Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Revenue Canada quietly handed 155,000 Canadian banking records to IRS?

The Canada Revenue Agency quietly turned 155,000 banking records over to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service during last fall’s election, without waiting for an assessment from Canada’s Privacy Commissioner or the outcome of a court challenge to the controversial move.

According to documents tabled in the House of Commons, roughly 150,000 of the Canadian bank records transferred to the IRS on Sept. 30, 2015 related to individuals who are U.S. residents or people with U.S citizenship living in Canada. [...]

The transfer, the first of its kind, was the result of a deal worked out between Canada and the United States in the wake of the U.S. decision to adopt the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), pressuring financial institutions around the world to reveal information about bank accounts in a bid to crack down on tax evasion by U.S. taxpayers with foreign accounts.

The Conservatives have argued that given the penalties the U.S. was threatening to impose, they had no choice but to negotiate the information sharing deal and through the deal was able to exempt some types of accounts such as RRSPs and Tax Free Savings Accounts from the information transfer.

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