By Stephen Kangal
December 16, 2016
This 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.