An introductory comment …
It is true that I have taken the steps to renounce, so my feeling is I’m done. However, my task now is to make sure Canadians know they should not put anyone with Dual US citizenship in a position of signing authority or any kind of business partnership. As we both know this exposes Canadians to the IRS through FBAR reporting. Also, I am concerned about Canadian politicians who hold dual US citizenship. I think this should be an issue in any upcoming provincial and federal election.
Congratulations to Thomas Mulcair
He is now the leader of the NDP which is Canada’s Official Opposition. Also, thanks to the NDP for their attention and support on FATCA, FBAR and the IRS assault on dual citizens in Canada. Mr. Mulcair is a patriotic Canadian citizen. He is also a citizen of France. This fact was well known. It did not prevent him from becoming leader of the NDP. But, what if Mr. Mulcair had been a dual U.S./Canada citizen? Or more specifically: what if Mr. Mulcair had been a U.S. citizen? Should this have made a difference? I believe this answer is yes. Here is why.
U.S. citizens living in Canada are like the soldiers left in the Trojan Horse:
For those who don’t know the myth about the Trojan Horse:
Trojan horse, huge, hollow wooden horse constructed by the Greeks to gain entrance into Troy during the Trojan War. The horse was built by Epeius, master carpenter and pugilist. The Greeks, pretending to desert the war, sailed to the nearby island of Tenedos, leaving behind Sinon, who persuaded the Trojans that the horse was an offering to Athena that would make Troy impregnable. Despite the warnings of Laocoon and Cassandra, the horse was taken inside. That night warriors emerged from it and opened the city’s gates to the returned Greek army. The story is told at length in Book II of the Aeneid and is touched upon in the Odyssey. The term Trojan horse has come to refer to subversion introduced from the outside.
Mr. FBAR is versatile. He operates in unexpected and nasty ways. He has the potential to turn U.S. citizens abroad into “night warriors”. These “night warriors” allow the U.S. to wage war on the sovereignty of other nations. He unleashes clear privacy issues. How can this be? A U.S. citizen is required to report all his foreign financial accounts and keep those records for five years. This responsibility is triggered by a U.S. citizen having “signing authority” over a bank account (including the Trust Accounts of professionals). This is a very dangerous situation. The “record keeping” requirement forces U.S. citizens to (upon demand) turn over to the U.S. government complete banking records for certain accounts. For example, what if a U.S. citizen were the financial agent for a Canadian politician in an election campaign? The U.S. government could demand access to the account information which would identify contributors.
You can learn a lot about a person by looking at their bank and financial accounts!
Mr. FBAR is the Trojan horse of ancient times!
The requirement to keep records is described as follows:
Records of accounts required by § 103.24 to be reported to the Commissioner of Internal Revenue shall be retained by each person having a financial interest in or signature or other authority over any such account. Such records shall contain the name in which each such account is maintained, the number or other designation of such account, the name and address of the foreign bank or other person with whom such account is maintained, the type of such account, and the maximum value of each such account during the reporting period. Such records shall be retained for a period of 5 years and shall be kept at all times available for inspection as authorized by law.
In terms of Canadian politics consider that …
There are some Canadian politicians who are U.S. citizens. In fact rumor has it that New Brunswick Premier David Alward was caught in the IRS shake down. The time has come for Canada (and all other countries) to NOT allow U.S. citizens to hold public office, to run for public office or to be involved in the political campaigns of those who do run. U.S. citizens living outside the United States are subject to the FBAR reporting and record keeping requirements. Once a U.S. citizen resides in another country, he is obligated to report on all his financial accounts to the U.S. government. The FBAR rules also include a requirement to retain those records for five years. Those who see this as alarmist or who think this is not true, do NOT understand the FBAR rules. Again: it is the FBAR requirement to keep banking records available for inspection that creates the problem.
This state of affairs is INTOLERABLE to any sovereign nation. U.S. citizens must be banned from the political process in Canada. This is essential to maintain Canadian Sovereignty. Does the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms allow this? Interestingly, the are two sections of the Canadian Charter of Rights that speak to this issue.
On the one hand U.S./Canada dual citizens have Charter rights …
Democratic rights of citizens
3. Every citizen of Canada has the right to vote in an election of members of the House of Commons or of a legislative assembly and to be qualified for membership therein.
It is clear that any Canadian citizen has the right to run for public office.
Equality before and under law and equal protection and benefit of law
15. (1) Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.
There is no doubt that to restrict U.S. citizens from the political process in Canada violates both S. 3 and S. 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights.
On the other hand, Canada must protect its status as a “free and democratic society” …
S. 1 of the Charter which reads:
1. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.
In order to maintain Canada’s status as a “free and democratic” society, no person should be allowed to run for political office if he is a threat to Canada’s sovereignty and status as a free and democratic society. (Obviously this could include persons in addition to U.S. citizens.)
The FBAR requirement should disqualify U.S. citizens from running for or serving in any public office outside the United States. Furthermore, U.S. citizens should be banned from serving as “Financial Agents” in Canadian elections. But, what about Mr. Mulcair? Is his status as a French citizen a threat to Canada? Well, France does not have an FBAR.
Some final thoughts …
U.S. citizenship-based taxation is bad for the e U.S., bad for U.S. citizens and (as you can see) bad for the world.