Federal Court dismisses FATCA charter challenge

By The Canadian Press | July 22, 2019 | Last updated on September 15, 2023
1 min read
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A judge says a Canada-U.S. deal aimed at zeroing in on tax cheats north of the border does not violate the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

In a ruling today, Federal Court of Canada Justice Anne Mactavish dismissed an appeal from two American citizens, Gwendolyn Louise Deegan and Kazia Highton, who now live in Canada and have no real ongoing connection with the United States.

The U.S. Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, or FATCA, requires financial institutions in countries outside the United States to report information about accounts held by U.S. individuals, including Canadians with dual citizenship.

Deegan and Highton challenged the constitutionality of Canadian provisions implementing an agreement between the countries that makes the information-sharing possible.

They argued the provisions breached charter guarantees that prevent unreasonable seizure and ensure equality of people under law.

Mactavish concluded that although the provisions do result in the seizure of the banking information of Americans in Canada, the affected people have only a limited expectation of privacy in their data.

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