Category Archives: Little Red FATCA Book

About #FATCA and @Citizenshiptax: Here is the @DemsAbroad Interview with @TulsiGabbard on January 15, 2020

With respect to U.S. FATCA and Citizenship-based taxation, her answers were:

1. FATCA: She would direct Treasury to take the necessary steps to alleviate the problems that Americans abroad experience with banking access.

2. Citizenship-based taxation: Bear in mind that the DA question always includes (1) a recognition that revenue neutrality is possible and (2) that any remedial legislation must be carefully constructed to “prevent abuse” (whatever that means). Ms. Gabbard said:

– in principle she believes in a move to residence-based taxation

– it must be constructed in such a way that the wealthy don’t leave the USA to avoid U.S. taxation

– it MUST be revenue neutral

Part 2: Because banks and people are not the same: @RepMaloney #FATCA amendments require foreign banks but NOT individuals to report custodial accounts

Introduction:


FATCA imposes obligations on both foreign banks (report on individuals to the IRS – Internal Revenue Code Section 1471) and obligations on individual Americans abroad (report foreign assets to the IRS – Internal Revenue Code 6038D).
Depository vs. Custodial Accounts
In general a “Depository” accounts is a basic day-to-day bank account (checking, savings, etc.)
In general a “Custodial” account is a brokerage or other account that holds assets for management.
The Maloney bill addresses these obligations (with respect to the reporting of “Custodial” accounts) differently.
The Maloney bill and foreign banks – Section 1471 Amendments – custodial accounts are reportable
Representative Maloney’s H.R. 4362 – “Overseas Americans Financial Access Act” – includes relief provisions for both foreign banks AND for individual Americans abroad.
My previous post discussed how the Maloney bill impacts the reporting requirements of foreign banks. Notably the Maloney bill relaxes the reporting requirements for foreign banks ONLY with respect to depository accounts.
The Maloney bill and individuals – Section 6038D Amendments – custodial accounts not reportable
It appears that the Maloney bill would relax the Form 8938 reporting requirements for individuals with respect to BOTH depository and custodial accounts. Although not a model of clarity, it means that (as a general principle) Americans abroad would not be required to report their local (foreign to the USA) accounts (depository or custodial) to the IRS. This is a variant of what has been called FATCA SCE (“Same Country Exemption”).
Bottom Line: Foreign banks and Americans abroad do NOT get the same treatment under the Maloney bill. Is this an oversight? Is it careless drafting? Is it deliberate?
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Technical analysis (of interest to few people) follows:
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December 31, 2019 and US Born individuals living outside the USA without having a Social Security Number

Introduction – “The Little Red FATCA Book”

More at:

The Two Ugly Faces of FATCA – One for foreign banks and another for US persons

The Obligations of the banks under the IGA

These obligations are described in the FATCA IGA entered into between the United States and the other country. In general the IGA requires non-U.S. banks to “Review, Identify and Report” on U.S. citizens.

The Obligations of the individual taxpayer under IRC 6038D – Form 8938
The mandatory reporting which takes place on Form 8938 is mandated Internal Revenue Code 6038D.

Non-US AKA “Foreign Banks” – The Problem of US Born customers who do NOT have a US Social Security Number are they in danger of their bank accounts being closed?

Those accused of being U.S. citizens who are NOT U.S. citizens have the opportunity to “self-certify” they are NOT U.S. citizens

The Possibility of being “Born In The USA” but NOT being a U.S. citizen

The Possibility of being “Born Outside The USA”, acquiring U.S. citizenship at birth but NOT being a U.S. citizen today

Looks like being “Born In The USA” may not be a great thing!

John Richardson – Follow me on Twitter @ExpatriationLaw

Part 11 in series: The Emotional Toll of US Non-Resident Taxation and Banking Policies – “I Feel Threatened by My Very Identity”

Before moving to the post, if you believe that Americans abroad are being treated unjustly by the United States Government: Join me on May 17, 2019 for a discussion of U.S. “citizenship-based taxation” as follows:

You are invited to submit your questions in advance. In fact, PLEASE submit questions. This is an opportunity to engage with Homelanders in general and the U.S. tax compliance community in particular.
Thanks to Professor Zelinsky for his willingness to engage in this discussion. Thanks to Kat Jennings of Tax Connections for hosting this discussion. Thanks to Professor William Byrnes for his willingness to moderate this discussion.
Tax Connections has published a large number of posts that I have written over the years (yes, hard to believe it has been years). As you may know I oppose FATCA, U.S. citizenship-based taxation and the use of FATCA to impose U.S. taxation on tax residents of other countries.
Tax Connections has also published a number of posts written by Professor Zelinsky (who apparently takes a contrary view).

You will find Part 1 to Part 10 of this series of posts here.
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Psychological harm and the pain of living as an American abroad – Why this next series of posts is important

I began this “Citizenship Solutions blog” in 2014. The blog included a page (not very visible) called:
“Emotional counselling for those threatened by the FATCA Roundup”

The comments (occasional as they may be) are significant. The comments include a “ping back” to a discussion of great interest which took place at the Isaac Brock Society.
Origins of the psychological torment of those targetted by the extra-territorial application of U.S. tax and banking laws

The campaign of Barack Obama will be remembered by the slogan “Change You Can Believe In”. For Americans abroad the election of Barack Obama was the beginning of a nightmare that they will never forget. Although U.S. citizenship- based taxation had always been the law in theory, it was never applied in practice. This changed with the Obama administation in three ways:

First, a toxic mix of Obama’s IRS, the tax compliance industry and the media worked to create an environment where individuals living outside the United States were led to believe, that the U.S. was enforcing U.S. citizenship-based taxation on Americans abroad. During the summer of 2011 innocent Americans abroad (some who had relinquished U.S. citizenship years earlier),were ushered into the OVDI program.

Second, the rollout of FATCA enlisted banks in the process of searching for U.S. citizens living abroad, who were not filing U.S. taxes.

Third, many Americans experienced their “Oh My God” moment where they learned about U.S. extraterritorial tax policies. For many the “Oh My God” moment permanently changed their perceptions of themeselves. One day they were proud Amercians. The next day they were threatened by the fact that they either were or had been U.S. citizens. Furthermore, they became (or at least believed) that they were a threat to their non-U.S. citizen families.*

The simple truth is that U.S. citizens are terrified of the U.S. Government. The vast majority of Americans abroad were not (and are still not) filing U.S. taxes. Their failure to file was because, they didn’t know that they were required to. Those individuals who were financially responsible and compliant with the tax laws where the live, were most impacted emotionally. They couldn’t belive that they had done something wrong. After all, they had lived their lives “trying to do the right thing”. The realization that they were not compliant with U.S. laws evoked a range of very damaging emotions. They experienced a range of emotions that they had never experienced before.

The emotions experienced were somewhere between “anger” at one extreme and “fear at the other extreme”. The experience of either too much fear or too much anger is a dangerous thing. The best an individual can hope for is to live life somewhere between fear and anger. It’s important to understand how intense and how damaging the psychological impact of the experience of being criminalized by the U.S. Government, has been and continues to be.

Laura Snyder discusses the “emotional toll of U.S. non-resident taxation and banking policies

Laura Snyder has written (in addition to her original four posts) a series of five posts describing and exploring “The Emotional Toll of US Non-Resident Taxation and Banking Policies. Part 10 of this series (comments of Nando Breiter) was a prologue to Ms. Snyder’s five posts.

Now, over to Laura …
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Thoughts on the @ADCSovereignty #FATCA Trial 1: 2015 interview with @AliBrunet underscores which people are primarily affected by FATCA in Canada

What the Canada U.S. FATCA IGA is NOT about

Canada’s FATCA IGA is NOT about information exchange. The United States does NOT exchange information under the FATCA IGAs.

Canada’s FATCA IGA is not about residency. After all the purpose of FATCA is to transfer information from a country where the person DOES actually reside (and is a tax resident) to a country where the person does NOT actually reside (but is deemed to be a tax resident).

What the Canada U.S. FATCA IGA IS about

Canada’s FATCA IGA IS about the Government of Canada surrendering its citizens to the United States (effectively stripping them of their rights as Canadian citizens).

Canada’s FATCA IGA is about assisting the United States in imposing worldwide taxation on Canadian citizens who actually live in Canada, are tax residents of Canada and pay full taxes in Canada. Transition Tax anyone? Do you feel GILTI today? What were you thinking by buying that Canadian mutual fund in Canada?
Canada’s FATCA IGA is NOTHING like the OECD Common Reporting Standard. In simple terms, under the CRS information is transferred from a country where the person does NOT live to a country where he does live.

Yes, Canada’s lawyers spent the week of January 28, 2019 to February 1, 2019:

1. Denying each of these obvious points; and
2. Arguing that Canada that Canada has a constitutional right to betray its citizens by turning them over to the United States.

Post 1 – February 17, 2019:

The U.S. claim of lifetime tax jurisdiction based ONLY on the fact of having been born in the United States

This is based on a post from March of 2015 which was about the number of so called “Accidental Americans” in the Eastern Townships of Quebec.

Let’s start by listening to the CBC interview with Ali Brunette.

Question:

Do these life long residents of the Quebec Eastern Townships (great ski country) seem like U.S. tax evaders to you?

MLex Reporter @PMerrion writes on @ADCSovereignty: "#FATCA regime goes on trial in Canada"

With just two weeks to go before the start of the ADCS-ADSC FATCA lawsuit, U.S. based MLex reporter Paul Merrion has written a nice piece about our upcoming FATCA Canada lawsuit.

The court documents can be accessed on the ADCS-ADSC site. For those who are not up to speed on what has happened so far, you might reference the “FATCA Trial: Law Students Edition” which is found on the Alliance blog.

How we got there – Canada’s Standing Committee on Finance May 2014

2019 – The Trial Begins In the Federal Court of Canada – January 28, 2019

Mr. Merrion’s article contains a nice summary of the legal issues, the impact of the outcome of the decision, a description of the plaintiffs, a summary of the legal issues AND (by discussing Representative Holdings’s 2018 bill) an acknowledgement of the role of “citizenship based taxation”.

You can read his article here which is posted with the permission of MLex® US Tax Watch and attribution to MLex® US Tax Watch.

MerrionFATCATrial

John Richardson

You can follow me at: @ExpatriationLaw

Supporters of @ADCSovereignty #FATCA lawsuit might be interested in @RunnymedeSoc Law and Freedom Conference – Jan. 12/19


Canada is a Westminster Parliamentary democracy. Historically it has had a constitution (British North America Act) which defined how Canada was to be governed. In simple terms: the Federal Government has the jurisdiction to legislate in some areas (example criminal law). The Provincial Governments have the right to legislate in other areas (property and civil rights). These laws are made by democratically elected legislatures. Prior to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (April 17, 1982), the only limits on the legislative bodies were jurisdictional. Any law could be enacted. It was just a question of whether it was the Federal Government or the Provincial Government that could enact the law.
In 1982 the Charter of Rights became part of Canada’s constitution. The Charter imposed limitations on the powers of elected legislatures. In other words, there were certain areas of activity that were presumptively beyond the reach of legislatures.
The Alliance For The Defence Of Canadian Sovereignty FATCA lawsuit is a Charter of Rights lawsuit against the Government of Canada. Our claim is the Government of Canada does not have the right to enact the legislation which requires banks to (1) Search for customers who are U.S. citizens and (2) then turn their account information over to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. In general terms the arguments are based on the theory that by so doing the Government of Canada has violated Charter Rights which include the:
– S. 15 Equality rights; and
– S. 8 rights against unreasonable search and seizure
of Canadians.
Essentially the court will be asked to rule that the laws enacted by a democratically elected legislative body (the Parliament of Canada) violate the Constitutional rights of Canadians.
In other words: Does a democratically elected legislature prevail or do the rights of individuals prevail?
Supports of the our FATCA lawsuit might frame the question this way:
Should we have rule by law (the legislature prevails) or rule by justice (the law should be declared unconstitutional)?
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On January 11 and 12, 2019 the Runneymede Society is running its annual law and freedom conference. In general terms, the Conference is designed to debate the question of whether there should be limits on the powers of democratically elected legislatures. If so, what should those limits be? How does S. 1 of the Charter interact with the rights enshrined in the Charter? This should be of interest to all of those who are interested in the ADCS-ADSC FATCA lawsuit.
You can attend the Conference by Facebook and follow the conference on Twitter
Twitter – Hashtag = #RSCON19
Facebook live –


John Richardson

Considering renouncing US citizenship? Meet a person who I suggested NOT commit #citizide


For most U.S. citizens attempting to live outside the United States (in compliance with U.S. laws), their days as U.S. citizens are coming to an end. Those who have ignored the fiscal demands required of Americans abroad (meaning they have not entered the U.S. tax system) will be able to retain U.S. citizenship for the foreseeable future. But, for those who do file U.S. taxes and attempt to comply with the outrageous demands of the United States (FBAR, forms, PFIC, Transition Tax, GILTI, Subpart F and more), they experience life like this:
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#FATCA Trial to take place in January 2019. Plaintiff's Memorandum of Fact and Law in @ADCSovereignty FATCA Lawsuit Filed

Happy Thanksgiving!
As we move into Thanksgiving Weekend, I am pleased to report that the we have reached an important milestone in the ADCS FATCA lawsuit. As you know, ADCS is suing the Government of Canada for enacting a foreign law – the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA“) – on Canadian soil. By so doing Canada violated numerous rights found in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  These are Charter rights guaranteed to all Canadians, regardless of where they happened to have been born.
Please take the time to read this important document – the Memorandum of Law – prepared by our lawyers.
2018 10 03 Plaintiffs’ Memorandum of Fact and Law_summary trial_FINAL
We expect the hearing to take place in Vancouver in January of 2019.
The history of our FATCA lawsuit to date
The Government of Canada signed a FATCA IGA with the United States in February of 2014. FATCA became operational in Canada on July 1, 2014. Our lawsuit was also launched in 2014.
1. This video which explains the background leading leading up to Canada’s signing the FATCA IGA

2. See the  FATCA – @ADCSovereignty Book of Posts that I have written which describes the background to and evolution of the lawsuit.
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Thanks to all of you have made this possible!
Our FATCA lawsuit would never have been possible without each of  you. I would like to specifically recognize …
– the generosity of our numerous donors. Incredibly, this has been possible through the donations of ordinary Canadians who have given what they can. Although the amounts donated have been significant to the individual donors, we have not had a single “deep pockets” or Corporate Donor. Thank you again!
– the witnesses and the people who have contributed countless hours of their valuable time
– our plaintiffs: Gwen and Kazia – it takes tremendous courage and conviction to volunteer your name and circumstances to a lawsuit of this type
– our lawyers who have been with us since the beginning
On behalf of the Board of the Alliance For The Defence of Canadian Sovereignty I wish you the best.
John Richardson

Identity theft in a #FATCA and #CRS World: The Role Of the U.S. Social Security Number

Introduction


Her thoughtful post includes:

FATCA Security Risks with Sensitive Data
The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, commonly called “FATCA” has caused Americans abroad to be fearful of security risks when their personal financial information is reported by non-US financial institutions or foreign government agencies to the IRS. FATCA reporting will include the name, address and taxpayer identification number of each US account holder at the financial institution; the account number; account balance and value; the account’s gross receipts and gross withdrawals or payments; and other account related information requested by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration has expressed concerns with the security of data transmission as mandated by FATCA.  In September of 2014 the IRS issued a fraud alert to all international financial institutions that are complying with FATCA. Scam artists posing as the IRS have fraudulently solicited financial institutions seeking account holder identities as well as financial account information.  Financial institutions directly registered to comply with FATCA, and those in jurisdictions that are treated as having an IGA in effect to implement the FATCA provisions through their home governments, have already been approached by parties impersonating themselves as the IRS. The IRS now has reports of incidents from various countries and continents.

The most significant piece of information that a U.S. citizen discloses to a “Foreign Financial Institution” under the FATCA IGAs is his/her TIN (“Taxpayer Identification Number”) AKA his “Social Security Number”.
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