This evening I attended a Toronto meeting of students, Democrats, Republicans, and Toronto US Consular officials which was sponsored by the Munk School of Global Affairs. U.S. Consul General James Dickmeyer gave a short speech and I had conversations with the C-G and two Consular officials on the wait time to obtain a renunciation meeting in Toronto.
Consular Official “R” — I pointed out to R that there are many Canadians in the Toronto area with unwanted U.S. citizenship who need to renounce this citizenship. R advised that the wait time is now up to September 2015, in part because of a three week or so delay caused by the Pan AM games (yes, you heard that right).
C-G — I then spoke to the C-G, explained the situation that these unfortunate people need to get on with their lives, and asked that since he is the “boss” he needs to reorganize staff duties and shorten the time to a renunciation appointment as bookings are now in September. There was some confusion as he felt that I must have meant September past (I believe that he was unaware of the wait time). Once this was clarified he argued that the boss really does not have that much power and that I should go back and speak to R (apparently the man with the money) which I did (see below).
We debated a few points: C-G feels that citizen-based taxation is not “so bad” as taxes are never owed to the IRS because Canadian taxes are higher (I corrected this impression). C-G complained that Canadians are “only now” coming to renounce. I explained that many are only now finding out that the U.S. considers them to be U.S. citizens. I mentioned our FATCA IGA lawsuit and C-G responded by saying that we will just hurt the banks etc…
Consular Official R (second conversation) — Told R that his boss claims that R has the power to shorten renunciation wait times. R responded by saying that the renunciations are a low priority that do not compare with high priority activities such as passport renewals, and that there will be no change in priority. R advised that Toronto people should go to Calgary or Montreal to renounce. I asked R how would a low income person find the funds to do this.
IRS compliant American — Happened to get into conversation with American very proud of filing tax returns to IRS for 30 plus years and paying no tax. Feeling nasty I asked him what does he think will happen when he sells his expensive house that he has lived in for all these years (now he knows).
Dems Abroad — In a short speech Dems Abroad promised that Americans abroad should not worry about the safety of voting in an election because the information is not passed on to the IRS (I think the fellow was serious). One DA presented to R their approach to FATCA (modify but do not kill). I explained that the Alliance and Republicans Overseas want to kill the entirety of the beast.
There was nothing else for me to say, so I left.
Right on, as usual.
@Duke of Devon
That sounds like a reasonable excuse for not having a CLN.
I think Stephen is doing what he’s doing because he’s Canadian. Just as so many former Americans here are doing it for their country. Kudos to all of you!
Is official “R” Robert Stack’s twin brother?
Which one would be the evil twin?
There is one redeeming feature of the article and that is at least he gets it right that punitive measures are only going to make it worse. I did get a kick out of this:
see this enlightening explanation of new terms for us:
“The term “PT” is a popular slang among expats, indicating a person who has dropped off the government’s financial radar. It has several meanings, including, “Practically Transparent,” “Prior Taxpayer,” “Prior Thrall,” “Privacy Trained,” “Permanent Tourist,” and “Passing Through,” among others. All of these terms refer to the fact that the individual is effectively off the grid. Most PTs formally renounce their original citizenship, though some feel that renouncing is akin to a prison escapee telling the jailer where he’s going.
Many, though not all PTs, adhere to the 5-Flags Principle, in that they have more than one passport from nations that do not tax non-residents on their worldwide income, maintain their residency in a different nation that does not tax the offshore income of residents, have their business base in another nation that doesn’t over-regulate investments and has a reasonably low tax rate, do their banking in an entirely different nation that offers good bank privacy, while they play in one or more other nations. For more on PTs, Google the term, “W. G. Hill” for a starting point.”
Why hasn’t the term, “PT”, come up here before? I, for one, am glad to have learned this ‘something new’ today.
oh c’mon calgary. we were just trying to hide our wealthy roots. LOL
Wouldn’t another word for PT be “unicorn”? Does such a creature exist outside the minds of people who have nothing better to do than dream up ways people are avoiding paying their “fair share”?
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— I mentioned in this post above that I complained to Toronto Consular officials about the long wait to obtain a renunciation appointment (bookings now Sept 2015 or later in Toronto) and was told that U.S. citizens in the Toronto area should exercise their legal right to renounce citizenship (deemed low priority by Toronto Consulate) by going to Calgary or Montreal consulates at which booking times are shorter.
I did point out that such travel would be impossible for low income Canadians who could not afford the expense but received no response.
— I was just speaking today to a person from the Toronto area who traveled to a U.S. consulate in another city in Canada to renounce (I will not name the city).
The person was told that this consulate will now be preventing U.S. citizens who live outside the local area (e.g., those who live in Toronto) from booking an appointment, and apparently some other consulates will only be permitting local people in their area to book appointments.
So, who should a U.S. citizen turn to for help in changing this policy of the Department of State? No U.S. political party will, or could, ever support a change in law or policy that would make renunciation “easier”. My answer to this and a lot of questions these days is litigation.
WTF & #%*?$&!!! is all I have to say, Stephen!
Exactly what bubblebustin said, Stephen!!!. Thanks for the update of word on the further barriers thrown in our paths by the US Department of State.
“Just Renounce” is the Conservative Harper government advice in Canada. They also told us “Congress has spoken!”.
My advice a bit different: Support the Canadian and US litigations — http://www.adcs-adsc.ca/
Wikipedia has on their site an information notice — If everyone would gave $X.XX, the fundraiser would be over in an hour. What will we need to similarly say to have the next leg of our fundraiser over by February 1, 2015?
More computer problems at State, probably means more delays for “low-priority” services:
Though this doesn’t sound as bad as their issues earlier this year:
Diplopundit has more details on the recent State Department technical difficulties: not just e-mail, but credit card acceptance too:
I guess that means you get to pay US$2350 cash for your CLN. (Try not to get mugged as you walk down the streets of an unfamiliar city halfway across the country from where you actually live and where you only went because your local US consulate has a backlog of renunciation appointments running until late next year).
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