Monthly Archives: October 2014

Anti-FATCA group hires U.S. lawyer

Financial Post | Business

Here’s a quick update on the legal challenges to Canada’s agreement with the U.S. regarding the controversial FATCA law.

The group behind the suit, the Alliance for the Defence of Canadian Sovereignty, says it has retained U.S. legal counsel to challenge in Washington whether so-called “Accidental Americans” resident in Canada should be captured by the reach of FATCA.

The U.S. Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act requires non-financial institutions, including those in Canada, to provide U.S. tax authorities with financial information about so-called “U.S. persons.” In an international agreement that took effect on July 1, Canadian banks and financial institutions must provide the Canada Revenue Agency with details about accountholders who meet the definition of “U.S. person.” The CRA will then give this information to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.

The anti-FATCA lawsuit claims that the definition of U.S. person is so broad that it would capture up to one million…

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Swiss Banks Pushing Back on Scope of Agreement with U.S. under Amnesty Program

Tax Controversy Watch

As reported yesterday by David Voreacos, Giles Broom, and Jeffrey Vogeli, 73 of the over 100 Swiss banks that enrolled in the Justice Department’s amnesty program for Swiss banks have written an 11-page letter requesting changes to the Justice Department’s proposed agreement that would serve to resolve any criminal liability relating to banking activity that facilitated offshore tax evasion. According to this report, the Justice Department is including terms in the agreement that were not included in the original program when it was announced in August 2013, with three new significant demands. First, the Justice Department is requiring all participating Swiss banks to “‘cooperate fully’ with ‘any other domestic or foreign law enforcement agency’ in any investigation.” Second, the Justice Department is requiring each participating Swiss bank to disclose information about any parent companies. Finally, the Justice Department is also requiring the Swiss banks to “share material with governments other than…

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The Real Intent of #FATCA: You are not “Collateral Damage” — You are the Target

“With greater faith in the inherent honesty of Americans than of talking points, you will find that the real FATCA revenue target is US citizens overseas. Most of these have simply been unaware of these obtuse IRS policies and FINCEN crime regulations. FATCA is actually a direct outcome of a 1998 GAO report to Congress, finding that less than 400,000 tax returns were filed overseas, and implying that further enforcement would create new revenue.”

Hundreds of Americans relinquish passports as FATCA tax law comes into force

Financial Post | Business

The number of Americans renouncing U.S. citizenship increased 39% in the three months through September after rules that make it harder to hide assets from tax authorities came into force.

People giving up their nationality at U.S. embassies increased to 776 in the third quarter, from 560 in the year-earlier period, according to Federal Register data published yesterday.

Tougher asset-disclosure rules that started July 1 under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, or Fatca, prompted more of the estimated 6 million Americans living overseas to give up their passports. The appeal of U.S. citizenship for expatriates faded further as more than 100 Swiss banks began to turn over data on American clients to avoid prosecution for helping tax evaders.

The U.S., the only Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development nation that taxes citizens wherever they reside, stepped up the search for tax dodgers after UBS AG (UBSN) paid a US$780…

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Another Example of Government Thuggery – and another Reason Why Decent and Moral People Are Libertarians

Still not convinced about the venality of big government? Here’s another nauseating example.

Army Sgt. Jeff Cortazzo of Arlington, Va., began saving for his daughters’ college costs during the financial crisis, when many banks were failing. He stored cash first in his basement and then in a safe-deposit box. All of the money came from paychecks, he said, but he worried that when he deposited it in a bank, he would be forced to pay taxes on the money again. So he asked the bank teller what to do. “She said: ‘Oh, that’s easy. You just have to deposit less than $10,000.’” The government seized $66,000; settling cost Sergeant Cortazzo $21,000. As a result, the eldest of his three daughters had to delay college by a year. “Why didn’t the teller tell me that was illegal?” he said. “I would have just plopped the whole thing in the account and been done with it.”

International Liberty

I don’t particularly care how people vote, but I do care whether they believe in freedom.

That’s why I periodically share stories that should convince everyone to believe in the libertarian philosophy of small government, individual liberty, and personal responsibility.

The stories that get me most agitated are the ones that involve innocent people being robbed by bureaucrats.

And when I say robbed, I use that word deliberately.

Such as the case of an elderly couple who had their hotel stolen by government.

Such as the case of the family grocer who had his bank account stolen by government.

Such as when the government wanted to steal someone’s truck because a different person was arrested for drunk driving.

Such as when the government tried to steal the bond money a family collected to bail out a relative.

Such as when the government seized nearly $400,000 of…

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Government Report Focuses on International Enforcement and Collection Overseas

“It seems that every time TIGTA issues a report, and demands the IRS modify their methods and procedures, the IRS takes action. If the information and premises in the TIGTA report are valid, then the IRS changes in policy can be for the good.

The IRS has already dedicated tremendous resources to the area of international taxation. It will be interesting to see if the IRS will dedicate even more resources to this area in response to the TIGTA report?”


Report: IRS Must Enhance its International Collection Efforts

The Treasury Department, through the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (“TIGTA”) has highlighted what the U.S. government should be doing in the 21st century to collect U.S. taxes owed under U.S. law, against overseas taxpayers and their worldwide assets.  The highlight of the report is set out below and the complete report of 12 Sept. 2014 can be read here TIGTA Report:

World Map

WASHINGTON – As international tax noncompliance remains a significant area of concern for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), its collection efforts need to be enhanced to ensure that delinquent international taxpayers become compliant with their U.S. tax obligations, according to a report released publicly today by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).

The overall objective of TIGTA’s review was to evaluate the IRS’s collection efforts on delinquent taxpayers residing in foreign countries. Income received from international…

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The two kinds of cash deposits that can lead to account seizures in the USA


Confiscation of assets by the U.S. government has been the subject of a number of posts. Americans abroad have been concerned about the confiscation of their assets through the various disclosure programs, the FBAR fundraiser and PFIC taxation.

Less attention has been paid to the confiscation of the assets of Homelanders. When it comes to cash, one can keep your cash outside the bank or keep your cash in the bank. The article referenced in the above tweet is further evidence of the propensity of governments on all levels to use “civil forfeiture” as a way to confiscate assets. On September 11, 2014 a post was published at the Isaac Brock society discussing government confiscation of cash that is NOT in the bank. The above tweet references an article that describes how the U.S. government is confiscating cash that is put into bank accounts (because it is supposed to be safe there).

From a a governmental perspective “civil forfeiture” is a very cost efficient way to confiscate cash. They are NOT required to prove or even fabricate any “wrong doing”. They just take the cash.

Make no mistake about it. The integrity of the U.S. government requires that it act within the confines of the law. And – “to be perfectly clear” – the confiscation of cash in bank accounts is perfectly legal. Given that morality is a function of legality, it is clearly and absolutely moral for the U.S. government to confiscate cash in the bank accounts of Americans. No doubt about. Absolutely no doubt! In fact, I’m sure that U.S. government officials would argue that the confiscation of cash is not only legal – but is the moral imperative of government.

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