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Archive for the ‘Government’ Category

2014 Feb 5 – Canada

Canada and U.S. reach agreement on Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act
Canada, Dept. of Finance (5 Feb 2014)


Government of Canada news release on FATCA agreement with United States.

Written by usxcanada

5 February 2014 at 12:00 pm

2013 Sept 9 – Brewster

Murray Brewster
Flaherty announces 3-year freeze in EI premiums
CTV News (9 Sept 2013)


Canadian Minister of Finance Jim Flaherty responds to reporter questioning about FATCA at an event focused on employment insurance premiums. Full transcription of the exchange is provided at https://usxcanada.wordpress.com/perspectives/#flaherty.

Written by usxcanada

9 September 2013 at 7:00 am

2013 May 16 – Mueller

Robert S. Mueller
Statement before the Senate Appropriations Committee
(16 May 2013)


FBI Director Mueller requests “524 positions and $100 million to increase the ability to process mandated background checks for firearm purchases.” [The associated NICS (National Instant Criminal Background Check System) operation processes information on those who renounce U.S. citizenship.]

Written by usxcanada

16 May 2013 at 6:00 am

2013 Jan 17 – Treasury

Treasury and IRS issue final regulations to combat offshore tax evasion
U.S. Dept. of the Treasury (17 Jan 2013)


“The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) today issued comprehensive final regulations implementing the information reporting and withholding tax provisions commonly known as the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).” A filing version 544 page pdf of the regulations (publication scheduled for 28 Jan 2013) can be found at https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2013/01/28/2013-01025/information-reporting-by-foreign-financial-institutions-and-withholding-on-certain-payments-to.

Written by usxcanada

17 January 2013 at 6:00 am

2012 Nov 8 – U.S.

U.S. engaging with more than 50 jurisdictions to curtail offshore tax evasion
U.S. Dept. of the Treasury (8 Nov 2012)


Countries listed fall into four categories: (1) “already concluded” [only United Kingdom] (2) “in the process of finalizing an intergovernmental agreement” [includes Canada] (3) “actively engaged in a dialogue towards concluding an intergovernmental agreement” (4) “working to explore options for intergovernmental engagement.”

Written by usxcanada

8 November 2012 at 6:00 am

2012 Aug 31 – IRS

Instructions for new streamlined filing compliance procedures for non-resident, non-filer U.S. taxpayers
IRS (31 Aug 2012)


“This procedure is available for non-resident U.S. taxpayers who have resided outside of the U.S. since January 1, 2009 and who have not filed a U.S. tax return during the same period. These taxpayers must present a low level of compliance risk as described.”

Written by usxcanada

31 August 2012 at 6:00 am

2012 June 27 – Finance Minister

Finance Minister applauds U.S. government decision to help dual citizens with their foreign tax obligations
Department of Finance Canada (27 June 2012)


“I am happy the U.S. government has listened to our concerns,” says Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance.

Comment: Too much praise. Partial and uncertain mitigation of some of the concerns.

Written by usxcanada

27 June 2012 at 6:00 am

2012 June 26 – IRS Announces

IRS announces efforts to help U. S. citizens overseas including dual citizens and those with foreign retirement plans
IRS (26 June 2012)


IRS announces new procedures effective 1 September 2012 to (1) “Allow taxpayers who are low compliance risks to get current with their tax requirements without facing penalties or additional enforcement action” (simple tax returns owing $1,500 or less in tax for any of the covered years) (2) “Allow resolution of certain issues related to certain foreign retirement plans (such as Canadian Registered Retirement Savings Plans).” The basic requirement is “to file delinquent tax returns along with appropriate related information returns for the past three years, and to file delinquent FBARs for the past six years.”

Comment: This “help” with compliance could cost many affected individuals thousands of dollars for the specialized paperwork required to demonstrate that no tax is owing.

Written by usxcanada

26 June 2012 at 9:00 am

2012 June 26 – IRS Says

IRS says offshore effort tops $5 billion, announces new details on the voluntary disclosure program and closing of offshore loophole
IRS (26 June 2012)


IRS Commissioner Shulman updates on OVDI income and disclosures, reporting “the collection of more than $5 billion in back taxes, interest and penalties from 33,000 voluntary disclosures made under the first two programs. In addition, another 1,500 disclosures have been made under the new program announced in January.”

Written by usxcanada

26 June 2012 at 8:00 am

2012 Feb 8 – Van Hasselt

Caroline Van Hasselt
Canada Seeks US Compromise Over Tax-Dodger Law
Wall Street Journal (8 Feb 2012)


Canadian Minister of Finance Jim Flaherty is reported to have said this in an email to the WSJ reporter: “We have been working closely with the U.S. to find a solution, and we are glad they have been receptive to addressing our concerns. … Today’s announcement appears to demonstrate an interest in greater joint-government collaboration to address such concerns. We will continue to work with our American counterparts towards an approach acceptable to both our countries.”

Written by usxcanada

8 February 2012 at 6:00 am

2012 Feb 2 – Kennedy

Patrick F. Kennedy
Schedule of fees for consular services, Department of State and overseas embassies and consulates
U.S. Federal Register — Rules and Regulations 77:22 (2 Feb 2012) 5177-5178


“The Department [of State] has decided that the renunciant should pay this fee at the visit during which he or she swears the oath of renunciation.” The Notice itself is dated 23 Jan 2012.

Written by usxcanada

2 February 2012 at 7:00 am

2012 Jan 11 – National

National Taxpayer Advocate delivers annual report to Congress
Taxpayer Advocate Service [U.S.] (11 Jan 2012)


The annual report “focuses on IRS funding and taxpayer rights.” The report addresses policy change under 2009 OVDP contravening “the IRS’s written pledge that ‘under no circumstances will a taxpayer be required to pay a penalty greater than what he would otherwise be liable for under existing statutes’.”

Written by usxcanada

11 January 2012 at 8:00 am

2012 January 9 – IRS

IRS offshore programs produce $4.4 billion to date for nation’s taxpayers; Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program reopens
IRS (9 Jan 2012)


News release. Title says it all.

Written by usxcanada

9 January 2012 at 8:00 am

2011 Dec 7 – IRS

Information for U.S. citizens or dual citizens residing outside the U.S.
IRS (7 Dec 2011)


This is the official statement from the US Internal Revenue Service that was foreshadowed by an Oct 18 Ottawa speech by US ambassador to Canada David Jacobson. “Taxpayers who owe no U.S. tax (e.g., due to the application of the foreign earned income exclusion or foreign tax credits) will owe no failure to file or failure to pay penalties. In addition, no FBAR penalty applies in the case of a violation that the IRS determines was due to reasonable cause.” Two subsequent paragraphs sketch considerations relating to determination of “reasonable cause.” Notice is given of new Form 8938. Nothing is said about mitigation of OVDI penalties.

Written by usxcanada

7 December 2011 at 6:00 am

2011 Nov 29 – Bell

Stewart Bell
Q&A: Eritreans can have Canada’s protection from country’s ‘diaspora tax’: Jason Kenney
National Post (29 Nov 2011)


Canadian Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Jason Kenney says Canada has “concern about excessive foreign interference in diaspora populations.” Kenney goes on to encourage “Canadians to realize they have no obligation to a foreign government … and they have no reason to be afraid of the activities of a foreign government in Canada.”

Written by usxcanada

29 November 2011 at 7:00 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 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 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 July 18 – IRS

Information Reporting With Respect to Foreign Financial Assets and Certain Interests in a PFIC
IRS (18 July 2011)


“Any individual who during the taxable year [beginning after March 18, 2010] holds an interest in any specified foreign financial asset is required to attach to his or her income tax return for the taxable year certain required information with respect to each specified foreign financial asset if the aggregate value of all of the individual’s specified foreign financial assets exceeds $50,000.”

Written by usxcanada

18 July 2011 at 6:00 am