Pass the FACTA or Face the US FATWA

By Stephen Kangal
December 16, 2016

Stephen KangalThis simple headline encapsulates in its entirety all the infringements of international law, diplomacy, human rights and acceptable standards of inter-state relations that are impregnated in the modus operandi of the internationalization of the 2010 FACTA Law passed by the US Congress.

It was a tax-collection domestic legislation of the USA. It is now being imposed against several tenets of international relations with the sword of Damocles hanging over the heads of unsuspecting T&T via US Treasury/IRS- issued deadlines and threats with the Minister of Finance, Hon. Colm Imbert on bended knees dodging bullets from US aggression.

All of these infringements would invalidate the bilateral Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) concluded with T&T and render it patently null and void when one considers the 1969 UN Law on Treaties.

It is clear that FACTA is a unilateral application of the tentacles of the Act beyond US territorial jurisdiction (extra-territoriality principle). It infringes and undermines the sovereignty of T&T as well as the supremely independent law-creating capacity of the T&T Parliament. The IGA signed by T&T is a pre-FACTA diversionary façade whilst it was a post-FACTA operationalization and internationalization of the FACTA initiative being imposed by the US Government on a vulnerable developing state such as T&T.

FACTA was engineered in the USA that will have the effect of interfering in the internal domestic affairs of T&T and other states by means of coercive duress (deadlines and signing of the IGA under duress) and potential black-mail and threat of bringing T&T’s economy to a disastrous screeching halt for failure to adhere to the latest issued September 2017 deadline to become FACTA-compliant. This grand conspiracy against T&T includes the Global Forum countries that T&T has to deal with having been declared non-tax compliant with two other countries by that said Forum.

FACTA is a form of potential economic aggression or FATWA against T&T- a sovereign state member of the UN that recognizes the sovereign equality of all States irrespective of size as well as the principle of non-interference in their internal especially parliamentary affairs as set out in the Charter of the UN.

The Government of T&T is no longer the sole and exclusive authority for foreign policy creation and determination legitimised on the basis of the exercise of its territorial integrity and political independence.

The USA and the Global Forum have arrogated unto themselves the ability to exercise this competence.

FACTA is not only ostensibly a unilateral tax- collection and anti- avoidance regime exercisable way beyond the boundaries of the USA albeit on the principle of reciprocity with T&T. But it will serve also as a powerful and effective antidote to stem the tide of future inflows of US investment personal and corporate capital into T&T upon which the latter depends upon for its survival and economic development.

It is a coercive means of getting foreign countries to aid in US tax collection drive as well as to undermine their respect for human rights and to disclose on a regular basis without requests, to the US Treasury and the IRS hitherto confidential information of US tax-payers related to accounts held in the banks/insurance companies and other financial institutions of T&T. To do this T&T has to undertake enormous expenditure for the establishment of a special unit within the Board of Inland Revenue Department to fulfill/execute this function expeditiously and efficiently.

7 Responses to “Pass the FACTA or Face the US FATWA”

  • The IRS department wants to find those who are hiding money in offshore accounts and therefore escaping the powerful U.S. Taxation regime. Nations who have had previous tax agreements with the U.S. has simply said we have our own taxation system whereby taxes are collected on all accounts. If you have a specific request we will be willing to oblige you accordingly.

    FACTA is indeed a fatwa on all US account holders here. But what can be done when the PNM don’t want to anger the IRS and instead pass this bill.

    This bill is not good on all accounts as Trinidad have a long standing relationship with the US and it is morally wrong for the US to demand of Trinis to comply as though Trindad is part of US territory.

    The government must stand on principle and simply set up a stronger state tax agency and only comply as per request. Of course the TNT government entering this agreement will be able to request information on Trinis having accounts in the US. Something it seems the short man rather enjoys. But it all remains to be seen.

  • “FACTA is a form of potential economic aggression or FATWA against T&T- a sovereign state member of the UN that recognizes the sovereign equality of all States irrespective of size as well as the principle of non-interference in their internal especially parliamentary affairs as set out in the Charter of the UN.” This is an over simplification of the meaning of what is is to report on the use of currency, especially one belonging to the State issuing the currency and put to use by another using the currency.

    I remember in the seventies and eighties, the United States returned to us here in Trinidad and Tobago all currencies collected by them for use in their system. The one cent (penny)
    T&T currency was of particular notation because it was used widely by residents of Trinidad and Tobago in the toll booths of New York and adjoining states. Why? – because the T&T penny fitted perfectly into the slots to accommodate the United States ten-cents currency. What this means is that the United States suffered the loss of probably millions of dollars because of fraudulent use of another sovereign state’s currency for commercial purchases. This is FRAUD.

    I do not think that the United States is asking for a report on the use of the the TnT dollar in TnT. When transactions using the United States dollar are used for commercial purposes, it should be the remit of the issuing State to authenticate its use.
    In the case of the T&T one-cent currency, they were returned here because it was found in another sovereign state’s transactions, illegitimately being used or passed for the U.S ten-cent piece. We, in turn had to collect our currency in exchange to the U.S who lost a U.S ten-cent for a T&T one-cent. In commerce that is fraudulent conversion. FATCA is the reporting to the United States all U.S currencies used by United States citizens and non-U.S citizens alike. This is what I understand FATCA to mean.
    It stands to reason that fatwa is the authentication of such transactions. Fatwa is an Arabic or islamic word used as a legal or learned interpretation of an issue. It can be used by a qualified jurist or mufti to authenticate its use. IN the case of FATCA. the issuer or maker of the currency is asking for a report on those who use it. What is so wrong that?

    There is no doubt that the author of this article and those who support its contention are people who subscribe to the politics of the UNC. It is so because those who are most likely to be scrutinized by its application are those whose use of the U.S dollar might be suspect. The U.S have a right to be concerned by the use of its currency. Why should Stephen Kangal use the term ‘economic aggression’ to describe FATCA?. He is of course supportive of the UNC’s political take on its reporting in this country because it can likely expose them to transactional scrutiny once it becomes law. That is the REAL reason for its opposition.

  • Legal challenge against FATCA

    “As reported in the Washington Times, a legal challenge has been launched by attorney James Bopp. The suit is backed by a group called Republicans Overseas (RO), based on the assertion that FATCA violates the Senate’s power with respect to treaties,
    an 8th Amendment Excessive Fines claim, and a 4th Amendment Search and Seizure claim. Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is among the individuals suing the U.S. Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service
    The case is Crawford v. U.S. Department of Treasury, and includes seven plaintiffs. Republicans Overseas is led by members of the rules committee of the Republican National Committee including Bruce Ash and Solomon Yue. The specific claims being advanced in the legal challenge are as follows:
    • Count 1: The IGAs are Unconstitutional Sole Executive Agreements, Because they Exceed the Scope of the President’s Executive Powers;
    • Count 2: The IGAs are Unconstitutional Agreements, Because They Override FATCA
    • Count 3: The Heightened Reporting Requirements for Foreign Financial Accounts Deny U.S. Citizens Living Abroad the Equal Protection of the Laws;
    • Count 4: The FATCA FFI Penalty is Unconstitutional under the Excessive Fines Clause;
    • Count 5: The FATCA Pass-through Penalty is Unconstitutional under the Excessive Fines Clause;
    • Count 6: The FBAR Willfulness Penalty is Unconstitutional under the Excessive Fines Clause;
    • Count 7: FATCA’s Information Reporting Requirements are Unconstitutional under the Fourth Amendment;
    • Count 8: The IGAs’ Information Reporting Requirements are Unconstitutional under the Fourth Amendment.
    An injunction is also sought against FATCA’s asset reporting requirements on Form 8966 and on the form for the report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR).
    The plaintiffs declare that these requirements violate the constitution and that the government should not be allowed to enforce them
    Another challenge was filed in the Northern District of California by a pro se litigant in Alsheikh v Lew et al., which has the case number 3:15-cv-3601 JST.
    The plaintiff challenges FATCA on 10th, 4th and 5th Amendment bases.”

    Personally I think the Republicans will ditch this bad piece of legislation.

  • Once again! there are news and then there are news. What this statement means is that if we are to believe everything we see and read in print, then we will be able to argue everything as ‘facts’. Mamoo writes “The case is Crawford v. U.S. Department of Treasury, and includes seven plaintiffs. Republicans Overseas is led by members of the rules committee of the Republican National Committee including Bruce Ash and Solomon Yue. The specific claims being advanced in the legal challenge are as follows:……….”. A quote attributed to an article published in the Washington Times newspapers. Those of us who know and understand politics and news know that the Washington Times is the print version of Fox News. While Fox news is commonly distributed throughout the world, most of what is said and commentary attributed to them can be taken “with a grain of salt”. It is news that sKirt around issues and labelled as “fair”. The fact of the matter is, news emanating from that source is almost always tainted with a Republican flavour or of a consevative nature. For example listen to Donald Trump and you will hear him say the that he “won the election with a landslide”. Truth is that while he enjoyed the votes cast by conservative states, he did not win the majority of the votes cast. He in fact lost the popular votes by 2.8M votes. The American system of democracy allows a winner of a general election without necessarily capturing a majority of the votes.
    All the people mentioned in the article that Mamoo quoted belong to fringe groups of the conservative Republican party. In other words they may not represent mainstream Republican ideals. They most likely belong to the “Tea Party” wing of the Republican party. If one is to believe the Mamoo contention or persuasion that FATCA is being challenged by political groups in the United
    States, it can be categorically be described as true BUT… A BIG BUT… The Mainstream Republican Party or Conservative faction of the Republican Party do not challenge FATCA in the way Mamoo wants us to believe his “facts”. This is in keeping with my contention that Mamoo is a propagandist and a fake news enthusiast.

    In keeping with the same themes propagated by the Washington Times, there is an article claiming that Ted Cruz is unhappy about the exclusion of Clarence Thomas, a United States supreme Court justice from the African American Museum. While on the surface that is true, Clarence Thomas does NOT (repeat NOT) represent characteristics of the African struggles or idealism that black people want to pass on to their children. As a matter of fact most black people would rather see the head of the klu klux klan sit on the court in place of Clarence Thomas
    While we contend for favor and integrity on this site, I believe that content is necessary for those who follow us to read and understand.

    FATCA is an edict of the United States Government. As with all democracies, there will be challenges and opposition to various legislations and edicts of the government, BUT the does not mean the law is invalid or illegal as Mamoo wants us to believe. It is a fact that the UNC does not want FATCA to become law in Trinidad and Tobago but to give the impression that it is not legally constituted and promulgated in the United States is factually false. This constitutes fake news or the equivalent of fake news. I do not doubt the challenges he quotes in his piece but that does NOT (I repeat NOT) make FATCA a misrepresentation of the will ofd the people of the United States. The UNC does not want to see FATCA become law because its legislation authorizes both the United States government and the Trinidad and Tobago government to look into the transactions of senior members of the UNC and sympathisers also to serious scrutiny of their hidden U.S dollars. As matter of fact, they are particularly peeved because they want they PNM government to put the effective date of the legislation at a future date that does NOT include their stint in government from 2010 to present.
    That is the real contention of the UNC and the reason why they vehemently oppose the inaction of the law as currently written.
    Mamoo’s opinions skirt around these issues ands would rather give the impression that FATCA is bad legislation that the majority of people in the United States are against. FAKE NEWS folks…..

  • “Interesting article in Forbes magazine on FATCA.” Mamboo

    Snnnnnnnzzzzzz, snoooze , and who cares, really? Next , you’ll root up some similar bogus piece, from one of the many American media entities , to bolster your morally repugnant ,tribal leaders ,phony religious position, on the merits of Indo Trini -sex starved – closet savage – pot gut hombres,marrying 9, 10 11, 13 ,14 ,& 16 year olds, si?
    Yeah , de Mormans Cult ,mostly based in Utah , not only love statutory rapes, like you folks , but Incest as well, so there it is.

    Give it a rest! Dehumanizing animals ,are no different, from those equally uncivilized Bedouin Arabs, or the dirt poor Bangladesh – one of three other backward ,South Asian fiefdoms , still obsessed with this ugly behavior .

    Universal Declaration of Human Rights
    Article 16.
    Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.
(2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.
(3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.”
    This is what your civic, and political leaders , should be more concern about Mamboo, not FACTA-which will eventually become law, even if Opposition bozo Kamla , and her self aggrandizing , party fellows , have to be dragged, kicking and screaming , by the greedy , business blokes, worried about escapist , politically driven maneuvers , which might inhibit their profiteering , via Pax Americana.

    Why didn’t your Kamla ,likewise defy Barrack Omama , and his administration, by demanding that Raul Castro attend that infamous regional leaders meeting, at the Hilton Hotel, when she was instructed to not do so?

    Tell us why , after both her and mentor Baz ,willingly accepted millions of Jack-FIFA -Warner , illegally obtained dollars , and she was elevated to political stardom ,via the latter sole efforts- she then decide to follow the directive of Obama’s ,US law enforcement officials , to make the always corrupt, Chagurnas UNC MP , ‘Persona Non Grata ,’ and after much hand wringing ,fired him, thus paving the way , for his potential extradition?
    Am I alone in saying , that these revolting ,self serving , political clowns ,just disgust me?
    They love to idly boast ,about their deep concerns for T&T Independence , but still foolishly wish ,to latch on to the anachronistic ,racially bias ,3rd World / class discriminatory , overpriced ,British Privy Council , while simultaneously , giving the middle finger ,to the locally based , much maligned CCJ- and of course,we know why they truly despise the regional Appeal Court, si?
    It’s because it was the brainchild of Tobago’s own,globally admired ,respected , and honest Statesman ,ANR Robinson, and not dat do noting of consequence to advance T&T , National Divider in Chief ,Basdeo Panday.
    Am I right , or am I right Mamboo?

    Stay Vigilant T&T, and please quit allowing yourselves to be distracted over nonsense, as parroted ,by tribal minions such as Mamboo, delusional politicians ,highly compromised -eat ah food -fake intellectuals , and worst yet, those co – opted- 4th Estate Agents , who all give lip service ,to Child welfare, poverty reduction,T&T economic enhancement, ignored political transparency , good governance ,elusive Sustainable Development, and other aspects of much ignored ‘HUMAN SECURITY!’
    Love Humanity ,& forget the tribe , for failure so to do ,can have dire consequences- and no ,I don’t give a rats rear end,as to who think otherwise.

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