What’s FATCA? The IRS peeking into Canadians’ bank accounts

New U.S. law raises a lot of questions

This article appeared first on CanadianBusiness.com

Liberal MPs Ted Hsu and Scott Brison have a bunch of questions about FATCA.

FATCA, in case you don’t know, stands for Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, a piece of U.S. legislation that requires financial institutions around the world to disclose to the IRS foreign accounts held by American citizens and others who might owe money to Uncle Sam.

To say that FATCA is controversial is an understatement. The law is so complex and onerous to implement that some foreign banks have reportedly kicked out their U.S. clients in order to avoid dealing with it. Americans living abroad are queuing to give up their U.S. passports over it. The other problem with FATCA is that it asks foreign banks to do things that are often illegal in their home countries, such as passing on certain private information.

It has caused a stir in Canada as well, but the press here generally portrays it as something that affects only dual citizens and green-card holders. Given the number of Americans who live in Canada, that would be enough to make it a big issue (and a big headache for Ottawa). But the truth is FATCA has the potential to touch a much larger number of unsuspecting Canadians.

Want to know more about how it might all play out? Well, Hsu and Brison are a good place to start.

On Oct. 25 and 28, respectively, each MP separately submitted a long lists of questions to the government that provide an excellent map to many of the issues surrounding FATCA. I’ve teased out some the highlights below—the government has 45 days to get back to them.

How will the government implement FATCA?

FATCA is so intrusive it often needs to be somehow incorporated into foreign countries’ legislation in order for the banks to be able to comply with it without breaking domestic laws (such as the ones that govern the release of confidential information). It isn’t clear yet how Canada plans to do this.

The “how” here matters, because it might determine whether Parliament gets a say in all this or not. Ottawa might, for example, decide to re-interpret the existing U.S.-Canada tax treaty to allow financial institutions to abide by FATCA provisions. This would shut out lawmakers.

Another way to by-pass the Hill could be to draft a document that looks like an intergovernmental agreement and then call it by another name–say, “memorandum of understanding,” which does not require parliamentary action.

What does Canada get in exchange for putting up with FATCA?

In general, what you get for signing an agreement to enforce FATCA is a pledge that the U.S. will do its best to share some of its information on your country’s potential tax cheats. You read that right: Not a duty to reciprocate your efforts, but a lame “we’ll try hard” promise. That’s because the U.S. government does not, at the moment, have permission to force U.S. banks to share information with foreign governments. Only Congress can change that.

That sounds bad enough, but it gets worse for Canada. We are the exception—the only country with which the U.S. has an automatic information-sharing agreement. Now, the trouble with FATCA is that it demands some new information: Not about the Canadian assets and incomes of people who live in the U.S. but about the assets and incomes of people who live in Canada but might have some ties to the U.S. While Canadian taxation, thankfully, is based on residency—you owe the CRA if you’ve been living in Canada—the U.S. has started demanding that its citizens file taxes regardless of where they live.

In other words, the U.S. wants extra information from Canada, but it isn’t immediately obvious that Canada needs or even wants more information from the U.S. than it already receives. And if not information, are we going to get anything in exchange at all?

Do we have a rough idea of how many people FATCA would affect in Canada?

The number one million usually gets bandied about. As in: “There are roughly one million Americans living in Canada.” It is unclear, though, where that number comes from and how up-to-date it is.

Besides, it doesn’t necessarily take a U.S. passport or greencard to fall into the FATCA net. Spouses of U.S. citizens and permanent residents with shared ownership of assets would be subjected to the information-sharing requirement.

Also, there are a number of ways in which Canadians could potentially be considered to have acquired U.S. citizenship based on their American parents and grandparents.   

Finally, even people who are beyond a doubt not U.S. citizens or permanent residents might be affected. Having lived or worked in the U.S. or been issued a Social Security Number could be enough for your bank to raise a red flag.

Not knowing who is affected leaves MPs in the dark as to how FATCA might impact their constituencies.

How far will Canadian banks be expected to go in trying to identify “U.S. persons” among their clients?

Will it be a matter of singling out, say, clients who have a U.S. address or a forensic analysis of everyone’s account activity, legal status and ancestry?

Do the provinces have to get involved?

This set of questions likely stems from the fact that some financial institutions are regulated at the provincial level.

Here, again, we have the problem of not knowing exactly who’ll be affected and how. Are Canadians affected by FATCA geographically concentrated? Should some provinces care more than others? Your guess is as good as mine.

How much will all of this cost us?

You know the implementation costs for banks could be high when some of them are ready to disown their U.S. clients in order to try to avoid the headache altogether.

On top of that, there will likely be public costs for Canada. One of the few things the government has said about FATCA is that it won’t allow the banks to release information directly to the IRS. Instead, they will have to file to the CRA, which will then send it across the border. This, though, sounds like a big operation that might require Ottawa to set up a new body to gather and transmit the data, as well as monitor compliance across the country.

Is FATCA even constitutional?

Constitutional law expert Peter Hogg—one of the people former Governor Michaelle Jean turned to in December 2008—has questioned the constitutionality of FATCA under Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

An intergovernmental agreement on FATCA could infringe on Charter provisions protecting privacy, liberty and forbidding discrimination based on “national or ethnic origin,” he wrote in a December 2012 letter to the Department of Finance retrieved by Green Party leader Elizabeth May.

*Many thanks to Allison Christians, of McGill University, for her assistance with research for this story.




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What’s FATCA? The IRS peeking into Canadians’ bank accounts

  1. It’s about time that all Canadians woke up and smelled the coffee. This will affect ALL Canadians and in a very costly way.

  2. FATCA is *finally* getting some attention.

    The US overreach that FATCA represents is massive.
    - FATCA would basically make the CRA an extension of the IRS.
    - FATCA would impose massive compliance costs on Canadian financial institutions and the government.
    - FATCA would provide zero benefit for Canada.
    - FATCA would potentially disrupt the lives of significant numbers of law abiding Canadian citizens and residents.
    - FATCA would likely violate the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
    - FATCA would not be reciprocal.

    FATCA is an example of stunning arrogance.

    For a FATCA fact sheet, see http://isaacbrocksociety.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/What-is-FATCA-CAN-1-4.pdf

  3. Thank goodness for this article! It’s about time Canadians woke up and realized what FATCA is and how it will affect this country. It’s nothing more than another U.S. over reach but, this time to control the banks in this country and in addition to that to fudge or get around our privacy laws and our Charter. Canada gets zilch for this and it’s going to cost our banks a lot to implement. Those costs will indeed be passed along to every person in this country whether you are a U.S. person or married to one or not.

  4. Notwithstanding the outrageousness of FATCA, looking at the recent website issues with the Affordable Care Act as well as the no-fly list, it is easy to imagine how difficult it will be to manage information. There is no provision for appealing or challenging any person(s)/accounts that are reported in error. Picture Mehar Arar.

    Some institutions originally indicated new account applicants will be presented with a W8BEN or a W9 (both IRS forms indicating whether tax is to be withheld or not). I’m sure any Canadian would resent having to submit one of these forms in order to open an account, in CANADA!

    The banks will pass on the administrative costs to ALL of their customers, so all of Canada pays.

  5. I and my family are dual citizens of Canada and the US, having immigrated here seven years ago, and are absolutely appalled by this grotesque, extra-territorial action by the US. We left with no intention of ever living there again, divesting ourselves of all US-based assets and property in the process. The US, however, is like the psychotic boyfriend/girlfriend that won’t go away no matter how many times and ways you tell them it’s over. We have to file tax returns and mountains of other paperwork concerning our financial accounts to the US every year, even though we owe them no taxes, and we will be required to do this as long as we remain US citizens. If we do not, we will be criminalized and have significant portions of our RRSPs and RESP stolen by them as punishment for our transgression. Now, this FATCA nonsense comes along and raises the discrimination against citizens who no longer wish to reside there, for whatever reason(s), to preposterous proportions. These actions against its own citizens is abusive and creates a tier of Americans who hold a second-class level of citizenship. Moreover, any country, including Canada, that participates in this nonsense is nothing more than a lackey to the US bully and has, effectively, surrendered its sovereignty. As Canadian citizens, we are, supposedly, protected by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and other privacy legislation and simply cannot believe that the government of this country would send our private information to a foreign government without our permission or knowledge. There simply must be a constitutional challenge mounted against this and we would be glad to join in.

    • Please join us at isaacbrocksociety.ca where we are actively working to STOP FATCA IN CANADA!

  6. It’s good to see the FATCA awareness train finally pulling into the main stream media station. FATCA is a U.S. law which, under threat of force, demands that all financial institutions in the world become I.R.S. agents, even if that breaks their national privacy laws. I hope everyone gets that very important point — FATCA IS A U.S. LAW. Can you imagine the reaction in the U.S.A. if Canada tried to impose a Canadian law on their financial institutions? Can you imagine the reaction everywhere if this was a Russian FATCA or a Chinese FATCA or heck, why not a North Korean FATCA? Yes, it really is that absurd. FATCA is the direct consequence of yet another absurdity. The U.S.A. is the only country in the world (other than Eritrea) which clings to citizenship-based taxation (CBT), an out-dated relic of the 19th century. It’s time for the U.S.A. to come into the 21st century and adopt residence-based taxation (RBT).

  7. Okay, so the carrot is small and perhaps mealy.

    So then what’s the stick? What happens if we just say, “It’s your law, you enforce it. No, institutions here will get no slack if they break our laws in following yours.”

    • The U.S. FATCA “stick” is a threat to financial institutions which basically says, if you don’t comply you cannot play in our big U.S. investment sandbox and we will take a big 30% bite out of all U.S. funds which are due to come your way. Being the big bad bully it is, the U.S.A. never uses carrots, never says please or sorry; it only uses sticks, only uses threats to take whatever it wants from whomever it pleases. FATCA truly means Fear and Terror Caused by Americans.

  8. I would like to thank MPs Hsu and Brison for helping to make
    public this very important issue for all Canadians.

    FATCA will indeed cause problems for any Canadians who are
    arbitrarily considered to be ‘U.S. Persons’, however tenuous the link, by the U.S.
    that has citizen-based taxation rather than territorial-based taxation, an
    aberration they share with Eritrea. It
    will also impact no-link-what-so-ever spouses and children of these ‘U.S.
    persons’ since joint accounts must be reported.

    What is our Canadian government doing? Who knows? Are they negotiating an IGA (inter-governmental
    agreement)? Will they fall into the
    reciprocity trap? American banks are
    refusing to do what the I.R.S. is asking of “off-shore” banks.

    If they don’t sign an IGA, the problem reverts back to the
    banks – be in compliance (rat out the U.S. Persons’ directly to the I.R.S.) or
    else lose 30% of U.S.-based income.
    Whether the banks are reporting the banking information to the Canadian
    Government acting as an American I.R.S. agent or playing the role themselves as
    I.R.S. agents, they will still have to invest in discovering the U.S. Persons
    using their services and itemizing all of their assets. The banks aren’t likely to absorb the costs
    involved and will pass them on to all of their clients. So, all Canadians will pay for this, some
    more than others.

    How can we accept this extraterritorial law that demands
    that Canadian banks, or the Canadian government with an IGA, ignore the
    Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and send private information to the I.R.S.? Will we let the government or the banks break
    Canadian privacy laws? What can be done
    to protect Canadians from this American invasion of Canadian sovereignty?

  9. Just to hammer home a point that all Canadians need to consider about FATCA.

    Few if any of us have a problem with Canada’s reporting to the US account information on accounts held in Canada by US residents. Any time someone ships money outside their country of residence to a foreign bank account, there is a possibility (not a certainty, that needs to be proved) there is tax evasion or tax fraud taking place.
    FATCA will be targeting Canadian citizens’ and residents’ accounts IN THEIR COUNTRY OF RESIDENCE. Accounts containing money that has ALREADY been taxed by Canada and by the province of residence, money that was earned in Canada. It is not US money, the US government and taxpayers have no right to it. It is Canadian money, earned and already taxed here, and generally at higher tax rates than most Americans ever pay. It is not “foreign” accounts; for the people who hold these accounts, it is domestic accounts — domestic to Canada.

    Information on the contents of these accounts, and the identifiers of the account holders, is none of the US’ business. Moreover, that information is going to be turned over to the US. Does anyone trust the US’ ability to preserve, protect, and responsibly use information it collects, given recent news? Does anyone feel confident that information on bank accounts (and names, dates of birth, and social insurance numbers) provided to the US will be safe from identity theft?

    The NDP, the Liberals, the Greens, and the Progressive Canadian parties are all on record now as opposed to FATCA and/or having grave concerns about what the Conservative government is negotiating behind closed doors, in collusion with Canada’s chartered banks and investment firms. All Canadians should be concerned about this.
    In Canada, FATCA is not targeting “tax cheats.” It is targeting honest Canadians who have paid their taxes for goods, services, and protections they receive from Canada and their provinces — they received NOTHING from the US for those taxes, nor will they receive anything from having their account information reported to the IRS, except endless and potentially very expensive, and massively unwarranted, headaches.
    For Canada to comply with FATCA would be a craven act of submission to a foreign bully. Pure and simple.

  10. FATCA is no doubt an intrusion in privacy. That’s why it doesn’t even apply to accounts in the US: because it’s illegal in the USA. So there is no doubt it should be killed. The problem is the hammer wielded by the US government.
    What the rest of the world needs to do is to unite. Canada, the European Union, Japan, and other OECD countries need to unite in unison to oppose the law. On their own the US has more leverage against each one, but united in opposition, that’s a different story, they would have more leverage.

    • Some countries are under the delusion that they are going to get “reciprocity” It’s not so important to them though since no one outside of the U.S.A. and Eritrea tax on citizenship rather than residency. In fact they are not going to get ANY so called “reciprocity” from U.S. banks some of whom have already said their state is ready to sue over this. Why the U.S. is plodding along with such an ill thought out over reaching plan is simply incredible hubris. “We’ve started the train and now we cannot stop.’ Anyone who disagrees with this law has been said by the U.S. treasury to only be opposed because of “illicit activities” So if you think this is an over reach into Canada and other nations then you are conducting “illicit activities” according to the U.S. Treasury. This is the type of tactic the Chinese are often accused of. Disagree with us? You “must” be a criminal enemy of the state.”

      The U.S. has gone far too far with this and yes, other nations need to stand up and say “NO” and Canada has a critical role to play here.

  11. Great article – dealing with the Canadian context and getting into the nitty gritty of what the Harper government might use to bypass the Canadian voter, taxpayer, citizen and resident in order to bind us to this Made-in-the-US law forever.

    Good resource for our Canadian MPs.

  12. The US reserves the right to tax the Canadian disability savings and grants of those with a disability that renders them mentally/psychologically incapable of renouncing their US status. They must stay US ‘taxable persons’ for life – no matter what their parents and legal guardians say. They remain prisoners of the US tax system forever – even if they only have a US parent, but were born and live in Canada all their life.

    The US also taxes and penalizes the RESPs belonging to Canadian born children with a US born parent, or where a signature authority is held by a Canadian who the US deems a ‘US taxable person’ – even though they are Canadian residents only and have no US income.

    This is a serious human rights violation.

    • Indeed it is a huge human rights violation. Where is the international court of Justice? to stop this bully acts from the US, the extortion. If the International court of justice is referred as to the World Court o ICJ, which is the primary judicial branch of the UN, then Canada and the other countries, have the option and we should! take all this matter to the World Court, on behalf of all the citizens. Specially to eliminate this US policy of taxation based on citizenship rather than residence or source income. This is what has to be addressed. The only people who support this fatca in the government are the ones who are getting temporary benefit, under the illusion that US will thank them. In the end these fatca supporters will be affected including their own children, family and friends.The US country has broken always the human rigths laws around the wolrd, we have to stop this!

  13. Canada is a battleground state for FATCA. That’s because Canada is
    estimated to have +600,000 people who fit FATCA’s broad definition of “US
    person”. Because we share a common border, many Canadians have “indicia of a US place of birth”.

    The majority of these are also resident Canadian citizens who have no economic ties to the US. Many are long-term Canadians who relinquished their US citizenship by
    becoming Canadian citizens, only to see it re-instated by FATCA.
    There are also border babies: Canadian citizens who by happenstance or
    medical referral were born in the US to Canadian parents temporally there.

    The coming train wreck is when FATCA runs into this vast population of affected and soon-to-vocal Canadians; about 3% of Canadians, plus spouses, partners, family and business associates all dragged along for the ride.

    Canada is an advanced human rights state and they will have recourse to law, including Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms and Human Rights laws (both Federal and Provincial.) Top constitutional experts, Peter Hogg wrote a thoughtful opinion letter spelling out how discrimination against certain Canadians because of a US place of birth (as opposed to conomic activity or residence) would certainly violate the Charter. To read Hogg’s letter Google “Peter Hogg + FATCA + Green Party Canada”.

    Canada’s opposition parties have strongly increased their scrutiny of FATCA, and any attempt for the government to enter into a FATCA Intergovernmental Agreement will meet now political and legal opposition. The cat is out of the bag.

    The angst and ill-will caused by this among the people of Canada is a vast tragedy and also a diplomatic error of irreparable long-term consequence. Forcing Canadian citizens to resort to a Charter challenge to resist our own government’s constitutionally unlawful attempt to enforce a foreign state’s ill-conceived and extra-jurisdictional law would be a shameful collapse of sovereignty and moral leadership.

    I encourage the press in Canada step up their coverage of this urgent and important issue. Ask some pointed question of banks and the Minister of Finance: how do they plan to start asking Canadian citizens “where were you born” and then sending their private banking date to a foreign state because they have the wrong birthplace. It’s a big story and has been woefully under-reported.

  14. I know how to get the attention of the USA. Last I heard, Bill Gates (a good guy) owns a substantial percentage of CN Rail, Carl Icahn owns a nice chunk of Talisman Energy etc. etc. How about a 30% withholding tax on them if they go to sell any of their share. Sure, It would hurt Canada a bit, but who do you think controls the US Government? That would get their attention…really fast. And, of course, out would come the even bigger US sticks, because that’s how they think. But, resolution would come much more quickly this way.

  15. This is a crass money grab by the US. This isn’t “taxation”….. it’s “theft”!

    Take the situation of someone I know with dual US/Canadian citizenship who has not lived in the US since childhood, decades ago. If Canada rolls over on this issue, this person will be in the position of being forced to pay decades worth of US taxes, but as a Canadian, there is no possibility of receiving any benefit for the US taxes paid. I can only hope Canada doesn’t wimp out (as we as a country unfortunately are famous for) on this issue!

    • Yeah, its theft, and extortion. The Canadian government would not even consider abiding by this outrageous USA law, if the USA was not threatenining 30% withholdings on US sourced income to Canadian banks for non-compliance to FATCA.

      Canadian banks are pushing our government to sign an ‘intergovernmental agreement’, so that the banks can violate Canadians’ rights, but not have to take the blame; they will say the Canadian government is enforcing the law. A public protest will be held next week in Toronto where the Canadian Bank Association is having an annual meeting.

      I am in a similar position as your friend – my Canadian born parents were living temporarily in USA when I was born, and I left USA to come home to Canada as a baby. This whole FATCA mess has been nothing short of a nightmare.

      If your friend is looking for support, send her/him over to isaacbrocksociety dot ca where a group of us are trying hard to stop the Canadian government from implementing FATCA in Canada.

  16. The US reserves the right to double tax those whose only connection to the US is an accident of birth: US birthplace, or US parent/s.

    Since when was parentage a taxable asset?

  17. Even Canadians who are not ‘US persons’ and don’t have any ‘US person’ family or friends are negatively affected by FATCA. They will pay for it in increased banking costs and taxes, but worst of all they will pay for it in the threat to their privacy and freedom rights. Once we’ve turned our Charter of Rights and Freedoms into dust just to appease a foreign nation, a precedent is set for future violations and intrusions into the sovereignty of our own country.

  18. See and ponder:

    ‘The accidental Kenyan: What if African tax policy copied U.S.’s?’

    Don Whiteley,
    Vancouver SunPublished: Tuesday, May 29, 2012

    “About
    seven million American expatriates – nearly a million in Canada – are
    going through tax hell because of a sudden Congressional interest in
    catching tax cheats, and America’s unique citizenship-based income tax
    policy….”

    ….”In pursuit of so-called tax cheats, the U.S. government is now
    terrorizing its entire expatriate community worldwide. The scenario I
    painted with President Obama is being played out for real with
    ex-Americans. The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, currently going
    through the implementation phase, demands that all foreign banks tell
    the IRS who among their account holders are Americans – or “U.S.
    Persons” as the IRS likes to call them (they want former green card
    holders, too).”…..

    from http://www2.canada.com/vancouversun/news/archives/story.html?id=71cc9019-69f0-4556-8ab7-f257e8ec2ccf

  19. Tell our Canadian government NOT to sign away our Charter and Constitutional rights by signing a FATCA IGA with the US. Say NO!! to the US extraterritorial claims to Canadian assets – made in Canada, taxed in Canada, saved and held in Canada, by Canadian citizens and Canadian legal residents.

    Sign this petition, http://isaacbrocksociety.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Petition-to-Canadian-Government-FATCA.pdf and send it to MP Ted Hsu right away!

    SEND SIGNED PETITION PAGE(S) to MP Ted Hsu directly:

    The Honourable Ted Hsu

    House of Commons

    Ottawa, Ontario

    Canada

    K1A 0A6

    “Note: Sending Mail to a Member of Parliament

    Mail may be sent postage-free to any Member of Parliament at the House of Commons address above.”

    Say NO!! to the US taxing and penalizing our Canadian born children’s RESPs

    Say NO!! to the US taxing and penalizing the RDSPs,disability savings, grants, and benefits of the vulnerable and dependents in Canada.

    Say NO! to the US taxing and penalizing our Canadian TFSAs!

  20. Real people in Canada, who are Canadian citizens and legal residents are being hurt by FATCA and aggressive US extraterritorial taxation and penalizing of Canadians and others around the world. The US says it has the right to impose double taxes those of us who have already paid our Canadian taxes in full. The US is using confiscatory and possibly unconstitutional penalties to grab the legal post-tax savings of Canadian families living and working only in Canada.

    http://we-are-not-a-myth.tumblr.com/

    Yet, the US doesn’t bother to collect taxes owed by US residents and US government employees “8,400 individuals with security clearances between 2006 and 2012 … owed $85 million to the IRS.” http://www.allgov.com/news/where-is-the-money-going/irs-and-contractor-employees-owe-millions-in-back-taxes-as-do-thousands-with-security-clearances-131105?news=851571 http://money.msn.com/tax-tips/post.aspx?post=ab789642-9f66-414f-8683-8dbc20504dc0

    Full report at http://www.treasury.gov/tigta/auditreports/2013reports/201310082fr.pdf

    Former US Ambassador to Canada Jacobson said the IRS and US were ‘reasonable’ and ‘not unsympathetic’. http://canada.usembassy.gov/ambassador/news-and-speeches/18-october-2011-ambassador-jacobsons-remarks-to-the-canadian-club.html

    Then why is the US seeking to tax Canadian citizens and residents at all? For example:
    http://business.financialpost.com/2011/09/24/u-s-campaign-to-catch-tax-cheats-snaring-canadians/

  21. Funny that Ted Cruz can renounce his Canadian citizenship and not be penalized for merely having been born and left as a child, but Canadians who want to renounce are faced with draconian forms and punitive processes to do the same.

    http://taxpol.blogspot.ca/2013/08/here-is-only-reason-why-ted-cruzs.html
    by Allison Christians;
    …”… this is all happening during America’s
    ongoing roundup of every person on the planet who may be a US citizen
    because they were born in the US or by birthright through their lineage,
    for the purpose of imposing draconian penalties for failure to file tax
    returns and asset information reports under the US citizenship-based
    tax regime. This is the only tax regime in the world that treats lineage
    alone as a justification to impose worldwide taxation. Ted Cruz’s
    expressed thoughtlessness about his own dual citizenship, coupled with
    his breezy intention to simply get rid of the unwanted extra citizenship,
    beautifully illustrates the major problem with citizenship-based
    taxation and why no other country on the planet would try to enforce
    such a system.

    The US is right now imposing enormous penalties and unleashing general
    chaos on people living in other countries with US citizenship, both by
    newly enforcing long-ignored rules and by layering on top of these rules
    a new and more draconian layer of enforcement. The chaos comes in the
    form of fear-inducing, devilishly complicated and duplicative paperwork,
    and penalties, most of all penalties, and it is being piled on to
    millions of people around the world, many of whom, like Cruz, are very
    possibly only beginning to understanding that citizenship status is
    mostly conferred upon rather than chosen by individuals. ….

    To renounce or relinquish our unwanted US status, or surrender an expired greencard, is made very onerous by the US. Yet despite this, people in Canada and around the globe are lining up at US embassies and consulates to pay 450. US and complex paperwork to renounce, or complete the process to relinquish. http://globalnews.ca/news/782020/why-are-so-many-american-expats-giving-up-citizenship-its-a-taxing-issue/

    The US will not admit how many former US citizens and greencard holders are leaving annually.

  22. Have your say on #FATCA | http://goo.gl/Jy2Mfv | @onlinepartyca yr place 4 db8s| @cbcpolitics #torcen #cdnpoli #cadpoli @torontocentre

  23. Its extortion! The whole notion is absurd: Canadians in Canada have recieved no services or representation from the USA so no reason to comply with their laws. And we pay higher taxes than they do -so technically inder a IGA the IRS would owe a refund otherwise expose themselves to litigation for extortion.

    Sign nothing that allows your private information to be given to a foreign gov. otherwise its like a Sharia law that does not apply here. Money can be invested in other ways than with banks that sell out Canadians.
    Canada is sovereign: We stand on guard for thee

  24. Class action suit against:
    IRS, CPC members for signing agreements violating Canadian Charter, all the Banks that collected and send directyl/indirectly private customer data to foreign entities.

    FACTA absurd: because IMHO
    It violates UN conventions, unjust and makes refugees out of innocent tax payers, leaves lone citizens to defend Canadian sovereignty on their own. Canadians living in Canada recieved no agreed upon services or representation from USA so should not comply to their tax rules?.Similar (though not comparable in degree) to when jews had to ‘register’ to comply with 1930s German Nazi laws. Some laws are unlawful and awful.

    .. ..hold up your middle finger to FACTA.. If US laws apply to you then plead the fifth and sign nothing…

    • If Kenya had their own FACTA would Presidend Obama file? Maybe he is in the US to avoid paying Kenya’s tax, why not go after his wife and children. America you started off great 1776 , wasn’t it about taxation without representation? shame on you.

  25. “the U.S. government does not, at the moment, have permission to force U.S. banks to share information with foreign governments” – but, they demand that Canada and other countries do ? Weird situation. On the one hand I’m always proud to say I AM CANADIAN – not amurican. On the other hand – the U.S. must not be allowed to tell every Canadian we have to answer that question – are you now or have you ever been an American “person” – to open a Canadian bank account at any branch of a Canadian bank anywhere in the world, let alone right here in Canada. This is one Canadian who’ll answer – WTF – and – FU-U.S.

  26. Information on persons with zero connection to the US will be shared if they refuse to provide certain information. eg. if you fail to answer certain questions you will be deemed recalcitrant and your information shared.

  27. when are “canadians” going to accept that y’all are de facto americans? just accept it. better an american national than a chinese one…..oh wait. canada’s signing FIPA….

  28. Has anyone counted the children BORN in CANADA and are considered US citizens by their immigration laws to US citizens? Tons of Canadian $$ going to the US by Canadian born Canadians and US citizens who have have never lived there or used any services! Their tax law is way different and foreign tax credit does not cover many income types we have here! BTW if your house has a gain on the sale. Tax to the US, no exceptions!
    This is so far reaching!!!!
    http://www.uscis.gov/us-citizenship/citizenship-through-parents

  29. Has anyone counted the children BORN in CANADA and are considered US citizens by their immigration laws to US citizens? Tons of Canadian $$ going to the US by Canadian born Canadians and US citizens who have have never lived there or used any services! Their tax law is way different and foreign tax credit does not cover many income types we have here like rental income, RRSP, RESP, capital gains, dividends…! BTW if your house has a gain on the sale, tax to the US, no exceptions! This is so far reaching!!!!

    http://www.uscis.gov/us-citizenship/citizenship-through-parents

  30. tt

  31. URGENT! If your parent was a US citizen by any criteria, you better check to see if you are too through them! Pretty sure the people affected number way over 1M. Anyone count the children born outside US to US citizens meeting the immigration citizenship law? I included the link below. So even you you were born in Canada, always lived in Canada but your parent was a US citizen you are very likely to be killed by this too. So you have to pay the huge dollars to an accountant to file back US returns continue to do so and have more of our Canadian earned money pay homage to your parents county (imagine if all countries made US residents pay homage back to their original country!) They’d be outraged at the money leaving their country. BTW the Canadian tax/ foreign tax credit paid does not offset for income like rental income, dividends, RRSP deductions, RESP’s, capital gains deductions and more! Did you know there is no principal residence exemption. That’s right, your house has a gain, tax to the US and your spouse does not get the rollover till death if they are not a US citizen. Anyone think about the estate tax to rich Canadians who support our local economy and provide many jobs. Yep 50% tax to the US if your estate rolls to a US citizen or your US citizen spouse and there is tons of differences in our tax that could land you a huge bill and or denial to a US entry in the future!

    http://www.uscis.gov/us-citizenship/citizenship-through-parents

  32. The Statue of Liberty must be blushing as “Americans” line up to give up the dubious blessings of unwanted citizenship. The issue is not who IS caught by this Orwellian law but who the US thinks “may” be caught. The Canadian banks may be strong-armed into becoming the enforcement thugs of the IRS in Canada against Canadians who want nothing whatever to do with a citizenship that the US would seek to impose on them. Canadians who were born abroad or whose parents were could have their freedoms trampled underfoot. Shameful nonsense and Canada should have nothing whatever to do with it. So much for equality of citizenship.

  33. For those Canadians who have been trumpeting this for years prior: it’s bittersweet vindication that we who said this were not “crying wolf”. This will affect all Canadians in every walk of life through increased bank fees and other problems with opening up a bank account. Expect the queues for Canadian passports to increase exponentially as you will now need one to open up a bank account. Expect that your bank will be contravening the banking privacy act as well as the Charter of Rights and Freedoms by asking you so that they can flag your account if you are a US person or not.

    We who asked people to listen are now saying “We told you so” when the inevitable hue and cry of “this is unfair” arises from the rest of the Canadian populace who chose to stick their heads in the sand.

    The irony of this is absolutely clear in a quote from a former president whose country is now threatening the very economic existence of the rest of the world.

    “The only sure bulwark of continuing liberty is a government strong enough to protect the interests of the people and a people strong enough and well-enough informed to maintain its sovereign control over the government .” ~ Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

    With the Conservatives capitulating under FATCA and the Opposition doing nothing except token protest and the rest of the Canadian populace (feeling that they were unaffected by this overreaching extra-territorial legislation) sticking their heads in the sand and doing the “full ostrich” we have failed in both situations. This is an economic war against our sovereignty and if we, Canadians, who were born here, do not recognize such an attack, then, truly, what value do we place on our sovereignty?

  34. Been reading up on FATCA and FUBAR (just for fun, not american) and christ, burying money in the backyard to avoid that $10000 limit seems like the best choice now lol.

    P.S. Has anyone noticed that “FATCA” is only a “T” away from “FATCAT”?

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