Hands Down this is the Worst Academic Piece About FATCA ever Written

 

 

Profesor Paul Caron, on his TaxProfBlog posted the following article:
CONSIDERING “CITIZENSHIP TAXATION”:
IN DEFENSE OF FATCA
20 Fla. Tax Rev. 335 (2017):
by Young Ran (Christine) Kim

 

If any description could possibly be demonstrated over & over in this piece it would be the term “offensive.”  I confess to a hard-edged bias against academia, likely for the same reasons as most people; i.e., the rather noticeable and consistent lack of everyday common sense. Even in my own field (piano performance, where a doctorate is called a DMA not a Phd) there is a prevalence of people who may be perfectly schooled in the accuracy of Baroque ornaments, precise methods of articulation in Classic-period pieces or any number of other tedious accomplishments yet their actual playing (which is the whole point of a performance degree vs an academic one) is so devoid of vitality and inspiration it is enough to make one weep. I don’t know if the same exists in all disciplines but one thing that does apply here is a complete (and I mean complete) lack of awareness on the part of the author, of the harshness of how these theories play out on the lives of REAL people. What would make much more sense would be to address these problems head-on rather than justify “concepts” through a lot of theoretical jargon.

 

The following comment says it well:

 

The people affected by “citizenship-based taxation” are U.S. citizens and Green Card holders who live outside the USA and are “tax residents” (and often citizens) of other nations. The paper discusses (sort of) “citizenship-based taxation” as an abstract concept without considering the brutal effects that it has on the people subjected to it. The acknowledgement of the difficulties with pensions, retirement planning, foreign spouses, mutual funds, CFC rules, etc. (the reality of citizenship taxation) is most notable in its absence. And no, FBAR and Form 8938 (as obnoxious as they may be) are reporting requirements and not the specific tax rules (PFIC, etc.) that affect Americans abroad. I suspect that this paper will be subjected to the criticism that it so richly deserves.

Posted by: John Richardson | May 26, 2017 1:14:02 PM

While this criticism can be equally leveled at the members of Congress who passed FATCA, the Treasury Department personnel who wrote the regulations and last but not least, the heartlessness of many tax compliance practitioners, there is something especially repugnant about those pontificating from their ivory towers, proclaiming that FATCA, citizenship-based taxation, global transparency and all the rest of it, are worth the grief being caused.

Ms Kim indicates her paper finds its origins in Ruth Mason’s recent article, Citizenship Taxation, [89 S. Cal. L. Rev. 169 (2016),

A major difference between the two is that Ms Mason basically sees citizenship taxation in a negative light while Ms. Kim attempts to find it as a natural basis to support FATCA.

She addresses three main arguments; the fairness argument, the efficiency argument and the administrative argument.
 

I.) THE FAIRNESS ARGUMENT

 

Individual taxpayers’ obligations to file Foreign Bank Account Reports (FBAR) or report under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) are not seriously onerous. The fact that citizenship taxation along with FBAR and FATCA enhances global transparency further supports the case for citizenship taxation……..because the rules have been improved through various exceptions and substantially high reporting threshold amounts.

Ms. Kim asserts that the obligation to file FBARS is not “seriously onerous.” The very real threat of a non-willful penalty of $10,000 per account per year (or worse for “willful) is certainly enough to strike the fear of God in even the most reticent individual. The idea that this reality is not considered when evaluating FBAR is beyond reasonable. Articles about FATCA often cover only the reporting done by the FFI’s. However, the other component is the requirement to file 8938’s which duplicate information from the FBAR and can incur serious penalties. The average person is not able to complete an 8938 and will have to pay to have a professional do it. Nowhere in this article does the author address the issue of compliance costs for individuals which can easily be $2500 a year for someone owing no tax and involve 50 or more pages of returns. Not onerous? Furthermore, there are simply NO FIGURES yet, to make any claim that FATCA “enhances global transparency.” Professor William Byrnes describes
the oft-quoted figure of $10 billion. This amount has absolutely NOTHING to do with FATCA; it is largely comprised of penalties and interest collected through the OVDI programs (and does not even represent actual tax recovered). While the FATCA thresholds are higher, please, the threshold for FBAR remains at $10,000, the same figure when the Act was created in 1970 – 47 YEARS AGO!
 

FOCUSING ON THE ABILITY TO PAY PRINCIPLE

First, consent theory argues that taxing nonresident citizens is justified because retaining citizenship represents consent to such taxation.

 
One cannot consent to something one doesn’t even know about. Is the author completely unaware of the history underlying the persecution of expats once Treasury/Justice went after the Swiss banks in 2008? There are still likely more Americans abroad who remain unaware of the obligation to file taxes and worse yet, the oppressive information returns with penalties simply for not filing a piece of paper (i.e. no tax due). For those who do know and who retain citizenship, keeping it is much a matter of confusion and fear and could hardly be described as “consenting to taxation.”

 

Second, benefit theory attempts to justify citizenship taxation as an obligation of nonresident citizens in return for the benefits they receive from the government.

This argument is so ridiculous at this point it is hard to believe it remains part of the discussion. Cook v Tait is nearly 100 years old and does not address the large changes globalization has produced. There is the endless  nonsense of hearing how “The Marines will come to rescue you,” after which you receive a full bill. How many living in first-world countries have any need for “rescue?” And last but not least we “owe” the U.S. for consular services (for which we pay, dearly in the case of renouncing – $2350 or $50 USD to notarize a single page). All tiresome and nowhere near justifiable for being taxed “the same” as Homelanders.

 

Third, social obligation theory

the underlying assumption of this theory is that people have an obligation to pay taxes to support the members of the society to which they belong in accordance with their ability to pay taxes, which should be measured by their worldwide income.

I remember my reaction to Prof Michael Kirsch’s comments (at the ACA Program in Toronto, May 2014, “CBT vs RBT”)regarding polity and such. It seemed ridiculous to me to consider those of us living outside the United States as being a member of that society in any meaningful way. In my own life, now 35 years outside the U.S.(over half my life), the only times I identified as a “member ” of U.S. society was when defending against strong anti-American sentiment (the first few years away) and national tragedies such as 911. I cannot see any way that those infrequent occurrences defined me as being an American more than being a Canadian.  I would say a more meaningful and valid way to apply the social obligation theory is whether or not I support policies that promote the social welfare of those around me, whether or not I give the homeless guy I see everytime I go to the bank, a bit of money so he can buy some lunch. IOW, except in an idealistic or nostalgic way, one can really only measure his/her “social obligation” based upon what they come face-to-face with, i.e., where they live.

 

Due to the different factors affecting the ability to pay, such as difference in the standard of living or amenities between places, “it would be fairer to calculate a person’s ability to pay by reference to the place where she lives rather than to the place where she holds her citizenship.”

“actually tax them alike,” which would require the repeal of the foreign-earned income exclusion and the allowance of unlimited foreign tax credits, including foreign consumption taxes, as well as the implicit taxes and subsidies to compensate the differences.

 

While all expats readily understand the reality that they are NOT “taxed the same” as Homelanders, the idea of being able to adjust all these factors to the number of foreign countries with all the differences in structure etc., absolutely discourages any realistic notion that this could ever be accomplished. Current retirement-oriented plans such as the Australian Super; the lack of recognition of tax-deferred vehicles registered by governments being treated the same as their US equivalents; requiring capital gains tax on the sale of principle residences which are tax-free in the countries where they are located ; and above all else, the obscene “savings clause,” all speak to the built-in bias the US has for anything “foreign” and its pronounced tendency to punish people for making use of non-US instruments. Add the effect of the Patriot Act, which makes it impossible to even open a US account with a foreign address and a non-resident American understandably lacks the will to try and weave one’s way through all these complicated, impossible-to-delineate requirements and procedures. The fact that the IRS does not clarify ambivalent sections such as §877A as well as the fact that no two compliance professionals can be counted on to give the same opinion is proof positive that disparate tax systems simply cannot be adjusted “fairly.”
 

when its critics condemned the new obligations to file FBARs and FATCA as an excessive compliance burden for nonresident citizens created by the Bank Secrecy Act.

There are no “new” obligations to file FBARs; they have been required (and unenforced) since 1970 and are part of Title 31. FATCA was NOT created by the Bank Secrecy Act. It comprises part of the H.I.R.E. Act (2010) and is part of 26 U.S.C. § 1471–1474, § 6038D.

II.) THE EFFICIENCY ARGUMENT

citizenship taxation may distort both Americans’ and non-Americans’ citizenship decisions, is not convincing

American citizenship renunciation rate is not particularly serious compared to other countries

residence-based taxation confronts an additional hurdle on top of enforcement difficulties: determining the residence of the individuals. Determining residence by considering all facts and circumstances creates problems beyond enforcement difficulties. The facts-and-circumstances test itself contains inherent problems when compared to a bright-line test

….and to what extent renunciation is treated as immoral and/or illegal, and so on.

The idea that citizenship taxation does not affect the decisions of Americans abroad concerning their citizenship is patently absurd. Without question, citizenship taxation IS THE MAIN REASON anyone renounces. Not because of tax per sé (don’t even think of trying to scare with the Reed Amendment) but rather, due to all the complications of trying to match two different tax systems. Add the non-financial issues such as the stress on marriages (to “aliens”), passing U.S. citizenship on one’s children, etc. etc. It has become a nightmare not worth living and something to escape if one can.

Ms. Kim devotes a long section to establishing the idea that the renunciation rate of U.S. citizens is “not particularly serious.” Again, we have someone indicating that unless the numbers are large, whether compared to that of other countries, the proportion of renunciations to the numbers of those abroad or to the number of entering immigrants, there is nothing being lost here. If that is the case, then the U.S. has virtually nothing to lose by simply letting these people go without all the forms, swearing under penalty of perjury and so on. One might occasionally consider that Americans abroad were once the best ambassadors the country could have. Now those tables are turned and some are more anti-American than any “alien” could ever be. Nothing like betrayal to warm the heart.

Regarding determination of residency, it is interesting that all 191 other countries of the world are able to surmount this difficult obstacle, which will be even more pronounced once CRS is operative. The “bright line test” which I presume means using citizenship rather than residency to base reporting on, is not truly useful given the fact that only the U.S. (Eritrea does not count) does this. When a U.S. citizen is living abroad with dual citizenship, with no determinant indicia, ask any bank how easy it is to establish whether or not one is a U.S. citizen. If it were clear, one would not see so many institutions refusing to serve Americans.

The Expatriation Act of 1868 gives all Americans the right to give up their citizenship if they so desire. It is not an issue of illegality. When a country treats its own citizens in the manner we have experienced from 2009 onwards (particularly the Accidental Americans who are not American in any normal understanding of the term), who is there to even suggest renunciation is immoral?

III.) THE ADMINISTRATIVE ARGUMENT

ENFORCEMENT DIFFICULTIES

Citizenship taxation has been criticized as difficult to enforce on nonresident citizens abroad….Determining residence by considering all facts and circumstances creates problems beyond enforcement difficulties

Next to failing to point out the outrageous 30% withholding “sanction” inflicted on every other country of the world, this has to be the weakest argument in this paper. The fact that the U.S. cannot effectively collect anything outside of the country is the number one reason people feel safe in remaining “under the radar.” After the initial scare of 2009/2011 seeing that the people hurt the worst were those who tried to do the right thing, people started considering the reality that being identified (“caught”) may amount to virtually nothing for a number of reasons. First of all, the majority of expats who are not compliant are NOT wealthy tax cheats with foreign accounts in order to deprive the U.S. of tax revenue. They are first of all, compliant where they live, which speaks volumes. Secondly, they have these “foreign” accounts in order to live their lives. This is in no way comparable to Homelanders who are guilty of tax evasion when they stash money in tax havens (and let’s not forget Delaware, Nevada, South Dakota and Wyoming, shall we?). The Revenue Rule still stands; even the 5 countries with Mutual Collection Agreements (Canada, Denmark, Sweden, France and the Netherlands)WILL NOT collect on those who were citizens of their countries at the time the tax was incurred. Canada WILL NOT collect FBAR penalties. With regard to fear about crossing the border, if one is not in the U.S. system, there is nothing for the IRS to report to DHS or CBP etc. All these things may change over time but as it stands now, the most IRS can do to most people, is send them a letter asking them to pay. EXACTLY WHAT IS THE POINT OF HOLDING ON TO CBT IF THERE IS NO WAY TO COLLECT?

Is the Compliance Burden Actually Onerous?

the IRS has provided the OVDI that a U.S. taxpayer can utilize to avoid criminal sanctions for the failure to report the existence of, and income earned on, a foreign account on tax returns as well as for the non-filing of the FBAR. In exchange for avoiding criminal sanctions, taxpayers will generally be subject to a 27.5% penalty on the highest aggregate value of their undisclosed offshore assets.86 In addition, for non-willful violators, IRS provides Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedures (SFCP), a program that was expanded in 2014 to cover a broader spectrum of U.S. taxpayers residing abroad and to provide penalty relief. Therefore, nonresident citizens who no longer have a strong economic and social connection with the United States or happenstance Americans are no longer likely to be subject to the severe FBAR penalties.

To suggest that OVDI and Streamlined “make everything alright” is to avoid the real issue altogether which is that citizenship taxation is simply wrong. No other country on earth “claims” its citizens for life. (Eritrea does not count). No other country on earth taxes its citizens after they abandon residence. No other country on earth applies an Exit Tax on assets that were acquired prior to obtaining residence in that country. There are reasons why no other countries do any of the things associated with citizenship taxation. It’s high time the United States stop this appalling abuse of human rights.

THIS ARTICLE FURTHER AIMS TO DEFEND the administrability of citizenship taxation in conjunction with the Foreign Bank Account Reports (FBARs) and the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).

FBAR-absolutely not the way it is being conceived of now. FBAR, created in 1970 was aimed at uncovering money being laundered in smuggling, the drug trade and terrorism. It also was not originally conceived of being applied to those outside the U.S. Once the DOJ/Treasury departments went after the Swiss banks, they realized they could stretch the intent of FBAR to apply to non-resident Americans and the penalty regime thickened.

The criticism… has continued even after the U.S. government committed to enter into Intergovernmental Agreements (IGAs) in an attempt to address those concerns

A huge oversight on the part of the author. FATCA was without question an extraterritorial imposition on other countries. Only the United States would be as uncivil as to suggest imposing a 30% withholding charge on their allies and trading partners. The U.S. appeared not to understand that other countries could not comply even if they wanted to as privacy laws prevented the level of reporting required by FATCA. Banks would be sued were they to comply. To suggest that the US committing to the IGAs was a gracious act is revolting. Under the guise of being rooted in tax treaties, the IGAs simply bypassed what should have been required; that Congress ratify such agreements and implement legislation to do so. There is nothing in FATCA that warrants the creation of the IGAs. The U.S. downloaded ALL of the costs of compliance to the other countries. There is no mention of any penalties for the U.S. failing to comply. The U.S. made only the vaguest promises of reciprocity. It is simply unbelievable that the immorality of taking capital out of other nations is considered acceptable by the United States.

IV>) FATCA:MERITS AND CONCERNS

The OECD’s AEOI and the U.S. FATCA are two important developments, but FATCA plays a more important role.
First, FATCA provided critical momentum
Second, FATCA facilitates multilateral implementation of AEOI by creating an extensive network with more than 100 countries in the world, at the center of which is the United States.

This is unsubstantiated nonsense. First of all, it is bizarre to say FATCA “plays a more important role” Who gains from FATCA other than the United States? So far, nobody. The United States is at the Center of AEOI/CRS? The US has not even signed on to CRS. There are huge differences that matter greatly. The OECD AEOI/CRS agreements are determined by the countries involved; the terms of residency are established by those exchanging the information. FATCA is vastly different in that the United States alone determines who is/is not a “US Person” “US Citizen” irrespective of the status of such a person to the other country. And so far, the U.S. is not “paying its fair share” by requiring its banks to implement the same systems and legislation required (imposed) by FATCA. The IGAs do not constitute “acceptance” by other countries. To think otherwise is ridiculous. One could not possibly view such stipulations as reasonable.

criticism that…. FATCA exposes taxpayers’ private information to potential abusive use by foreign tax authorities.

This is a matter of real concern to Americans abroad living in some of the more troubled areas of the world-or those living Colombia in South America and particularly in some of the Middle East countries. Ironically enough, the U.S. has had some of the worst breaches of security and leakage of private information; certainly this is disturbing and worrisome.

Ms. Kim’s discussion of the Bopp FATCA lawsuit I will leave to someone else.

Second, opponents of FATCA and EOI argue that an EOI system removes a country’s unilateral control over its own tax policy, resulting in the forfeiture of sovereign autonomy. Although such argument has withered since the U.S. government entered into IGAs with other countries, it was strongly asserted by Canadian opponents of FATCA when the IGA Implementation Act included in Bill-31 was debated in Canadian Parliament.

How outrageous to suggest a foreign country does not have the right to have unilateral control over its own tax policy. The proof is in the pudding. The U.S. would never allow the equivalent. The IGA’s are the proof.
I have watched the video of the Canadian FINA hearings on FATCA many, many times. It is not possible to convey the absolute disgust we have for the majority Conservative government which minimized completely, the capitulation that occurred with the implementation of the IGA. It was nothing more than protecting the banks, without any regard to the effect it would have on Canadian citizens resident in Canada.

However, a government’s control over its tax policy is more severely harmed when a country segregates itself from the global community and loses the ability to enforce effectively its own tax laws against its taxpayers with interests in foreign jurisdictions

More unsubstantiated nonsense. This is an opinion completely unsupported up by any facts.

A Case for American Exceptionalism

conclusion, if FATCA makes the world better off by enhancing global transparency on tax information, then this may serve as another support for citizenship taxation, as well as an example of constructive exceptionalism.

While all of us raised in America understand unconsciously what exceptionalism is, it truly takes living outside the country to appreciate how incredibly arrogant and offensive it is. It is questionable whether FATCA “makes the world better off….” that a questionable tenet should “serve as a support for the imposition of citizenship taxation.” It is nothing short of reprehensible that the author should suggest what the U.S. has done is “constructive” or in any way justifies the gross aberration of power demonstrated by the creation of FATCA.

Whether through regulation or legislation #FATCA Same Country Exemption won’t work

J-bnn
Reposted from the citizenshipsolutions blog
“Guest post by
John Richardson
– “Citizenship Solutions”
 
 
 
 
 

In the beginning there was Facebook …


 

and from a second Facebook group:

 

Introduction: If you were to REPEAL FATCA

A previous post discussing the what exactly is meant by FATCA
and the Mark Meadows “Repeal FATCA” bill
, described:

FATCA is the collective effect of a number of specific amendments to the
Internal Revenue Code which are designed to target both (1) Foreign
Financial Institutions and (2) Those “U.S. Persons” who are their
customers.

1. There are “Three Faces To FATCA” which include:

– Face 1: Legislation targeting Foreign Financial
Institutions (Internal Revenue Code Chapter
4
)

– Face 2: The FATCA IGAs (which for practical purposes
have replaced Chapter 4)

– Face 3: Legislation targeting individuals (primarily
Americans abroad who commit “Personal Finance Abroad – While Living
Abroad” – Internal Revenue Code 6038D which mandates Form 8938)

2. The amendments to the Internal Revenue Code that would be
necessary to reverse the sections of the Internal Revenue that created
FATCA.

Legislative FATCA vs. Regulatory FATCA

The sections of the Internal Revenue Code that comprise “FATCA” are
surprisingly few.

FATCA Face 1: Internal Revenue Code S. 1474(f) gives
Treasury broad authority to make “FATCA regulations”.
Continue reading “Whether through regulation or legislation #FATCA Same Country Exemption won’t work”

The Idea that the SCE would encourage FFIs to change their stance is laughable

Edelweiss writes:

To me, the idea that the SCE would encourage FFIs currently not doing business with US citizens to change their stance is laughable. In the UK, about 40-50% of online brokers have blanket bans on US citizens. If the real issue was the reportability of the account, you would see at least some online brokers refusing to offer reportable accounts but offering non-reportable accounts (eg ISAs). I didn’t find any online brokers that offered non-reportable accounts when they didn’t offer reportable accounts. To me this suggests that the issue driving whether or not they service US citizen customers is not the reportability per se, but rather the risk that a single incorrectly reported account can put them on the non-compliant list.

That risk is not insignificant and for most FFIs would be devastating. Through FATCA, the US has given itself enormous power over the global financial system and the US has the “right” and the ability to inflict, at a minimum, grave financial harm if not bankruptcy if they so desire on any FFI in the world if they serve US citizen customers. FFIs are generally investing customer assets not their own and “withholding” 30% of the interest income, dividend income, proceeds of sale or redemption of principal on their customer assets will create an enormous liability vis a vis their customers that the FFI’s equity will be unable to cover or only temporarily. Furthermore, FATCA is designed to isolate any FFI deemed non-compliant by forcing all compliant FFIs to report every transaction with a non-compliant FFI. A non-compliant FFI is likely to see a) no compliant FFI willing to do business with them b) all customers with US invested assets leave them for a compliant FFI and c) an enormous liability to replace “withheld” customer income and assets. I’m also not aware of any mechanism whereby the FFI can reclaim the “withholding”. If true, then it’s a system to steal the underlying customer assets of non-compliant FFIs.

Now, which FFI having previously decided the systemic risk of having US citizen customers was too great and having seen the US treat FFIs like piggy banks to break in case of emergency, would like to place their neck in the guillotine and offer same country exception accounts by introducing new procedures to verify customer residency? Anyone? Bueller? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

Those @Demsabroad reiterate their support of #FATCA! Tune in April 26/17 to see how!

Updates April 23, 2017!!

First, here is the link to the live feed of the FATCA hearing on April 26, 2017:

Second the Democrats have selected Carl Levin Protege, Professor Elise Bean, as their witness in support of FATCA. Professor Bean is an interesting choice given that the focus of the hearing, in its plain terms is:

REVIEWING THE UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES OF THE FOREIGN ACCOUNT TAX COMPLIANCE ACT

It seems to me that Professor Bean might be a much better witness if the hearing were for the purpose of:

CELEBRATING THE INTENDED CONSEQUENCES OF THE FOREIGN ACCOUNT TAX COMPLIANCE ACT

To glean some insight into the perspective of Professor Bean, read the account of her March 30 meeting in Washington with PANA committee of the European Parliament. In explaining the superiority of the U.S. approach to penalties and enforcement she noted:

Bean agreed with MEPs that the US is in a more advanced position than the EU when it comes to penalties and enforcement.

“On improving enforcement, there are three things you can do in the EU,” she said. “The first is to increase your fines – your fines at the moment are a fraction of what the banks are earning. Secondly, you should require that the company or bank admits liability. This opens the door for class action lawsuits. Thirdly, make sure that the fines are not tax-deductible. Taxpayers end up paying more than big banks when the fines are tax-deductible.

“In the US, we also use monitors on compliance. We have a monitor who will monitor the institution for a period of two years to ensure that the required changes are actually made. Make the banks pay for their own monitoring.”

Bean also informed the European delegation that there will be tax justice demonstrations taking place in Washington and 60 cities across the US on April 15. The protests will demand Trump releases his tax returns but will also call for ending deferral of corporate taxes and for action on shell companies, she said.

Professor Bean is a colleague of Professor Linda Beale of Wayne State Law School. Professor – through her own writings – is NOT sympathetic to problems of taxation-based citizenship and Americans abroad. She has distinguished herself as one who fundamentally believes that everybody with an undisclosed “offshore bank account” is (to use her words) a “scofflaw“. The professor, as well as a professor of tax law, is apparently also an expert in investing and diversification of assets as evidence by the following gem:

Now, there are at least two interesting things about the Romney’s stashing $3 million in a very low yield Swiss bank account.

1) There are better things to do with money. Even if you don’t mind a low return, you could hold that money in the US–helps the US economy more than in a Swiss bank, and is easily available without the transaction costs of getting it out of your secret Swiss bank account. Why would the Romney’s have a Swiss bank account with a very low yield? The Romney spokesperson says “diversification” but that doesn’t hold water. Makes one wonder where this money came from and certainly why it ended up in a Swiss bank.

________________________________________________________________________

And now back to our originally schedule broadcast …cross-posted from the Isaac Brock Society Those @Demsabroad reiterate their support of #FATCA! Tune in April 26/17 to see how!

Q. What do Ronald Reagan and Heidi have in common?

A. They both became disillusioned with the Democratic Party

When questioned about this, Mr. Reagan noted (referring to the period in his life when he was a Democrat) that:

1. He thought many foolish things in those days; and

2. In any case, he had not really left the Democratic Party. Rather the party had left him.
Heidi writes

“Speaking of which my personal politics are being completely turned on their head, and I am in danger of turning into a former Democrat even before I turn into a former American. Because even though most of what the Republicans stand for makes me shake my head, the only ones who have caused me harm personally are the Democrats.”

This is also the road I have travelled, from a liberal minded, east coast, physician to a renounced EX American who would rather see anyone in the White house rather than the likes of the Clinton democratic mindset.

But honestly , does it matter what the social policies of the US are anymore? We don’t live there, our concerns should be just about their fiscal policies and the effects on US citizens abroad.

I am no longer an American . My concerns now are for my own country and their policies. If you are settled abroad in your other citizenship, then does it matter if you have second thoughts about being ‘their form” of an American Democrat? You can still be a Democratic socialist or whatever in your resident country. Let America go, it is an abusive partner in your life. Hoping for it to change doesn’t work

And now, an advertisement from Democrats Abroad …

Sad but true. The Democrats Abroad AKA The Stepford Wives have once again conveyed the message (reminding me of a Democrat president):

“Let every Expat know, whether he wishes us well or ill, that Democrats shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of FATCA and Taxation-based citizenship.

Yup, #YouCantMakeThisUp

For years and years the Democrats have made it clear that they fully support FATCA and taxation-based citizenship. One would think that they would keep their sentiments quiet. Yet, once again they broadcasted their hatred of Americans abroad to the world.

It reminds me a bit of a teacher I once had who reminded me that:

“Sometimes it’s better to keep your mouth shut and let people think you are ignorant than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.”

Yet, that’s what those “Stepford Wives” have done yet again. Brace yourself, after publicly condemning the Bopp/Republicans Overseas FATCA lawsuit, after failing to directly call for a move to “residence-based taxation” in it’s submission to the Senate Finance Committee, after arguing for FATCA Same Country Exemption (which would benefit only tax compliant Homelanders Abroad and support a U.S. FATCA attack on their own countries of residence), on the eve of the April 26/17 FATCA hearings in Washington, DC, they have once again confirmed their total and absolute hatred of Americans abroad and their support of FATCA.

Here it is, straight from the Donkey’s mouth :

In light of the annual IRS deadline, we’ve been receiving a lot of questions about DA’s advocacy on filing issues for overseas Americans. Why not support Rand Paul’s proposal to eliminate FATCA entirely?

From our late 2016 FATCA FAQs:

Republicans say they want to repeal FATCA. Why won’t Democrats Abroad join their campaign to repeal FATCA?

Democrats Abroad supports policy that cracks down on illegal tax avoidance. When some taxpayers break the law by hiding assessable earnings from the IRS in offshore accounts it increases the burden for the rest of us. For many decades those with access to elite financial structures and schemes have been using offshore accounts in bank/tax secrecy jurisdictions to become even richer. Nations throughout the world have determined to bring this practice to an end and Democrats Abroad believes that is a good thing. Democrats Abroad supports the policy initiative behind FATCA. We also think FATCA can be fixed to remove the unintended adverse impacts it has on law-abiding Americans abroad.

In January 2014 the Republican National Committee (RNC) passed a resolution calling for the repeal of FATCA. While the resolution made it look like repealing FATCA would be Republican Party policy, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives did not introduce a bill calling for FATCA to be repealed in all of 2014. A bill calling for the repeal of parts of FATCA was reintroduced in the Senate by Senator Rand Paul in March 2015. It has one co-sponsor and a 1% chance of being enacted.

The RNC and Republicans Overseas, the organization formed in 2013 by members of the RNC to cultivate the overseas vote for Republicans, has been very open about their strategy of exploiting the anger and upset around FATCA to raise money and build support for Republican candidates amongst Americans living abroad.

Republicans Overseas has admitted that it sees FATCA as a political tactic for activating a ground game to attract overseas voters. If FATCA had been repealed by Congress before 2016, the Republicans would lose this wedge issue in the 2016 campaign. Republicans ran in the 2014 midterm elections on a pledge to repeal FATCA as soon as they won control of the Senate. They
have had control of both houses for two years but a repeal bill to mirror Sen Paul’s bill has not as yet been introduced in the House. And why would it? The GOP can use the promise of a FATCA repeal to take into its campaigns for Congress and the White House. We understand that FATCA hearings may be planned for the months leading up to election day – an opportunity to make the case for repeal. We are putting ourselves forward for inclusion on the witness list for a House hearing on FATCA should one be scheduled for this year.

There is a global context for this question as well. By 2017 FATCA will have been in place for more than three years and be well entrenched in the compliance practices of international banks and brokerage houses. In addition, in 2017 the “global FATCA” will start to come online with the commencement of financial account reporting by at least 80 countries under the OECD Common Reporting Standards. By that time international financial account transparency and disclosure will be a given and the global crackdown on illegal tax avoidance will be very difficult for Republicans to arrest.

Is this for real? Rather than defend their FATCA Attack On Americans Abroad, they are attacking those Republicans who support FATCA repeal. Yes, yes, bring it on!!

Don’t forget that the Obama Treasury (you know the “Change You Can Believe In” – Hopey Changey Guy”) refused to to accept Same Country Exemption confirming its attack on Americans abroad.

Now, back to the April 26, 2017 FATCA hearings in Washington, DC (resulting from the FATCA repeal legislation proposed by Congressman Mark Meadows and Senator Rand Paul ). Although these were not organized by the Democrats, they apparently will have witnesses in attendance who will defend FATCA. This is good, because instead of attacking and condemning the Republicans, they will (presumably) be forced to explain why FATCA is so desirable. Rumour is that there will be a way to witness this spectacle live online!! Yes live online!!

Check back and the link to the link to the proceedings where there will be a hearing into FATCA (including the harm done to Americans abroad). This spectacle should NOT be missed. You will see that those who oppose FATCA (a broad range of people) and those who support FATCA (the Democrats) providing evidence and discussion.

But, the FATCA hearings aside …

Democrats Abroad is here to stay and here to continue one of the core missions of the Democratic Party, which is to destroy Americans abroad. And the lesson from this is:

FOREIGN BANK ACCOUNT REPORTING AND TAX COMPLIANCE HEARING NOVEMBER 5, 2009

Nov./5/09 – FATCA Hearing pg. 13- Treasury confirms that FATCA is specifically intended to include #Americansabroad https://t.co/xwswNkDF6d pic.twitter.com/7X3gqPa2dY

— Citizenship Lawyer (@ExpatriationLaw) April 15, 2017

The purpose of this post is, as put forth by Tim:

This is a copy of the transcript of the one and only hearing on FATCA in the US Congress many years ago. I once had a copy of this years ago and lost it. I feel there is important information in this that will help the ADCS legal challenge against the government of Canada.

We would like to hear what sections of the testimony (including the non-witness, written testimony) you feel may have some impact on our Charter Challenge. I have tried to make this a little more readable; i.e., the original document is 154 pages, a lot of it in very small print. I have separated where possible, individual letters. It is a lot to take in and I hope this is helpful.

NB: Member names that are bolded/italicized still sit on the Ways & Means Committee

GPO PDF file

U.S. Government Printing Office Washington
Foreign Bank Account Reporting and Tax Compliance Hearing
Before the Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures of the Committee on Ways and Means
U.S. House of Representatives

One Hundred Eleventh Congress First Session
November 5, 2009

Committee on Ways & Means
Charles B. Rangel, New York, Chairman
Fortney Pete Stark, California
Sander M. Levin, Michigan
Jim McDermott, Washington
John Lewis, Georgia
Richard E. Neal, Massachusetts
John S. Tanner, Tennessee
Xavier Becerra, California
Lloyd Doggett, Texas
Earl Pomeroy, North Dakota
Mike Thompson, California
John B. Larson, Connecticut
Earl Blumenauer, Oregon
Ron Kind, Wisconsin
Bill Pascrell, Jr., New Jersey
Shelley Berkley, Nevada
Joseph Crowley, New York
Chris Van Hollen, Maryland
Kendrick B. Meek, Florida
Allyson Y. Schwartz, Pennsylvania
Artur Davis, Alabama
Danny K. Davis, Illinois
Bob Etheridge, North Carolina
Linda T. Sanchez,
Brian Higgins, New York
John A. Yarmuth, Kentucky
Dave Camp, Michigan
Wally Herger, California
Sam Johnson, Texas
Kevin Brady, Texas
Paul Ryan, Wisconsin
Eric Cantor, Virginia
John Linder, Georgia
Devin Nunes, California
Patrick J. Tiberi, Ohio
Ginny Brown–Waite, Florida
Geoff Davis, Kentucky
David G. Reichert, Washington
Charles W. Boustany, Jr., Louisiana
Dean Heller, Nevada
Peter J. Roskam, Illinois
Janice Mays, Chief Counsel and Staff Director
Jon Traub, Minority Staff Director

Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures

Richard E. Neal, Massachusetts, Chairman
Mike Thompson, California
John B. Larson, Connecticut
Allyson Y. Schwartz, Pennsylvania
Earl Blumenauer, Oregon
Joseph Crowley, New York
Kendrick B. Meek, Florida
Brian Higgins, New York
John A. Yarmuth, Kentucky
Patrick J. Tiberi, Ohio, Ranking Member
John Linder, Georgia
Dean Heller, Nevada
Peter J. Roskam, Illinois
Geoff Davis, Kentucky

The subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 10:05 a.m., in Room B–318, Rayburn House Office Building, the Honorable Richard E. Neal [chairman of the subcommittee] presiding.

FOCUS OF THE HEARING:
The hearing will focus on non-compliance by U.S. taxpayers with foreign bank accounts,
rules regarding foreign trusts with U.S. beneficiaries, and certain U.S. dividend
equivalent payments to foreign persons to avoid U.S. taxes. The hearing will
also focus on recently introduced legislation, HR 3933, the Foreign Account Tax
Compliance Act of 2009.

BACKGROUND:
According to the most recent tax year data available (2003), more than $293 billion
in U.S. source income was sent to individuals and businesses residing abroad.
The United States imposes withholding taxes when U.S. source investment earnings
are paid to a foreign person. Those withholding taxes were largely designed to collect
tax on income earned in the United States even though the income is earned
by a foreign person not subject to the jurisdiction of our laws. Those withholding
taxes also play a role in preventing non-compliance by U.S. persons holding investment
assets in accounts overseas.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has established the Qualified Intermediary
(QI) program that authorizes foreign financial institutions to collect withholding
taxes on behalf of the U.S. government. The program was implemented to improve
compliance for tax withholding and reporting on U.S. source income that flows offshore
through foreign financial institutions. The recent UBS case revealed problems
with the QI program that permitted tax evasion by U.S. persons. Further, even with
jurisdictions in which the United States has a tax treaty, effective information exchange
used by tax enforcement agencies may sometimes be undermined by local
laws providing for banking secrecy that conflict with U.S. law.
In March of this year, this Subcommittee held a hearing on bank secrecy and tax
evasion at which the Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service testified (Ways
and Means Committee Hearing Print, Serial 111-12, Hearing on Banking Secrecy
Practices and Wealthy American Taxpayers). In May, the President released a fiscal
2010 budget proposal including a number of new requirements on taxpayers with
foreign bank accounts and foreign financial institutions holding those accounts. Last
week, Representative Charles B. Rangel filed HR 3933, the Foreign Account Tax
Compliance Act of 2009 containing, among other proposals, many of the proposals
from the Administration’s budget, including a mandatory 30 percent withholding on
payments to foreign financial institutions unless they disclose information to the
IRS on accounts owned by U.S. individuals or close the accounts, and a requirement
on individuals and entities to report offshore accounts with values of $50,000 or
more on their tax returns (see Joint Committee on Taxation Technical Explanation,
JCX-42-09).
Continue reading “FOREIGN BANK ACCOUNT REPORTING AND TAX COMPLIANCE HEARING NOVEMBER 5, 2009”

Form 8621 and Form 5471 are required even if the tax return is NOT!

cross-posted from the citizenshipsolutions blog

IRS

The Internal Revenue Code of the United States requires two things:

1. The calculation of taxes; and

2. The reporting of information.

The Internal Revenue Code of the United States is based on three basic principles:

1. A dislike of all things “foreign”. (If you see the word “foreign” a penalty is sure to follow.)

2. A hatred of all forms of non-U.S. “tax deferral”

3. An attempt to stop the “leakage” of “U.S. taxable assets” from the U.S. tax base. (Examples include the U.S. tax treatment of the “alien spouse”and the U.S. S. 877A “Exit Tax” that may be payable when one makes the decision to renounce U.S. citizenship).

“Forms” AKA “information returns” are for the purpose of forcing disclosure of information relevant to “foreignness”, “deferral” and “leakage”.

The above tweet references an earlier post describing many of the “forms” required to be filed by Americans abroad. The post also describes the significant penalties which can be potentially imposed for failure to file the forms.

For Americans abroad the information reporting requirements are extensive, burdensome and penalty laden. Normally (but not in all cases) the “forms” are filed as part of the tax return (1040 or 1040NR).

NEVER FORGET MR. FBAR – THE NEW SYMBOL OF U.S. CITIZENSHIP – AND THE POTENTIAL FBAR PENALTIES FOR FAILURE TO FILE THE FBAR! THOSE WHO HAVE FAILED TO FILE MR. FBAR SHOULD BE CAUTIOUS ABOUT HOW THEY “FIX THE FBAR PROBLEM“.

(Interestingly, Mr. FBAR has been used as a model for Russia which now has (for lack of a better term) the Russian FBAR.)

Many people do NOT understand that they may be required to file “information returns”, even though they may NOT meet the income thresholds to file a tax return!

Forms that may be required whether a “tax return” is required or not

Form 8621 – This form must be filed if an American living abroad owns more than the U.S. dollar equivalent of $25,000 of non-U.S. mutual funds. In order to discourage American citizens from investing their money in non-U.S. mutual funds, Congress imposes severe penalties for purchasing non-U.S. mutual funds. This includes the situation of a U.S. citizen living in Canada, who buys Canadian funds for retirement planning. Yes, sometimes “truth is stranger than fiction”. From a U.S. perspective, Canadian mutual funds are “Passive Foreign Investment Companies” or PFICs.

Information about Form 8621 is here. I strongly suggest that you read the PFIC regulations which make it clear that IRS Form 8621 is required, whether you have to file a tax return or not!

(d)Time and manner for filing. A United States person required under section 1298(f) and these regulations to file Form 8621 (or successor form) with respect to a PFIC must attach the form to its Federal income tax return (or information return, if applicable) for the taxable year to which the filing obligation relates on or before the due date (including extensions) for the filing of the return, or must separately file the form in accordance with the instructions for the form when the United States person is not required to file a Federal income tax return (or information return, if applicable) for the taxable year. In the case of any failure to report information that is required to be reported pursuant to section 1298(f) and these regulations, the time for assessment of tax will be extended pursuant to section 6501(c)(8).

The requirement to file Form 8621 irrespective of whether one is required to file a tax return is reinforced in the instructions for Form 8621 which remind Americans abroad that:

When and Where To File

Attach Form 8621 to the shareholder’s tax return (or, if applicable, partnership or exempt organization return) and file both by the due date, including extensions, of the return at the Internal Revenue Service Center where the tax return is required to be filed.

If you are not required to file an income tax return or other return for the tax year, file Form 8621 directly with the Internal Revenue Service Center, Ogden, UT 84201-0201.

Who could have known …

There are financial advisors who suggest that Americans abroad should NEVER own mutual funds that are local to them! In the Donald Trump era, one should “Buy American!” and NEVER “Commit personal finance abroad!”*

Form 5471 This form is required in many circumstances where a “U.S. Person” has an interest in a “foreign” (non-U.S.) corporation. The Specific reporting requirements are found in Internal Revenue Code Sections 6038 and 6046. (Pay special attention to the 6038 regulations.) In general, the reporting requirements are for the purpose of identifying “U.S. Persons” who:

– own at least 10 percent of a “non-U.S.” “controlled corporation”; which

– is earning certain kinds (including passive) of income; that

– is not subject to direct taxation by the U.S. Government.

The goal is to attribute the income of the “non-U.S. corporation” directly to the individual U.S. shareholder. This is referred to as the “Subpart F Income Regime” which begins with Internal Revenue Code Section 951.

The reporting requirements exist irrespective of whether one is otherwise required to file a U.S. tax return. (One might be required to file an income tax return (1040 or 1040NR) for the sole purpose of filing Form 5471.)

Are you the owner of a “foreign” corporation? Watch out for the attribution rules (you are deemed to own the shares) and for the possibility of “indirect ownership” (you own something that owns the corporation) …

Just a “heads up”. Watch out for the “attribution rules” in Internal Revenue Code S. 318. You may own more shares of that “foreign corporation” than you think you own!

A form required ONLY if you are otherwise required to file a tax return – Form 8938

Form 8938 is a key component of the FATCA legislation. It is mandated by Internal Revenue Code section 6038D. You are NOT required to file Form 8398 unless you are otherwise required to file a tax return. As of the date of the writing of this post (warning!! warning!! warning!!) the IRS explains that:

If you do not have to file an income tax return for the tax year, you do not need to file Form 8938, even if the value of your specified foreign assets is more than the appropriate reporting threshold.

Reporting early – When a Form may have to be filed before the tax return is due – Form 3520A

Form 3520A is the information return required for a “foreign trust”. Forms 3520 and 3520A appear to be required whether a tax return is otherwise required. Interestingly, Form 3520A is required by March 15 of each year (before the due date of the tax return!).

Form 3520 is a key component of the collection of International Information returns.

Who could have known?

How to avoid the forms …

It’s easy. Americans abroad can avoid the necessity of filing these forms (and potential penalties for failure to file these forms) by simply avoiding all the activities that the forms are required to reveal. Simply avoid committing any “form” (no pun intended) of “personal finance abroad”.

Perhaps that is the true purpose of the “forms”.

When in Rome, live as a homelander! To learn how, simply click here.

John Richardson

Shu Yi Oei: The Offshore Tax Enforcement Dragnet via Allison Christians

reblogged from Allison Christians’ Tax, Society & Culture with permission

Shu Yi Oei (Tulane) has posted an important new paper on U.S. offshore tax enforcement, of interest. Here is the abstract:

Taxpayers who hide assets abroad to evade taxes present a serious enforcement challenge for the United States. In response, the U.S. has developed a family of initiatives that punish and rehabilitate non-compliant taxpayers, raise revenues, and require widespread reporting of offshore financial information. Yet, while these initiatives help catch willful tax cheats, they have also adversely affected immigrants, Americans living abroad, and “accidental Americans.”
This Article critiques the United States’ offshore tax enforcement initiatives, arguing that the U.S. has prioritized two problematic policy commitments in designing enforcement at the expense of competing considerations: First, the U.S. has attempted to equalize enforcement against taxpayers with solely domestic holdings and those with harder-to-detect offshore holdings by imposing harsher reporting requirements and penalties on the latter. But in doing so, it has failed to appropriately distinguish among differently situated taxpayers with offshore holdings. Second, the U.S. has focused on revenue and enforcement, ignoring the significant compliance costs and social harms that its initiatives create.
The confluence of these two policy commitments risks creating high costs for the wrong taxpayers. While offshore tax enforcement may have been designed to catch high¬-net-worth tax cheats, it may instead impose disproportionate burdens on those immigrants and expatriates who have less ability to complain, comply, or “substitute out” of the law’s grasp. This Article argues that the U.S. should redesign its enforcement approach to minimize these risks and suggests reforms to this end.

The paper provides a thorough review of the panoply of offshore enforcement programs and mechanisms and documents the harms of their dragnet approach, especially on the most vulnerable and least likely targets. A significant contribution to the literature.

 

Citizenship, identity, mourning loss of identity and moving on …

The following post appeared on the RenounceUScitizenship blog.

The above tweet references an article published on August 25, 2013 at the New York Times. The article is popular and as of now has generated almost 600 comments. It’s a very interesting article because it dispels the myth that all Green Card holders want U.S. citizenship. The article highlights the fact that there are many Green Card holders who choose NOT to become U.S. citizens either because:

– they are indifferent to U.S. citizenship and don’t have a compelling reason to get it;

– they specifically do NOT want U.S. citizenship.

The article focused largely on the connection between citizenship and identity. Interestingly there is no mention of the FBAR fundraiser or other injustices to which immigrants have been subjected. It is full of interesting and instructive comments.

Continue reading “Citizenship, identity, mourning loss of identity and moving on …”

Collective psychotherapy – U.S. citizens outside U.S. – Not what they take from you, it’s what they leave you with

cross-posted from renounceuscitizenship blog

Going back to a general thread from a few weeks ago – on law and morality – this post speaks more to the effects of the law when it is not rooted in morality. On one level, an apologist might claim that “doing one’s duty” and “paying one’s share” is moral and is necessary to maintain funding and order in a society. However, when such a law is applied to those who live outside that society, as we all know from experience, unexpected conflicts, resulting punitive actions and penalties tend to denigrate the quality of life. We are not talking about “quality of life” amounting to physical comforts or financial wealth. By “quality of life, what is referred to is mental stability, emotional trustworthiness and the ability to move through difficulties with a sense of direction and confidence. When these parameters are stifled by confusion/lack of clarity of what is expected, and ridicule and negativity is directed toward those affected, the result is a not an issue of lack of compliance but rather, wrongly imposed requirements that simply make people anxious, immobilized by fear, depression and a general inability to adjust to the situation. How this can be justified when those same people ARE compliant in the society where they live, strikes many as simply being immoral.

*****

The Wisdom of Moe Levine Moe Levine (not that I ever met him) was considered to be one of America’s greatest trial lawyers. Although he died in 1974, his wisdom lives on his book (appropriate called) “Moe Levine on Trial Advocacy“. He (legend has it) was a master at delivering the closing statement in his jury trials. When arguing for a severely injured plaintiff he (according to the commentators of his time) would tell the jury (referring to a badly injured client):

“It’s not what you take from them it’s what you leave them with.”

In other words, the inability to live a normal life was worse than the injury itself. Leaving aside the financial costs, Obama/IRS tyranny has had a very serious effect on the lives of many U.S. expats. Few of them will ever forget the day they learned about these problems. One (of many) example is the story of Ambassador Jacobson’s 70 Year old grandmas” in Saskatchewan.

A recent post offered people the chance to describe how recent events have impacted on the lives of U.S. citizens outside the U.S. Check out the comments – there were plenty of them. Yesterday a post appeared on at the Isaac Brock Society called “Your Citizenship Personality“. The comments included a number of descriptions of how the recent Obama/IRS/Levin assault on U.S. citizens living abroad has damaged their lives. I encourage you to read all the comments, but I wanted to share the following two (the second of which is my own) in a separate post:

fullTurtle

March 9, 2012 at 5:15 pm

I’ve been a lurker on this site for over a month. I’ve never “blogged” before today. I am not a writer, nor as eloquent as most you and am woefully ignorant of all this tax and legal stuff. In these 30+ days, I have read every single thread on this site and have visited every link offered. I have read the entire “OVDI Drudgery for Minnows”, all of the personal stories, and have even printed out pages & pages of suggestions and opinions (thank you so much, JustMe!). But I can’t take it anymore… this being silent and feeling so estranged and “criminalized”. The only place I feel connected anymore is while I’m reading postings from all of you. After reading zucchero81′s comments on this thread (“…this whole FATCA issue has been more like going through the 5 stages of grief…”) I feel compelled to peek out of my seemingly safe lurker shadows. You have it right, usxcanada… I am one of those lurkers wondering if/how to transition past pure denial. I have yet to make a real decision (which would require real action) on what the heck to do. My gut reaction is to run fast, run far, hide deep. But the more I read, the more that is sounding impossible to accomplish. I have chosen “fullTurtle” as my alias because doing a “full ostrich” would leave far too much exposed at the surface. Since becoming aware just 6 weeks ago (and purely by accident) of my requirement for filing US taxes… then FATCA and all the rest, my whole life has turned upside down. I can think of little else. I’ve attended a free seminar on the subject of cross-border taxation given by a high-end legal accounting firm in town (can you say ca-CHING?) and have spent the vast majority of my waking hours researching the subject. All I seem to have done is become almost catatonic with dread. I swing wildly between the extremes of near homicidal rage and suicidal depression. Okay, I’m more in the homicidal phase today. To get back to the topic of this thread, I want to renounce my citizenship so bad I can taste it. And thanks renounceuscitizenship; I agree 100% with pretty much everything you’ve posted, and I visit your site regularly too. It would be so worth the $450 USD just to fling my passport & birth certificate down at the US Consolate and tell them exactly where to shove it. When the day comes that I can renounce (my Canadian citizenship application was mailed Feb.6th so it will be 18 mo’s to 2 years), I will write that cheque on a shirt, duly certified by the bank of course, and explain it to them thusly: “Seeing as the US Gov’t is taking the shirt off my back, I thought you might like to keep the shirt.” In ending this tirade, I am so grateful to ALL of you regular posters who have unknowingly kept me from jumping from a tall building (so far). And especially you, Petros, for creating this web site. You have no idea the number of people you are helping give voice. I hope someday to add my story to those of you who have survived this holocaust. Okay whew, if I can do this… the rest of you lurkers out there can do it too!

renounceuscitizenship

March 10, 2012 at 9:36 am

@Fullturtle A warm welcome to the Isaac Brock Society. It’s a great place – with a lot of great people. It’s interesting how the comments often move the intent of a post in a different direction. What struck me about these comments is that one can feel the excruciating pain, the agony, the fear, the uncertainty, the despair, the anger, the rage, the sense of betrayal, and in some cases the unbelievably intense hatred of the U.S. government. I do believe that many people on this board have never experienced the range and intensity of emotions they are feeling today. As noted by Pacifica777: “This horrible gamut of emotions and mood swings seems to be universal, and statistically, I would guess that few of us have ever had to deal with such extreme feelings before, so it’s so unfamiliar that it’s scary. I have never felt such intensity of emotions and such a bizarre range of them, nothing close to it, ever. This US mess just takes over one’s life, feeling like caught in a complex trap, that it will never end. Though it’s not over yet, I have found as time went on, while I still feel an amazing range of emotions, they don’t seem to be so intense and overpowering. For a couple of months, it overtook all of my life — with such an overpowering complex confusing situation, it was hard to focus on anything else. Eight months on, it is still, unfortunately, a big part of my life, but slowly I’ve found more and more of my normal life, and my normal personality, returning. It’s still a big problem but not overwhelming everything else.” Blaze reiterates: “I’m hoping you are just joking in your comment about wanting to jump from a tall building, but I fear you may be serious. Another person has expressed similar disturbing thoughts. Many of us have had sleepless nights, health challenges, strained marriages and personal relationships, expensive accountants and lawyers who are draining retirement savings, difficulties at work, worry about Canadian born children, etc.” JustMe (in his infinite wisdom) has said that it is important to not hate. It will only destroy the person doing the hating. You need to be focused, methodical, purposeful and committed to achieving whatever course of action you decide is best for you. You said that you felt “criminalized”. I understand. If you are not careful, and if you allow yourself to feel “criminalized” long enough, you may actually believe that you have done something wrong. You have done NOTHING wrong (and chances are that you have done a lot right). You are on the receiving end of a vicious assault by an unprincipled vicious debt-ridden thug – The United States of America. I want to add one more thought to this moment of “collective psychotherapy”. There is good news and bad news. First, the good news. You do NOT live in the U.S. You live in Canada. You are in a situation that any sane person would dream to be in. Sure, Canada has its problems. But, lurking beneath all the problems is a basic assumption of fairness, justice and decency. I repeat you live in Canada. In addition to the good things I just mentioned, you have the benefit of the tax treaty. Canada will not collect FBAR penalties. Furthermore, (I don’t have stats on this), but I suspect that a large number of U.S. citizens here are also Canadian citizens (giving them political power). Second, the bad news. As horrible as this situation is (and it is a nightmare for most), you must go on with your life. At least in my case (and I suspect most of you) that life is a life shared with non-U.S. citizens. This is a very important point. The Obama/IRS/Levin assault cannot be understood by anybody unless they are a U.S. citizen living outside the U.S. To be specific, they cannot understand your rage and anger. They cannot understand your feeling of injustice. They cannot understand the intensity of your emotions. They cannot understand your sense of betrayal. They cannot possibly understand these things because they are not experiencing it (and probably will never experience anything like it). So, don’t expect the understanding from them that you really need. My point: You need to be very careful to not allow any of this to damage the valuable relationships in your life – friends, marriage, work, extended family, etc. We are in a situation where we are in a sense forced to protect ourselves from a repressive government. This is has gone on throughout history. Never did I believe, that government would be, (according to Margaret Thatcher) the United States –that “Great Citadel of Freedom and Justice”. But, that’s what is happening. I once met a man who had escaped from another repressive government. He wanted his children to be well educated – commenting that, the only thing that a government couldn’t take from you was your knowledge/education. It’s not the only thing they can’t take. They can’t take your attitude, or your capacity to tell right from wrong. Unless of course you let them (and we wouldn’t let than happen, now would we)! Take the weekend off from your worry. You deserve it. Renounce and rejoice!

So what am I trying to say? 1. There is no way the IRS can understand the effect of their conduct on honest, hard working people, who just happen to live outside the United States. They cannot understand it and never will. 2. Your job is to get through this and have the life you deserve.

More #Americansabroad will pay capital gains tax on sale of principal residence in Canada

 
cross-posted from citizenshipsolutions

More #Americansabroad will pay capital gains tax on sale of principal residence in Canada

The price of Toronto real estate continues its upward trajectory.

This morning I met with yet another (who could have known) Canadian resident who wishes to renounce U.S. citizenship. This person is completely compliant with his U.S. tax obligations. He is renouncing for a very common reason.

The reason for renouncing U.S. citizenship is to:

Protect the tax free capital gain, which results from the sale of his Canadian principal residence in Canada.
Continue reading “More #Americansabroad will pay capital gains tax on sale of principal residence in Canada”