You may remember Ambassador Jacobson’s “70 year old Grandma” speech on October 18, 2011:
“When I read all of this I was concerned. So last week I called the Commissioner of the United States Internal Revenue Service to see what we could do. I explained the problem to him.
The result is that both he and I are sympathetic to the concerns. We are going to work together to see if we can’t find a way to accommodate grandma — and others — here in Canada. But we have to figure out a way to do it without letting the person who is trying to evade taxes in the Cayman Islands off the hook.
My message on this one is to sit tight. We are not unreasonable. We are not unsympathetic. We are not irresponsible.”
Tonight, November 2, Ambassador Jacobson provides responsible education about the U.S. electoral system on the Agenda.
Update – November 3:
1. According to the Agenda you should be able to see the interview online.
2. The comments on this post are directed to the continuing disappointment and betrayal that U.S. citizens abroad feel at the hands of the US government. Specifically how Ambassador Jacobson promised relief and clarity. Relief in the sense that US citizens abroad should NOT be subjected to massive penalties for “footfaults”. Clarity in the sense that direction would be provided in terms of how to come into compliance. I wrote a number of posts last year on the topic of how US citizens abroad cam come into compliance with US tax laws. It has since become clear that the IRS is not offering any reasonable way to come into compliance. Furthermore, the silence of the IRS and failure to address this issue suggests that the IRS would rather operate through threats of penalties. The September 1, 2012 guidelines are useful to such a small percentage of people that they are meaningless. US citizens abroad now fall into one of two groups. They either renounce US citizenship or they do the full ostrich. On a personal level I have simply come to terms with the fact that the Government of the United States as represented by the IRS is:
Unreasonable, unsympathetic and irresponsible.
The worst thing is the realization that many of the things we believed about the United States – “land of the free and home of the brave” – are just simply wrong. Margaret Thatcher used to refer to the United States as “That great citadel of freedom and justice“. Right, this is a country that levies huge penalties on US citizens abroad who invest in Canadian mutual funds.
Lioness, comments on the penalties she has received from the IRS. I note that she was using a US based CPA firm. The more I learn about the experiences of people using US based professionals, the more I think you should consider using professionals in your country of residence. See the following comment thread from here to here on this topic.
Finally, don’t forget about one of Ambassador Jacobson’s 70 year old Grandmas.
And, thanks to Calgary411 for your great comments on this post.
There are times in life when bad things happen to good people!