Foreign Bank Account Report (FBAR), FATCA, Citizenship based taxation, the exit tax, $450 renunciation fee, the requirement to certify five years tax compliance, long lines at US Consulates to renounce, the threat of permanent exile and ten years further taxation after expatriation (Ex-Patriot Act; Reed Amendment), these are obstacles that hinder many so-called Americans from asserting their mobility rights and their fundamental right to change nationalities. Relinquishing US citizenship should be as natural as taking a breath, and so these obstacles fly in face of the freedoms for which early Americans were willing to fight and die:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
These days the Obama vanguard will mercilessly mock you if you mention a Creator, natural law and how the IRS violates constitutional rights like the Fifth Amendment. But when the young country called the USA was still trying to assert its independence from Britain and the Crown, Americans had another view of the right to expatriate. They called it a natural right. Today, referring to natural law may flag you as a tax protestor. For early Americans, hindering expatriation was to make a man a slave. In this light, Badger found this in an article by Nancy L. Green:
Justice James Iredell left one of the more memorable expressions of the principle of expatriation, still quoted today: “That a man ought not to be a slave; that he should not be confined against his will to a particular spot because he happened to draw his first breath upon it; that he should not be compelled to continue in a society to which he is accidentally attached, when he can better his situation elsewhere, much less when he must starve in one country, and may live comfortably in another, are positions which I hold as strongly as any man, and they are such as most nations in the world appear clearly to recognize.” [Source: “Talbot v. Jansen, 3 U.S. 3 Dall. 133 (1795) at 162].
From: Nancy L. Green, ‘Expatriation, Expatriates, and Expats: The American Transformation of a Concept’ The American Historical Review 114 (2) (2009) 307-328.”
It’s one thing to be given citizenship for no other reason than taking your first breath on a particular spot, when that citizenship is a gift. It’s another thing entirely when that citizenship is a curse and a liability. It’s okay to bless someone with the gift of citizenship when it’s a wholly positive thing. It’s wrong to curse someone with citizenship when it is a form of shackles that enslaves and harasses that person. And it’s wrong for any country to recognize and be an accomplice to such an injustice.
It’s a scandal that the Harper government has looked the other way as the US is claiming its shackled ones – Canada’s own citizens and residents.
I find this so timely because I found out yesterday after emailing the US counsel about the status of my CLN. I went in July last year to the Toronto Counsel to get the CLN and have it backdated to Feb 19, 1993 when I became a Canadian citizen. My email was answered pretty fast. It asked for more details like my DOB and place of birth. I replied with the information and in minutes got the answer: “I can see that the Department is working on your case, unfortunately it has been taking long than our office expected. There is a high demand for these particular services, and we are seeing cases that are exceeding beyond six months to be processed. We are looking at an estimated wait time of a year. Once we receive an email that a decision has been made, we will contact you.”
I can only surmise they are swamped. I am so glad TWELVE YEARS A SLAVE won. How fitting. We are the slaves of the US government.. Our Canadian government has us in a holding pen
I think this post Petros put up and what Badger pointed should be sent to Obama. I feel like writing him a long and heartfelt letter. I may do it for my own therapy and not send it. I would send him a copy of my letter to the IRS on returning a US income tax refund of over $2k.. I had not earned money in decades. I stopped filing my US taxes once I became a Cdn citizen. I registered my babies with the US Consulate. I was so sad at 9/11, while still grieving for my son and husband’s passing on from Cancer. I was so enthusiastic for Obama. My mother would hang up on me when I said his name. My brother hates Obama. Both hate him because Obama is black. the only reason.. I bought his books. I defended him.. and now…. I am feeling so low.. I cry alot these days. I cry because my fellow Canadians who are not Americans and even those who are (Not on IBS) do not give a dam.
I guess it could be worse . We could be over in some war torn country. But I keep thinking we are in the same kind of days as Europe in the 30s.
Ah well. (((Sigh)))
Although very true, I feel the cards are stacked against us.
I heard an interview on youtube the other day about Rand Paul`s sueing Obama over the NSA. The person speaking was a judge and agreed that the NSA was doing things not allowed by the constitution, but he said that he would never be asked to reside over such a court case. Too many people knew of his stance, so they would pick a judge who was more pro government. So yeah – the cards are stacked against us. Who actually does get a fair trial anymore? And CNN showed a report on corruption- the plague of our times. I agree with the report. Then they showed a map of countries which were more or less corrupt- dark red being very corrupt and light yellow have a very clean vest. Switzerland was dark red and America light yellow. I felt ill. At least Switzerland has a functioning democracy even if they did go too far with the bank secrecy thing. In fact- other reports consider Switzerland right up there with Sweden and Denmark as one of the few very UNcorrupt nations on this planet. So the press is also biased. And now we have Ukraine- who knows what is going on there? Who says a bunch of demonstrators have the right to topple a governent when the people had voted for the president and the majority (assuming the voting wasnt rigged) wanted him? Seems Ukraine consists of more russians than not, even if some dont like that idea. And as for democracy- what IS that? Because the majority of homelanders would vote to get our money and continue with CBT. SO what happens if a whole bunch of people who have few morals have the most say? It happened in Germany too- it wasnt all Hitler. Many peole supported him and many could not wait to lay their hands on jewish wealth. That robbery was legalized too.
I get confused sometimes about democracy and it seems to me- so does everybody else by the extent of riots we are seeing in the world today. They say that democracy can only function to the extent that the people dont start voting for benefits for themselves.
As an aside- Germany also has an exit tax. But then, they do not have CBT and dont go stark raving mad and create an fake moral issue about it when somebody wants to chose another passport.
US citizenship is not unlike the Roach Motel, easy to get in, difficult to get out. That’s what the USG is trying to do with the US$ money supply because they know the dollar is going down with another Bretton Woods being lined up in the next 5 to 10 years, and they want to start putting in measures to stop capital flight.
FATCA to me has been described as ‘soft capital controls.’
The exit tax for covered expatriates is certainly another example of capital controls in my view.
@mjh, it has become capital controls to be sure. But they exist to try to close a loophole that allows foreign investors to invest tax free in the US. There is a better way to close the loophole and that is to tax everyone the same way, both foreign and domestic investors–which means that you need to give the same tax breaks and tax rates to domestic investors as to foreigners, then you will have closed the loophole and you wouldn’t need to punish those who expatriate with an exit tax.
with what face Obama says that Russians are violating international laws and invading other countries?? with what face the Harper’s governement says to support other countries when in his own country let the bullies invade Canada and sell its Canadians citizens and residents to US?? Yes I know they don’t care. They still think people are stupid. The US taxation system based on US citizenshiip and FATCA imposing and stealing money of foreign people living in another coutry where already paying taxes, invading and invasing the privacy rigths of citizens and residents abroad, when they dont even reside in the US is a complete wrong doing.
Outrageous. I can’t believe how much cynicism. It is very upseting the US governemnt and the current Canadian government.
If Johnny Tremain were alive today, he would have been renditioned and sent to Guantanamo by now (or droned) and the Sons of Liberty declared a terrorist organization. America no longer exists, its just the USSA now.
For all you fellow Scotsmen and women, here’s a copy of my CLN backdated to 1320.
I sit here and watch Obama say that Russia is breaking human rights laws, territorial laws etc. What face is he using saying this? It seems he and Harper are BOTH scoundrels and the scum of the earth. These communists are saying Russia is breaking the same laws both of these scoundrels just broke? Someone please educate me if I am wrong here……
Putin can only whitewash his actions in Russian media, but Obama has the entire Western mainstream media with a boy-crush on him. No you’re not wrong. US wants to dictate morality to the world but fails to practice it.
Today in the twittersphere called #fatca those who are slavishly devoted to FATCA (and the profits they can make from it) are running amok and delighting in a new IGA signee (Luxembourg).
Your feelings about Obama, 9/11, friends not understanding, crying….you wrote my story. I’m right there with ya new friend. I am so terrified, sad and consumed with searching for any positive news that I can’t get to my chores. With my hope the Republicans take over is like someone has gone in and altered my DNA. I don’t know “me” anymore. I haven’t renounced as of yet as I still have “stuff” to clean up in the US and can’t get there till May. As soon as my ducks are in a row I will be on the consulate’s doorstep. To think that I am a pariah to the Canadians, the Americans and the horrid gift I gave my children, US citizenship, can make one feel quite overwhelmed. (Just wait till our friends and neighbours’ bank fees go up because of FATCA compliance costs, they realize that much of their banking info is also being shared, all because of us UGLY Americans). I thank the heavens every day I found IBS. Bet they thought their mission was fighting FATCA but it is really a site for group therapy!
A NEW leader for Canada announces bid to become PM
Yes indeed, Charl!
@ Don says
Since 1962 U.S. tax policy towards “U.S. nationals” has always in a way been about soft capital controls.
Luxembourg has long been notorious for hiding money from other tax authorities, particularly Germany; however, according to one of the books I have been reading on tax havens, Germany in recent years has been more worried about its citizens parking their money in the U.S.! I feel sorry for any poor or middle-class Americans living in Luxembourg, sincethe tax haven doesn’t benefit them.
@polly – that was known as the Great Game several hundred years ago as Russia slowly sent settlers down into new territories south towards India (then part of the British Empire) East towards China and South Westerly towards Turkey and Iran – always denying that they were seeking to capture new territory … then once they had a core of settlers they jumped “overnight” and seized control of that new area. Over the centuries those settlers and following Russians had children and populated the captured areas. Hence the number of ethnic Russians in Crimea today (for example). This has been the Russian strategy to act like a croaking lizard … for centuries and predates Communism by a very long way. Nothing new.
@all – here is am amusing (not really) email that I received today.
(Receptionist) Hello, Welcome to Obama Golf . My name is Trina. How can I help you?
(Customer) Hello, I received an email from Golfsmith stating that my Pro V1 order has been canceled and I should go to your exchange to reorder it. I tried your web site, but it seems like it is not working. So I am calling the 800 number.
(Receptionist) Yes, I am sorry about the web site. It should be fixed by the end of 2014. But I can help you.
(Customer) Thanks, I ordered some Pro V1 balls.
(Receptionist) Sir, Pro V1’s do not meet our minimum standards, I will be happy to provide you with a choice of Pinnacle, TopFlite , or Callaway Blue.
(Customer) But I have played Pro V1 for years.
(Receptionist) The government has determined that Pro V1s are no longer acceptable, so we have instructed Titleist to stop making them. TopFlites are better, sir, I am sure you will love them.
(Customer) But I like the Pro V1. Why are TopFlites better?
(Receptionist) That is all spelled out in the 2700 page “Affordable Golf Ball Act” passed by Congress.
(Customer) Well, how much are these TopFlites ?
(Receptionist) It depends sir, do you want our Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum package?
(Customer) What’s the difference?
(Receptionist) 12, 24, 36 or 48 balls.
(Customer) The Silver package may be okay; how much is it?
(Receptionist) It depends, sir; what is your monthly income?
(Customer) What does that have to do with anything?
(Receptionist) I need that to determine your government Golf Ball subsidy; then I can determine how much your out-of-pocket cost will be. But if your income is below the poverty level, you might qualify for a subsidy. In that case, I can refer you to our BallAid department.
(Customer) BallAid ?
(Receptionist) Yes, golf balls are a right, everyone has a right to golf balls. So, if you can’t afford them, then the government will supply them free of charge.
(Customer) Who said they were a right?
(Receptionist) Congress passed it, the President signed it and the Supreme Court found it Constitutional.
(Customer) Whoa…..I don’t remember seeing anything in the Constitution regarding golf balls as a right.
(Receptionist) There’s no explicit mention of golf balls in the Constitution, but President Obama is a former constitutional scholar and he believes it would have been included if the Constitutional had not been drafted by a bunch of slave-owning white men. The Democrats in the Congress and the Supreme Court agree with the President that golf balls are now a right guaranteed by the Constitution.
(Customer) I don’t believe this…
(Receptionist) It’s the law of the land sir. Now, we anticipated most people would go for the Silver Package, so what is your monthly income sir?
(Customer) Forget it, I think I will forgo the balls this year.
(Receptionist) In that case, sir, I will still need your monthly income.
(Receptionist) To determine what your ‘non-participation’ cost would be.
(Customer) WHAT? You can’t charge me for NOT buying golf balls.
(Receptionist) It’s the law of the land, sir, approved by the Supreme Court. It’s $49.50 or 1% of your monthly income…..
(Customer)(interrupting) This is ridiculous, I’ll pay the $49.50.
(Receptionist) Sir, it is the $49.50 or 1% of your monthly income, whichever is greater.
(Customer) ARE YOU KIDDING ME? What a rip-off!!
(Receptionist) Actually sir, it is a good deal. Next year it will be 2%.
(Customer) Look, I’m going to call my Congressman to find out what’s going on here. This is ridiculous. I’m not going to pay it.
(Receptionist) Sorry to hear that sir, that’s why I had the NSA track this call and obtain the make and model of the cell phone you are using.
(Customer) Why does the NSA need to know what kind of CELL PHONE I AM USING?
(Receptionist) So they get your GPS coordinates, sir
(Door Bell rings followed immediately by a loud knock on the door)
(Receptionist) That would be the IRS, sir. Thanks for calling Obama Golf , have a nice day…and God Bless the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.