— Listen to interview between Canada’s Global TV and John Richardson (legal advisor for the Alliance for the Defence of Canadian Sovereignty) about the 900,000 turnovers.
“The Canada Revenue Agency sent 900,000 financial records belonging to Canadian residents to the Internal Revenue Service in September — nearly a third more than it sent the previous year. The records were for the 2018 tax year.
If you are interested in ending the Canadian legislation that enacted the Canadian FATCA “agreement”, Please DONATE to our Canadian FATCA lawsuit.
Good to know that the CRA has been forthcoming with our requests to again provide information on the number of “slips” they’ve handed over to the IRS. Disgusting that they will not provide any enhanced information on Canadian account holders in the US – perhaps because there isn’t any?
The CRA has information on additional accounts held by individual taxpayers. Perhaps they’re matching for the IRS? I don’t put anything past the CRA.
Other Important Tax Slips
The My Account online service also logs T3 and T5 tax slips, which are issued to individuals who earn some form of investment income. These slips are generated by the financial institution that holds the investment portfolio. Similar to other tax slips, this information is sent from the financial institution directly to the CRA to ensure accuracy when you file your annual return.
Good job and well done, Thank You CBC for reporting!
Today seems like a good day to mention that – with careful use of the passive voice here – an Access to Information request was made some time ago, asking CRA for more details about the information transmitted to the US each year. The initial response didn’t reveal much that wasn’t already known, but there have been follow up discussions about getting some rough estimates of (1) the number of individual account holders, rather than the total number of accounts, and (2) the number of Canadian versus US residents (since Canadians in the US with accounts in Canada would also be subject to FATCA reporting).
It may take another request but presumably the analysis could be extended to include this most recent release.
Two possible reasons for the increase in accounts reported:
1. Organic growth: as customers open new accounts, they are asked the nationality question; since the initial search for US indicia after 2014 would not have revealed citizenship status, many US persons would have been missed in the early years.
2. Banks “over-reporting” accounts that are not required to be reported under the IGA: accounts with low balances, or even RRSP or similar accounts that should be exempt.
This was the best part of the CBC article:
A further request may need to be made, asking CRA for information about “over-reporting” of accounts with balances below the $50,000 threshold, or registered and excluded by the IGA (RRSP, TFSA and so on).
Is there anything to stop the CRA from using someone’s SIN to ‘find’ other accounts that are reported to the CRA on T3 and T5’s, not necessarily flagged by banks as belonging to US persons?
As John Richardson said in the CBC article, that’s a lot of files. Indeed, now approaching a million Canadian financial records sent to the U.S. IRS via the CRA. You think it might be a threat to Canadian Sovereignty and Canadian residents and/or citizens?
“Is there anything to stop the CRA from using someone’s SIN to ‘find’ other accounts that are reported to the CRA on T3 and T5’s, not necessarily flagged by banks as belonging to US persons?”
That’s a very good question. Technically, it seems to me it would be easily doable. Whether or not they actually do that would depend on just how hard the CRA wants to work for the IRS. But if and when a recently opened account is flagged due to US indicia, it would be easy to “work backwards” and report all of that person’s older unreported accounts. I like to think that the CRA merely takes the raw data coming from our banks and passes it on to the IRS without trying to organize, add to it, or help them any further but, of course, they will never tell us what they actually do.
One way to look at all this is that the ever increasing numbers of accounts being reported may well create a safety in numbers situation. The more accounts are reported, the more it will turn into an overwhelming hodge-podge of data for the IRS. Maybe what the CRA should do is just report all of the account data of all Canadians and leave it to the IRS to see if they can find something useful buried in it somewhere. That would fulfill the IGA “obligations” and also wouldn’t be a Charter violation because all Canadians would be treated equally.
I think the two comments from the CRA spokesperson in the CBC article suggest that the CRA is just passing on the data it receives from financial institutions, and in fact hasn’t a clue what it’s receiving or sending.
It’s hard to imagine they’d have any interest in devoting resources to chasing unreported accounts via SINs on other tax slips and so on, even if it were technically possible. Clearly they are doing the absolute minimum that the law requires.
Thanks for your opinions, maz57 and RH. I don’t trust Canada’s RM at all after telling a conservative MP that opposing FATCA is supporting tax evasion. Frankly, I was hoping she would have been gone at the last election. If banks are turning over exempt accounts and accounts < $50K because it’s easier, anything’s possible.
Apply Occam’s Razor.
If banks are turning over accounts they don’t need to turn over, they are doing it because it is less work and risk to dump more rather than less.
Now why would the CRA make an extra effort to do something that it is not required to do, from which it gains no benefit?
I don’t know. Maybe the same thoroughness that compelled the Canadian government to roll their sleeves up to create the IGA’s in order to accommodate FATCA in Canada?
You are probably right though, as much as I think the Canadian government is a poodle for the US.
In response to the CBC story about the vast number of bank accounts reported to the CRA/IRS, I thought I’d share an experience we had at a BMO branch back in August. In particular, I wanted to provide a data point to corroborate the suspicion that at least some Canadian financial institutions are not observing FATCA reporting minima and that, at least at the local level, they are violating Canadian law by not readily providing information to customers about FATCA reporting. Quoted below is a previously composed account of what transpired during our branch visit.
“…our entire family had an appointment at the main BMO branch in our home city in the Maritimes today to take our CLNs in to verify that all US indicia were still absent from my and my wife’s accounts (since we had previously done this shortly after renouncing in 20XX) and to have all US indicia scrubbed from our daughter’s banking information now that she is also no longer a US citizen. The bank staff seemed puzzled at first at our request but gladly complied after some explanation about CBT/FATCA and our renunciations. The interesting part began after that step when I asked how I might go about obtaining a written report from BMO detailing what, if any, of our family’s banking information had ever been shared with the CRA, under FATCA, for transmittal to the IRS. The customer service agent had no idea what to do and consulted his manager, who also had no idea what to do. So, the agent called someone at the BMO corporate office to inquire and, when fully revealing to that person what we were asking for, had the person on the phone turn extremely hostile to them. They told the branch agent that there was no way for BMO to obtain or report this information to any customers and that they would not give us any contact information for anyone at BMO who could help, not even legal department staff. At the end of the call, the branch agent told us that they were very rattled by how hostile the corporate person was to them about this topic and that they had never experienced this kind of behaviour before. After conferring with the branch manager for a long while after this phone call, they both came back to the office to talk to us. The manager told us that they would look into this situation and get back to us as soon as possible with some answers. The most shocking revelation came from what the manager said just before we left. She indicated that she personally was responsible for forwarding local accountholder information to the CRA for FATCA compliance purposes and that she forwarded information for ALL accounts having any US indicia! Upon questioning, she clearly stated that there were no minimum balance thresholds being observed and that any account having US indicia got reported. I know there has been lots of discussion over the years after FATCA came into effect about whether banks would follow the minimum reporting guidelines in the law or just report everyone to be on the safe side. Well, at least at this branch (and likely company wide), it appears that BMO is reporting everyone.”
The branch manager never followed up with us as she promised to do, so we filed formal demand letters with both the BMO president’s office and the CRA in an attempt to force them to hand over any and all information about FATCA transfers of our financial information. We received a letter from the CRA Commissioner’s Office indicating that we would receive more information from the CRA about this at a later date and I have been in contact with a complaint resolution officer at BMO who has been working with me to get the information we are demanding. One interesting tidbit from BMO was that our daughter was, indeed, flagged for FATCA reporting with US indicia, even though the local branch agent said she was not. A form RC518 had to be formally filed with BMO to clear the FATCA reporting flag from her accounts. We are still waiting for the final report from them about what got reported previously.
So, the bottom line is that it looks like BMO is likely reporting everyone, regardless of account balances, and at least some BMO staff/managers do not know anything about how to clear US indicia or about their legal obligations to provide information to customers about what BMO has reported to the CRA, and ultimately to the IRS, about them. I think it would behoove all renunciants and other concerned parties to follow up officially with the CRA and their bank’s corporate office to confirm if they are flagged for reporting and what information, if any, has been previously sent. Even if you have renounced and notified your bank, you may still have your information reported indefinitely, unless you make a formal inquiry. You simply cannot take a branch agent’s or manager’s word for being in the clear.
Thanks for this shocking information that BMO may still be reporting everyone even if they have renounced and notified their bank. I also went to Vancity after renouncing, objecting to their change in policy of becoming totally FATCA compliant after upgrading their computer system. I was assured that my status as a non US person would be taken seriously and none of my financial information would go to the IRS via the CRA from Vancity.
I’ll now need to follow up to see if my financial information is indeed safe with my credit union even though I gave them a copy of my CLN. It looks like a formal inquiry may be in order.
“ One way to look at all this is that the ever increasing numbers of accounts being reported may well create a safety in numbers situation. The more accounts are reported, the more it will turn into an overwhelming hodge-podge of data for the IRS. Maybe what the CRA should do is just report all of the account data of all Canadians and leave it to the IRS to see if they can find something useful buried in it somewhere. That would fulfill the IGA “obligations” and also wouldn’t be a Charter violation because all Canadians would be treated equally.”
The IRS using this data is but one concern. If the IRS is indeed overwhelmed, do you think they can keep this data secure? Lots of people are now at greater risk of ID theft, fraud and other crimes once the criminal world gains access to this data. Bet they already have, at least some of it.
At least Canada seems to be able and willing to provide data on this subject, contrary to stonewalling in other countries.
Has the data protection approach currently used/contemplated in the UK (and Europe) been used in Canada. Meaning the disproportionate sending of mass information on overwhelmingly law-abiding citizens, the risk of data loss and leaks, etc. These issues are addressed in data protection laws; I’m sure Canada has these.
Whatever data protection laws Canada may have, they have no effect once the data leaves Canada.
More than enough reasons to financially support this next phase of the ADCS legal challenge;
Listen to the petitioners at the EUparl:
as per the link provided by Embee on another IBS thread;
The Canadian government has chosen to stay firmly on the wrong side of history and its duty to Canadians on Canadian soil in choosing to siphon off our own hard earned Canadian tax revenues and abuse the Charter rights of Canadian residents and citizens in order to defend the arrogant extraterritorial demands of a foreign nation.
Challenges to FATCA in the EU are gathering force, but meanwhile the Glibs waste our Canadian tax money on placating the US emperor.
We cannot let this fail. Please send whatever you can to help this challenge in Canada continue.
As MEP Sophie in’t Veld reminds the EU ( at 11:24) – those that FATCA oppresses are EU citizens. And those who protect FATCA are acting against the rights of citizens in order to protect the banks. The same is the case in Canada.
Canadians need to put our Canadian Charter, our rights and freedoms, our society, and our citizens and taxpayers before the demands of the US emperor and the Banksters.
Infuriating isn’t it, Badger?
To think some nations are only just signing onto FATCA now and we’ve been fighting the Canadian government in court over this for years. What a waste of resources, what a shame, what an injustice! What a bunch of imbeciles.
If you listen to the FATCA petition hearing in the EU you can hear the terror in the banking guy’s voice. I guess when you’re responsible for all that money, even that of those you’re throwing under the bus…
@BB, the waste of our Canadian tax dollars to effectively subsidize US domestic policy – and without any actual evidence of benefit to Canada – continues to boggle the mind.
And how convenient that the CRA can hide behind pretensions that they cannot tell us whether and what the US has given them in exchange. I highly doubt they get anything they didn’t have before FATCA.
I’ve been corresponding with someone from the RM’s office about reciprocity. Still waiting for him to tell me what we are getting that we didn’t have without FATCA.
I wonder if the recently beefed up Financial Consumer Agency of Canada would be interested in this drastic increase in financial records being sent to the CRA.