Queen's University

New IRS rules to affect 1 million Canadians on Sept. 1: Queen's University expert

2012-09-05

Queen’s University tax law professor Art Cockfield is available to talk about the new Internal Revenue Service (IRS) procedures related to the U.S. Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act that that will go after the over one million Americans living in Canada.

The new IRS procedure will take effect on September 1. U.S. citizens residing in Canada (including Canadian-U.S. dual citizens) must file U.S. tax returns and other forms relating to any assets held in Canada, even if they have been living in Canada for decades. If they don’t comply, they could be subject to financial penalties, repayment of back taxes and possible imprisonment.

In June, the IRS announced new procedures to make it easier for people to file returns and catch up to the new obligations but Professor Cockfield says it is not enough. Professor Cockfield also strongly objects to the FATCA provision that begins on Jan. 1, 2013, forcing Canadian financial institutions to collect account information on Canadian-based taxpayers for eventual remittance to the Internal Revenue Service.

“The proposed relief provisions do not suffice to protect the privacy of Canadians against illegal access of their personal tax information. The Canadian government should continue to put pressure on the U.S. government and strongly resist the implementation of Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act,” says Professor Cockfield.

Dr. Cockfield is the editor of Globalization and Its Tax Discontents: Tax Policy and International Investments (University of Toronto Press, 2010). He testified about tax evasion and offshore bank accounts earlier this year before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance.

To arrange an interview, please contact communication officers Michael Onesi at 613.533.6000 ext. 77513 or michael.onesi@queensu.ca or Anne Craig at 613-533-2877 or Anne.Craig@queensu.ca at Queen’s University News and Media Services Department in Kingston, Ont., Canada.

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