Dear Minister Flaherty,
I want to thank you for your stand in support of dual U.S./Canadian citizens against the Internal Revenue Service’s cross border tax enforcement initiatives. After all, Canadians who live and work in Canada, invest and save in Canadian financial institutions, have no “offshore” accounts and are not evading taxes.
I am encouraged by your understanding of the impact not only on our financial institutions of the proposed U.S. FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act) legislation, but also the impact on the futures of so many Canadians whose savings are threatened by IRS penalties.
In your current talks with the Americans I urge you to push the U.S. to redefine their reporting criteria to distinguish between those U.S. citizens who deliberately engage in illegal activity to evade U.S. taxation and Canadians who annually report their income and financial accounts to the CRA. I urge you to make clear to U.S. authorities that it is unacceptable for Canadian citizens to be under threat of heavy fines and/or legal action for not disclosing their Canadian bank accounts or for failing to file U.S. tax returns. I also urge you to take measures to protect the sovereignty of Canadian businesses and institutions.
On behalf of those one million Canadian citizens affected, it is my hope that, in the spirit of cooperation, an agreement will be reached with the U.S. government to ensure that Canadians are not made to feel like criminals by the newly introduced enforcement policies intended to fund a U.S. stimulus package.
I look forward to hearing from you in the near future on this issue. Please rest assured that you have my full cooperation in this regard.
Alex Atamanenko, MP
British Columbia Southern Interior