Message for U.S. Citizens: Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA)

by US Embassy
(La Paz, Bolivia)

Message for U.S. Citizens – Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) - U.S. Embassy La Paz, Bolivia - January 20, 2015 - As of July 1, 2014, Bolivian banks began implementing their procedures to comply with the U.S. Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA.) In order to comply with FATCA, Bolivian banks must share information about all U.S. citizen and Legal Permanent Resident account holders with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

In order to ascertain which of their clients is subject to U.S. law, Bolivian banks will ask all clients who wish to open a new account a series of questions about their nationality. Bolivian banks will also ask existing customers a series of questions to determine if they are subject to U.S. law. If a client is a U.S. citizen or Legal Permanent Resident, the bank will ask the customer to sign a letter authorizing the Bolivian bank to share his or her account information with the U.S. IRS. The Bolivian bank may not share this personal information without authorization due to Bolivian privacy laws. The account holder may choose not to sign such a letter, in which case the bank will close the account and return the account balance to the client. The questionnaire and letter is standard and has been developed by the National Association of Bolivian Banks (ASOBAN) due to the absence of an Inter-Governmental Agreement between the United States and Bolivia. The U.S. Embassy appreciates the Bolivian banking sector’s willingness to comply with this U.S. law and is available to answer any questions concerned American citizens might have.

For additional information you can check the Internal Revenue Service link at

http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Corporations/Foreign-Account-Tax-Compliance-Act-FATCA

You can stay in touch and receive Embassy updates by checking the Embassy website, found here. Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or, for callers outside the United States and Canada, by calling the regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Bolivia enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at www.Travel.State.Gov. STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the U.S. embassy to contact you in an emergency. If you don’t have Internet access, enroll directly with the U.S. embassy.

Regularly monitor the State Department's website, where you can find current Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and the Worldwide Caution. Read the Country Specific Information for Bolivia. For additional information, refer to “A Safe Trip Abroad” on the State Department’s website.

Contact the U.S. embassy or consulate for up-to-date information on travel restrictions. You can also call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

You can contact the American Citizen Services Unit at the U.S. Embassy in La Paz, Bolivia, via e-mail at ConsularLaPazACS@state.gov or by telephone at 591-2-216-8246 during regular business hours (Monday to Friday, 2.30 p.m. to 4 p.m.) or 591-2-216-8500 after hours and on weekends.

The U.S. Embassy is located at 2780 Arce Avenue in La Paz, Bolivia, and is open to the public by appointment on Monday through Thursday from 08:00 to 12:30, and Thursdays from 14:00 to 16:00. You can schedule a non-emergency appointment by visiting our website.

The Embassy operates one Consular Agency in the city of Santa Cruz, Bolivia. The Santa Cruz Consular Agency is located on Roque Aguilera Avenue #146 (3rd ring). You can contact the Santa Cruz Consular Agency by telephone at 591-3-351-3477, during regular business hours (Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.).

If you wish to visit the Consular Agency for a non-emergency matter, please schedule an appointment through our website at http://bolivia.usembassy.gov/service.html.

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Jan 21, 2015
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FATCA lawsuit in Canada
by: Anonymous

Are you at risk due to FATCA? The Alliance for the Defence of Canadian Sovereignty (ADCS), a Canadian non-profit organisation, is sponsoring a lawsuit against the Government of Canada with respect to FATCA implementation in Canada. The plaintiffs are two Canadian citizens, both born in the US to Canadian parents and returned to Canada as infants. The lawsuit was filed August 11, 2014 in the Federal Court of Canada. The principal claim is that the Canadian legislation implementing FATCA violates Canada's Charter of Rights, part of our constitution.

Canada has many citizens with some kinds of ties, however remote, with the US. Many of these have never lived in the US. Armed with FATCA, the US intends to collect massive penalties and possible confiscation of assets for their "criminal" unreported "foreign" bank accounts and pensions.

The lead lawyer in the suit is Joseph Arvay, one of Canada's leading constitutional experts. As of January 2015, ADCS has raised more than $290,000 in support of the case.

This case is being watched by many "US persons" around the world, as it may, if successful, serve as a precedent for FATCA resistance in other countries.

For more information see the ADCS website: http://www.adcs-adsc.ca/

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