As you know, U.S. taxation of its citizens in other continues is a vexing issue. The US Federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2019 (the “TCJA”) imposed severe harm to business owners of all sizes throughout Canada through the imposition of a Transition Tax (which adversely affected the retained earnings of small business corporations owned by Americans abroad) and rules regarding Global Intangible Low-Taxed Income (or GILTI – this was designed to prevent individuals from using foreign corporations to defer income).
There is an ongoing effort to try to convince Washington to ease the burden on US citizens living abroad. One of the persons who is leading this effort is Monte Silver. He commenced a legal action against the U.S. Department of the Treasury for failing to consider the effect the regulations it promulgated under the TCJA would have on small businesses; the Treasury Department is required to make this consideration anytime it issues new tax rules.
Mr. Silver is scheduled to speak on this matter and on other related tax matters affecting US citizens in Canada at a seminar entitled “Onward and upwards – Mr. Silver’s lawsuit against the roll out of the Section 965 Transition Tax Continues”. This will take place on Wednesday January 29, 2020 from 6:00PM until 9:00PM at the Vault located at 1 King Street West in downtown Toronto.
There is no fee to attend this event but pre-registration is required. You may register by contacting John Richardson of Citizenship Solutions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This will be a great opportunity to join Chapter members Trowbridge, Hanson Crossborder Tax and others in meeting Monte and others who have assisted individuals with Transition Tax and GILTI issues. This looks to be a stimulating and timely tax policy event.
If you would like more background on this issue please click here.
Tom Alciere is getting the word out to US presidential candidates as they campaign in his state for the critically important New Hampshire Primary (which takes place February 11th), He’s provided info on FATCA (see below) to several candidates and spoken with two of them at Town Hall meetings.
“It’s that quadrennial season again, and the candidates are in New Hampshire campaigning for the first Presidential primary. I was able to bring this up to Andrew Yang during a The FATCA letter reads:
18 January 2020
Imagine getting a birthday card with a check for college, and you like your other grandfather better because he sends toys. Mom and Dad bring you to the place where they have free lollipops and instruct you to write your name on the check and the bank form. Decades later you face criminal charges and devastating financial penalties for failing to report your “foreign” bank account to the U.S. Treasury, when you don’t even live in the U.S.A. This includes border babies born on the U.S.A. side and children of college students returning to their country.
Extraterritorial application of U.S. tax laws and bank account reporting requirements is causing hardships and fury in other countries. Victims now cannot accept employment involving signing the payroll checks because they’d be required to report the employer’s confidential information to a foreign government, the U.S.A. government. Victims infected with United States citizenship are forced to find accountants capable of completing U.S. tax returns that are far more complicated because another currency is involved. Some live in countries with high sales tax rates instead of income tax, and they cannot claim credit for the sales taxes.
U.S. statutes relieved some victims of U.S.A. citizenship when they became naturalized in their country. SCOTUS re-infected them with U.S.A. citizenship without asking if they wanted it.
Under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, banks are forced to report these accounts of “United States persons” to the U.S. Treasury. That data is valuable, especially to hackers.
Some victims are called “accidental Americans,” but they are not Americans at all. Ted Cruz didn’t consider himself a Canadian when he learned in 2013 that he was classified as one of their citizens under their laws. Where the victims live is their country. What could be more infuriating to a proud, loyal, patriotic person than being called a “United States person”?
See: http://www.adcs-adsc.ca, http://isaacbrocksociety.ca
Tom Alciere, PO Box 106, Nashua NH 03061″
Someone wrote me that, ‘FATCA is a problem for residents of Canada only because the United States sticks to its outdated policy of citizenship-based taxation.’” Although there has been some political movement to end the worst effects of citizenship-based taxation, a recent article from American Expat Finance by Helen Burggraf, suggests that the politics of changing U.S. tax policy for Americans abroad may – with the possible retirement of Congressman Holding – become more difficult.
Democrats Abroad has been questioning prospective nominees about their positions on each of FATCA and citizenship-based taxation. It has phrased its question in a way that assumes that a move to citizenship-based taxation to residence-based taxation would result in no loss of tax revenue to the United States Treasury. John Richardson, Karen Alpert and Laura Snyder explain why they feel this is an inappropriate and dangerous assumption in the following article, reprinted with permission of TaxConnections.
Democrats Abroad (DA) recently reached out to the Democratic presidential candidates to ask them about issues relevant to Americans living overseas. The questions DA posed and the responses it received can be accessed here.
We strongly applaud DA for this valuable initiative. But we believe that it is important—indeed, vital—to call out the framing of this question:
“Most Americans living abroad think that the time has come for Residency-Based Taxation, the principle guiding all other countries’ tax systems and a fix for numerous unjust burdens on Americans living and working abroad. There are bi-partisan, revenue-neutral proposals to implement RBT that include robust provisions to protect the law from abuse by tax evaders. All we need is a moment of leadership to get this done. Will you be that leader?”
We believe that it is a grave error to condition a move to residency-based taxation (RBT) upon a demonstration of revenue neutrality. Doing so would serve to perpetuate the immoral and unjust system in place today.
These are the reasons why:
Many thanks to MuzzledNoMore and LM for suggesting that we have current Media Contact information readily available on the site, and for kicking this project off with the these Canada media lists. Links to these lists at end of post.
Contact information for the remaining provinces is most welcome, as is contact information for other countries. Each country, including Canada, will have its own Media Contact page.
If you have a list of contacts regarding a specific topic, these are equally most welcome.
I will put a link in the Sidebar linking to this post. Once we get a second country or topical list, I will create an Index page with links to all Media Contact pages, and I will replace the original sidebar link with one to Media Contact Info index page.
MuzzledNoMore and LM have provided very comprehensive lists. Maybe yours is much more limited. That’s still very useful. I can put more than one list on a Country or Topic page, and I’ll be happy to collate two or more lists together, where that may be more efficient for users.
Coordonnées des journaux québécois
Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Prince Edward Island newspapers contact info
I’m noticing two points coming up frequently on a variety of threads and a few other people have mentioned it to me (some of us, including me, are very strong supporters of these two points).
In short, these 2 points, except in replying to questions on Brock, are generally more useful when commenting in Mainstream Media or basically anywhere that isn’t Brock. The points are:
(1) Advising people that non-compliance may be a viable option; and
(2) Some aspects of CBT/FATCA are not as frightening as they first seem.
On Brock, however,
(1) It’s pretty obvious at Brock that “non-compliance is an option and here’s why” and, at the least, it’s very obvious at Brock that “You gotta slow down, it’s not that bad, and do not do anything til you know what you’re doing.”
RefugeeFromAmerica was in contact with BMO’s President’s Office about BMO’s FATCA policies and also with the CRA Commissioner’s Office and has sent in the following report.
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 [and the events that followed it]
Last year Laura Snyder asked visitors to the Isaac Brock website to participate in a survey about FATCA and the taxation of US citizens living overseas.
In addition, in early December the report will be the subject of a presentation at a conference in Prague on the subject of diasporas. Snyder’s conference paper that specifically addresses the myth of the wealthy American expat is available here .
The survey report corroborates and complements the results of other surveys demonstrating that US citizens and green card holders living outside the United States experience a wide range of hardships as a result of US non-resident taxation and banking policies.
Further, as discussed in detail in Snyder’s conference paper, the new survey data dispels the myth of the wealthy American expat whose principal purpose in living overseas is to avoid US taxation.
Notably, among the 602 survey participants living in 47 different countries:
- 67% have an income of less than $70,000 per year and 90% have an income of less than $150,000 per year;
- 39% left the United States to join a romantic partner in another country, 28% left to pursue professional opportunities, and 2% were born outside the United States and have never lived in the United States; just one participant reported leaving the United States in order to avoid US taxation;
- 48% of those with annual income of $21,000 to $40,000 and 41% of all participants pay significant fees for professional tax preparation despite owing nothing in US taxes;
- 32% of those with annual income of $1 to $20,000 and 38% of all participants are unable to reconcile the US tax system with the system of their country of residence, with the result that their investments and retirement vehicles are harshly penalized by the US system;
- 37% of those with annual income of $41,000 to $70,000 and 30% of all participants have been unable to open one or more bank accounts because they are a US citizen or green card holder;
- 19% of those with annual income of $1 to $20,000 and 13% of participants overall have been removed from one or more joint accounts with their non-US citizen spouse because the survey participant is a US citizen or green card holder. With respect to unemployed participant, the number experiencing this problem jumps to 26%.
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A great FATCA backgrounder from John Richardson, published in American Expat Finance yesterday. FATCA articles aimed at the general public often focus on the impact on individuals, but this one primarily covers the macroeconomic impact. It packs a lot in a short article, good for sending to people who want to know more about FATCA (friends) or who should know more about FATCA (policy makers).
American Expat Finance Editor’s introduction below, article itself continues next page. Reprinted with permission of American Expat Finance.
Over the last few weeks and moths, more media attention than usual has been paid to the 2010 Obama law knows as the Foreign Account
Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). And invariably, we have been noticing, journalists from respected media organizations like The Guardian and Financial Times newspapers in London keep referring to it as a “tax evasion law,” no doubt because that was its original purpose.
That may well have been true in 2010, says Toronto-based expat lawyer and expat rights campaigner John Richardson…
But, he argues here, as anyone familiar with FATCA’s massive impact on individuals who don’t live in the U.S. now – and indeed haven’t for decades and possibly never did, and are tax residents of other countries – it has evolved into an all-but- impossible-to-avoid “extra-territorial money-sucking machine.”
It has also made it very difficult for such individuals to engage in normal financial and retirement planning – or even to get, and keep, a local bank account.
And while it may remain a disincentive for Homeland Americans to attempt to hide their wealth (the way some used to) in Swiss banks, FATCA (along with the Common Reporting Standard, as the OECD’s global version of FATCA is called), is now playing a role in enabling the U.S. to act as a tax haven to wealthy individuals in other countries who are seeking to keep their personal wealth from their own tax authorities.
The fact that the U.S. hasn’t signed up to the CRS, arguing that it has no need to – because FATCA gives it all the information it needs to know about its own citizens – helps to make this possible, Richardson points out. Continue reading