This article by Bloomberg is their reporting on the submissions to House Ways and Means Tax reform. It has been mentioned in multiple threads here at Isaac Brock, and was highlighted at ACA, so thought I would pull it out for better visibility. It merits comments and email to the journalist. I did send them one to thank them for drawing attention to the U.S. Expat plight, and provided the link back to the anecdotal snippets from other submissions like those @AbusedExpat has been posting.
Thought I would also highlight whitecats response to this story which caught my attention.
It must be a full moon or something because FATCA and the USA war on ‘tax cheats’ is getting to me more than usual. I posted this as a comment to this article:
OMG, Israel Jackson, you are so misinformed, and very rude. How many times have you told someone to shutup or called them stupid in your comments to this article? This alone shows your lack of intelligence and inability to think ethically, empathetically and critically.
The foreign income exclusion amount of 92K (or so) applies to ‘EARNED’ income only – meaning money you receive from an employer. It does not apply to any other sources of income such as pension income, investment income, unemployment benefits, disability benefits, etc. Try being a pensioner who is a dual citizen living outside of USA and you will be double taxed. Imagine being unfortunate enough to have lost your job and be collecting unemployment benefits – you will be double taxed. Try buying non-USA mutual funds in the country you live in – you can’t because USA considers these to be ‘passive foreign investment income corporations’ and taxes the hell out of them.
I was born in the USA to Canadian parents and left as an infant thus am dual from birth – not by choice. I have never been schooled or worked or invested in the USA, yet USA expects annual tax returns at the cost of a couple thousand per year, and annual FBARS for all my bank accounts which USA says are ‘foreign’.I live where my accounts are, so HOW ARE MY ACCOUNTS FOREIGN?
Unlike other Canadian citizens, because I am tainted with a US birthplace, I cannot take advantage of any of Canada’s registered savings plans – cannot save for retirement, cannot save for my kids university, and am required to jump through hoops every year to prove I owe little or no taxes. In addition I am required to report on every detail of every bank account with my name on it which are held in the country where I live and am a citizen of. I must spend thousands every year preparing US tax returns and ‘foreign’ bank account reports which are much more complicated than the reporting required by US citizens living in US.
Do US citizens in US have to prepare detailed reports of each and every bank account they have in US? No, but I have to report all my locally held accounts to the USA and hope to GOD there are no breaches of privacy of my personal information that might subject me to identity theft. Even the government of Canada does not require me to annually report the details of each and every account I hold.
I pay high taxes where I live already – higher than Americans in USA do. I want to be able to save for retirement so the Canadian government won’t have to pay to take care of me in my old age – I know USA won’t. Who will take care of me if I am not allowed to take advantage of my own countries registered retirement plans?
Why not renounce you say? Because, I never had a clue until now (at age 50) that USA even considered me a taxpayer. Why would I? It makes no sense to tax people who DO NOT LIVE in USA, never worked there, never earned income there, and never plan to live there. No other country does this. Since all the publicity surrounding FATCA, I discover I am in big trouble for not filing all these years, even though I have always paid taxes to the Canadian government. USA will not let me renounce unless I can prove 5 years of US tax compliance which requires paying 10′s of thousands in lawyers and accounting fees and risking PENALTIES for previous non-filing of ‘foreign bank account reports’ (aka accounts in MY country of residence).
Soon, thanks to FATCA, my own local banks will be required to send all the personal details of every account my name is on (including those held jointly with my Canadian only spouse) to the IRS because USA thinks it owns a piece of me and apparently anyone who is remotely connected to me.
Isreal Jackson and others with similar mindsets, before you whine about people not ‘paying their fair share’, maybe you should RESEARCH and try to understand what is really happening instead of blindly taking up the pitchforks and assuming everyone who does not pay taxes to the US is a witch that should be burned at the stake.