents of colonial America. In order to find terms by which we can safely define our current relationship with our “mother country” we could certainly look to the words of those who wrested their freedom from the iron grip of Great Britain at that time. ”
Me: In that case you should really think about changing the name of this site.
I’m not arguing for a narrow definition of slavery (as chattel slavery). So, are the obligations of citizens to their government a form of slavery? But surely there have to be laws and governments, so in general, the obligation to obey governments has to be considered legitimate. The focus here is on how one acquires, or ought to acquire (if laws were perfectly just), such ties of fealty, and under what circumstances such ties are severed, or ought to be severed. Since the USA allows most of us to renounce, the major issue seems to be money (in the form of taxation and fees). To call this “slavery” is a bit like calling paid labor “wage slavery.” Our freedom has not been restricted (except in the case of passport issues, and potential imprisonment in the case of tax issues–but any system would have these features). We have not been compelled to work for any particular person, let alone had our human rights violated in the form of beatings or rapes.
But never mind. Whether you agree with me or not, surely you must recognize how the analogy of slavery is going to strike the average person. (That was my point about the Holocaust–this kind of rhetoric is first cousin to Godwin’s Law.) At the very least you have to be very careful and precise about how you use this language, if you insist on making the legal comparison. You would get more sympathy by focusing on actual cases and actual harm. Not every injustice has to rise to the level of slavery.