Just Me has a fine rebuttal to this Washington Post hit piece aimed at Americans living abroad. Add Al Kamen to the Isaac Brock Hall of Shame.
Seems the new law also requires foreign banks and other foreign financial institutions (FFIs) to turn over the records of their U.S. citizen customers.
So under FATCA, the FFIs may alert the IRS about all that money fat cats are trying to hide. (Curious that Congress couldn’t come up with a “T” word, like transactions or something, to make the acronym FATCAT.)
Fair usage prevents me from repeating any more of this outrageous piece here. Kamen is an award winning propogandist at the Washington Post, and you can read his bio page here.
Yeah, Mr. Kamen. I am a FATCAT. So are all the grandmothers, disabled folks and other innocent Americans abroad that are living in fear daily because their bank may give their private information to the IRS.
I wonder too if it is normal these days for journalists to write hit pieces like this without ever doing any homework. It really must be nice pulling down a nice FAT salary for writing bullshit like this. Where can I get a piece of the action? It would be better than getting nothing for blogging and trying to reveal the true story.
Some of Kamen’s readers are equally enlightened (is it any wonder that folks are brain-dead in the United States when they read award winning “journalists” like this Al Kamen?) Here is a sample of two readers:
ricochet2525:11 PM EST
I actually do have a problem with these tax cheats. I’m guessing a fair amount of them make their money in the US. And then quite easily ship the profits out of the country, without paying taxes on them.Yeah, I have a problem with this. I say if they renounce their citizenship, that makes them an enemy of the state. Isn’t that what a TeaPartier would say? You know, the old love it or leave it, and if you leave you better stay gone?
However I’m not a TeaPartier. Perhaps this is one common ground I MAY have with them.
discostud4:15 PM EST
No big loss here. Most of those people living overseas and ready to renounce their citizenship were likely already skipping paying American taxes. Just making it official.
Appreciate you drawing attention to FATCA and the implications for those that have offshore accounts. It is not discussed enough in the US yet, but the rest of the world has woke up!You mention Expats, but I point out, that the vast majority are just middle class average folks who have normal checking and savings accounts, and have nothing to do with the current IRS and Congress jihad against Tax cheats at home. They are not FATCATs like you cleverly point out.The new FATCA statues are placing yet another burden on these folks, as discussed in the recent National Taxpayer Advocate Report to Congress. It is almost impossible now to stay compliant due to the tax law complexity. The administrative burden is immense. Homeland Americans have no idea!All of this raises the question, why is the US doing this? In pursuit of some cheats at home, it is creating enormous burden on its citizens overseas, but why? Revenue?You do know, I assume, that the US is unique in the world with its Citizenship taxation policy that asserts its right to keep its Citizens under a life long tax paying contract (some would say servitude) no matter where in the universe they live, be it the Moon, Mars, Canada, New Zealand, Brazil or France. This is all based upon the lottery of birth or Greencard!The rest of the world taxes its residence based upon a “territorial” taxation system, that is logical and makes sense, and every country except Eritrea follows it. We keep good company, eh?
If you move from New Zealand, and take up residency in Australia, New Zealand doesn’t tax you on your income in Australia while you are residing there. It does not expect you to file out endless forms or assert huge penalties for not reporting your normal Australian checking account back to the NZ IRD
Analogous example would be if you were born in California and later moved to Kansas. You would not expect California to continue to assert its right to tax you now that you are resident in Kansas, right?
The US in contrast wants you to file 1040s every year, report your bank accounts and assets, and to penalize you, at a minimum of $10,000 for each “nonwillful” failure to report an account on a FBAR form. The penalties can be as much as 50% of the account if they consider your failure to be willful. Lovely, eh? FATCA just brings more forms and penalties!
And your choices? Return to Kansas, relinquish your citizenship, or just suck it up yet again, and listen to the press constantly characterizing you in a broad brush as FATCAT tax cheats. Very frustrating.
There is one unintended consequence that no one measures, but is real. . US Expats around the world are joining in a negative advertising chorus to all would be skilled immigrants to know the risk before going to America in pursuit of Citizenship or Greencard. Don’t do it! It is just not worth the Cost anymore!
PS: Why do you have to get permission to give up your Citizenship? Think about it!