#Americansabroad need tax justice 2 http://t.co/iqm8W4aqqM Homelanders need 2 read & understand-we r NOT the cliché tax cheats nor r we rich
— Patricia Moon (@nobledreamer16) April 28, 2015
This is a fantastic article written by our own Lynne Swanson (Blaze) & Victoria Ferauge. Please go over to The Hill and add your comment there as well as here!
“Why are we doing this to folks? Why are we tormenting them in this way?” IRS Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson asked in an address to Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association FATCA Policy Symposium in Washington last year.
These “folks” are not FATCATS with offshore bank accounts. These are U.S. citizens with regular checking and savings accounts, retirement accounts and college saving accounts located in countries where they live. These are local accounts for Americans abroad—not offshore or foreign.
Even those who are fully tax compliant in the United States and their country of residence (where they are often citizens) are experiencing discrimination on the basis of national origin. Today, having an American birthplace or passport and living outside the United States means being a target and a pariah and living with the fear that banks will pull a mortgage or close bank accounts just because that person is a “U.S. person.”
Filing U.S. taxes from abroad is not only more complicated, it is more costly. Americans abroad must pay exorbitant sums to international tax specialists just to file the paperwork that shows they owe absolutely nothing to the U.S. government.
Not only does this put them at a competitive disadvantage in the global market but since over 80 percent of Americans abroad owe no taxes to the IRS when they do file, the United States gets mostly paperwork to process, not tax revenue. The only people making money from this torment are lawyers and accountants in the compliance industry.
Americans abroad take strong exception to being tarred as tax evaders and criminals. They don’t understand the logic behind the taxation because we all seem to agree that for most Americans abroad zero is a “fair share”.
The question is not will lawmakers “stand with the American people”? Americans abroad ARE “the American people.”
Americans abroad want to know if their fellow Americans and lawmakers will stand with them.
I suppose that in order to be considered a constituency, we must demand to be recognized as such, but who’ll be left to do that? The US seems to be ok with having none of its citizens live outside the US on a permanent basis. Why would they care when they now want to start turning those born there away?
Thank you very much, Tricia, for posting the article here. I just checked and we have about 20 comments – quite a few more than the other Hill posts up today.
I reread it (and a found a typo 🙂 and as I got to the end I was again amazed at how this fight has connected people all over the world. Lynne is in Canada and I’m in Japan but we wrote together via skype and email. Keith and Ellen in France are spreading the word via several Facebook forums. This site and Brockers come from all over the planet and are providing a safe haven and information. And then there are the blogs and the mailing lists and the twitter feeds and the journalists …
A few short years ago this would have been unimaginable. We’ve come a long way, folks. 🙂
Wonderful article, Victoria, and in just the right online publication! And yes, we’re all over. I’m in your part of the globe. To (slightly) abridge Winston Churchill (who, if he were alive, would be subject to US taxation and FBARs, as his mother was American):
We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.
And elsewhere in the same speech:
…prepare for hard and heavy tidings. I have only to add that nothing which may happen in this battle can in any way relieve us of our duty to defend the world cause to which we have vowed ourselves; nor should it destroy our confidence in our power to make our way, as on former occasions in our history, through disaster and through grief to the ultimate defeat of our enemies.
I’m piping in as someone who received bad advice at my swearing in ceremony for my new country- that I had to wait 5 years to relinquish my US citizenship? Seemed about right, at the time, as my new country had a waiting period for citizenship.
Came to find out that the source was confused– not hard to get confused, w/IRS demanding one thing & DoS another. The forms seem a trip-up: “have you filed taxes”? on the DoS = “exercising US rights”, yet on IRS- “this is LAW until you are not a US citizen”?? Now, I have to “prove” my intent, even as I explain my US duties as I was not yet a non-US citizen….
I believe it’s all about the money. The top 1% (socio-paths) have played the system- and all good jobs are out-sourced to let them gain wealth, & store it offshore. Meanwhile, “back at the ranch”, the good ol’ USA only has McD’s & Wallyworld to look to for work. Guess what happens?
The LIE about “trickle-down eco” rears it’s ugly head. Trickle-down is a f*cking lie.
The top 1%– mostly inheriting– are running our show, folks. Guess how people who do not work for their wealth behave?
Think, “Lord of the Flies”. The “underlings” (everyone who isn’t them), become expendable.
If you read this & think I’m daft- do your your own research- please do. It’s shocking. The TPP is only going to subjugate us all! Google it & start making waves- before it’s too late.
Another great article by Lynne and Victoria. Be sure to leave a comment. No need to have an account, just give a name and an e-mail address to comment.
You are yet another victim of bad advice. It’s maddening. And as for the rest of your comment — that’s just the tip of the corrupted iceberg. Maybe the awakening that some talk about is really happening. If so, it may be our only hope for a sane and safe future.
@ Lynne and Victoria
I’ve applauded your latest article in a few other places but I don’t hesitate to say it here too — WELL DONE!
Fabulous article, Lynne and Victoria! Methinks that the month of May 2015 is going to finally see some action on our file from the US government. They cannot ignore the constant barrage of articles such as this and the submissions against CBT that the Senate Finance Committee has just received. We are a force with which to be reckoned and we will not cease until CBT is on history’s proverbial scrap heap.
Have given a healthy amount to legal fund.
I give with the hope for that one day I will read
just a hint of good news. This will be good for the soul and fairness does exist.
@ Brick Tamland
And so do all of us. Thanks for your donations and for adding to the commentary at Brock. I don’t remember seeing your name before. (Brock is a busy place and it’s hard to catch everything that’s going on here.) We really do need an extraordinary good news day. Some days we get wonderful, positive articles like yesterday with Lynne and Victoria on The Hill but so far we’ve not seen any tangible evidence of retreat by the pro-FATCA governmental forces. There’s the Senate Finance Committee deliberations to come. Let’s hope something moves in the right direction there.
This article tells the truth that the governments involved do not want the public to hear. Thank you to Lynne and Victoria for this. I honestly believe that Canada is a pressure cooker or anger from the people whop call Canada home. I wonder how long this government will get away with the lies, deceit and pure corruption. Hopefully, not before it is too late to save this country.
The Senate Finance Committee just released the comments sent by the public on tax reform. As expected, there are lots of comments about CBT and FATCA.
@ Shadow Raider
It will take some doing to assess exactly how many submissions addressed FATCA/FBAR/CBT. I spotted yours right away though. Thanks for finding the SFC release so quickly.
Thanks for finding and letting us know, Shadow Raider. This now has its own post: http://isaacbrocksociety.ca/2015/04/29/senate-finance-committee-posts-submissions-and-shadow-raider-reports-to-brock/.
I fear the request for submissions by the Finance Committee are just lip-service.
Just another process for the suits/ties in Washington to show they are doing something
other than enjoying their “masters of the universe” offices.
“I fear the request for submissions by the Finance Committee are just lip-service.”
We went through the same exercise last year, submitting our recommendations and telling our experiences. Nothing happened.