“No Address, No Voter Registration. That is the Law!”
Kentucky Board of Elections
Sounds great for non-expats, I guess. Officially, my address claims that I live in Lexington, Kentucky, inside of the Voter Registration Department, to be precise, since I don’t have any other US address that can be accepted for voting purposes. Come by early in the morning and you might get a glimpse of me brushing my teeth over a lost ballot or a misplaced voters registration application, it would seem. Yet, I actually live in Cheyenne, Wyoming, the mail carrier would say, but I am not allowed to officially live there because my address….
A mail forwarding address cannot be used for voter registration purposes.
Your Best Address
Kentucky and Wyoming are some of the many states that may not allow Americans to vote if they were born abroad, or don’t make it clear that Americans actually can vote even when they are told that they can’t. Well, lucky for me, I’m really supposed to officially live in Las Vegas, Nevada at the address of some unknown stranger that I never met or spoke with before, since an unemployment check was sent to where I don’t live but am supposed to be:
Your legal voting address is the last place you resided prior to departing the US
Myths About Voting Abroad
Americans abroad are told that they must register to vote where they can’t vote, may have no reason to vote or where their vote may be so heavily diluted that there may seem to be no reason to vote. Furthermore, their vote may be restricted and it might not even count if they make the effort. At this “last place you resided”, I got a tax refund that I never got since I don’t live where the check was sent. Couldn’t a different, more official address be used? The tax refund was actually for a stimulus package which is now stimulating the IRS. Speaking of which, my taxed annual middle class income of $57 (after the double-tax deduction) is above the allowed limit for a tuition tax deduction, thanks to the low value of the dollar. For educational purposes, I live in Alaska with my spouse and study at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Well, my unlisted spouse, who kind of doesn’t exist but really does, is listed by the US Treasury as having $10000 stashed in an offshore tax haven of residency.
Steep civil and criminal penalties can apply if an FBAR was required but not filed. The penalties vary depending on whether the person in violation is found to have willfully or negligently failed to file the documents, but monetary penalties can range from $10,000 to $100,000 for each year that an FBAR was not filed.
FBAR Extension May Offer Relief for Those Holding Foreign Bank Accounts
Gee, such kind words spoken to a simple person at an address in a different world somewhere far away beyond America. Never mind the expenses this account may cover such as hiring a “Qualifying Daycare Provider” lacking a “Social Security or Employer Identification Number” required for the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit. I’m one of the lucky few who will have my social security benefit of around $400/month slashed and double-taxed simply because my valid US address is not valid enough to be valid, assuming that I’m allowed to file without my valid invalid address being rejected…
There are five companies that accept foreign addresses. Taxpayers should review the list of tax forms supported by the company to ensure it meets their needs, especially Form 1116, Foreign Tax Credit, and/or Form 2555, Foreign Earned Income.
Overseas Taxpayers can use IRS Free File to prepare and E-File Tax Returns
This has got to be the greatest revolution of all revolutions. Five companies in America now officially accept foreign addresses, well sort of. After years of telling expats that they must file and then denying them the ability to file when they attempt to file, they are now being told that they might be able to file if they think they know how to file and that their address might not be rejected even though it almost always is…. Wow!
But, no worries. We have a mortgage on our one and only Homestead exemption exempt house in Atlanta, Georgia that we don’t live in. Our mortgage contract claims that we officially live in Sweden, WI 54405. Being curious about this, I entered in my local zip code, 8003 into the contact page of my representative in Congress, and was told that she wouldn’t talk to me since my declared home is addressed in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, which is outside of her district. So, I left her my local phone number based in Texas and never heard from her. Did she get confused with the address?
Well, instead attempting to convince non-Americans in the middle east that I’m a better for them than the presidential candidates Obama or Romney, I figured that I’d withdraw the funds from the offshore tax haven and invest in America. So, I called Charles Schwab and was told that since I live at my address where I don’t live, I’d have to open up an offshore account in the UK which offers funds which are not available to U.S. persons:
If you live in UK or Switzerland, please open an account via our UK website (link). Offshore funds licensed in the U.K. are available only to U.K. residents that are non-U.S. persons and are not available to Swiss residents.
Sigh. So I can’t open a U.S. account with any of my many U.S. addresses where I live but don’t, but I can open a U.K. account which does not offer funds to U.S. persons (including American expats). At least Switzerland is not addressed in Sweden in this case, unless this is a typo too, and at least I know I that can open an account that I might not be able to use, file taxes that I won’t be allowed to file, talk to a representative in Congress who won’t talk back, and be denied to vote for a presidential candidate who campaigns to win the support of non-Americans. All of this because I live where I don’t and am not recognized where I am, thanks to my address. “No Address, No Voter Registration. That is the Law!” Life is good for the American expat.
Names, places and numbers have been changed for privacy issues.