Well, at least according to former IRS lawyer and Florida based lawyer Richard Lehman. This video is worth the hour it will take to watch. Those considering a FATCA IGA with the U.S. should watch it as well.
It explains how:
If Canada enters into a FATCA IGA, it will help the U.S. “trap” almost one million Canadian citizens. Once “trapped”, Canada will turn its own citizens over to the IRS for processing.
This is definitely one of the better presentations I have seen on the OVDP program, on form 8938, and the obligations of non-US banks under FATCA. He also does a good job outlining the incredible range of penalties that US citizens abroad may be subjected to. Mr. Lehman skillfully presents the threat of FATCA and introduces OVDP as the only way to save yourself. Although the video was made in October of 2012, it includes no reference to the “streamlined procedures” and no reference to the December 2011 FS. This makes it a very skillful ad for OVDP.
Examples of interesting language include:
– the reference to OVDP as an “Amnesty”. I don’t see how a “shakedown” could be referred to as an “Amnesty”. But, remember this is a US based lawyer.
– the reference to FATCA as setting the “trap” for U.S. citizens. It’s as though he sees them as animals. He notes that by the end of 2013, the “trap” will be completely set around the world. Once the “animal/US persons” are “trapped” one wonders what will happen next.
– he reminds us of IRS “Whistle Blowers” (turn yourself in before somebody calls the IRS) and the general Birkenfeldation of the world.
– the purpose of FATCA is of course so that “at the push of a button” the IRS will know the exact wealth, assets, income and source of income of any U.S. citizen. (On this point he is absolutely correct.)
– he confirms the Orwellian nature and objective of FATCA.
He does a very good job of outlining the OVDP program. He does NOT however explain the 5% option that may be available to U.S. citizens abroad.
Verdict: A good infomercial for OVDP. Those who don’t have time for the video will find most of this information in written form at LehmanTaxLaw.com for
Most important thing learned: Renounce U.S. citizenship as quickly as possible. Do you really want to be “hunted” like an animal the rest of your life?