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Bye, Bye, Baby Elle: Is FATCA Inflexible?

Baby in Canadian t-shirt is surprised to get FATCA letterFATCA Letters Don’t Discriminate

At only 8 months old, Canadian-American Baby Elle has had to learn the hard way just how unforgiving the American global tax code system can be to those living/working outside the U.S.  Less than a year old, and Baby Elle has already received a Foreign Account Tax Compliance ACT (FATCA) letter regarding her small low-interest yielding, Canadian bank account.

As you can imagine, Sesame Street does not teach infants and young children how to respond when the American government sends them such letters, informing them of their reporting and filing duties of any and all foreign accounts. Thankfully, “Baby Elle” (not her real name) has an adult friend named Lynne who is facing a similar tax issues and wrote the following letter on her behalf.

Letter on Behalf of “Baby Elle”

“Dear President Obama and Prime Minister Trudeau:

Why do you think I’m a tax cheat? I am eight months old.  I live with my Mommy and Daddy in Canada.  I can’t walk or talk yet. So my Nana’s friend, Lynne, is helping me write to you.

At Christmas time, Mommy and Daddy opened a small savings account for me in Canada.When I was six months old in February, TD Bank sent me a letter and other stuff.  I can’t read.  So Nana read it for me.  I don’t know what the gibberish in the letter means.  Nana says it’s crazy.  I believe my Nana.  The letter says TD will squeal on me to Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).  Then the CRA will tattle on me to U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for FATCA.

What’s a FATCA? I don’t know what a citizen is.  But I’m a double one.  I was born in the United States.  My mommy and daddy are Canadian citizens.  The Canadian government sent me a letter saying I am too.  But I have a blue book that says I’m a U.S. citizen too.  TD says because they know I was born in the United States, I have to complete, sign and mail forms to them.

How Can I? I can’t even print yet.  President Obama, why do you want my information? What will you do with it? Prime Minister Trudeau, why are you giving your friend Mr. Obama information about me? Why are you helping him? Why aren’t you helping me? Please help me.  I can’t afford an accountant or lawyer from my allowance.

Bye, Bye,

Baby Elle, Vancouver Canada”

Tax Laws Taken to the Extreme

This cheeky letter, though humorous and rather adorable, does illustrate how absurd FATCA regulations are getting.  This kind of inflexibility is one reason some are renouncing their US citizenship and giving up their American passports.  For some, it just isn’t worth it anymore.

Venar Ayar, Esq.

Venar Ayar, Esq.

Attorney-at-Law, Master of Laws in Taxation
Principal and founder, Ayar Law

Venar is an award-winning tax attorney ranked as a Top Lawyer in the field of Tax Law. Mr. Ayar has a Master of Laws in Taxation – the highest degree available in tax, held by only a small number of the country’s attorneys.