The Green Party of Canada is calling on the government of Canada to stand on guard against the demands of the United States (US) for extraterritorial enforcement of an American law: the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). The Government of Canada must protect our citizens and residents from FATCA’s invasive violations of individual privacy, and refuse to make Canadian consumers and taxpayers pay the significant costs to enforce a unilateral American mandate that does not benefit Canada in any way.
This US law, whose staggered regime is set to come into effect through 2013 and 2014, demands Canadian financial institutions report to the United States’ Internal Revenue Service (IRS) the confidential account information of a large number of Canadian residents regarded as “US persons” under American regulations, most of whom are Canadian citizens. The Department of Finance gave notice in November that an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) on FATCA was being negotiated, and the proposed terms have not been made public. The IRS has only recently issued the final FATCA regulations on 17 January 2013.
“This is not acceptable. These US laws intended to combat tax evasion by their residents sheltering wealth abroad, should not penalize Canadians who are complying with tax laws where they live,” said Erich Jacoby-Hawkins, the Green Party of Canada’s National Revenue critic.
“It would be a clear violation of our Charter of Rights and Freedoms to have Canadian banks, under the direction of the IRS, violate the privacy rights of some Canadian citizens or residents based on their current or former ties to another country, namely the United States,” added Jacoby-Hawkins.
“We must not permit Canadian financial institutions to comply with FATCA in violation of our own privacy laws, and if the US attempts to enforce FATCA against them, we must vigorously respond and seek legal remedy as is our right,” concluded Green Leader Elizabeth May, Member of Parliament for Saanich-Gulf Islands.
Note: The Green Party of Canada’s backgrounder on FATCA