U.S. Citizens in Canada InfoShop

Archive for the ‘Journalism’ Category

2014 Jan 10 – Cain

Patrick Cain
More than 3,100 Americans renounced citizenship last year: FBI
Global News (10 Jan 2014)


FBI figures for 2013 renunciations leads into further reporting on the phenomenon of increased renunciation of US citizenship.

Written by usxcanada

10 January 2014 at 6:00 am

2014 Jan 1 – Wood

Robert W. Wood
Americans are unwanted worldwide (at least by banks)
Forbes (1 Jan 2014)


FATCA, FBAR, and OVDI make banking and life abroad difficult for US persons. “The U.S. has data from 40,000 voluntary disclosures, whistleblowers, banks under investigation and cooperative witnesses.”

Written by usxcanada

1 January 2014 at 6:00 am

2013 Dec 16 – Swanson

Lynne Swanson
U.S. citizenship based taxation: unique or outrageous?
Global Tax News (16 Dec 2013)


This article dramatizes the impacts of real and what-if extraterritorial taxation of a selection of US persons.

Written by usxcanada

16 December 2013 at 6:00 am

2013 Dec 15 – Bennett

Alison Bennett
12 agreements signed to help U.S. fight offshore evasion: taxes
Bloomberg (15 Dec 2013)


Intergovernmental agreements needed for the United States to implement FATCA have been completed with 12 countries (not yet including Canada). Negotiations are underway with more than 70 jurisdictions. The current deadline is 1 July 2014.

Written by usxcanada

15 December 2013 at 7:00 am

2013 Dec 15 – Wood

Robert W. Wood
7 sins with bank accounts? FATCA makes them deadly
Forbes (15 Dec 2013)


The itemized “sins”: failure by US persons to report income or assets to the United States; failure to file FBARs; recognition of possible extreme penalties; disregard of current IRS compliance programs; risks of quiet disclosure; failure to respect backfiling requirements; closing accounts in an attempt to conceal present circumstances.

Written by usxcanada

15 December 2013 at 6:00 am

2013 Dec 13 – Williams

Margot Williams
Americans abroad denounce offshore tax law’s unintended consequences
International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (13 Dec 2013)


This follow-up to the preceding week’s report provides substantial extracts of correspondence received from persons suffering from the simple burden of attempting to comply with US extraterritorial tax requirements.

Written by usxcanada

13 December 2013 at 6:00 am

2013 Dec 6 – Williams

Margot Williams
The mystery of the fleeing Americans
International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (6 Dec 2013)

<a href="http://www.icij.org/blog/2013/12/mystery-fleeing-americans"http://www.icij.org/blog/2013/12/mystery-fleeing-americans

Increase in US expatriations is viewed as a journalistic mystery. Tax avoidance, criminal evasion, and compliance burden are listed as three possible explanations. Williams provides a link to her spreadsheet of Federal-Register-listed renunciants since Dec 1994.

Written by usxcanada

6 December 2013 at 6:00 am

2013 Dec 5 – IRS Not

IRS not fully ready for law against offshore tax evasion: watchdog
Reuters / Chicago Tribune (5 Dec 2013)


Despite expenditure of $8.6 million on an inadequate system, IRS remains ill-prepared to implement FATCA provisions.

Written by usxcanada

5 December 2013 at 6:00 am

2013 Nov 27 – Douglas

William Douglas
New tax law driving expats to renounce U.S. citizenship
McClatchy DC (27 Nov 2013)


The story of Ruth Ann Freeborn of Kingston, Ontario anchors this report on expatriate Americans who are renouncing citizenship in record numbers.

Written by usxcanada

27 November 2013 at 6:00 am

2013 Oct 14 – Chu

Henry Chu
U.S. tax law has some expatriates waiving the American flag
Los Angeles Times (14 Oct 2013)


Genevieve Besser 52, 25-year resident of Germany, former member of Daughters of the American Revolution, seems likely to abandon her US citizenship. The costs and difficulties of tax reporting and compliance couple with inability to live a normal financial life outside of the United States. Daniel Kuettel 41, software developer in Switzerland, has renounced citizenship already. FATCA implementation promises to worsen the situation. In the first half of 2013, the 1809 renunciations surpassed the total for 2012.

Written by usxcanada

14 October 2013 at 6:00 am

2013 Sept 17 – Swanson

Lynne Swanson
Dual Canadian-American citizens: we are not tax cheats
Financial Post (17 Sept 2013)


This op-ed passionately addresses the “American difference” that may enable Canadian government accommodation of US government demand for FATCA reporting. Missing elements: accounting for the fundamental anti-Americanism that makes such discrimination possible; assessment of Canada’s unique geographic and cultural and economic proximity to the United States; recognition of statist tendencies manifested in Canada’s style of governance.

Written by usxcanada

17 September 2013 at 6:00 am

2013 Sept 13 – Ferauge

Victoria Ferauge
A global social network of outrage and action
Franco-American Flophouse [blog] (13 Sept 2013)


What may be the first-ever public protest against FATCA occasions a useful review of the social networking facilitated by the Isaac Brock Society web site since its inception in December 2011.

Written by usxcanada

13 September 2013 at 6:00 am

2013 Sept 11 – Ferauge

Victoria Ferauge / Lynne Swanson
FATCA losing its way
Accounting Today (11 Sept 2013)


An overview of the tortuous path being trod by the US attempt to implement FATCA.

Written by usxcanada

11 September 2013 at 6:00 am

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 Sept 9 – McKenna

Barrie McKenna
Flaherty says tax deal near on Americans living in Canada
Globe and Mail (9 Sept 2013)


All the news is in the headline. Flaherty makes it clear that Canada is on track to satisfy U.S. FATCA requirements. It seems that the Flaherty comment that generated the story was provoked by a two-person information picket at a Flaherty appearance in Ottawa on an unrelated matter.

Written by usxcanada

9 September 2013 at 6:00 am

2013 Aug 27 – Chapman

Brad Chapman
No one’s exempt from the U.S. tax man
BC Business (27 Aug 2013)


Canadian financial institutions will be asking all clients about their possible status as US persons.

Written by usxcanada

27 August 2013 at 6:00 am

2013 Aug 20 – Tordjman

Jeremy Tordjman
U.S. expatriates flee taxman’s reach
Japan Times (20 Aug 2013)


Gulf War veteran Scott Schmith renounced US citizenship after twenty years of residence in Switzerland. Four named academics and professionals comment on the increasing rate of renunciation.

Written by usxcanada

20 August 2013 at 6:00 am

2013 Aug 19 – Snowbirds

Snowbirds may have to pay income tax in the USA
Montreal CTV (19 Aug 2013)


IRS Form 8840 may determine that a Canadian snowbird has become subject to US income tax.

Written by usxcanada

19 August 2013 at 6:00 am

2013 Aug 18 – Bernadi

Luca Bernadi
Why so many Swiss nationals are giving up U.S. citizenship
Le Temps via Worldcrunch (18 Aug 2013)


* * *

Ces Suisses qui rendent leur passeport américain
Le Temps (16 Aug 2013)


Wife of Swiss lawyer personally knows seven Swiss citizens “among the 200 people who have renounced their American nationality in the last three months of this year [2012?].”

Written by usxcanada

18 August 2013 at 6:00 am

2013 Aug 15 – Cain

Patrick Cain / Anna Mehler Paperny / Leslie Young
Why are so many American expats giving up citizenship? It’s a taxing issue
Global News (15 Aug 2013)


Ruth Freeborn in Kingston, Ontario is preparing to renounce US citizenship. Comment from Toronto CPA Kevyn Nightingale and McGill tax professor Allison Christians. Calgary tax lawyer Roy Berg says his firm has “as many as 50 U.S. citizenship renunciation files on the go.” Two graphs: FBI vs State Department totals for citizenship renunciation 2006-2013; Quarterly totals of published names of people renouncing U.S. citizenship 2003-2013.

Written by usxcanada

15 August 2013 at 6:00 am

2013 Aug 14 – Featherston

Catherine Featherston
Exposed: IRS is colluding with banks to unfairly target U.S. citizens abroad
Occupy.com (14 Aug 2013)


Extensive reporting relies on interviews with renunciant Genette Eysselinck in France, Victoria Ferauge of American Citizens Abroad, FBAR activist Marvin Van Horn, Georgetown law professor Itai Grinberg, and OECD tax attorney Keith Lawson.

Written by usxcanada

14 August 2013 at 6:00 am

2013 Aug 9 – Griffiths

Dylan Griffiths
Americans giving up passports jump sixfold as tougher rules loom
Bloomberg (9 Aug 2013)


Just-released second quarter figures on U.S. citizenship renunciations total 1131, a sixfold increase compared to the same quarter from 2012. Tax lawyer Matthew Ledvina in Zurich mentions annual corporate compliance costs of $5000 per US person, and individual filing costs of $2000.

Written by usxcanada

4 August 2013 at 6:00 am

2013 July 22 – Residence

Residence-based taxation? Interview with Bill Yates
Angloinfo (22 July 2013)


This Part II (see 1 July 2013 for Part I) interview by Virginia La Torre Jeker with former high-level IRS employee Bill Yates demonstrates that U.S. persons resident abroad have little good to hope for. “The Treasury and IRS have too much invested in FATCA to turn back now. … FATCA is inevitable.” Form 8938 was seen by even its drafters as nothing anyone would want to have to fill out.

Written by usxcanada

22 July 2013 at 6:00 am

2013 July 2 – Curry

Bill Curry
Privacy debate looms as Canada prepares to share bank data with U.S.
Globe and Mail (2 July 2013)


“Canada and the U.S. are negotiating whether Ottawa or the financial institutions will send the information” that the U.S. seeks to collect from Canada under FATCA implementation.

Written by usxcanada

2 July 2013 at 7:00 am

2013 July 2 – Roseman

Ellen Roseman
Man gets relief from tax debt he didn’t owe: Roseman
TheStar.com (2 July 2013)


David Gauci worked in the United States 1999-2003. CRA compounded an error made by IRS and was garnishing much of Gauci’s income for unwarranted interest and penalties.

Written by usxcanada

2 July 2013 at 6:00 am

2013 July 1 – FATCA

FATCA interview with Bill Yates
Angloinfo (1 July 2013)


This Part I (see 22 July 2013 for Part II) interview by Virginia La Torre Jeker with former high-level IRS employee Bill Yates reveals insider perspective on IRS development of Form 8938.

Section 6038D was enacted in order to put the kind of foreign bank account reporting required by Form 90-22.1, Foreign Bank Account Report (FBAR), under Title 26, the Internal Revenue Code. FBAR reporting is required pursuant Title 31, the Bank Secrecy Act. Because of this, IRS could not initiate an audit of a taxpayer based solely on an FBAR filing. The taxpayer being examined had to have an underlying Title 26 issue. Only with a Title 26 issue could IRS use account information found on an FBAR in furtherance of an audit or exam of the taxpayer. Hence, Congress gave IRS section 6038D, Title 26 of the Internal Revenue Code. In short, Congress gave IRS its own FBAR.

Written by usxcanada

1 July 2013 at 7:00 am

2013 July 1 – Waltersperger

Laurina Waltersperger
Amerikanische Bürger: Herkunft als Hürde
Handelszeitung (1 July 2013)


“Laut Schätzungen der ­amerikanischen Gemeinschaft haben letztes Jahr 700 bis 900 US-Bürger in der Schweiz ihren Pass abgegeben. Die Botschaft in Bern will diese Zahl nicht kommentieren.”

Written by usxcanada

1 July 2013 at 6:00 am

2013 June 28 – Quarrington

Quillan Quarrington
The devil’s in the details – the new form T1135 is released
Moodys Tax Advisors (28 June 2013)


CRA has revised its version of FBAR for foreign account reporting, and requires greater detail except for “a reporting taxpayer who has received a T3 or T5 slip from a Canadian issuer in respect of a specified foreign property for that taxation year.”

Written by usxcanada

28 June 2013 at 6:00 am

2013 May 9 – Wood

Robert W. Wood
Trending now: giving up U.S. citizenship
Forbes (9 May 2013)


Record US citizenship renunciation figures for first quarter of 2013 suggest “year of the expat.” One paragraph summarizes potential exit tax costs of expatriation.

Written by usxcanada

9 May 2013 at 6:00 am

2013 Apr 24 – Collins

Margaret Collins / Richard Rubin
Americans paying up wherever they reside beseech Congress
Bloomberg (24 Apr 2013)


Three examples of extraterritorial US persons subject to the agonies of IRS compliance. Charles Allard in Hong Kong has “regularly had to amend tax filings on top of paying levies to the countries where he lives and works.” Winship Herr in Switzerland has paid $3000 to file paperwork requiring payment of $30,000 in US taxes on top of Swiss taxes, partly because of exchange rate disparities. John Kent in England spends about 100 hours to file despite having almost no U.S. source income. “The potential for change to taxation of U.S. citizens abroad is slim.”

Written by usxcanada

24 April 2013 at 6:00 am

2013 Apr 22 – Reed

Max Reed
The ticking time bomb of tax liability for Americans in Canada
Canadian Lawyer (22 Apr 2013)


Eventually FATCA will affect most of the one million or so noncompliant US persons resident in Canada, who remain ” blissfully unaware of the ticking time bomb of U.S. tax liability.” Reed is co-author with Dick Pound of Tax Guide for American Citizens in Canada.

Written by usxcanada

22 April 2013 at 6:00 am

2013 Apr 19 – Jolly

David Jolly
G-20 pushes for measures to end tax evasion
New York Times (19 Apr 2013)


Print: (20 Apr 2013) B6

“Finance ministers and central bankers of the G-20, meeting in Washington, said in a communiqué that automatic exchange of tax-relevant bank information should be adopted as the global standard.”

Written by usxcanada

19 April 2013 at 6:00 am

2013 Apr 18 – Broom

Giles Broom
Zurich mayor renounces U.S. citizenship amid tighter tax rules
Bloomberg (18 Apr 2013)


“Corine Mauch, 52, a member of the Socialist Party born in Iowa City, Iowa, returned her passport to the U.S. Embassy as she regards Switzerland as her home and doesn’t want to deal with Internal Revenue Service paperwork.”

Written by usxcanada

18 April 2013 at 8:00 am

2013 Apr 18 – Reuters

Banker associations sue U.S. over account reporting rule
New York Times (18 Apr 2013)


State bankers associations of Florida and Texas are suing the federal government “over new rules requiring banks to report account information for non-resident aliens to their home governments as part of an effort to combat tax evasion.”

Written by usxcanada

18 April 2013 at 7:00 am

2013 Apr 18 – Temperli

Silvio Temperli
Corine Mauch hat den US-Pass zurückgegeben
Tages Anzeiger (18 Apr 2013)


“Mauch ist der Ansicht, dass die Menschen vor allem dort gesellschaftlich und politisch mitwirken sollten, ‘wo sie tatsächlich leben’.” … “Auf die Frage, wie viel Geld sie jährlich den Vereinigten Staaten abliefern musste, antwortet Corine Mauch: ‘Der Betrag war nicht astronomisch, aber auch nicht nichts, circa nochmals halb so viel wie die Schweizer Steuern’.”

Written by usxcanada

18 April 2013 at 6:00 am

2013 Apr 11 – Bogardus

Kevin Bogardus / Bernie Becker
US expatriates plead for relief from IRS
The Hill (11 Apr 2013)


The House Ways and Means Committee of the U.S. Congress is receiving considerable feedback from expatriates in its call for comment on potential tax reform.

Written by usxcanada

11 April 2013 at 6:00 am

2013 Apr 5 – Sullivan

Paul Sullivan
Overseas finances can trip up Americans abroad
New York Times (5 Apr 2013)


Print version: (6 Apr 2013) B5

The article includes treatment of foreign earned income exclusion, FATCA, currency exchange fluctuation, and recent “compliance” programs.

Written by usxcanada

5 April 2013 at 6:00 am

2013 Apr 4 – Eric

FBI reports renunciations for Q1 2013 nearly doubled against Q1 2012
Isaac Brock Society (4 Apr 2013)


Monthly data from the National Instant Criminal Background Check System of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation includes a category for “Renounced U.S. Citizenship.” The number of records added for first quarter 2013 is 850, compared with 452 for first quarter 2012.

Written by usxcanada

4 April 2013 at 8:00 am

2013 Apr 4 – Higgins

Andrew Higgins
Data Leak Shakes Notion of Secret Offshore Havens and, Possibly, Nerves
New York Times (4 Apr 2013)


Print: (5 Apr 2013) A4

“Leak of 2.5 million files detailing the offshore bank accounts and shell companies of wealthy individuals and tax-averse companies” includes “names of 4000 Americans” and “more than 120,000 offshore companies and trusts and nearly 130,000 individuals and agents, including the wealthiest people in more than 170 countries.”

Written by usxcanada

4 April 2013 at 7:00 am

2013 Mar 12 – Whiteley

Don Whiteley
Compliance with U.S. tax law may violate Charter of Rights
Vancouver Sun (12 Mar 2013)


Peter Hogg, “Canada’s leading constitutional legal expert,” is saying that negotiations on FATCA “risks major violations of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms.” A five-page letter to the Finance Department details the unavoidability of discrimination based on “national or ethnic origin.”

Written by usxcanada

12 March 2013 at 6:00 am

2013 Mar 8 – Shecter

Barbara Shecter
TFSAs a new tax risk for Americans living in Canada?
Financial Post (8 Mar 2013)


Canadian tax lawyer Dick Pound has just published Tax Guide for American Citizens in Canada. An attempt to have the IRS clarify on “intended tax treatment for TFSAs” brought no response. It seems likely that TFSA income would result in a taxation mismatch for Canada-resident U.S. persons.

Written by usxcanada

8 March 2013 at 6:00 am

2013 Mar 7 – Novack

Janet Novack
IRS yanks criminal amnesty deal from taxpayers with secret Bank Leumi accounts
Forbes (7 Mar 2013)


Dozens of Americans with undisclosed accounts at Bank Leumi have “upon further review” been disqualified from participation in the IRS offshore disclosure program. Bank Leumi has announced that it will take a charge of $91 million to cover “investigations that are being conducted by the U.S. authorities concerning customers who are U.S. taxpayers.”

Written by usxcanada

7 March 2013 at 7:00 am

2013 Mar 7 – Temple-West

Patrick Temple-West / Kim Dixon
U.S. IRS boots Israeli bank clients from amnesty program — lawyers
Reuters UK (7 Mar 2013)


In multiple cases, the IRS has “disqualified” clients of Israeli banks who were participating in the “offshore disclosure” program.

Written by usxcanada

7 March 2013 at 6:00 am

2013 Mar 6 – Saunders

Laura Saunders
Offshore tax probe picks up
Wall Street Journal (6 Mar 2013)


Print: (7 Mar 2013) C1

In the past four years, US officials have derived $5.5 billion in taxes and penalties from offshore accounts of 38,000 persons. Pursuit is widening from first two Swiss banks to other Swiss banks, HSBC, and Israeli banks. Nine countries have signed or initialed FATCA agreements, and 40 others are in negotiations. It is unlikely that China will comply.

Written by usxcanada

6 March 2013 at 6:00 am

2013 Mar 2 – Barrett

David Barrett
Americans renouncing citizenship to become British thanks to tax rise
Telegraph (2 Mar 2013)


Two specialist lawyers in London “report a threefold increase over the last five year in the number of American citizens who are giving up their citizenship.” Costs for five years of filing and immigration paperwork can add up to £7500.

Written by usxcanada

2 March 2013 at 6:00 am

2013 Feb 22 – Collins

Margaret Collins
Cost of dropping citizenship keeps U.S. earners from exit
Bloomberg (22 Feb 2013)


A Miami-based tax attorney reports “about a dozen calls … about exiting the U.S. or moving assets abroad” so far in 2013, a record high volume. “Exit taxes and other costs make it prohibitive for most high-income taxpayers and small-business owners to leave the U.S.”

Written by usxcanada

22 February 2013 at 6:00 am

2013 Feb 21 – Hill

Kashmir Hill
The privacy price to cross the border
Forbes (21 Feb 2013)


In late January 2013 Canadian actor Chad Rook was detained at the U.S.-Canada border for nine hours. Data on his smartphone and iPad was examined. Rook plans to fight his five-year ban on entering the United States. Privacy rights in a border crossing are limited.

Written by usxcanada

21 February 2013 at 6:00 am

2013 Feb 14 – Temple-West

Patrick Temple-West
Switzerland, U.S. sign pact on fighting tax evasion
Reuters U.S. (14 Feb 2013)


For residents of Canada, the interest of this article lies in the sidelight on negotiation status: “The Treasury is working with more than 50 countries to complete deals, but negotiations have not progressed with key U.S. trading partners Canada and China.”

Written by usxcanada

14 February 2013 at 6:00 am

2013 Feb 9 – Eric

FBI statistics say three thousand renounced U.S. citizenship in September and October 2012
Isaac Brock Society (9 Feb 2013)


From a key web site, a posting that deserves special mention. Statistics on renunciation of US citizenship are notoriously muddled and spun. This painstaking research opens a window onto disgraceful reporting discrepancy on the part of the United States government.

Written by usxcanada

9 February 2013 at 12:16 pm

2013 Feb 4 – Temple-West

Patrick Temple-West
Exclusive: Foreigners’ accounts in U.S. banks eyed in tax crackdown
Reuters U.S. (4 Feb 2013)


FATCA implementation has seen “only four bilateral pacts … fully completed, with the United Kingdom, Denmark, Ireland and Mexico.” France, Germany, and China are still unaccounted for. Reciprocal reporting out by the United States is an issue.

Written by usxcanada

4 February 2013 at 6:00 am