Just Me has been asking to find out whatever I could about “US Persons” in Australia and New Zealand. I have to admit I don’t much about Australian or New Zealand politics but I knew enough to recognize the name Kristina Keneally (who in Canadian terms would be the Australian equivalent of Dalton McGuinty or Mike Harris). I literally though fell off my chair when I discovered that Keneally in fact was born the United States and renounced her US citizenship in 2000 upon becoming Australian (Australia banned dual nationality until April 4th 2002).
Soon after becoming an Australian citizen she ran for the state parliament and was elected eventually becoming a cabinet member and finally premier of the Australian state of New South Wales. I am going to edit this post in the future because just from initial research there some rather interesting fact about the case of Ms. Keneally that I think are quite relevant to what we are discussing. I will also note that given the date of her renounced she would have been subject to the post 1995 exit tax. Did she fill out form 8854?
I have to say I really liked the picture I posted, someone who renounces their US citizenship and flies around on private jets–what could be better? Note: the round windows. The plane she was flying on is a Gulfstream which is absolutely top of the line in terms of private jets. I am going to have more on Ms. Keneally a lot more like pictures of every meeting should had with a US politician or government official after she renounced as part of her official duties.
@Rick, the reaction you receive when you talk to others about the tax matters overseas Americans and returning-home green card holders just can’t believe it could possibly be like it is.
I have to admit from my limited interest in NZ politics word on the street is several American billionaries are intending to renounce their US citizenship and become Kiwi if Obama is reelected supposedly Julian Robertson and Peter Thiel are two names bandied about. One issue is that Prime Minister of New Zealand is a bit of a fat cat himself. Very few heads of government outside of total autocrats like the Assads of Syria have a picture taken of themselves in the swimming pool of their mansion but John Key is one of them.
The following of my favorite pictures of New Zealand Prime Minister John Key
I do not know what’s the big deal – Kristina K, has done so much for NSW. If in case you do not, Australia is a mulicultural society we therefore have leaders who were born overseas and formerly held different citizenzhip. We had Nick Griener, former premier of NSW who was born overseas, Our current Prime Minister, was originally from Welsh. We are proud of our being Australians.
KK has been one of the best Premiers we’ve had in NSW so much so that I hold out in hope that she’s also the best we’ve ‘yet’ to have.
It not about nationality our ditching the motherland. Its about where you can make a difference and how. If a condition is that you renounce your passport then so be it.
If its a matter of pride for your country or pride for your contribution to society on the whole I know which one I would choose.
I’m a Scotsman living here in Australia and no matter where I am or what passport I hold I will always consider myself a Scot. I would go to battle for my home country just as I would do for my adopted country.
I’m proud to be a Scot and an Australian but the fact is, I can make more of a difference here than I can back home therefore this is where I choose to be.
If its a question of coughing up to the IRS it sounds like the nation is missing the point of the term ‘Freedom’. Perhaps the US should be termed as ‘The land of the free…as long as you continue to pay your taxes should you decide to move overseas’?
KK has got herself in the history books which is something most of us would like to achieve. History isn’t bias, just as our contribution to society isn’t…or shouldn’t be.
Its a good discussion point…
@Major and Lexx…
Thanks for joining in the conversation. Welcome to Isaac Brock,
I don’t know about others, but I don’t think there is anything wrong with Kristina K. From other threads we have been wondering why so little FATCA coverage in Australia, and if there were ex US citizens, now Australians that might be impacted by these IRS offshore tax jihads. Tim just was reminding me of her, and wondering of her current status. Assume that since she has formally renounced, then she has not been caught up in the IRS offshore hunt. Australia has certainly become a very multicultural country, and one of my favorites, especially since I have an Aussie wife.
Have either of you heard much of any discussions in the media over there about what position the Australian government is going to take in relation to FATCA? Or will the banking industry just comply as required? Since the Australian banks own the majority of the Kiwi banks, what they do is of strong interest to me. I know the banking industry opposed it, but I haven’t heard anything in quite a while.
And Lexx, good thing you are a Scott and not an American. At least the citizenship tax issue won’t be bothering you! 🙂 A proud heritage that allows you the freedom to live where you want without claiming you as a tax serf until you renounce them! Would to God that the US would learn something from you!
@Just Me. I believe it would be more accurate to state that America is the Land of the Free as long as you decide to never live outside of its borders. If you decide to exercise the basic freedom guaranteed to all by the UN Declaration of Human Rights and relocate to another country to live and work or retire, unlike citizens of every other “free” nation in the world which indeed guarantees this right to their citizens, you very likely wll not be able to survive. With the enactment of FATCA as a US citizen living abroad you very well will be denied the right to have a bank account in that country. And if you relocate to one of the 30 some countries that have foreign exchange controls that limit or prohibit conversion of the income you earn into dollars and remittances to a foreign country’s tax authorities, then you can only comply with US tax laws if you illegally purchase dollars and smuggle them out of the country to pay your tax obligation to the US. As a US citizen you are forced to decide which prision system you are most likely to survive.
And if course if you excersize this human “right” to leave your own country you must employ very expensive professional assistance, which very likely is not available where you live abroad but in only the US, in order to insure that your US tax return and the myrad of other IRS and the Treasury Department FBAR reports that the only the overseas US citizen must submit, are error-free. And if you accept employment as officer of a foreign coopration that corporation must agree to supply you with full details of its most confidential bank account information it would never releaseto anybody else, so you as a US citizen can provide this information to the IRS on your FBAR report. The same is true if you accept foreign employment which includes issuing checks to pay your employer’s bills. This requirement is a significant barrier to the ability of the US citizen to accept employment abroad on the same basis as persons of all other nationalities.
As an American citizen you are effectively barred from the freedom other nationalities enjoy of freely leaving your own country to live anywhere else in the world.
Well said George. This is the way it is, But I am surprised that I entered a American Abroad Political Group where I met 65 people, Americans Living Abroad all over the world. I tried to talk with them about FBARs and ACA and they did not answer anything about FBARs, About ACA they had a wrong opinion. They did not seem to be as concerned as we are. Strange.
Strange indeed, but they may be keeping their head in the sand as not wanting to think about it or contemplate it. Once you let the idea in, it is very hard to get it out. I understand the reluctance to let it in.
I experienced something like that yesterday.
I went with some English friends to their New Zealand Citizenship swearing in ceremony. There was quite an assortment of nationalities joining in. A few Americans too. Some said they were here as refuges from George W Bush. No talk of taxes! LOL.
After the ceremony, I chatted with them, and just causally asked about their new dual citizenship status, and their plans for the US citizenship. Are they considering relinquishing the US citizenship, etc? Since it was not an appropriate time for any probing tax questions, (like how are you dealing with the double taxation) I was just curious to see if there was any recognition of potential problems. I saw or heard none, and I could see it would be hard getting them to consider the real consequences and dilemmas they would be facing. It is hard to ask any American over here, are you US tax and FBAR compliant?
I invited them out to visit us, and maybe sometime in the future, I will get a better feel. So far, the few Americans I know down here are playing the snow bird migration shuffle, which I may be joining in the short term.
@Roger… Excellent comments. I think we have all learned that, I just wished we could get others to understand the issue. As Markpinetree points out, it is hard to do. Much easier to talk to Kiwis about it, and get them to understand, than US citizens.
I haved expressed the way my life has become a nighmare as a dual citizen living in Brazil. And in a way I am trapped because I have accounts and family in the USA. I am trying to find what is the best I can do. Maybe my situation is different from the average American abroad. But every time I try to share with some of them my distress they sont want to talk about it., Could it be that we are exxagerating? See in the Facebook “Marylanders Abroad” and see how they handle my questions about ACA and FBAR,,, Make me feel like I am complicating things.