Just Me sent me the following two notes:
Peter has another post tonight at Opinio Juris
The Foreign Accounts Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) continues to prompt intense opposition from Americans overseas. In my post below, I suggested that some would simply take their citizenship underground, on the expectation of imperfect enforcement and the continuing value of holding a US passport — becoming, in effect, secret Americans.
Others are predicting that large numbers of Americans abroad will shed their citizenship. This isn’t entirely implausible.
This article is behind a paywall, and you can access it by copying and pasting the title into Google News search, and you should be able to access from there.
Just Me, I can’t keep up with all of your great finds. Thanks!!
My comment to Peter Spiro (still awaiting approval):
Dear Mr. Spiro: Thanks for keeping this issue on the front burner. One issue of great concern is the manner in which the US government has trapped reluctant Canadians into thinking that they are Canadians [I meant “US citizens”, it was early], when in accordance to the earlier policies and laws, they relinquished their citizenship. Then they travel to or through the US and border officers harass them, insisting that they travel on their US passport. I know of one person who is quite wealthy who was told he could not travel through New York from overseas (triangle itinerary including Toronto), even though he had relinquished his US citizenship in 1969 with the rest of his family. Then, he promised he would get a US passport, they let him through. He got it, and now he is laying low, because he didn’t know anything about the filing obligations.
So not only has United States citizenship become toxic, the United STates government is using ex post facto rules to trap individuals who haven’t been consider US citizens, nor even wanted such consideration, for decades. A number of the people we are in contact with at the Isaac Brock Society are in this situation. And this is, as you can imagine, not funny. The United States border guard told one such Canadian, “you are a U.S. citizen until we tell you you’re not.”
I would suggest that the doctrine of dominant nationality under international law would solve the problem for folks who long ago relinquished their citizenship, dual citizens, and border babys who have lived their whole lives in Canada. Go ahead, make our day. We are not going to pay your stinkin’ taxes and we are not going to file any FBARs. Last year I relinquished my citizenship. I’m done with the United States and these unreasonable requirements, if I never visit my remaining family again. This is crazy. I don’t want your citizenship, and you won’t let me go. US border guards, the IRS, the Secretary of the Treasury and the President of the United States have all gone insane. I see the problem very very clearly: the United States government, with Obama’s 1.5 trillion deficits, is being run by teenagers having a party while the parents are on vacation, trashing the house and looking everywhere they can for more drug money.
Finally, the only reason there isn’t thousands of renunciations: Have you ever seen how long it takes? First, may be you didn’t have the citizenship of your country of residence, well you should get that first. Then, State likes it if you have a passport from your new country–ha, ha–more bureaucrats who don’t know squat–if you are renouncing in your country or residence, there usually isn’t a border station at the door of the US Consulate, so the requirement of a passport is ridiculous. Second, try to get an appointment at a consulate to renounce and see how easy it is. In some consulates the wait is a year. Then, if you are renouncing most consulates require two visits, when only one would suffice. Everything is bottlenecking at the consulate itself. So that’s one way to save face: make sure that you only allow so many people to renounce every year.
Then there are the unconstitutional demands of the HEART Act, which requires that we enumerate our assets for the IRS so they can determine whether we are a “covered expatriate”. So that the final determination of whether you are allowed to expatriate depends on the IRS. The United States is a joke. The US seems to have thrown out (de facto) the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution and the 1868 Expatriation Act.
Sorry.,,. It has become an obsession… Am I demented? I better not ask! LOL I better balance out today and go paint the back wall of my house.