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It seems they are now requiring fingerprints in some cases. This site explains it:
Reasons Why Your Application for Canadian Citizenship May be Delayed
Great, something else to worry about!! That link states that it might take up to 12 months to check out the fingerprints! I hope they are wrong.

The letter I got also states: "Once your fingerprints are received by the RCMP, the results will be sent to the citizenship office and processing of your application will resume." My prints were taken electronically by the local RCMP and sent to Ottawa as I was standing there. She told me it may be 4 weeks before I hear back. I hope that is the case. I will still try to get my case moved.

I was at a different community thing today and a woman approached me and asked if I was American. She is also a senior, originally from the states but has lived here for 40 years.. and has never filed a tax return. None of the Americans I have talked to know a thing about FBAR or FATCA and none of them have filed tax returns since they were landed or got their citizenship. She seriously didn't believe I was right about this. Nobody does!
 

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Great, something else to worry about!! That link states that it might take up to 12 months to check out the fingerprints! I hope they are wrong.
Omater, I took a look at the link. Based on its placement in the list, I think the 8 to 12 months period looks like it's only referring to fingerprint checking "where there is an indication a criminal record may be involved." So, I'd guess the routine ones go through in 4 weeks as you were told today.
 

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I was at a different community thing today and a woman approached me and asked if I was American. She is also a senior, originally from the states but has lived here for 40 years.. and has never filed a tax return. None of the Americans I have talked to know a thing about FBAR or FATCA and none of them have filed tax returns since they were landed or got their citizenship. She seriously didn't believe I was right about this. Nobody does!
My friend had me explain this mess to her friend "Sally" who had talked with a tax professional with many US clients. From talking with the professional, Sally thought that FBARs were for $10k in investment income and that there was no filing requirement if you were under the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion. After a few minutes Sally said that perhaps the lawyer meant to just sit tight since they probably won't do anything to her --- she is living in Canada but if she leaves she might not be let back in. (didn't get into what that was about).

There is so much misinformation out there that I sure hope I got it right!
 

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After a few minutes Sally said that perhaps the lawyer meant to just sit tight since they probably won't do anything to her --- she is living in Canada but if she leaves she might not be let back in. (didn't get into what that was about).

There is so much misinformation out there that I sure hope I got it right!
Thanks Peg. If there is no filing requirement under the Foreign Income Exclusion, then I will not have to worry about FBARs. However, the retirement savings accounts are over 10K and will fall under FATCA. This was not my income, but my husband's income with my name on it (he is Canadian). I would, however, like to know why she thinks she should not leave the country. I am suppose to the states in a few weeks and I am going to be traveling on a US passport.

Thanks for the replies, everybody. I do not live in an area where I can find knowledgeable professional representation. I am going to have to travel to find help with this.
 

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Thanks Peg. If there is no filing requirement under the Foreign Income Exclusion, then I will not have to worry about FBARs. However, the retirement savings accounts are over 10K and will fall under FATCA. This was not my income, but my husband's income with my name on it (he is Canadian). I would, however, like to know why she thinks she should not leave the country. I am suppose to the states in a few weeks and I am going to be traveling on a US passport.

Thanks for the replies, everybody. I do not live in an area where I can find knowledgeable professional representation. I am going to have to travel to find help with this.
I assumed the US Ambassador meant not do anything in haste like renouncing, that the US system would still be merciful to people like ourselves. I think he's probably correct that we're not their main target though we're expected to get back into compliance.
 
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Discussion Starter #146
Thanks Peg. If there is no filing requirement under the Foreign Income Exclusion, then I will not have to worry about FBARs. However, the retirement savings accounts are over 10K and will fall under FATCA. This was not my income, but my husband's income with my name on it (he is Canadian). I would, however, like to know why she thinks she should not leave the country. I am suppose to the states in a few weeks and I am going to be traveling on a US passport.

Thanks for the replies, everybody. I do not live in an area where I can find knowledgeable professional representation. I am going to have to travel to find help with this.
I don't quite follow this - I am under the impression that we must file even if we owe no tax, which is a completely separate issue from FBARS. If you have any type of foreign financial accounts and the aggregate value is $10k, you have to file the FBARS. FATCA is another thing altogether......I know how frustrating this is because I am in the same boat as you - all the accounts I have to file FBARs on are completely my Canadian husband's-not a penny earned by me.....this is one of the reasons I cannot seem to get around and can't change my mind about renouncing......

I just came back from a trip to the US on a US passport and didn't have any problems crossing....
 

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I don't quite follow this - I am under the impression that we must file even if we owe no tax, which is a completely separate issue from FBARS. If you have any type of foreign financial accounts and the aggregate value is $10k, you have to file the FBARS.
Not only if you owe no tax, a US person is supposed to file FBARs even if he or she has ZERO income (although there is no reason to file tax forms in that case). !!
 

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Hey Everyone... What do you all make of the article in the Globe this morning. Although all penalties are being lifted it does not help someone like me who is incorporated. It also says nothing about Fbar and how much they will take from our RRSP's. Just because there are no FBAR penalties doesn't mean they still won't take 5%-25% of them. I still don't trust the IRS. I still plan to lay low. The other thing they stated was that there are no penalties if you owe no taxes but if for some reason you owed a bit, would they then hit you with the penalties? Far to vague for me.
 
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Hey Everyone... What do you all make of the article in the Globe this morning.
See the main thread on the Globe article for what I think of this and what I've done about it, and what others think.

In a nutshell, I don't see that it changes things much for a lot of people on this forum, though it may help others. And it does nothing for expats living in countries other than Canada, as far as I can tell. They're human too, and they're no more tax cheats than we are.
 

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Hey Everyone... What do you all make of the article in the Globe this morning. Although all penalties are being lifted it does not help someone like me who is incorporated. It also says nothing about Fbar and how much they will take from our RRSP's. Just because there are no FBAR penalties doesn't mean they still won't take 5%-25% of them. I still don't trust the IRS. I still plan to lay low. The other thing they stated was that there are no penalties if you owe no taxes but if for some reason you owed a bit, would they then hit you with the penalties? Far to vague for me.
This is wha concerns me. I have done all I can to put it right so the rest is in God's hands...
 

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Hey Everyone... What do you all make of the article in the Globe this morning. Although all penalties are being lifted it does not help someone like me who is incorporated. It also says nothing about Fbar and how much they will take from our RRSP's. Just because there are no FBAR penalties doesn't mean they still won't take 5%-25% of them. I still don't trust the IRS. I still plan to lay low. The other thing they stated was that there are no penalties if you owe no taxes but if for some reason you owed a bit, would they then hit you with the penalties? Far to vague for me.
The National Post has an article online with the same topic. I'm drafting a letter to Mr. Flaherty today and I talked with my MPs assistant. We need further clarification before we submit taxes and FBARs. The assistant said there was no way Canada would allow the U.S to interfere with our privacy laws. However, I don't think she fully understands the issue, so I suggested she do some research.
 
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Discussion Starter #152 (Edited)
I believe if you read the Globe and Mail article carefully, they DO refer to both the income tax forms and the FBAR as they are related in our situation;

The 'not owing any tax' makes sense, because if you DO owe tax, say for year 2005, you are going to have to pay that tax and any applicable interest attached to it. I don't think this would amount to much in any case if the average Joe had a 300 dollar outstanding to the IRS...there is a payment plan available as well.

“Our intention was not to abscond with some innocent grandmothers’ savings,” he said. “From where I’m sitting, it’s going to take care of the problem I was most concerned about ... which is that people just didn’t know they were supposed to do this.”

Failure to file so-called Foreign Bank Account Reports can result in penalties of $10,000 (U.S.) a year for every account – fines that can quickly reach hundreds of thousands of dollars. In some extreme cases, the IRS can seize up to half the contents of accounts. Neglecting to file certain tax schedules also triggers fines.
 

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"Failure to file so-called Foreign Bank Account Reports can result in penalties of $10,000 (U.S.) a year for every account – fines that can quickly reach hundreds of thousands of dollars. In some extreme cases, the IRS can seize up to half the contents of accounts. Neglecting to file certain tax schedules also triggers fines."
I made this comment at the Globe:

This is very inaccurate: The IRS cannot seize money in Canadian accounts. They don't have the power to do that. Secondly, they cannot get the CRA to collect it because it is not a tax, but a filing penalty which the Canadian government has said it will not collect under the tax treaty between the US and Canada.

This is the kind of misinformation in the press that is causing US citizens resident in Canada to lose sleep and it is incumbent upon the Globe and Mail to be more accurate.

The IRS can assign a civil penalty of 50%. But how can they make a Canadian resident pay FBAR penalties? Only by seizing their assets in the United States, or by invading and occupying Canada. Thus, Canadians need to remove their investments from the grasp of Uncle Sam.
 
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I made this comment at the Globe:

This is very inaccurate: The IRS cannot seize money in Canadian accounts. They don't have the power to do that. Secondly, they cannot get the CRA to collect it because it is not a tax, but a filing penalty which the Canadian government has said it will not collect under the tax treaty between the US and Canada.

This is the kind of misinformation in the press that is causing US citizens resident in Canada to lose sleep and it is incumbent upon the Globe and Mail to be more accurate.

The IRS can assign a civil penalty of 50%. But how can they make a Canadian resident pay FBAR penalties? Only by seizing their assets in the United States, or by invading and occupying Canada. Thus, Canadians need to remove their investments from the grasp of Uncle Sam.


PetrosResearch I agree with you 100%. In fact, yesterday I spent the first part of the day collapsing my TFSA then dumping all ALL of my RRSP portfolio's and placed everything I had in a canadian money market fund. (1.3% return but at least I can liquidate it if I refuse to sign the privacy waiver...when and if FATCA comes...this way I am not in the jaws of the markets and will be able to retain some of my money...after paying CRA there share of tax of course).

I have also dumped all of my US holdings and transfered the funds into my canadian accounts.....i am now totally free from US siesure if and when the time comes.

With respect to the media and misinformation....i think we can all agree this is "standard operating procedure" and will not change in the near future. There hasn't been an informational news cast since Walter Kronkite.
 

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McKenna contradicts himself

Americans living in Canada who’ve neglected to pay their U.S. taxes are getting a big break from Uncle Sam.

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service is poised to waive potentially massive penalties for Americans who agree to come clean and don’t owe any taxes, The Globe and Mail has learned.​

That's how McKenna started the article--with two sentences, one paragraph each. That way the sentences don't have to be coherent. The first one says that those who've neglected to pay their US taxes are going to get a break. But the second one says that if they "come clean" and don't owe any taxes, the IRS will waive penalties. So those who haven't been paying their taxes (paragraph 1), aren't going to get a break at all; it's only those who don't owe anything that will get the break (paragraph 2). But then it's only if they come clean, because you are dirty by definition if you are a US person in Canada, that doesn't file tax or fill out FBAR forms. If this is the language of Jacobson, it shows that the US government still does have a clue. We are not dirty ones.

Nay, it is the government officials who are the dirty ones: they are the ones requiring us to file trivial returns; furthermore, they are expecting us little people to tell them about everything in all our bank accounts--our own, our spouses', and our employers'--and they haven't exempted our RRSP and TFSA or our other retirement pensions. If we don't tell all, they are threatening to break us and take all our wealth, and in some extreme cases, to throw us in prison. Well, Tony Soprano is fairer than that. Tony only breaks your legs if you owe him money. These IRS folks are threatening us and we can't possibly owe them money. They are crazy.

Or not. It's crazy only if it is mindless stupid busy work that keeps government employees in their jobs. But it may not be crazy, for there may be a sinister reason why this government has people inventory their goods; it is so that some day down the road it can know what is out there. Today you have to report your gold. Tomorrow the government confiscates it. If we must assign rationality to government, the idea that they know what they are doing, then all we can assume is that they want to know what's there so that they can take it later.

Sorry I'm not buying the offer Mr. Jacobson. The US must drop the FBAR requirements. You must also drop extra-territorial taxation of US citizens and all filing requirements. You must also repeal FATCA. Or the US will see a mass exodus of foreign investment. And the US will see millions of people tell them to take this citizenship and shove it. Change the policy. Get the IRS off our backs, or Mr. Jacobson, you folks in the State Department are going to have to start having mass citizenship renunciation ceremonies (a couple hundred people at a time). That will start the day they make an example out of someone like me, who doesn't cower in the shadows, but stands up to your tyranny. My name is Peter W. Dunn. The world is watching what you are doing, be careful how you handle my case.
 

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PetrosResearch I agree with you 100%. In fact, yesterday I spent the first part of the day collapsing my TFSA then dumping all ALL of my RRSP portfolio's and placed everything I had in a canadian money market fund. (1.3% return but at least I can liquidate it if I refuse to sign the privacy waiver...when and if FATCA comes...this way I am not in the jaws of the markets and will be able to retain some of my money...after paying CRA there share of tax of course).

I have also dumped all of my US holdings and transfered the funds into my canadian accounts.....i am now totally free from US siesure if and when the time comes.

With respect to the media and misinformation....i think we can all agree this is "standard operating procedure" and will not change in the near future. There hasn't been an informational news cast since Walter Kronkite.
I am surprised by your statement of "collapsing" TFSAs and RRSPs. I guess you left your funds in the plan, but have moved them to a liquid form, cash. I am an investor, and if you don't mind my saying, if you open up an an account at a new institution and do not give them any information about your citizenship and especially not your Social Security Number, your RRSP and TFSA and other investments should be untouchable. The day that they start asking us for our citizenship we launch a class action suit against the banks--it is a no brainer, because under the human rights codes in Canada, they are not allowed to ask that question.

Also, I don't think cash is safe in the current environment (I know it has been king lately, but it is subject to constant devaluation by central banks--and the latest move to save Europe is just another example, more is coming).
 

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Yes, I live in chronic dread of what may await me in the mail every evening I return from work. I realize that the odds are in my favour but there's still that very real if remote risk that they will clobber me. I suspect that because I've been contrite they'll leave me alone so long as I'm comoliant from now on, having paid back thousands. But it wouldn't surprise me if they try to scare the Hell out of you for being confrontational.

I admire your guts, Peter!
 

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Yes, I live in chronic dread of what may await me in the mail every evening I return from work. I realize that the odds are in my favour but there's still that very real if remote risk that they will clobber me. I suspect that because I've been contrite they'll leave me alone so long as I'm comoliant from now on, having paid back thousands. But it wouldn't surprise me if they try to scare the Hell out of you for being confrontational.

I admire your guts, Peter!
Hi Mona Lisa:

Thanks for the encouragement. I admit I am a little nuts.

But I am of the belief that the USA is insolvent, and they will soon have no money--
How long do you think that the US can spend 1.5 trillion (about 40 cents for every dollar spent) more than they bring in tax revenue before the dollar becomes worth nothing? (See this history of money). As soon as the dollar becomes hyperinflationary, then the vast majority of the IRS agents will be out of a job--or will be working for nothing. Once that happens, the US will not have the resources to go after folks like us in other countries: it's the principle of low hanging fruit. They will create a police state and confiscate all the gold of the folks in the United States. But they will not have the resources to go after us in Canada, short of going to war and annexing the entire country. But if that happens, it won't be just the expats whose account information they want.
 

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Gosh, that sounds ominous for my family over there! I still think they may choose to make examples of non-compliant minnows, especially defiant ones. My guess is they'll go easy on those who come to them first, especially through a qualified enrolled agent or cpa/attorney up until Fatca takes effect. But afterwards, I'd imagine they'll carry out their threats especially if they find you first.

I'm not brave enough to rebel, I'll leave the martyerdom to others...not proud to admit it but am into self-preservation. I feel it's a futile battle unless you're prepared to risk everything.
 

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Gosh, that sounds ominous for my family over there! I still think they may choose to make examples of non-compliant minnows, especially defiant ones. My guess is they'll go easy on those who come to them first, especially through a qualified enrolled agent or cpa/attorney up until Fatca takes effect. But afterwards, I'd imagine they'll carry out their threats especially if they find you first.

I'm not brave enough to rebel, I'll leave the martyerdom to others...not proud to admit it but am into self-preservation. I feel it's a futile battle unless you're prepared to risk everything.
Well, the US has the further problem that the only thing they can get me on is non-compliance before February 28, 2011, the day I became a Canadian citizen with the intent of relinquishing my US citizenship. Thus, if they want to throw me in prison for FBAR, they are turning it into a diplomatic incident with a Canadian citizen who is not a US person. But at this point they have very little information about my accounts and if they wanted to create a scene about the RRSPs that they know about (reported in my tax returns up to 2008--no more!!!), then they go from venial to petty. But then how can they suggest an FBAR penalty when I told them about those accounts in my tax returns? It shows no intent to conceal from the government secret bank accounts (wilfully or non-wilfully), if you report them in your tax returns. And they know nothing about any other accounts. It could be nothing, or it could be billions. They can't subpoena my Canadian banks to get that information, so what would be the basis for going after me?

I think those who fill out Quiet Disclosure FBARs are far more vulnerable than me to the capricious confiscatory IRS, since the IRS now has their inventory. They can fine you because they know how much you've been hiding from them all these years. But I am a black box. How does IRS assess a fine to someone who doesn't waive his 4th and 5th amendment rights and give IRS the information that it needs to penalize him?
 
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