Tim alerted me to this article at the Wall Street Journal, and I think it merits the attention of a post. It was well written by Anita Greil, with assistance from Laura Saunders who I have communicated with via email in the past.
I would recommend reading the story and adding your comment as Roger and I have. You will notice that this story has a lot of named sources and quotes. It is not just anonymous references. That makes for a much more personal and effective story that resonants with readers, I think. It makes harder to just dismiss. It is early yet, and I see the comments are already up to 81.
*Oh, how this is so ever relevant today:
BTW, I just went back and looked at how the comments are running and added a few replies. Up over 500, so not a bad score for the journalist wrote it. In the world of online journalism, that is a good “notch in her pen”, so to speak. You who have commented, have reward her effort.
Anita was a very relaxed journalist that was ready with a good question at every corner of the discussion. Hats off to Anita for posing a very valid outlook on the dim situation.
As for the 500+ comments on the WSJ site… some of which think that renouncing is lower than whale crap… they have no idea. Living in a world made from the media and wearing blinders, those that don’t understand are blinded by the light. I did so, because I am looking out for number one… my life is here and not in the US. Therefore with FBAR, FATCA and other discriminatory actions by the US government… the decision was simple.
*Hi Scott, welcome to Isaac! I’m glad that you found this place. Don’t let yourself be bothered by some stateside Americans. What matters is where you live, not the views of those who don’t understand. 🙂 Do you know if Anita has any other plans up her sleeve for which she could use some assistance?
*@Scott, Welcome to Isaac Brock! Great Place! Wonderful People!
‘Unlike the majority of Canadians, I and my heirs will not willingly be their slaves.’
The majority of Canadians are no more willing to be the US’s slaves than your son was when he shackled your grandson, upon legitimating him. Like your son, we do not willfully seek to enslave themselves or others, as you imply. Perhaps ‘unwittingly’ may be a more accurate and less inflammatory term, as your son unwittingly did something that would perhaps forever alter this sons future, or is there something specific to Canadians that makes us predisposed to behaviour that pursues slavery which you seem less willing to tolerate?
You took the last sentence out of context. Here is what I wrote:
At some point you just have to decide that it is their entire charade
that is “illegitimate” and act accordingly. Unlike the majority of
Canadians, I and my heirs will not willingly be their slaves.
The “charade” I refer to extends far beyond the US government, it extends to any government that has income or wealth taxes. The rest of the western world could put an end to FATCA in an instant, but their ruling classes don’t want to. Why not?
1. Their sheeple have no clue what their ruling classes really are about, think Canadians.
2. Their rulers have received their instructions concerning centralization of power and the complete enslavement of the sheeple.
3. Their rulers want the added power and wealth that comes from extending their taxation offshore too.
But Canadians live in a “exceptionalism” bubble that is only barely eclipsed by the exceptional American bubble. Your leaders keep ladling the “we are so great” message and Canadians lap it up as if they can never be sated.
Although I am just an occasional contributor, I would like to extend a warm welcome to Isaac Brock Society. We found the WSJ article very worthwhile and appreciate your willingness to reveal your situation to WSJ readers. Your quest for freedom will inspire others to make the difficult decision.
All the best,
@Scott – Welcome to Brock! As maddening as it is, there isn’t a whole lot we can do about homelanders who don’t understand except dig in and write and write and write. I did a coarse analysis of those who commented and by far, the consensus was there. The obnoxious ones simply stick out more. When I checked again last nite, I noticed the worst commenters usually only had a couple of “recommends.”
And thanks for being brave and being interviewed with real name, etc. That takes guts.
Are you referring to the ‘Cabal’?
Pingback: The Isaac Brock Society - Miscellany: Expats a bunch of ungrateful whiners
New WSJ story about an American taking a job in Australian Outback… Felt the need to warn him.. 🙂
@Scott Schmith, many here hope to follow in your footsteps. Thank you for posting here. Appreciative of your willingness to be interviewed, and to contribute to bringing this situation into the light of day.
The US has profited by making threats and through the fear that it has engendered amongst those living or born outside it’s borders. As a result, the IRS, Treasury, and Congress have been able to vilify those living ordinary lives ‘abroad’, including dual citizens, and to generate undeserved revenues even when we owe zero US tax, and are paid up in full to the countries where we actually live and work. No one is calling them to task. Apparently they answer to no-one.
IBS has been trying to compile records to demonstrate that there are more renouncing/relinquishing than are being reported by the US – and to counter the claims of Levin, Shulman, Geithner, Baucus, etc. that we are all criminals ‘hiding’ untaxed assets in tax haven accounts, rather than ordinary individuals and families living unremarkable and entirely legal lives – outside the US. We are not millionaires or trillionaires, or US corporations keeping assets ‘offshore’, but we are being pursued with that as the baseless justification. The real reason is that the US has a record deficit, and seeks to squeeze revenue out of anyone they can – and where they are unable to assess us with US tax owing on top of what we pay where we live, due to treaties, and the FEIE and Foreign Tax Credits, they’ll make it up from unjust penalties assessed against our legal post-tax bank accounts wherever we live. That is why we’re being targeted and scapegoated. The US is entirely aware by now of the unjust and unwarranted effects of its actions, and continues deliberately, regardless.
Another story in Business Insider. The headline is mischaracterized and that is too bad.
In Last Night’s Debate, No One Discussed The Americans Who Leave the Country To Avoid High Taxes
Read more: http://www.theblaze.com/stories/heres-a-major-issue-that-shouldve-been-addressed-during-the-foreign-policy-debate/#ixzz2AE2rFWan
That prompted the ususal “Don’t let the Door Hit you in the ass” type comment, and I posted a response. Others are welcome to join in. Educating those poor ignorant Homelanders by one comment at a time is hard work, but we need to be persistent, IMHO
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I see that Reason Magazine has also ran an article…
U.S. Law Pushes Overseas Americans To Renounce Citizenship
It seems to me, that we are getting more and more of these stories around…
In an interview with the Swiss Handelszeitung newspaper, to be available in the paper edition tomorrow (Thursday, 25 Oct 2012), the US Ambassador to Switzerland, Donald Beyer, confirmed that the renunciations of US citizenship is the greatest in Switzerland. Following is an excerpt from the on-line article that appears this evening:
“Many hundreds of dual citizens have given up their US passports, said US Ambassador Donald S. Beyer in an interview with the “Handelszeitung”: “At this time this is a greater phenomenon in Switzerland than anywhere else in the world”, he said. With the stricter implementation of US laws, the US passport is no longer so attractive.”
“Viele Hunderte Doppelbürger hätten ihren US-Pass aufgegeben, sagt der
US-Botschafter Donald S. Beyer im Interview mit der «Handelszeitung»:
«Im Moment ist das in der Schweiz ein grösseres Phänomen, als irgendwo
sonst auf der Welt», sagt er. Mit der strikteren Durchsetzung der
US-Gesetze, sei der US-Pass nicht mehr so attraktiv.”
This is fantastic! Finally an American official, an Ambassador no less, puts the info out that “many hundreds” have given up USC. Perhaps other countries’ Ambassadors can also speak up. IRS will have a very hard time defending their current policy of claiming this is about tax evasion. Thanks!
A question to consider is why the comment on the high number (“many hundreds”) of US citizenship renunications in Switzerland has been released in advance of the official Federal Register “name and shame” list, expected within the week. Given the low number of renunciants published for 2Q 2012 and the current “rush for the exits”, particularly in Switzerland, it can be expected that the number of renunciations will be high for 3Q, possibly very high. As an opinion, releasing some information now is a way to prepare the press and the public for the “bad news”.
Another element of this information release could be the State Department, which is bearing the brunt of the FATCA implementation by having to process USC renunciations and also likely field much criticism from overseas USCs, is taking a poke at the Treasury Department/ IRS.
Here’s a excerpt from Wiki on “News leaks” which may be relevant:
“Sometimes partial information is released to the media off the record
in advance of a press release to “prepare” the press or the public for
the official announcement. This may also be intended to allow
journalists more time to prepare more extensive coverage, which can then
be published immediately after the official release. This technique is
designed to maximize the impact of the announcement. It might be
considered an element of political ‘spin’, or news management.”
I’ll plan to pick up this week’s printed edition of the Handelszeitung promptly tomorrow morning and post relevant excerpts as soon as possible.
Beyer wrote this as well:
Zur Frage, warum die amerikanischen Beziehungen zu Liechtenstein besser seien als zur Schweiz meint er: «Das Fürstenhaus und die Regierung von Liechtenstein waren entschlossen, weg von schwarzen oder grauen Listen zu kommen. Sie entwickelten früh eine Weissgeld-Strategie. Die Schweiz habe diesen Entscheid nicht gefasst…
To the question as to why the connection between Lichtenstein and the US is stronger than the one with Switzerland, he says “The Furstenhaus and the government of Lichtenstein were agreed to get away from black and gray lists. Early on they developed the white money strategy. Switzerland never agreed to this solution…
In den Beziehungen zur Schweiz gebe es nur ein Problem: «Unser Justizdepartement will Steuerbetrüger zur Rechenschaft ziehen. Wir versuchen, einen Weg zu finden, diese Amerikaner zd u kriegen, ohne Schweizer Recht zu brechen.»
In regards to Switzerland there is only one problem: “Our justice department demands that tax cheats are brought to justice. We are trying to find a way to capture these Americans without breaking Swiss law”.
So we learn, as if we didn’t already know, that Lichtenstein turned states evidence to the empire and sold out bank privacy and screwed Switzerland and the UBS in the process. Bravo Lichtenstein, you cocksuckers. We also learn that this entire jihad is not about more revenue, but about “Steuerbetrüger zur Rechenschaft ziehen“. Guess what you tax cheating expats who didn’t file your FBAR’s and 1040’s: Donald Beyer wants to open a can of woop-ass on you.
I tried to engage Andrew Allentuck, author of the Financial Post “Cross-Border Issues Complicate Financial Planning — advice for TFSAs”, to do a story with analysis of my son’s financial parameters and how best for a Parent / Guardian / Trustee to plan for such a “US Person”; i.e. is the RDSP (as well as the TFSA and RESP) a good savings vehicle for a US Person – just how are they advised (as I wasn’t)? I thought it would be a good analysis and awareness story for others. Unfortunately, the Financial Post / financial planner doing this would want to interview my son and would have to present all of my financial information as well as my son’s. I declined as I thought that would just muddy up the simple thing that I wanted to be analyzed. I won’t subject my son to an interview and I certainly don’t want my finances there for all to see and speculate on. The journalist was somewhat receptive, but I think scared of the subject matter – and, admittedly, I would be scared of doing it his way.
I do think the media in Canada is scared of the subject matter (US Persons and RDSPs, RESPs, TFSAs, renunciations, relinquishments, FATCA, etc.) Rightly, they don’t want to interpret US law, but I think it’s more than that. I’m also scared of their way — putting all I have on the line for a further sound-byte presentation of the issues we discuss (my cost:benefit analysis).
I have actually had more positive response from discussions with the US media: Atossa Abrahamian of Reuters and Brian Knowlton of the New York Times. I have also had the opportunity to offer some information for a book being written by Amanda Klekowski von Koppenfels, Ph.D., Lecturer in Migration and Politics; Director, MA in Migration Studies; Director of Graduate Studies, University of Kent, Brussels. All these people were wonderful to deal with.
@ScottSchmith, Damn, I hate it when a fellow photographer ends up getting targeted by shit legislation like this. My wife and I are trying to save up to start a wildlife photography business (entails buying a 600mm somewhat like the supertelephoto you were pictured with in the article)…and the IRS is probably going to try to dip into it. She’s renouncing before they can try to dip their hands in.
@calgary411. I see the difficulties, and of course your son’s wellbeing is the prime concern. Too bad the Financial Post couldn’t just do a general article on the additional barriers faced by those with disabilities, and their families when the US forced crossborder extraterritorial citizenship taxation is in the mix.
Glad to hear though that there are others who were receptive – and who may use the information to inform their writing and research. If the Civil Liberties Association in the US and Canada were involved, perhaps the focus could be moved beyond the experience of one family, and focus on the entire class of persons affected. And, that would put pressure on Canada to take a stance as it is very embarassing when a light shines on the fact that the Canadian government has not been willing or able to get the US to exempt registered plans specifically designed to assist the very vulnerable in Canada to try to offset the poverty that often accompanies disability. Why would Flaherty and the feds allow the US to tax the RDSPs and other registered plans of > 1 million Canadians? That’s pretty lame, and makes Canada look weak – if it can’t even stand up for those in need, against ludicrous claims that those duals and Canadian residents with RDSPs and other registered savings and accounts in Canada annually require the harsh treatment that the US applies to organized crime, money laundering, terror-funding, drug funding and other illicit financial crimes.
I mean, these are plans overseen and registered by our federal government, and registered with our Canada Revenue Agency tax numbers. The interest is recorded and reported. Withdrawals and contributions are constrained by Canadian law, and supervised.
Where are the Canadian politicians that have the gonads to stand up for Canadian citizens and residents against the depradations of the US?
What is the limit to what they’ll allow to happen to those living inside sovereign Canadian borders?
*ConfederateH, yep, the US didn’t break Swiss laws, but it sure did break US laws. National origin discrimination is a federal crime in the US, but the US loves being a federal criminal against its innocent citizens living abroad.
Please could you reference which crime law, statute, by number. Federal? State?
I want to research this a little.