IRS is coming to town
Forthousands of local citizens who were born in the United States and hold a Canadian passport, the long arm of Uncle Sam’s IRS is soon to take a look in their pockets, with the willing or unwilling participation of their financial institutions.
FATCA, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Bank, will force all financial institutions, your bank, caisse, broker and even your insurer to tell the IRS, the Internal Revenue Service, of all accounts held by American citizens, by 2013. In the big financial world this is creating havoc as the law is obviously intended to fight attempts by US citizens to evade paying taxes, but in the day to day world of bureaucrats, no exemption can be applied and it seems that all US born Canadians, who are automatically American citizens, are covered by the act.
It also seems that all Canadian financial institutions, unless the Canadian Government is willing to fight for Canadian sovereignty and stop the USA from doing so, will have to ask all of their customers for their citizenships and report to the US government the names and the holdings of all Americans holding accounts with them, unless they want all parts of their businesses in the United States to be seized by Uncle Sam. While the measure will impact few Canadians overall, in our region, a lot of people were born, almost out of necessity, in the United States before the mid-sixties. This is true in Stanstead, but also in all border communities.
Then comes the clincher: the IRS could then ask all of them to report, back in time and up to the present, their revenues, in fact filing a report, even if no money was made in the United States for years past. In the future, the citizens may have to provide the American authorities with proof that they have paid their taxes in Canada in order to avoid paying US taxes if they want to avail themselves of the Canada-US tax treaty.
The irony being that a couple of years ago, the Canadian Government removed Canadian citizenships from all Americanborn Canadians who had not registered in Canada, resulting in a scramble for locals to get their papers in order.
The Privacy Commissioner in Ottawa told the Stanstead Journal in an emailed response: “ Organizations that enter into agreement with respect to FATCA, and are subject to PIPEDA, still have to meet their PIPEDA obligations. PIPEDA is the personal information protection and electronic documents act, and it covers the collection, use and disclosure of personal information in the course of commercial activities.” They added later that: “…our research team is looking into the matter and the potential implications for the public from a privacy point of view.”
Calls for comments, on Tuesday, from both CIBC and Desjardins who would largely be impacted locally by the measure, could not be answered right away, Desjardins saying that they would have comments today. Both the CIBC and Desjardins have US-based operations. – Passed away at the CSSS-IUGS pavillon St. Vincent-de-Paul, Sherbrooke, on June 7th, 2011 at the age of 88. Élizabeth was the wife of the late Conrad Boisvert, originally from Stanstead. Mrs. Boisvert leaves to mourn her children Marcelle (Denis Bouchard), Denis (Linda Walker), Andrée (Maurice Di Stéfano) and Hélène (Rock Simard), her 10 grandchildren, 17 great-granchildren, many other relatives and friends. A funeral service was held at the SacréCoeur Church, Stanstead on Monday, June 13th , 2011 at 11 a.m. The family would like to thank the staff of the 3A CSSS-IUGS pavillon St. Vincentde-Paul and Dr. Anne-Marie Boire Lavigne for the wonderful care given to their mother. Donations to the Vitae Foundation, 375 Argyll, Sherbrooke, (Québec) J1J 3H5, would be appreciated.