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Canadians Confront the Banks and the Yanks: Open Letter Urges President of Canadian Bankers Association to Oppose FATCA

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Dear name withheld by request,

We are very aware of the concerns that you and many others have about FATCA and have corresponded in the past with followers of the Isaac Brock Society and Maple Sandbox. You should know that the banking industry in Canada and around the world shares your concerns.

We have general information about our opposition to FATCA here:
http://www.cba.ca/en/research-and-advocacy/47-regulatory-enviornment/598-foreign-account-tax-compliance-act

The CBA and banks in Canada have been standing up for bank customers and voicing concerns with FATCA for a number of years. We have raised our concerns with the IRS, the U.S. Treasury Department and the G7 both directly and through our membership in the International Banking Federation. You can find more information here:
http://www.ibfed.org/news/ibfed-writes-to-g7-on-fatca-12-4-11
http://www.ibfed.org/archived-news/ibfeds-recommendation-to-us-authorities-on-the-foreign-account-compliance-t
http://www.ibfed.org/archived-news/us-foreign-account-compliance-tax-act-fatca

We also went to Washington to meet with IRS and U.S. Treasury officials and Canadian Embassy officials. Last year, the CBA also made a presentation in Washington at public hearings before Treasury and the IRS and our president spoke out against FATCA in speeches in Calgary and Vancouver as well. Here are the links:
http://cba.ca/contents/files/presentations/pre_20120515_irsfatca_en.pdf
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kVM2vV8jPU (Preview)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wosK05ynMX4&feature=plcp

We submitted an opinion piece with our concerns about FATCA to the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal. It did not get published.

In Ottawa, we have raised concerns with officials from the Department of Finance, the Minister of Finance and the U.S. Embassy. Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has supported our position and expressed his own concerns publicly and we appreciate the support from the Minister and his officials.

Unfortunately and despite worldwide efforts, U.S. officials have no intention of repealing FATCA. So, governments around the world have decided that developing bilateral intergovernmental agreements (IGAs) with the U.S. is the best way to ensure that the domestic rights of their citizens are respected while still sharing relevant taxpayer information bilaterally. Once the Canada/U.S. IGA is finalized, it will be reflected in Canadian tax law and financial institutions will have to abide by these requirements.

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We believe this is the best approach and support the government's actions because the alternative would potentially expose Canadians to punitive U.S. withholding taxes on income from their investments, including retirement income. The IGA should avoid that and ensure that Canadian law is respected. Until the IGA is made public, we won't know exactly what the final requirements will be for financial institutions and their customers.

We hope this information is helpful.

Sincerely,

The Canadian Bankers Association

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The Canadian Bankers Association says:

October 19, 2013 at 11:12 am

We would like to address some of the comments made in this forum. We agree with your opposition to FATCA as we have said all along. We have raised those concerns on numerous occasions with the U.S. Treasury, the IRS and other U.S. officials in both public and private meetings. We have raised those concerns with the Canadian government and the Canadian embassy in Washington in public and private meetings. We are opposed to the extraterritoriality of FATCA as you are and we have said so publicly on many occasions.

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Jim Jatras is a former U.S. diplomat and foreign policy adviser to the U.S. Senate GOP leadership. He is pro-life, pro-gun, pro-traditional marriage, pro-immigration control, anti-war, pro-privacy, pro-tax reform, anti-phony 'free trade' deals. (more...)
 

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