The fight to block the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) is unfinished despite defeat in the Supreme Court, vow opponents of the law.
The legal battle in America has reached the end with judges at the Supreme Court throwing out an appeal from Kentucky Senator Rand Paul against a decision by a lower court that he lacked the standing to challenge the law.
Paul and his supporters argued that FATCA breached their civil right of privacy by opening their personal offshore finances open to scrutiny by the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
The courts disagreed and rejected the arguments.
But activists in Canada are still carrying the flame for FATCA repealwith an action against the Canadian government for breaching their privacy by handing personal information about their finances to the IRS.
Canada case in the courts
Tax authorities in Canada have passed details of bank accounts and investments of anyone in the country deemed a US taxpayer.
The data exchange is made under a FATCA treaty agreed between the US and Canada.
The issue for many Canadians is they have American parents and may have been born in the US even though they have lived in Canada for all their adult lives.
Under US tax law, this makes them liable to pay taxes on their income and investments to the IRS.
A case claiming the FATCA treaty is unconstitutional was started two years ago and is expected to reach Canada’s Federal Court early next year.
Undeterred by defeat
The group backing the legal challenge are undeterred by the defeat in the American courts.
They say the Canadian government has no power to provide their data to the IRS as they are Canadians and their government cannot show that giving information to the IRS is supported in law.
“Our hope is that citizens of other countries who are also regarded by the US, without their consent, to be American citizens, will also sue their own countries for assisting in the roundup and turnover of their information to a foreign government, and the confiscation of their locally-made assets,” said spokesman Stephen Kish, a doctor.
“Canada’s argument that it is okay to sacrifice the right of some of its citizens to prevent a mean-spirited US financial sanction doesn’t wash.”