BC Southern Interior MP Alex Atamanenko is outraged at the proposed US tax crackdown recently announced by the American government.
By law, all individuals holding US citizenship are required to file annual income tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). In addition, the new US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) obliges Canadian financial institutions starting in 2013 to report to the IRS all accounts held by US citizens.
“There are hundreds of thousands of Canadian citizens who have dual citizenship who will be affected by these draconian measures,” said Atamanenko. “It is absolutely ridiculous and absurd that a Canadian citizen who pays taxes in Canada has to file with the IRS or risk heavy penalties.
“What right does a foreign government have to force a local credit union to disclose all accounts, including RRSPs, TFSAs and chequing and savings accounts?” continued the NDP MP. “This is a complete affront to our Canadian sovereignty. I have written Finance Minister Flaherty, urging him to work out an arrangement with the American authorities that does not place a further unnecessary burden on Canadian citizens or on our financial institutions. Law abiding citizens should not be put in the same category as US citizens seeking tax havens in foreign countries.”
For those US citizens and green card holders who have not been filing their US tax forms, the IRS has issued a limited amnesty to report their Canadian bank accounts by August 31, 2011.