At least we’re not alone; New Brunswick Premier David Alward is caught in the same broad net that is causing so much stress and lack of sleep for American expats the world over.
Alward, who was born in Massachusetts and spent a few years of his childhood in the US before his family settled in New Brunswick, has issued a statement that he understands the frustration we feel as we sort through years of records to bring ourselves into compliance with the US Treasure Department’s draconian regulations.
“I’ve had to scramble like thousands of other people,” Alward said, adding that he is complying with the U.S. demand for tax returns going back years and detailed disclosures.
“This is a difficult situation for a lot of people. I can tell them I am going through the very same thing they are going through.”
FATCA – which was enacted in an attempt to catch and punish tax evaders, drug lords, and money launderers – casts too broad a net, and is instead causing a great deal of fear among honest, law-abiding Canadian residents who do not owe money to the US. Many, like Alward, have only distant ties to the US.
“I don’t know where it will lead or what our success will be – they have the right to tax American citizens. But the fact is a lot of these people that are in Canada, and I think it’s over a million, most have never lived in the United States and it’s just happenstance they were born there,” added Keith Ashfield, Canada’s former revenue minister and the senior cabinet minister for New Brunswick.
We are not criminals, and we are not tax evaders. We’ve merely committed errors of omission and we do not deserve to lumped in alongside wilful tax evaders.