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Archive for October 2011

2011 Oct 24 – Wood

Robert W. Wood
Oh Canada! Hating FBARs and FATCA
Forbes (24 Oct 2011)


Tax lawyer Wood sketches FATCA requirements and reports on Minister of Finance Jim Flaherty’s Sept 16 letter of complaint about US expectations on financial reporting for US citizens resident in Canada.

Written by usxcanada

24 October 2011 at 6:00 am

2011 Oct 22 – Lakritz

Naomi Lakritz
Keep your nose out of my personal finances, America
Calgary Herald (22 Oct 2011)


Dual citizen Lakritz devotes a column to declaring the US attitude toward its citizens “outrageous” because of laws that are “oppressive … unreasonable, irresponsible and unsympathetic.” She mentions her own tax compliance, and goes on to complain further in detail about US passport requirements.

Written by usxcanada

22 October 2011 at 6:00 am

2011 Oct 18 – Americans

Americans in Canada told not to fear IRS
CBC News / Canadian Press (18 Oct 2011)


This report on the content of the Oct 18 speech by U.S. ambassador to Canada David Jacobson concludes: “Uncle Sam will likely show some leniency for U.S. citizens living in Canada.”

Written by usxcanada

18 October 2011 at 8:00 am

2011 Oct 18 – Jacobson

David Jacobson
U.S.-Canada relations: issues and opportunities [Ambassador Jacobson’s remarks to the Canadian Club]
Embassy of the United States, Ottawa, Canada (18 Oct 2011)


Much of this speech by the US ambassador to Canada addresses “three unrelated events” of “the last few weeks.” The third of these “arises from recent media coverage of an issue [taxation of nonresident citizens] that has been around for about 100 years. … This is different from the way Canada — and some other countries — do it.” {{“some” here should read “almost no other”}} Jacobson mentions “two particular problems”: (1) “There are so many dual citizens, typically by birth, probably more than a million” (2) “The penalties — at least in a theoretical sense — can be quite severe.” Then Jacobson offered up a platitude that resulted in nothing more than a Dec 7 unreassuring IRS restatement of existing policy. “My message on this one is to sit tight. We are not unreasonable. We are not unsympathetic. We are not irresponsible.”

Written by usxcanada

18 October 2011 at 7:00 am

2011 Oct 18 – McKenna

Barrie McKenna
Ottawa seeks leniency for Canadians in U.S. tax hunt
Globe and Mail (18 Oct 2011)


The Oct 18 speech by U.S. ambassador to Canada David Jacobson are “the first acknowledgment from the U.S. government that the tax crackdown is a problem that has caused unintended consequences in Canada, and needs fixing.” After the speech Jacobson told reporters: “The trick is that we come up with something that deals with the legitimate concerns of law-abiding Canadian citizens and on the other hand doesn’t release people — American citizens — who go to tax havens in an effort to try to avoid taxes. We have got to collect all the taxes due and owing us because we’ve got quite a revenue shortfall and this is one of the ways to make sure we get it.”

Written by usxcanada

18 October 2011 at 6:00 am

2011 Oct 17 – Michel

Scott D. Michel / Mark E. Matthews
OVDI is over — What’s next for voluntary disclosures?
Tax Notes 133 (17 Oct 2011) 369-378


“The essence of OVDI was to leverage a civil penalties deal into the VDP.” In the OVDI programs, “stereotypical offshore tax cheats” were few in number. A large group in OVDI 2009 had accounts gifted by or inherited from parents or other relatives. A large group in OVDI 2011 had lived abroad for many years, had routine foreign financial accounts, and complied with taxation in country of residence. Unwillingness to become US tax compliant manifests “most dramatically in Canada, with its hundreds of thousands of U.S. citizens.” [Footnote 5 details a “significant increase” in persons seeking to expatriate.] The article closes with eight specific recommendations for future disclosure, and recognizes that implementation of FATCA may render the issue irrelevant. Nine footnotes.

Written by usxcanada

17 October 2011 at 6:00 am

2011 Oct 14 – NDP BC

NDP British Columbia Caucus
Re: United States Internal Revenue Service; Enforcement policy against dual Canadian-US citizens
Letter (14 Oct 2011)


Twelve NDP Members of Parliament co-sign a three-page letter addressed to Minister of Finance Jim Flaherty and Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird. The letter concludes with five action points, a call for (1) exemption for Canadian citizens (2) true amnesty without penalty or forfeiture (3) noncompliance with FATCA (4) US focus on tax evasion only (5) formal defense of Canadians against unacceptable US threats. A closing sentence: “The potential of forfeiture of Canadian assets to the US threatens many Canadians’ income security and amounts to an unacceptable and unjustified transfer of wealth from Canada to the US.”

Written by usxcanada

14 October 2011 at 6:00 am

Posted in Canada, Government, Letter

2011 Oct 13 – Cockfield

Arthur Cockfield
The coming U.S.-Canada tax war
Globe and Mail (13 Oct 2011)


Cockfield proposes three measures that should be taken by Canadian federal legislators:  (1)  Seek a taxation exemption for U.S. citizen residents of Canada (2)  Legislate against FATCA implementation in Canada (3)  Enact parallel retaliatory Canadian legislation against Canadian residents of the United States

Written by usxcanada

13 October 2011 at 6:00 am

2011 Oct 11 – Atamanenko

Alex Atamanenko
Are you targeted by the IRS?
Castlegar Source (11 Oct 2011)


British Columbia Member of Parliament Alex Atamanenko reports “a flood of calls and letters from worried Canadians across the country seeking information and advice on the new enforcement initiatives for filing US tax returns and reporting foreign bank accounts (FBARs).” He briefly outlines the situations of Susan and Dorothy. The op ed concludes: “The Americans have ignored our international trade agreement when it suits them, and now, in defiance of our reciprocal tax treaty, are coming after our savings and retirement security.”

Written by usxcanada

11 October 2011 at 6:00 am

2011 Oct 7 – Sokol

Ronald Sokol
For tax purposes, we are all Americans
International Herald Tribune (7 Oct 2011)


Qualified to practice in the U.S. and France,lawyer Sokol presents the hypothetical case of a dual citizen in France, and the conflicting claims of US taxation and French human rights. “No other first-world country taxes on the basis of citizenship. Indeed only one other nation out of the world’s 194 states does so. … In the first half of the 20th century the United States regularly expatriated citizens who did not want to give up their nationality. But later in the 20th century it shifted to the other extreme: it made it very hard to do so.”

Written by usxcanada

7 October 2011 at 6:00 am

2011 Oct 6 – McKenna

Barrie McKenna
U.S. tax crackdown has Canadian financial firms on edge
CTV News


“A hefty tax on derivatives sold after next March [will be] the first wave of a U.S. crackdown on offshore bank accounts.” This requirement will impose “a major competitive disadvantage” on Canadian financial institutions.

Print: Globe and Mail (6 Oct 2011) B1

Written by usxcanada

6 October 2011 at 6:00 am

2011 Oct 5 – McCrank

John McCrank
Canada hopes for exemption on US FATCA rules
Reuters U.S. (5 Oct 2011)


Finance Minister Jim Flaherty expressed “cautious optimism on Wednesday [Oct 5] that Canada would be granted an exemption from an onerous U.S. tax reporting law [FATCA].” U.S. Treasury representative Sandra Salstrom responded to a media query: “Treasury is not considering exempting specific countries from FATCA.”

Written by usxcanada

5 October 2011 at 7:00 am

2011 Oct 5 – MacGregor

Alison MacGregor
U.S. tax grab called extreme
Gazette [Montreal] (5 Oct 2011)


Montreal university professor “Annie” has chosen not to transmit US citizenship to her son because of US policies on conscription and taxes. Despite her compliance with filing of US tax returns, Annie has been unaware of the FBAR requirement and now feels concern about potential financial penalties.

Written by usxcanada

5 October 2011 at 6:00 am

2011 Oct 4 – Ferri

John Ferri
IRS pursues Americans up north
GlobalPost (4 Oct 2011)


Dual citizens Michael and Jessica express their negative reactions to new IRS initiatives. FBAR and FATCA requirements are outlined. Joe Green of the Canadian branch of Democrats Abroad criticizes “this kind of legislative and fiscal irresponsibility in dealing with the financial institutions of sovereign nations.” Mention is made of a letter to Obama from history professor Maurice Williams, a Canadian resident since 1973.

Written by usxcanada

4 October 2011 at 6:00 am

2011 Oct 3 – IRS Going

IRS going after Canadian-American citizens
Queen’s University (3 Oct 2011)


Queen’s University law professor and tax expert Art Cockfield proposes that Canada consider “retaliatory legislation that imposes the exact same enforcement regime on U.S. financial institutions that deal with Canadian ‘tax’ residents.”

Written by usxcanada

3 October 2011 at 7:00 am

2011 Oct 3 – Williamson

John Williamson
Oral Question — Taxation
House of Commons, Canada (3 Oct 2011)

Text: http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=E&Mode=1&Parl=41&Ses=1&DocId=5151205#SOB-4335065

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=h2KuzuPLONA

Member of Parliament for New Brunswick Southwest puts a question about the circumstances facing US citizens in Canada.

Written by usxcanada

3 October 2011 at 6:00 am

2011 Oct 3 – Moretti

Stefania Moretti
Go after celebs in fight against IRS, prof says
Toronto Sun (3 Oct 2011)


Queen’s University law professor Art Cockfield “thinks Canada should stand up to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) with retaliatory action.”

Written by usxcanada

3 October 2011 at 6:00 am

2011 Oct 1 – Iype

Mark Iype
Taxing U.S. reality stings dual citizens
Telegraph-Journal (1 Oct 2011)


[Also:  http://www.canada.com/story_print.html?id=5500882&sponsor]

Approximately half of the 1100 residents of Campobello Island NB are dual citizens. “The threat of tax bills, fines and penalties” loom over the only piece of Canada where year-round access requires passage through the United States. Kathleen Case, Stephen Smart, and Larry Bradford describe their situations. Member of Parliament John Williamson is reported to say that the Canadian government would not support the desire of the IRS to compel Canadian banks to report client funds to the United States.

Written by usxcanada

1 October 2011 at 7:00 am

2011 Oct 1 – Morris

Chris Morris
U.S. tax net even affects premier
Telegraph-Journal (1 Oct 2011) A1


As a dual citizen, New Brunswick Premier David Alward “is complying with the U.S. demand for tax returns going back years and detailed disclosures.”

Written by usxcanada

1 October 2011 at 6:00 am