Conservative Finance Minister Jim Flaherty must address growing public anxiety about the U.S. Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), and secret negotiations over an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) for the implementation of FATCA in Canada.
“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,” said NDP pensions critic Murray Rankin (Victoria). “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 (IRS) 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,” said 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.