Response from the Honourable Bob Rae, Leader of Liberal Party of Canada

Petros asked  me put my post from another thread in a new post.  Here it is:

I received a letter today from Bob Rae, Interim Leader of the Liberal Party (although letterhead says Liberal Leader—no reference to Interim. Hmmm).

I know Schubert and others are annoyed or ticked off Liberals have not responded to them. I wrote January 25 to the Prime Minister, three Cabinet Ministers and three other elected representatives.  Rae’s letter, (dated February 13 and which seems to be personally signed) is the first reply I have received. It’s more partisan than I would like, but Rae is a politician.

I suspect this is a standard form letter on this topic. It does not address RDSPs (sorry Calgary411!), TFSAs or employment pension plans. Rae also refers to “dual citizens” when I was clear in my letter that I, like Canada’s Prime Minister “am Canadian and only a Canadian”, but Americans suddenly think differently.

Here’s the text of Rae’s letter:

I would like to thank you for your letter of January 25, 2012 and for sharing your concerns regarding United Sates Foreign Tax Compliance Act and how this is affecting Canadians.

Liberals believe that the Government of Canada should stand up for honest hard working people who have been caught up by overly complex American tax rules. They are not tax cheats and it is past time for Stephen Harper to stand up for them.

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird should be asking the United States for amnesty against penalties as the IRS’s Foreign Bank Account Reporting requirements were not adequately communicated to dual citizens living in Canada. In addition, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty should work to amend the Canada-US tax treaty so that the IRS does not tax savings vehicles such as RRSPs and RESPs, and instead recognize them as the tax deferred savings vehicles that they are.

We are also highly concerned that new regulations in the United States will soon force Canadian banks to share personal banking information with the IRS. This raises clear privacy concerns that must be addressed before these regulations take effect in two years time. We hope the Harper government will act to address these concerns instead of caving into American pressure as has been their past practice.

We have raised this issue in Question Period and will continue to press the Conservative government to do the right thing for Canadians.

Thank you for taking the time to write.

Sincerely,

The Honourable Bob Rae, P.C., O.C. M.P.

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13 thoughts on “Response from the Honourable Bob Rae, Leader of Liberal Party of Canada

  1. @Blaze
    DUPLICATE POST:

    @ Blaze. Thanks for this information.

    and @renounce

    I have forwarded my previous correspondence on to Mr. Rae, with the preface…

    “Dear Honourable Minister Rae,

    I am taking the liberty of forwarding recent correspondence I have sent to other government representatives as I have just heard from a fellow Canadian that she got a response from you. She is considered by the US a US citizen even though she was warned (as was I) that she would relinquish her citizenship when she took the Oath of Canadian Citizenship in the 70’s. We were glad that the Liberal Party is cognizant of the overreach of the US into the lives of Canadian citizens.

    I and many others of the estimated one million considered ‘US persons in Canada’ would be pleased if you could review the email correspondence below and advise me of your and the Liberal position and actions, specifically on the human rights of US persons in Canada, particularly our disabled population, those with the least voice as it pertains to…

    Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
    Equality Rights
    Equality before and under law and equal protection and benefit of law

    15. (1) Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.

    Affirmative action programs

    (2) Subsection (1) does not preclude any law, program or activity that has as its object the amelioration of conditions of disadvantaged individuals or groups including those that are disadvantaged because of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.

    Respectfully,
    “calgary411″

  2. I am new to this post but I have been following it quite loyally. Just wanted to mention over at Rothcpa.com is the bombshell (20th Feb) on Schulman’s response to Nina Olson regarding her directive against him and his due response on 26th Jan. I honestly am beginning to this man is psychotic…………..Will

  3. Welcome, William. Thanks for posting that here. As I’ve said on another thread, I look forward to Steven Mopsick’s comments about why Douglas Shulman is above the LAW.

    My dictionary says that would mean he has “a severe re mental derangement, especially when resulting in delusions and loss of contact with external realities.” That’s not Shulman.

    Shulman knows exactly what he’s doing–and he’s loving every minute of it. Shulman’s a greedy, power hungry despot who thinks nothing of flaunting the laws he is so determined to hold others to. .

  4. @Blaze. Thanks for this information. I am glad to see that at last the Liberals are sort-of onto this issue, though like too many other politicians he’s ignoring (so far) the issue of people who relinquishing their US citizenship decades ago but never got a CLN because no one back then had ever heard of such a thing, how one got one, or why one might ever want to have one. Which is almost every relinquisher I’ve run into, except for myself and then I only found out by utter fluke.

    So now all three of our major national parties are at least aware of this issue and concerned about at least some parts of it and think FATCA is way over the top. That’s excellent news.

  5. @blaze: I have a different take on this non-issue of why the Commissioner may not have responded to the National Taxpayer Advocate. It is not because he is a bad guy. From the Good Government/Bad Government point of view, it’s good we have a taxpayer advocate with a good staff on the third floor of the main IRS office building on Constitution Avenue right across the hall from the Chief Counel’s suite and just down hall from the Commisioner’s suite..
    We should be applauding the fact that the NAT challenged the Commish on the bait and switch issue. That is what she is there for, to make life difficult for the tax man and keep him on his toes. They may have had lunch over the issue or talked about it in the hallway but no one is holding their breath on this issue wondering what is going on.
    The issue will be raised in another forum, memo, or internal e mail. Relax
    30 Year IRS Vet

  6. @steven
    Every time you try to explain the relationship that Mr. Schulman and Mrs. Olsen have related to their responsibilities in the IRS this video keeps popping into my mind. I keep getting the feeling that Mr. Schulman is Benny Hill and Mrs. Olsen is the poor old man who is never respected, listened to, or even taken seriously!!!!!

    Forums, lunches, memos and internal e-mails have, in my working experience so far, have never really ripened anything more than to be become overly ripe, fall of the tree and return into the perpetual life cycle. In other words it’s just business as usual.

    What a shame!

  7. @Steven

    In your comment above you said:

    “I have a different take on this non-issue of why the Commissioner may not have responded to the National Taxpayer Advocate. It is not because he is a bad guy.”

    What is your take?

    Also, you call Mr. Shulman’s lack of response a “non-issue”.

    Please explain why this is a “non-issue”.

  8. Certainly not as strong of a response as one would have hoped for. This response is (as was pointed out) far too partisan. Both the conservatives (through the intervention of the Finance Minister) and the NDP (through their letters/meetings) have been supportive.

    This is a weak response from the Liberals – of course, it also explains with the Liberals have become almost irrelevant in Canadian politics – i.e. it’s all about the Liberals and not about the country.

    Bit of trivia: Did you know that Bob Rae used to be Richard Nixon’s paper boy?

    http://www.hilltimes.com/political-history/2008/03/24/rae-used-to-be-nixons-paper-boy/19909

    Another thought on this. Elizabeth May is (as you know) the leader of the Green Party and has a seat in the commons. Also, born in the U.S.

    What about writing her and getting her official take on this.

  9. Important to actually read your mail:

    My response to Bob Rae’s prompt, but stock, response…

    Dear Mr. McCone,

    Thanks for your prompt reply, although it appears to be a stock answer you are giving, the exact wording of another letter from Bob Rae – or at least your office.

    If you will read my correspondence, what I asked Bob Rae about was the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP), which is also considered a “foreign trust” by the US IRS.

    I would also like addressed by Mr. Rae the discrimination / human rights that taxation of the RDSP presents for Canada’s disabled population who happen to be US citizens. These are among those without a voice for them in Canada.

    I and many others would most appreciate a reply regarding this aspect of the overreach of US citizenship taxation. My appreciation if Mr. Rae or his office can address this.

    Respectfully,
    “calgary411”
    Calgary, AB, Canada

    From: Bob Rae
    Sent: Tuesday, February 21, 2012 10:53 AM
    To: “calgary411”
    Subject: RE: Fwd: Human Rights — US Persons in Canada, particularly the disabled population…

    Dear “calgary411”:

    On behalf of the Honourable Bob Rae, I would like to thank you for taking the time to write and for sharing your concerns regarding United States Foreign Tax Compliance Act and how this is affecting Canadians.

    Liberals believe that the Government of Canada should stand up for honest hard working people who have been caught up by overly complex American tax rules. They are not tax cheats and it is past time for Stephen Harper to stand up for them.

    Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird should be asking the United States for amnesty against penalties as the IRS’s Foreign Bank Account Reporting requirements were not adequately communicated to dual-citizens living in Canada. In addition, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty should work to amend the Canada-US Tax Treaty so that the IRS does not tax savings vehicles such as RRSPs and RESPs, and instead recognize them as the tax deferred savings vehicles that they are.

    We are also highly concerned that new regulations in the United States will soon force Canadian banks to share personal banking information with the IRS. This raises clear privacy concerns that must be addressed before these regulations take effect in two years time. We hope that the Harper Government will act to address these concerns instead of caving into American pressure as has been their past practice.

    We have raised this issue in Question Period and will continue to press the Conservative government to do the right thing for Canadians

    Thank you for taking the time to write.

    Yours sincerely,

    Colin McKone
    Office of the Liberal Leader

  10. @renounce and @Uncle Tell (gREA It is a non-issue because it is largely irrelevant that the Commissioner’s office has not or will not responded to the NTA. I think we can all assume that the Commissioner has a big problem on his hands. If FATCA were a new product launched by Toyota or Apple, there would be daily public announcements clarifying things or a list of recall locations announced on the radio. We’re dealing with the federal government here. The NTA did her job just by raising the issue. The Commish knows he has a problem. Good for Ms Olson that people are writing about it and talking about the bait and switch issue and other FATCA problems such as the Accidental American.
    The IRS will have to deal with the unintended consequences of FATCA but to read the Commissioner’s conduct as if he were some kind of loose canon at best or a felon at worst, is a bit reckless IMHO.
    30 Year IRS Vet

  11. Pingback: The agony of U.S. citizenship for U.S. citizens living outside the U.S. « Renounce U.S. Citizenship – Be Free

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