Very well expressed indeed. As a law abiding US citizen living and working in Brazil who was forced by US tax legislation to either violate the laws of the US by not paying my income tax obligation as mandated by the Tax Reform Act of 1976, or violate Brazilian law by purchasing US dollars illegally on the black market and smuggling them out of the country in violation of its money-laundering laws, I also had to make a tough decision. I was younger then, so I decided to throw in the towel and return to the US to seek a new career, which I was most fortunate to find.
Some of my close American friends there chose to become naturalized Brazilian citizens and formally renounce their US citizenship before a US consular official in Brazil. Although it was not an easy decision for any of us to make, one way or the other, I to this day have great respect for those who chose to become Brazilians and stay in Brazil. It certainly was not easy for them. Fortunately at that time it was not as difficult as it is today since then there was no exit tax. Today the decision is much tougher as a result of the exit tax incorporated into the Renunciation process just a few years back.
I have not regretted the decision I took back then, but I have never ceased to work very hard to try to wake up our legislators and Administration officials that citizen-based taxation is an abomination that works against the best interests of the US. It has been a lonely battle. I remain totally convinced that in balance citizenship based taxation does far more harm to the best interests of the US which is far more important to the pittance that this tax generates for the US Treasury. Few US citizens living in the US are even aware that US citizens abroad are double taxed. And since very few ever expect to live and work abroad, the subject is of little interest or concern to them. And since it is not an issue on which our legislators will take a stand, is it does not enhance their chances of reelection, they just push it aside.
It is my firm opinion that the only way this is ever going to be turned around is if foreign governments, like Canada take a very strong stand with the United States that taxing its citizens who in accordance with US law are also dual citizens of the US, and US citizens who are residents of that foreign country is a violation of the sovereignty that it will no longer tolerate. I would certainly like to see the Canadian government take a stand on this. It would probably require more than words. Perhaps it would take some sort of serious threats of some kind of sanctions, although offhand I can’t suggest what they might be. This tax is certainly detrimental to the best interests of Canadians who discover they are also dual US citizens, and for that reason alone it would be most encouraging to me to see Canada take a firm stand against it. Our Congress needs to be made aware that it has created serious–problems for the US in its relations with Canada and our other friends.