It’s a sunny day in the UK. I call my father.
‘Hello Dad. I got this funny letter from my financial institution. It’s about tax, or something. Uh, am I still an American?
I was born in the U.S. Thirteen months later, we moved to the UK, where I have lived ever since.
As a baby, I had an American passport. As a child and throughout adulthood, I’ve only held a British passport. I’ve been back to the US once, for a short holiday over 20 years ago.
‘You’re American-born. I suppose that means you’re still an American?.
As it turns out, it does indeed. I am an American. I am an American who cannot remember living in America. I am an American who cannot name more than a dozen American states. I am an American who has never voted in an American election.
I am an ‘accidental American’. And for that I will pay. Literally.
This is one more example of the United States imposing citizenship on people because they were born in the U.S. Is citizenship something that one chooses or is citizenship something that is forced upon you? Does any country have the right to impose citizenship on residents and citizens of other countries? Is citizenship a “property interest” that a government has in people? Does the U.S. government believe that it has ownership over anybody born in the United States?
The Obama administration has made U.S. citizenship such a burden and devalued it to the point where people are happily paying money to be rid of it.
But, the U.S. government is making it very difficult to relinquish U.S. citizenship through the available statutory channels. This is clear from the:
– outright refusals to recognize past relinquishments
– outrageous wait times and inability to get appointments
– the outrageous and unjustifiable fee increase to renounce U.S. citizenship
– the imposition of Nazi and Soviet style exit taxes
It’s certainly “change we can never believe in”.
This is going to get very very nasty.
On the one hand we have a U.S. Government that says:
“You are our property until we say you are not”.
On the other hand we have those who don’t believe they are property and will say:
“I am a free person. How can I then be a citizen of the United States?”
“The Obama administration has made U.S. citizenship such a burden and devalued it to the point where people are happily paying money to be rid of it.”
That’s an awesome line, can I tweet it?
Of course you can! By all means!!
US tax history
“We was free. Just like that, we was free.”
And, so Americans thought that slavery was abolished. We communicating at Isaac Brock today know it is not so.
We know that because “Accidental Americans”, be those born to parents of citizenship other than US but in the USA but who returned to their parents’ country when infants or children OR born in a country outside the USA to US citizen parent(s) are still enslaved! They had no choice as should have been their right to make as adults with requisite mental capacity. For those without requisite mental capacity, they are further entrapped into the new definition of American slavery, never abolished, as even their parent, their guardian or their trustee does not have the right to free them of their US enslavement. It is the US citizenship-based taxation of the Civil War time that continues the ideal of enslavement because the US feels its country entitled to do so, even with the rest of the world’s countries (save Eritrea) taxing the people of their countries by residence.
Such a hypocritical country who does this and at the same time boasts of the freedom of the people of the USA. We here know that that faux freedom is only if you stay within the homeland, if you stay within the walls being built around the homeland — just like the once Berlin Wall
IMHO “resentfully” is a more appropriate word than “happily”. (Getting rid of the citizenship is costly and arduous, and people resent having to go through that process). Also Senator Levin wrote it into the law, as he’s in the Senate, and therefore not the administration.
The Obama administration and law-maker Senator Levin have made U.S. citizenship such a burden and devalued it to the point where people are resentfully paying money to be rid to it.
For more history on Levin’s role with Obama, see:
http://renounceuscitizenship.wordpress.com/2012/04/28/fatca-–-the-trojan-horse-of-the-hire-act/ “Thank you Senator Levin for bringing us FATCA.” — this is sarcasm
http://www.schweizermonat.ch/artikel/the-janus-face-of-us-tax-policy ( notice the phrase “FATCA legislation introduced by a left-wing zealot from Michigan, Carl Levin”)
I don’t suppose we want to speculate how people might feel about paying to renounce, as I imagine that emotions run across the board.
How about “The Obama administration has made U.S. citizenship such a burden and devalued it to the point where people are paying money to happily be rid of it.”
The US is foisting citizenship upon many people who don’t want it and never claimed any of its “privileges”, as well as forcing many people do DO want it to renounce it. Then, they make it impossible to renounce it without paying through the nose to do so. This situation is untenable, which is why I am not going to play their game. I will not renounce the US citizenship that is foisted upon me and that I do not recognize, nor will I “comply” with their slavery by putting myself into their system. I DO NOT recognize their belief that they own me.
Of course none of this ‘forced’ citizenship would feel forced, if USA did not equate citizenship with taxpayer status. That is where the problem lies. I could care less if I am a US citizen or not, as long as this does not also make me a US taxpayer.
And ‘accidental’ or not, even those who wanted to be US citizens (surely not all ‘accidentals’ were upset knowing they might be American until recently), should not be punished for thinking this was a fortunate situation to be in. I grew up with the, ‘wow you were born in US, doesn’t this make you a US citizen, lucky you’. I sure did not feel like I had to deny US citizenship back then. But virtually NONE of us knew this meant we had tax obligations as this is totally counter-intuitive.
Nope, its not the forced citizenship that is an issue, its the forced tax allegiance to the plantation owner that is the issue.
I never was clear on my US citizenship status until FATCA led me into a detailed internet search, but I sure never looked at it as some kind of burden until then. If anything, as a young person, especially in the IT field, I thought it COULD be a benefit. In the end, I never took advantage of it, and as I got older, never thought much about it….until FATCA reared its very ugly head.
@Whitekat, “Nope, its not the forced citizenship that is an issue, its the forced tax allegiance to the plantation owner that is the issue.”
It is forced citizenship but international law, norms and treaties do not recognize dual nationality occurring simultaneously at the same moment.
You are solely a Canadian Citizen resident in Canada, unless and until you ever cross the US Border that is ONLY when you are a US Citizen.
The US is FORCING Canadian Citizens to be recognized not rightfully as Canadian but as American!!
Yes, George I understand that, but this would not be an issue if USA had residence based taxation like the rest of the world.
And George, there are a lot of dual citizens who would like to stay dual, but are making the decision to renounce because of citizenship based taxation; they are being forced to GIVE UP their citizenship, while other are being forced INTO citizenship. The root cause of this problem is not the citizenship per say, it is the citizenship based taxation.
WhiteKat: I agree. CBT is ***THE*** problem. It has to go! The success of our lawsuit will be a large nail in its coffin. I can’t wait!
I’m not sure where to post this. Every country in the world has their own laws. Some have no drinking laws,
some have that females can’t drive, some have severe penalties for stealing a loaf of bread. But in Canada,
we say and have always said when in Canada you have to obey Canada’s laws. WE don’t throw females in Jail for driving because we use Canada Laws and only Canada’s, if we didn’t and we used every other countries laws we would throw a person in Jail for drinking a beer in their own home. We would have 10 million girls sitting in prison in Canada for driving. So, who decides on what country rules we follow. As I see it ,it is either a Canadian Law or some other countries law, if it is a Canadian law you obey it in Canada. If it is any one of the other 200 countries you have to ignore it.
If it is one of the other 200 Countries laws you have to ignore all of them (100%) because you can’t implement some laws and ignore the others. If Kenya says girls can’t drive on public roads do we implement that. Of course not . WE say their crazy and we have to go with the Canadaian law. Why is the American
FACTAFATCA law any different. WE should be looking at that the same way. Just say their nuts and move on.
Nazi Reichsmarschall Göring once said: “Wer Jude ist, bestimme ich” (As to who is a Jew, I will decide.) It seems that the Obama administration’s State Department may have a similar view on who is and who is not an American.
@ FATCA dump
Good points, except Bill C-31 implemented the FATCA inter-governmental agreement (is it or is it not a treaty? — only Harper’s hairdresser knows for sure) in Canada and thereby made the abominable US FATCA law “legal” in Canada. We contend the IGA implementation is contrary to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, among other objections. That’s why the Alliance for the Defence of Canadian Sovereignty is funding a lawsuit against the Canadian government. Welcome to Brock, FATCA dump, and we hope you’ll contribute to the ADCS fund.
Practically it’s quite different. The Obama DOJ went after Gibson Guitars for breaking an Indian law. Importing wood not finished by Indian workers. The Indian government didn’t think there was a case to answer but that didn’t stop them being raided with automatic weapons.
I wonder if it’s possible that Harper agreed to disclose all of “US persons” investment and other account info to the IRS because they eventually want to do the same with ALL Canadians but keep the information for themselves???
Cynical old me thinks Harper might have negotiated a secret deal whereby the CRA gets a cut of the IRS tax and penalty booty stolen from Canadian citizen/residents in the FATCA shakedown. Even if this is not the case, the more information about individuals that both governments have, the easier it is for them to control those individuals. Then FATCA leads to GATCA and voila a global feudal system takes form which deprives everyone on the planet of things like freedom and privacy. One small way to fight back is pay by cash. Denmark is about to stop printing bills and coins because they say Danes are not using cash anymore. So use it or lose it. I personally cringe at the thought of a cashless society, knowing what the true consequences are of having every transaction tracked, recorded and analyzed. Oh dear, I got all ranty again. Sorry.
Something to think about for sure. Sad.
The reciprocal information would include the amounts of interest paid and not the balances, but the account number would reveal the account type, given the pattern at a given bank; and the interest rates would be a matter of open record, and thus the amount or principal could easily be computed by division.
On a side note, it says at
Saint Pierre and Miquelon is a self-governing territorial overseas collectivity of France, situated in the northwestern Atlantic Ocean near Canada.
Welcome to Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, a semi-autonomous territory of the French Republic located south of Newfoundland, Canada.
Now, the France IGA purports to cover all the overseas departments, but does the French Government have authority to impose IGA-enabling legislation there? Banque de Saint-Pierre et Miquelon clearly has a FATCA GIIN:
BANQUE DE SAINT PIERRE ET MIQUELON
Saint Pierre and Miquelon
la Caisse d’Epargne Ile-de-France probably has one:
3YEBDW.00000.LE.250 CEP ILE DE FRANCE France
but that says, France and not Saint Pierre et Miquelon.
In any case, if the jurisdiction is not covered by the FATCA-enabling legislation, it would be something to watch an international banking centre sprout up the way the place was big during Prohibition.