The federal New Democrats are calling upon federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty to open up on how the government plans on co-operating with the U.S. Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act.
“A complete lack of transparency, communication and consultation on the part of the Conservatives has exacerbated fears among those who have serious concerns about FATCA,” says NDP pensions critic Murray Rankin. “Negotiations are being held behind closed doors while Canadians remain in the dark as to the integrity of their personal banking information.”
Reports suggest that if implemented, an IGA may require Canadian banks, investment funds and other financial institutions to disclose annually to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service information on accounts held by American citizens, including dual citizens in Canada. Concerns have been raised that such a system could potentially violate existing Canadian privacy laws.
“Canada cannot accept an agreement that violates Canadians’ rights,” says Rankin. “I am asking that the government acknowledge the very legitimate public concerns about the FATCA, bring transparency to this process and inform Parliamentarians on the state of negotiations as soon as possible.”
Rankin sent a letter to Flaherty outlining several concerns about FATCA and demanding urgent action.