First, here is the text of the intergovernmental agreement--it is not a signed copy unfortunately, which leaves a couple of technical questions unanswered for now. Here is the Press Release from the United States. Here is the Press Release from Canada, and here are explanatory notes to the agreement, a "backgrounder", and an FAQ,
Canada's Department of Finance has also produced a draft legislative proposal that would implement the agreement into Canadian law. This includes text for a new section on Enhanced International Information Reporting in the Income Tax Act. Assuming that the agreement is considered to be a treaty, Parliament needs to be officially notified that an agreement has been signed and 21 sitting days must pass before legislation is introduced to implement the agreement into Canadian law, which would take us to roughly March 27.
During Thursday's Parliamentary proceedings, MP Murray Rankin offered some pointed questions on the pact and the implications for the financial privacy of Canadians, but I am afraid the answers may actually sow confusion, more on that later.
Comments on the legislative proposal can be submitted to the Department of Finance at IGA-AIG@fin.gc.ca or to the address below. The closing date for comments is March 10, 2014.
Tax Policy Branch: Department of Finance
140 O’Connor Street Ottawa, ON K1A 0G5
The media, mostly Canadian at first, has taken notice of the agreement and many are commenting on the privacy concerns as well as the reciprocity and scope of the deal:
- Patrick Cain explains the agreement and its implications;
- James Fitz-Morris explains how the pact takes some heat off Canadian banks but leaves several problems unresolved;
- Louise Egan and Patrick Temple-West discuss the agreement and challenges that remain;
- Robert Wood discusses the shrewdness of using the CRA to bypass privacy protections;
- Windsor Star Editorial discusses enduring privacy concerns;
- Theresa Tedesco at the Financial Post comments on the scope of FATCA and what reciprocity really means.
More to come as things unfold in the coming weeks.