On February 5, 2014, the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced that the United States signed an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) with Canada to implement the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). Since Treasury last announced multiple IGA signings in mid-December 2013, agreements have also been signed with Italy and Mauritius, the latter of which also signed a new tax information exchange agreement.
Congress enacted FATCA in 2010 to target non-compliance by U.S. taxpayers using foreign accounts, and the provision has since become the global standard for promoting tax transparency. As of February 5, 2014, the United States had signed 22 IGAs and had 12 agreements in substance. Canada FATCA Agreement is one of the most recent IGAs to be signed.
In general, FATCA seeks to obtain information on accounts held by U.S. taxpayers in other countries. It requires U.S. financial institutions to withhold a portion of certain payments made to foreign financial institutions (FFIs) who do not agree to identify and report information on U.S. account holders. Governments have the option of permitting their FFIs to enter into agreements directly with the IRS to comply with FATCA under U.S. Treasury Regulations or to implement FATCA by entering into one of two alternative Model IGAs with the United States.
Canada FATCA: Model 1 IGA Signed by Canada
Canada FATCA implementation agreement is classified as Model 1 IGA. Under the Canada FATCA implementation agreement, FFIs will report the information required under FATCA about U.S. accounts to Canada Revenue Agency (“CRA”) , which in turn will report the information (as required by the Canada FATCA IGA) to the IRS.
Canada FATCA: US Taxpayers with Undisclosed Canadian Bank and Financial Accounts Are in Danger
What do these Canada FATCA developments mean for US taxpayers with undisclosed Canadian Bank and Financial Accounts? It means that all of these accounts are likely to be disclosed by the Canadian banks to the IRS, and these taxpayers have very little time to act.
If the IRS finds out about these undisclosed accounts, these U.S. taxpayers may face draconian willful civil and even criminal FBAR penalties.
This means that the owners of undisclosed Canadian accounts should consult an international tax expert in undisclosed foreign accounts as soon as possible.
Contact Sherayzen Law Office for Professional Help with the Voluntary Disclosure of Your Canadian Bank and Financial Accounts
If you have undisclosed financial accounts in Canada, contact Sherayzen Law Office as soon as possible to schedule a consultation. Our law firm has experienced expertise in voluntary disclosure of undisclosed foreign accounts and foreign assets. We have helped U.S. taxpayers around the world to bring themselves back into US tax compliance, while minimizing their tax and FBAR penalty exposure. Call or email us NOW!