DA Canada Leadership:
The Board of Democrats Abroad Canada invites you to attend your
Annual General Meeting
To report to the membership the accomplishments and financial status of the Canada country committee during 2019.
Sunday, March 22, 2020
2:00 pm – 4:00 pm EDT
Via WebEx and possibly in-person at some chapters. Watch for announcements from your chapter or contact your local chapter chair.
All Members of Democrats Abroad Canada
Via WebEx online or through the iOS or Android WebEx app. Access instructions will be emailed to registered attendees the week prior.
Chair, Democrats Abroad Canada
“The majority of us aren’t making millions or trying to hide our money in secret Swiss bank accounts. We just want to live simple, ordinary lives. The amount of stress that comes along with the U.S. tax system is overwhelming. It is extremely complicated and expensive to navigate. We live with a real burden that Americans living in the U.S. simply don’t understand.” – Michigan voter living in the UK
Seven members of the Hamilton/Burlington/Niagara and Toronto chapters drove to Buffalo in late January to meet with the staff of U.S. Congressman Brian Higgins, 26th District of New York. (Close to 200 DA members in Ontario vote in his district.) The subject: taxes, taxes. At a round table with Bonnie Kane Lockwood, Higgins’ director of special projects, and Chris Fahey, the congressman’s deputy chief of staff for special projects, DA members presented their case. Weighing in via teleconferencing from Australia was Carmelan Polce, chair of DA’s Taxation Task Force.
Ken Sherman, past chair of the Hamilton/Burlington chapter and member of the Democratic National Committee, explained that Americans living abroad must file taxes both in the U.S. and in Canada. “There are over 6.5 million Americans like us who are suffering serious personal and financial harm because we are subjected to taxation both in the United States – even if we have no U.S.-sourced income – and in Canada were we live. Most of us are filing zero-dollar tax returns in the U.S.”
Of particular concern is the Repatriation Tax Law which has had unintended consequences for Americans living abroad. As well, Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 – which gave corporations a wonderful advantage, not so for small businesses – “has thrown people’s lives into an uproar. None of us saw this coming, but it has been terribly destabilizing,” said Sherman. The much-heralded bill is forcing many American small business owners abroad to close their companies. Another challenge faces those whom Steve Nardi, chair for DA Canada, calls Accidental Americans. These are people born in the United States to foreign parents, but who moved away as infants or young children, and those born outside the U.S. to at least one American parent. “According to numbers from the U.S. Consulate, there are between 1-2 million Accidental Americans living in Canada,” said Nardi. With no legal or cultural connection to the U.S., these people still bear U.S. tax-compliance obligations.
Other points of contention discussed at the meeting was the imposition of a new minimum tax on Global Intangible Low-taxed Income (or GILTI), further fall-out from the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Again, this has had a negative impact on overseas Americans, explained Ron Barrett, member-at-large for DA’s Hamilton chapter. Barrett and his wife, Susan Hill, the chapter’s membership secretary, came to Canada twelve years ago as part of a NAFTA initiative and bought a Canadian company. Their U.S. tax return numbered 70 pages last year with $40,000 in what are called “transition taxes” owed to the U.S. government.
These iniquities make a compelling case for what Democrats Abroad has been lobbying hard for in recent years: Residency-Based Taxation (RBT). The U.S. and Eritrea are the only two countries in the world which employ Citizenship-Based Taxation (CBT). “We would still be required to report U.S.-sourced income if we had any, but not the income we make and pay taxes on as residents of Canada,” Sherman explained to Rep. Higgins’ staff.
Two bills are currently in development in Washington that would greatly support Americans’ tax rights. The first, which argues for RBT to replace CBT, is now before the Ways and Means Committee. The second (HR 4362), the Overseas Americans Financial Access Act would exempt Americans living abroad from disclosures of their financial accounts in their countries of residence. Sponsored by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (12th District of NY) and Rep. Don Beyer (8th District of Virginia), the hope is that Rep. Higgins will join them as a co-sponsor of the bill.Both pieces of legislation promise greater tax justice for expats. While the reception with Rep. Higgins’ staff was supportive and encouraging, Polce urges Democrats Abroad everywhere to talk to their respective members of Congress. “There’s push and there’s pull. We pull. We need everyone else to push!”
PLEASE NOTE NEW LOCATION - EFFECTIVE FEB. 3, 2020
Dear DA Canada Toronto Chapter Members:
This is Notice of AGM & Election 2020, with the Meeting to be held on Tuesday, February 25, 2020 from 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm EST before the debates. We will be electing a new co-Vice Chair for the 2020-2021 term and then all hang out and watch the debates after at the bar!
What: ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 2020
Purpose: To inform you about the year’s activities and the accomplishments of the chapter plus elect a Co-Vice-Chair for the 2020-2021 term.
The AGM agenda will include the following:
- Approval of the Agenda
- Vote for new Co-Vice Chair
- Approval of March 2019 AGM Minutes
- Treasurer’s Report
- Report on 2019 Events
- Future Scheduled Events
- Announcement of Election Results
When: TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2020 | 6:00 – 7:30 pm EST
Where: In-person at Watson's at 388 Richmond Street, which is right near the intersection with Spadina. You can get there on the Spadina streetcar. RSVP BELOW to attend in person or HERE to participate by online conference (instructions will come by email in advance of the meeting). Address all other inquiries to Chair, DA Canada Toronto Chapter: email@example.com
Who: All Members of Democrats Abroad Canada - Toronto Chapter
How: For Members who will participate via a video conferencing system, you will receive information by email if you complete this form. Otherwise, come meet us at in person and stay to watch the debate after.
- Ballots will be emailed to members on February 11, 2020. Submit your completed electronic ballot by 12:00 AM EST February 25, 2020.
- Or mail your ballot to: DACTO Teller of Elections, 71 Charles St E, Suite 802, Toronto, ON, M4Y2T3. Ballots must arrive by February 25, 2020 to be counted.
- To vote you must have joined Democrats Abroad by 11:59 PM EST February 10, 2020, you must be a member of DACA, a US citizen of voting age and a resident of Canada assigned to the Toronto Chapter.
- Candidate Statements can be found on the DA Canada-Toronto website here.
Please be sure to vote and we look forward to your participation at the AGM!
DA Canada - Toronto Nominations & Elections Committee