Judge Roy Bean wrote:At the risk of crossing the political line, this is the very kind of thing I have pointed out in the past - there is a protected class.
I have been working with US/UK FATCA and the OECD's Common Reporting Standards for several years now. These laws/rules were created for the sole purpose of rooting out Tax evaders and provide transparency of reporting. When the initial Drafts were issued, I said to my colleagues, this will never work. The people they are really after, the Money Launderer, Drug Dealer, serial Tax evader, Sanction busters that they wanted to catch, were inherently dishonest people, and would just hire smart somewhat ethically challenged advisers to help them circumvent this.
The method used to identify reportable accounts is a review of the AML/KYC due Diligence, the search for Indicia, and reasonableness of information were all based on the documents. When FATCA was in draft, I pointed out that if someone wanted to avoid disclosure, they could use offshore structures, create fake documents, and provide certifications that were false. All things I predicted would be done by ethically challenged legal advisers. Heck, I figured out how to evade it after my first read through, and confirmed it later. As long as the account holder provided information that passed muster, contained nothing bad of contradictory, it would basically be business as usual after the laws came in to effect. This Data dump basically confirms my fears. The crazy thing is the cost comply has been astronomical, and to be honest, over the many thousands of accounts we have processed, I have only had one Canadian investor, born in the US, claiming not to be US when they actually still were. While they had never officially renounced their US citizenship, they felt as they moved out of the US in 1967, they were just no longer US. They did end up providing a W9, but wrote on the bottom, LEFT THE US IN 1967, AND AM NEVER COMING BACK. So this person, just didn't get it, and got picked up, but all my BVI trusts are fine, fully documented, and are not owned by US persons, and many are controlled by BVI Trustees. So FATCA/CRS really hasn't worked as intended, and has cost banks, brokers, custodians, and all those in the Fund Industry to spend Billions of dollars on compliance, all to look like we are doing something to combat tax evasion. It really is a joke.