The following comment was stated in response to the Swiss government’s approval of FATCA
Wir sind tot!!
Frau Widmer Schlumpf, wann werde ich mit meiner Familie verkauft, damit Sie den USA unser Vermögen übermitteln können dass wir in der Schweiz erwirtschaftet haben. Bin Doppelbürger, habe aber noch nie in der USA gelebt. Sie haben uns faktisch umgebracht, ist Ihnen das klar.
We are dead!!
Mrs. Widmer Schlumpf, when am I going to be sold with my family, so that you can submit my Swiss-earned assets to the US government. I am a dual citizen and never lived in America. You have factually murdered us, is this clear to you?
Source (comments section)
Here is another new US media report that fails to get the truth across, as is evident by the comments. Have at it fellow brockers.
So, if Sens. Charles Schumer and Bob Casey get their way by banning ex-Americans from visiting the US, plus expect these renunciants to continue filing these taxes on top of it, then what is going to motivate said renunciants to file? Drone strikes?
Swiss-US IGA is going to be discussed (albeit briefly) in parliament AND there is a slim chance of a referendum… The SVP were unhappy yesterday (http://www.svp.ch/g3.cms/s_page/80730/s_name/newsschlagzeile/newsContractor_id/0/newsID/3420/newsContractor_year/2013).
Perhaps SVP will take issue with this violation of national sovereignty. It could be signature-collection time!!
Let’s hope for a groundswell of opposition in Switzerland. Things can swing back and forth here because ordinary people get a say in all kinds of matters.
This is roughly what the SVP press release said:
SVP is extremely critical as regards FATCA deal
The SVP (Swiss Peoples Party) is extremely critical of the Swiss Federaé Council’s decision to sign the FATCA agreement with the US. Through this law, the US will impose their own national law on the whole world, riding roughshod over the sovereignty of other countries. The real effects of the vague formulations of this agreement are not yet forseeable. The SVP will screen the terms negotiated by the Federal Council during the consultation period and will also consult with the industries concerned by the agreement. Under no circumstances will we approve an automatic exchange of information. We view the protection of individual privacy as most important matter here.
Swisspinoy, and Lyoba,
Thank you for giving us a window into what is happening in Switzerland – it really helps to hear what the situation is in a range of countries. Some of us are unilingual Anglophones only, and so cannot easily search for and understand news and information from around the world.
This is a comment that might generate some traction. The person “murdered” seems to be somebody who will be regarded as Swiss. As we know the U.S. government has ensured that Americans are disliked all around the world. Nobody cares about them. Nobody will come to their aid. So in winning the public relations war, it is important that FATCA and citizenship-based taxation be framed as “The taxation of residents and citizens of other countries”. Remember that “Green Card Holders” are caught in this too.
Interesting to know how all those “U.S. citizens abroad like their freedom now”. They are being attacked by the U.S. and their countries of second (and in many cases dominant citizenship) will do NOTHING to help them. At the very least, those countries should negotiate an opportunity to renounce U.S. citizenship without paying the Exit Tax. Shame, shame, shame.
Anyway, it is becoming increasingly clear that no help is coming from the governments of other countries. First, the bank accounts will be closed. Next, U.S. citizens will be removed from the country. It’s simply too dangerous for other countries to allow U.S. citizens to reside in their borders. Such are the implications of the “Obama Witch Hunt”.
It is also becoming clear that it is impossible for most U.S. citizens to come into tax compliance. Whether they owe taxes or not, the professional fees are prohibitive and the threats of penalties make clarity of thought impossible.
Remember that we are all minorities and subject to discrimination somewhere. But in the case of U.S. citizens abroad:
They are now exiles and minorities who are subject to discrimination EVERYWHERE!
And for the countries who are turning their backs on their citizens who are also U.S. citizens:
History will judge you by your actions in these difficult times. Remember: The U.S. defines U.S. persons in whatever way it wants. Your problem will not be solved by trying to distance yourself from those who are currently defined as U.S. persons. There is nothing to stop the U.S. from expanding the definition of U.S. person. Sooner or later you will have to stand up to the U.S. on these issues. You might as well start now. Just say no!
Lyoba, the SVP has my full support on this. Let me know if there is anything that I can do.
If I was a middle power government somewhere being strong armed by the US with their FATCA scheme, I would also be very hesitant at helping those dual citizens who also have loyalties to the US. I would be very afraid of being invaded by a war mongering superpower that has a military budget larger than the rest of the world combined! So, my first duty would be to protect those whose loyalties I can actually count on.
It may very well come to a point where the local government will ask these duals to make a choice: loyalty to the country you’re at, or loyalty to the USA. If you want to be loyal to the government where you’re at, you’ll have to renounce the US. If you want to be loyal to the US, then you’ll have to go back home. The US government is already strong arming us regular folk to either renounce, or head back behind the curtain of that ‘managed democracy’ that is the USA.
Meanwhile, if Canada were to offer me Canadian citizenship right now, with the condition that I will relinquish US citizenship, I would take it in a heartbeat, and Canada will have one less US person to be concerned about. They’ve treated me pretty well, so that would be the least that I can do in kind.
“The consequences of a refusal would have been fatal, warned the Swiss Banker Association. For them, the agreement is necessary for the Swiss banks to access the American market.”
The article is in French, but highlight pretty well how they thought that they didn’t have any other choice but to sign.
They are pretty bad negociators. They should have fought for only reporting NON RESIDENT US citizen, or at the very least, exempt Swiss citizen (i.e. duals and green card holders). That’s what should be non negotiable for all foreign governments. Their resident citizens, regardless whether they are dual should not be reported.
@mjh49783 & @USCitizenAbroad, this is a major reason why I renounced, probably the second reason after being denied banking services. I felt that the US was causing problems for Switzerland because of my US citizenship. As such, I got rid of the US citizenship so that I wouldn’t be blamed for the problems that it was causing. I hope that Switzerland will give the few Americans remaining in Switzerland expedited citizenship so that Switzerland can quickly become a US-person-free nation no longer bothered by US misunderstandings beyond US jurisdiction.
Soon, they’ll be able to close the US embassy in Bern and save money 🙂
I’d believe it, too. I’d bet that the US had an attitude towards Switzerland that ‘either your brains, or your signature, will be on that contract’, contract meaning the IGA in question. What are they going to do? Say no? If they did that, then the next thing you’ll know, Switzerland will have ‘weapons of mass destruction’ or some shit, or maybe they’re ‘harbouring Al Qaida’, and the US will try to install a government over there that is more receptive to the US point of view.
That is why I don’t want to be the ‘US person’ that is of concern to Canada. My mind has already walked out on America before I even landed in Canada. I just want it all official now.
@swisspinoy: Alas, I’m merely relaying information (hey, I’m not even Swiss…yet).
The Swiss are sensitive about national sovereignty. Indeed, Maurer’s speech at Davos said something like “big countries shouldn’t think they can push little countries around”. He needs to get his SVP friends involved. What is more, initial reaction to the terms of the deal suggest that it is tantamount to an automatic exchange of information. Let’s hope, at the SVP, their bite is worse than their bark…
@MJH and @USCabroad, I share your fear that the US will broaden its definition of what comprises a ‘US person’ and could indeed pass legislation to force renunciants to continue filing and being subject to US taxation on worldwide income.
I wouldn’t even put it past them to try and make this retroactive. However, life involves risks and I’ve concluded that renouncing will be the best course of action ASAP. Though I fear the worst, I would have thought that it would be very difficult to actually reimpose filing and double taxation obligations on those who are no longer US citizens because that would definitely be a blatant injustice plus could cause a diplomatic incident.
I think it’s more likely that those who’ve already renounced and filed 8854 and paid any requires exit tax will be safe. However, I could see the renunciation fee rising perhaps to $5000, the exit tax threshold being lowered with perhaps even adding a requirement for all expatriates to continue filing US tax returns for perhaps another five or ten years ( especially those liable for the exit tax). But to impose lifelong filing/tax obligations when they’re no longer enjoying any rights or privelileges of US citizenship would be completely unfair.
@mjh49783 Re: ‘So, if Sens. Charles Schumer and Bob Casey get their way by banning ex-Americans from visiting the US, plus expect these renunciants to continue filing these taxes on top of it, then what is going to motivate said renunciants to file? Drone strikes?’
I don’t know which I fear more: TNLB (the nice lady at the bank) asking me to prove where I was born, or taking a chance I won’t face bankrupting fines if I attempt renunciation(not to mention the accounting fees to become ‘compliant’).
I am hunted like a witch. Why? Because I was born in USA to Canadian parents and had the misfortune of spending the first year of my life in USA. Is this a bad dream I am going to wake up from soon?
If the US decrees that I have to file taxes after I renounce/relinquish, I will refuse to cooperate. Sending a drone after me will not give them one red cent in taxes, but my death from such an incident will certainly make my family here more anti-American than I am.
My bank here already knows that I am an American. Thankfully, I have nothing that the IRS can take as I am poor. However, FATCA has forced me to close my joint account with my wife, along with my TFSA account. Meanwhile, I filed ‘married filing separately’ and wrote in my wife as NRA on my 1040. They have no right to know her financial business as far as I’m concerned.
@MJH, It’s because it would be outrageous and result in major pushback that I’m optimistic that it won’t get as bad as what we’re fearing. It’s why I believe it’s safer to go ahead and renounce/relinquish if one can. If I later on face reprisals, I’ll cross that bridge if it happens. I doubt if I’d cooperate either, especially if my parents had already passed on because I’d no longer have any need to ever revisit the states.
If I renounce, I am almost certain that there would be little the IRS could do because I’d no longer be traceable via FATCA, nor will I have any assets within the U.S.; they would have no way of coming after my assets that I can see.
It’s why I think those of us who get out now should still be safe; it’s those trying after, say, 2016 that could face more problems such as lower exit tax thresholds and increased renunciation fees. They could , however, start enforcing the Reed Amendment though.
I don’t find it likely that the US will make me persona non grata once I renounce, even though I’ve been pretty mouthy here on how I feel about the US government in general. I’m essentially small fry. Why would they care what I say? It’s not like it ever mattered before, yes?
However, I also have no desire to go to the US anyway, other than to see family. Therefore, if the US wants to ban me from visiting, then my family there will have to understand why. They’ll either shun me, shun the government, or shrug their shoulders. That will be something that I have no control over, and that will be the consequences that I’ll have to live with.
@mjh4978 and monalisa1776,
I understand why you think renouncing may be the best choice for some, and there are times when I think I should too. But, the unjustness of USA ‘citizenship based’ taxation policy, and this barbaric FATCA witch hunt makes my blood boil to the point where I cannot bring myself to even acknowledge my ‘supposed’ obligation to the USA by becoming ‘compliant’, or by renouncing something that until recently was nothing more to me than an interesting fact of my birth.
Nope, I think I would rather die in the trenches than acknowledge I am a ‘US person’.
Next week I am opening up a bank account at a local credit union to start moving my hard earned, retirement savings out of TD, and I am going to keep on finding ways to avoid US traps until the bitter end.
On the subject of language translations that this article exemplifies, I just discovered an easy way to translate an entire web page using the Chrome browser. Once the page is open, click on the icon that appears just to the left of the URL (next to http://www.whatever) and a new menu bar should open up beneath the URL bar that says “This page is in (whatever language). Would you like to translate it? (Nope or Translate).
While it does no better or worse job than the standard Google translate it at least leaves all the page formatting intact, which is very groovy. Try it – you’ll like it.
I wish you luck on that. I really do. I can’t guarantee how long you can do that until they start putting the screws on the credit unions as well.
From my position, I don’t see US policies towards us getting any better, and I’m afraid it will steadily get worse over time. Meanwhile, I have a family of my own here to consider, and I simply don’t have the luxury of hiding, let alone the desire to. I have no assets in the US, and I landed with only $150 to my name.
I will never feel like I’ve fully started over in my new life until I have the opportunity to renounce US citizenship, and fully repudiate all that the US government now stands for. However, I will never have that opportunity if I go into hiding. Therefore, I refuse to hide. I will be compliant, but I will bide my time until I become Canadian, because I want to be free, and with my dignity intact. Once I am Canadian, I intend to go to the US consulate and tell them that I’ve made an expatriating act, and that I did it with the intent to surrender US citizenship. From that point, I intend to enter the US as a Canadian to visit family there, irrespective of whether or not I have a CLN from the State Department, and irrespective of how CBP might try to treat me. If one of them says that I’m a US citizen until they say I no longer am, I will politely insist on being treated as the Canadian that I am at that point – the Canadian that I know I now feel in my heart at this point in my life. What will happen at that point will happen, but the worm has already turned.
Thanks for your well- wishes. Everyone’s situation is different. Based on how you described yours I can understand why you would renounce. As for me, I refuse to renounce a citizenship I never felt I even really held.
@whitecat and @mjb, I have been very vocal with all my worrying about worst case scenarios but am reasonably optimistic that things aren’t going to be as awful as I sometimes fear. I have been to the states twice since amending several years’ tax returns because of earlier incomplete filing and reporting.
I wound up owing a five-figure sum to the IRS in capital gains taxes from my investments in ‘foreign’ mutual funds. I suffered a substantial degree of double taxation and had tax returns averaging over 200 pages per year. I feel that my situation might have appeared less innocent than someone who hadn’t been aware they had to file. But both my visits have gone completely smoothly.
I felt completely safe when I arrived; no extra questions so nothing’s been flagged. I still have a few more years before these amended returns and delinquent FBARs statutes of limitation will have closed but believe I would have heard back by now if I was in huge trouble because it’s been over eighteen months.
I also suspect that they will focus more on whales abroad than ordinary expats and accidentals because they have limited budgets for enforcement. The tax compliance industry and IRS have gotten into bed to create a climate of uncertainty and fear to get us to voluntarily comply.
I don’t regret that I ‘fell’ for it because I can sleep at night knowing that if I’m audited that I trust my accountant and advisor enough to represent me. I believe they did things correctly and that I shouldn’t owe any more tax.
I also suspect that anyone worth less than $50,000 or even the $200,000 Overseas FATCA threshold (or even a million) will probably not be targeted even If they play ostrich. But of course the stakes are high if that turns out to be incorrect.
I also believe that the U.S. government could target people who are outspokenly defiant which is why I am careful with my words. I am in the ‘comply and warn’ mode. But I am going to take a calculated risk and renounce if I can. If I don’t, I’ll continue to suffer restrictions in my financial planning, expensive annual accounting fees in the thousands and be subject to double taxation.
If I suffer reprisals I’ll at least know that I tried to simplify my life. I’ve concluded it’s all I can do and pray that the U.S. govt will leave me alone so I can continue to live in the UK. The rest is out of my hands…I’ll just have to keep praying for God’s protection.
Regarding ChromeBrowser… and google translate.
You can add a Chrome extension that automatically detects the language, and suggests a translation for you without doing anything extra… That is what I use.