This post appeared on the RenounceUSCitizenship blog.
#Americansabroad connect through @IsaacBrockSoc – It's the #FATCA of the matter http://t.co/K0hecfvjgv
— U.S. Citizen Abroad (@USCitizenAbroad) December 12, 2013
Great and interesting post about U.S. citizenship abroad. Some familiar faces. The post includes:
” I also am deeply concerned about the lack of information available to Americans already abroad or those who wish to go abroad,” she said. “Because both the IRS and the State Department do not communicate at all to this population, many are still ignorant about the U.S. filing and reporting requirements. “
The cost of filing her taxes can run to $1,000 or higher. She’s also forced to navigate other potential financial minefields due to FBAR and FATCA.
“The real panic for me was when I found out about the FBAR,” Ferauge said. “The fines for not filing were unbelievable, $10,000 US per year. Then, finding out about FATCA on the heels of that just increased my anxiety, especially when I started hearing rumors among Americans abroad about draconian fines for non-compliance — even inadvertent and innocent non-compliance — and that some banks in certain countries were starting to close the accounts of their American clients.”
Like Swanson she started her own blog, The Franco-American Flophouse, to talk about the issues they believe are on the horizon. In addition to large numbers of middle class workers being caught in an inescapable net, they think the law itself will not be as effective at its mission as lawmakers propose.
She said she would tell most Americans, “that FATCA doesn’t stand a chance in hell of catching those tax evaders. People who are rich enough to move their money from one country to another and do it to escape taxes have many ways of getting around this law. All FATCA will do is cause a lot of damage to the innocent and destroy the ability of Americans to enjoy the fruits of globalization – to be as mobile as the British or the French or the Chinese.”
The underground movement that spawned Swanson and Ferauge is growing, they say. Like most movements it’s a decentralized effort. Ferauge says she believes that is its strength.
“The movement has no real center or appointed leaders but it is becoming a powerful network” Ferauge, who successful battled cancer, said. “Google recent articles about Americans abroad and FATCA online and you will see hundreds of comments. This is the Diaspora in action. No sooner does an article come out then it is emailed, tweeted and posted all around the globe. The response is almost immediate with people weighing in from Thailand, Mexico, Europe, South America and many other places. It’s quite extraordinary.”
This group of advocates has sprung up relatively recently. There have always been advocacy organizations working on behalf of expatriates. They have also been assertive in their opposition to FATCA. Their battle has been more on the political front than their loosely formed counterparts.
Fantastic article and post. More to say later; very behind…
Quite amazing that Brock knows more about what the US & the world is up to than what the US and the world knows what it is up to.
That is truly funny!
Grow this site exponentially by contacting anyone you know or think may be a US person in Canada. Comb any stories on the net or print media looking for US persons. Write a posting for re-use and save it on your comp and copy and paste it to any email address link in Canada including businesses of course with a suspected US person and include a brief explanation along with a couple web sites. Don’t make it more than 300 words. We can all be marketing persons.
Here is one person, a radio talk show host in Vancouver who is in denial, is a dual citizen and refuses to do a show on the air. Can someone out there reason with him? He has tens of thousands of listeners daily….. If he can be convinced to air this issue he could do a great deal. I suspect the station is blacking out any stories on FATCA. Canada, in my opinion, is full of hypocrites and cowards that stand for nothing. I’m sure there are some out there though that will not be afraid to stand for what made this country great instead of cowering in fear.
Wonderful post. Very thankful to Lynne and Victoria for these collaborations. So well written.
The IRS, Treasury and US government have been given more than enough opportunity to do the right thing here – make amends, do something meaningful, just and ethical about this situation.
But they put their efforts into discrediting the comments made by critics of FATCA, CBT and FBARs as ‘myths’ instead. The more the numbers of renunciants and relinquishers mount, the more guilty they are of a deliberate cover up. No number of innocents sacrificed or driven away is too many for them to ignore in pursuit of their crusade.
As Mark Twain notes about IBS, (and I would include also the other blogs below) the collaboration, collection of resources, and author and reader generated content is impressive.
Between IBS, Maple Sandbox, Franco-American Flophouse, USXCanadaInfoshop http://usxcanada.wordpress.com/, USCitizenAbroad http://renounceuscitizenship.wordpress.com/blog/ , and others with blogs on this issue, authors and readers have put together comprehensive collections of FATCA, CBT and related links, commentary and provided far more meaningful and critical assistance to those deemed ‘US persons’ abroad than the US government has. In some cases, I believe IBS and the other blogs have actually been lifesavers.
So much for all those ‘services’ and ‘benefits’ of US status that the consular officials warned us that we were giving up. We need protection FROM the US government, in the utter absence of protection or duty of care for us BY the US government.
Citizens and US persons are having to do it for themselves.
Jon McComb, born. May 20, 1953, Ephrata, WA
Perhaps where he’s at in his personal situation in Canada explains his denial about FATCA — much like where we all were at one time. I just don’t get it, for the most part, the gutless journalists on the subject of FATCA law coming to Canada. Other so-called ‘US Persons’ in Canada, Canadian snowbirds in the US, “accidentals”, spouses and business partners of those with US indicia — so many in denial will not believe all of this until the subject is given validity the news media. As if! It is the new media’s job to let people know what is around the corner.
Is this all a bad dream? There are so many that don’t see what we’re seeing.
badger, all you mention and more, including James Jatras and all his work at Repeal FATCA, Andrew Quinlan in pieces such as this one Andrew F. Quinlan: FATCA System Fails Government Probe, Threatens Privacy, and all the many commenters spreading truth about collateral damage to ordinary ‘US Persons’ and families, giving the other side of FATCA and its catching all the bad tax evaders, NOT! And, of course, the more not listed here.
That would make a great comment for Testiphi. I have one in moderation but yours is far better.
I must say…. I too am frustrated at what will happen once the deal is signed and my rights are given away. This site deals with fact, not opinion on Fatca. It is obvious what the USA wants to do. They are taking revenue from others(their own people). This really is an act of war. Nobody seems to want to stand up to them and tell them to get lost. Governments are cowering in fear along with peoples who just don’t want to deal with it. I live a practical and logical life myself along with my family. Using logic, I see this destroying the USA in front of every country in the world. The facts will get out on FATCA once the damage is done along with the fact that the USA uses “threats” to force smaller countries to accept “their” terms. I never thought I’d see the good ole USA stooping to this type of action.Lets face it, the USA is big and powerful enough to make ANY country in the world “accept” their terms on most anything. I am learning so much lately about the media. Simple logic with the media. They are not there to inform or educate. It is all about money and how much a story will make you want to watch their coverage of it or buy a copy and after reading the story, look at the ads that pay their bills. FATCA is no money maker to them. We are asking the media to educate and warn others of what will be obvious destruction of their lives once this takes effect. I see why other groups do things to get media attention, some of which are illegal. What else do they have? stand on a corner and scream? This is the issue that we are frustrated over. I will simply ask anyone looking at this site to simply tell us you are here. Make up a hotmail name and just say you are here….I really wish everyone reading here will just say hi and thanks. We need all the help we can get to help fellow Canadians before its too late
Most people will not want to know about FATCA until they walk into a bank and they ask them to prove they’re not a ‘US person’ or the IRS starts writing nasty letters demanding information or money.
People don’t realise with FATCA info the IRS can potentially estimate someone’s income from total account credits and debits for each year . Do some database cross checking with exceptions and Bob’s your uncle the IRS has a ‘prospect’ list to start working on. Any government that signs an IGA is allowing the IRS to do ‘fishing expeditions’ with the available data.
Resident Canadian citizens and resident EU citizens must be ‘carved out’ by the courts.
@ Native Canadian & All
I fully agree with everything you say and I too wish everyone who is lurking here would make up a name and say hi — no need to contribute anything else, just say hi. Some I’m sure have read silently the information we provide, done what they needed to do and then gone on their way. So we don’t know if we are a tiny tip on a small iceberg or a tiny tip on a larger iceberg (hopefully the latter). Maybe we could start a Sign In Sidebar. I would happily start it off by saying: Hi! I’m Em. I am anti-FATCA and I think CBT is insanity. Thank you Brock for all the information and support you provide.
Besides wanting to know how many people are in the Brocker Berg I would also love to know how many signatures there are, so far, on MP Ted Hsu’s petition and how many signatures have been collected, so far, on the Swiss referendum petition. I’m a little hungry for numbers today, for some reason. 🙂
@Em Hi I’m DISGUSTED. I am anti-FATCA and I think CBT is insanity. Thank you Brock for all the support and information you provide. I am truly grateful.
@Native Canadian: I don’t believe the issue is whether our story is newsworthy enough to make money for media. The issue is our story is being supressed because corporate America doesn’t want our story told. I believe the Carlisle Group has a number of multi-media interests as well as its military enterprise. Do you not wonder how Jenna Bush landed her position on the “Today Show” ? Was it because of her journalistic abilities or her connections. Keep in mind the White House is now issuing press statements and not allowing the press core access. I must admit I’ve been listening to little too much Alex Jones.I’m tending to find him more credible than mainstream….scary
I am anti-FATCA and I think CBT is insanity. Thank you Brock for all the information and support you provide.
I also think that ALL extra territorial law making is absurd and an infringement of the Sovereignty, Constitutions, Charters of Rights and Acceptable Norms of Behavior.
@ Brock lurkers
Well there now, three of us have said hi. What I’m hoping is that there are some lurkers down below the water line of the Brock berg who will swim out of their comfort zone, pop up to the surface and give a wave to those of us sitting exposed on the berg’s tip. It would help buoy up our spirits a bit. Those of us who comment regularly here would love to know, is it just us or are there others? Recently someone posted a comment about having read Brock for ages and having used the information here to obtain a relinquishment. That was so good to hear but it made me wonder if some do the same and never let us know, even after the resolution, that they were here all along, learning what they needed to know to get their own resolution.
By the way, I know what it’s like to be a lurker at Brock. I realized though that the only way I might be able to fix my own situation would be to dare to join in and ask some questions. If Just Me hadn’t responded to my first tentative comment I probably would have quickly reverted to lurker. As it turned out, I’ve been interrupting here for almost 2 years so everyone can blame Just Me for that. 🙂
I will admit that I have not fixed my situation; nor do I ever expect to do so because I will not bow to a foreign government. If the IRS is hellbent on stealing my retirement savings it will have to go through my own government to do it. That’s why I keep writing to Canadian politicians; dropping comments on articles (mostly in Canada but sometimes in the USA); opining, even whining, on Brock; and doing a local information campaign to try to alert people in my area to the presence of the FATCA monster. I can’t/won’t fix my situation so I am committed to doing the best I can to persuade those who have the power to fix mine and other’s situations to do the right thing. It’s a long shot but it’s all I have to cling to. Meanwhile there is Brock to keep me sane (barely, at times) and to remind me constantly that I am not alone in the casualty ward of U.S. tax tyranny.
If you are a lurker, please consider saying hi, too. We completely understand the need to remain anonymous and although I’m certain your e-mail address is in safe hands here, there’s always the option of an anon e-mail like Yahoo, sent from an anon location like a library. Anyway, no pressure … just think about it. We’ll keep doing what we’re doing and we’ll keep hoping it’s helping far more people than we know about.
I am anti-FATCA and I think CBT is insanity.
Brock is a fantastic resource for information exchange. It is one of my frequently visited sites now.
Hi foo and disgusted. Glad you dropped in here and find the information useful and relevant. All this was eating me up inside, but IBS has provided invaluable information, support, a voice and avenues for constructive action. That has made all the difference.
I am ANTI-FATCA and I think CBT is insanity.
Thank you Brock for all the information and support you provide.
Hi, I discovered Brock while Googling FATCA after finding out about in in late 2011. I lurked and then signed on. I got help and encouragement ment to go for my CLN last July. I was informed to know I did not have to renounce and pay the exit fee and file the FBARS and tax returns because of my circumstances. I just asked for my CLN because I relinqished in 1993 when I became a Cdn citizen. I chose to get more involved in Brock and go to a FATCA protest last month. It was good to meet some Brockers . I am against FATCA, an American law that violates our privacy and rights. I am on Brock every day to be informed. Welcome everyone . Do not hesitate to ask your questions. You will get informed and caring answers.
Just to give some perspective on myself and this site. When first learning of Fatca, I was in dis-belief I could not comprehend the reasons for doing this to innocent low to middle class people. When I realized, I was under attack from this USA law, I decided to learn more. Coming to this site, I did just that. This site didn’t present itself to be a group of “activists” trying to get me to see things their way. I found this site to be a factual information center not trying to “fear monger” , but trying to educate and show what can happen if this gets passed on to Canadians. We are learning just that now by looking at the true costs to the Swiss banking system and it’s customers. The fact is Switzerland is now in turmoil and the costs are adding up. Fatca is costing banks to close, people to become “toxic” and costing the country millions as a whole. This also, because of people like us, has caused a countrywide referendum on telling Fatca to be removed from Switzerland. I see this as a “no brainer” to the people of switzerland. This will be Canada if our governments sign ANY deal with the Devil(USA). As for myself being here and doing my part, I went to an “all candidates debate” in Toronto. I drove there 2.5 hours to be there. I learned a lot and spoke my mind. I met another family, with just as much anger, fear, and bravery as I have. If two families met that have this much drive, then we might need more debates and information sessions to allow us to share our issues and fears and how we can help. I will be dammed if I’m going to sit on my behind and just watch a BULLY tear honest, good CANADIAN’S lives apart. I don’t think any human can do this. I lost the “fear” part of this by realizing, if I sit here and do nothing, it will happen. If I can help to show the facts to others and allow them to do what the Canadian government is NOT allowing them to do by participating before it’s too late, then I have at least tried.I am here for all of you and I’m glad you’re here for me…….
You are a wonderful force in what is going on here. Thanks for your work and staying with this bunch who think we can have some effect for ourselves, our families and others with no voice. The support and encouragement we get from one another is priceless.
For years, I lived at the intersection of IsaacBrock Drive and First Road West in Stoney Creek during which time my youngest daughter Laura (not named intentionally after Laura Secord) was born. Daily, for years, I drove by Battlefield House Museum and Park, National Historic Site which annually presents the re-enactment of the Battle of Stoney Creek. Little did I know that someday I would be fighting my own battle with the USA.
I know some people are going to think I am a little nuts mentioning this, but I have a history of what I would call prophetic dreams Until recently there was one dream in particular, that I was unable to connect to anything going on in my life, yet I felt it was a meaningful dream. Like most people, I dream a lot, most of them are not particularly significant, and most of them are well forgotten by the end of the day. However, once in a while a few of them stand out, and sometimes are even repeated either exactly the same or some variation of the theme.
Until recently this one, what I would call ‘significant’ dream perplexed me for many years. I could not connect it to anything in particular, but I always felt it meant something. In the dream, I was a young child playing outside what I felt was my home; it was an old home in the woods, surrounded by a fence which kept me safe from whatever was beyond in the forest. I was by myself and I could feel something watching me. I looked up, and in the distance, peeking out of the forest beyond the fence , I saw a wolf. He seemed very curious and interested in me, and I felt that he was not a friend. He disappeared into the forest, but I knew he would be back.
Several days before I found out about FATCA, I had a second ‘wolf’ dream. This time, I was walking down the private road we live on with my youngest daughter Laura. We actually do live in the woods now, having moved to the outskirts of Ottawa a year and a half ago, As we were walking, a wolf ran out of the woods and lunged for my throat. I knew i was a goner and woke up from the shock of the dream. For the rest of that day, and the few more days leading up to my OMG moment, I had the most intense feeling of dread and anxiety.
@ badger- I echo your comment-IBS has been a lifesaver for me. in the deepest darkest days, weeks and months after my OMG moment-learning about FATCA in March 2012- when, diagnosed with clinical depression , not sleeping, not eating, and thinking about ending it all to preserve my UK family, IBS saved my sanity. I wasn’t alone, I wasn’t a bad person, i wasn’t a criminal or tax cheat. there was life after coming into compliance…. and now with CLN in hand, poorer, but safe, I can turn my energies to helping others in this same terrible situation.
PS for those following the Tattoo post-CLNs don’t have numbers…. therefore it will be “US Tax Slave” with Big Red X over it on my hip!!