Canadian bank account info can be shared with U.S.: court

The Federal Court of Appeal has upheld the constitutionality of a law that allows information about accounts held by Canadian financial institutions to be shared with US authorities.

Two US-born women who now live in Canada, Gwendolyn Louise Deegan and Kazia Highton, have challenged Canadian provisions implementing a 2014 agreement between the two countries that makes information sharing possible.

Both men unsuccessfully argued in Federal Court that the provisions violated the Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantee against unreasonable seizure, prompting them to take their case to the Court of Appeal.

The U.S. Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, known as FATCA, requires banks and other institutions in countries other than the U.S. to report information about accounts held by U.S. individuals, including Canadians with dual nationality.

The Canadian government told the Court of Appeal that failure to comply with the US measures would have had serious repercussions for the Canadian financial sector, its customers and the economy in general.

Among the information from Canada shared with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service is the names and addresses of account holders, account numbers, account balances, and details such as interest, dividends, and other income. .

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