Tina Turner ‘to become Swiss, give up US passport’
25 January 2013 – 10H41
AFP – US pop legend Tina Turner, who has been living in Switzerland since 1995, will soon receive Swiss citizenship and will give up her US passport, Swiss media reported Friday.
“I’m very happy in Switzerland and I feel at home here. … I cannot imagine a better place to live,” Turner told German language daily Blick….
Makes sense. She’s lived in Switzerland for the past 20 years, so she might as well continue doing so under the same conditions as any other Swiss citizen. Switzerland is a great place for celebrities, since they can go about their normal lives without people making a big deal out of such.
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*monalisa1776, if you are a citizen of another nation, then you have a great advantage over other Americans. Unlike them, you can refuse to cooperate if the US gives you problems. You can renounce citizenship, refuse to pay and never visit the US again. Of course, one would prefer to avoid that situation and I post with the hope that such can be avoided, but this is huge advantage that you have over other Americans. You know, the world is huge with much to see and many nice people. One doesn’t have to live in America to have a nice life. Today, I read an interesting perspective which talks about how nice life can be as a non-US citizen:
If Tina Turner is not willing to speak publicly about the reasons why she is relinquishing, perhaps she would be willing to speak off the record with the President. I have sent an email to the White House encouraging them to invite her to the White House.
Dear Mr. Obama,
No doubt you will have
seen the news that Tina Turner has decided to renounce her US
citizenship when she receives her Swiss citizenship.
You might even have
asked yourself the question: why would an American icon relinquish
her US citizenship? Switzerland does not prevent dual citizenship so
she could easily retain her US citizenship despite becoming Swiss.
Officially, Ms. Turner
has stated that she is seeking to “clarify” her situation.
I contend it might, however, have something to do with the FBAR form
which threatens each US citizen abroad with confiscation of 50% of
their assets each and every year if it contains an inadvertent
mistake or arrives a day late. It might have something to do with the
unbelievably high cost of complying with a bewilderingly complex US
tax code denies access to just about every legitimate form of saving
for retirement. It might have something to do with FATCA where the US
pursuit of thousands of US residents with bank accounts offshore has
turned the millions of US citizens abroad into pariahs.
But I don’t wish to
speak for Ms. Turner. Rather, I would like to encourage you to invite
Ms. Turner to the White House so that she can tell you first hand why
she is relinquishing. In extending your invitation, please could I
ask you to 1) make clear that the conversation with you is strictly
off the record so that she may speak freely without fear of personal
attacks from Sen. Schumer et al or a backlash from 300 million
potential consumers of her music in the US and 2) extend her immunity
from the Reed Amendment which, though currently not enforced, has
been US law since 1996 and would prevent her from re-entering the US
if US citizenship based taxation were among the factors causing her
to relinquish her citizenship.
I believe this would be
a very worthwhile use of your time and that you would gain first-hand
insight into the major issues the US government is knowingly creating
for its millions of US citizens abroad. As a bonus, it comes with a
really great photo opportunity.
Good letter. Maybe some staffer will put it out for his bedtime reading! 🙂
Jeff Berwick: “What’s Patriotism Got To Do With It?”
From the article:
“If anyone knows a thing or two about getting away from abusive partners, it’s Tina Turner. The relationship between her and her abusive husband and manager, Ike Turner, was immortalized in the film What’s Love Got To Do With It. What’s funny is how the Ike and Tina story closely parallels America’s relationship with its citizens. At one time Ike (the US) helped Tina (the citizens) on the path to success. But over time Ike became more of a bully and grew jealous of the attention Tina was getting. In the end, Tina had to find the strength to realize she was better off without Ike and went to realize even greater success without him.”
“The US has indeed slowly transformed from Prince Charming into a boozy, bitter bully of a husband who comes home reeking of cheap rotgut and cheaper prostitutes. He’s looking to take his frustration out on his poor wife’s face. And since the bum has no job, he will once again be rifling through her purse to take whatever money she’s managed to scrape together so he can keep his bookie off his back for another few days.”
“Even a former top political rat is getting out while he can. Nicolas Sarkozy is taking his money and his trophy singer/model wife and heading for the UK of all places. It’s a little ironic because the tiny former French president gave himself a raise as one of his first acts in office…and he still can draw from a mayoral pension from his stint as mayor of Neuilly-sur-Seine. This is a man who funds a comfortable life with stolen loot. When rats like Sarkozy start swimming away, you know something awful is about to happen to the ship.”
@Edelweiss, Great letter.
I found this article, where the writer is sympathetic to Tina Turner but seems confused about citizenship and taxation, asking several questions. I sent him an email:
Great letter also. Too bad you can’t post it online too. I hate it when some of these web sites only use the Facebook social plugin for comments, so no Facebook, no ability to comment. That isn’t enough to make me have a Facebook account, but if you do, you really should post it there also. Good education you have provided.
Edelweiss and Shadow Raider,
Thanks for educating some on Tina Turner’s (and others’) renunciation / relinquishment decisions. Good work.
I denounce my citizenship all the time 😉
@bubblebustin; re ‘denouncing’ US citizenship. Perhaps it is an IBS status, moving from denouncing to renouncing – where/when/if possible.
@Just Me, re Facebook – having to have a FB account is probably stopping many from commenting where that is the prerequisite.
@ShadowRaider, great explanation and effort to educate. As always, appreciate your work.
@all, seems to me that in a an ongoing search of the media, not that much press on Tina’s decision really. And not really negative overall (apart from online commenters). Contrast that with the Saverin coverage.
Strangely, NO statements by US politicians grandstanding and denouncing her decision, and promising punishment. Obviously a deliberate decision by the usual suspects in the Senate, like Schumer. Probably because it would draw unwanted attention to the increasingly dire situation US citizens living outside the US have to cope with – at the hands of the US Treasury and IRS – and the size of the maltreatment. The US doesn’t want negative attention drawn to FATCA and FBAR, or US double-taxation at this time, and since Tina was living in Switzerland for more than a decade, and has a longterm partner/spouse there, and jumped through all the requisite hoops for years, they can’t beat up on her and cast the same type of aspersions as they did for Saverin.
They must have decided that there would be too much negative fallout for themselves and the US in this instance.
Otherwise it might call into question the high barriers to expatriation that the US has already invented for us. At the US consulates when asked whether we understand the gravity of renouncing/relinquishing, we can just say we’re ‘clarifying’ ala Tina Turner.
*@Swiss, I agree that having the citizenship in another first-world nation gives me protection. But as I need to continue being able to visit my family over there, I still will need to cooperate if they give me problems. I agree that expatriation is the most realistic way to simplify my life going forward. I’d still have to wait for all the statutes of limitation to close before I’d be completely safe though.
And @Shadow, again, thanks so much for all your hard work!!
@Edeweiss, it was a great letter but suspect that Obama’s people will simply ignore it.
@Badger, I agree that people posting on Brock should emphasize the difference between denouncing and renouncing.
by the way, Mark Zuckerschmuck was listed as a major contributor to the Obama inauguration ball. Government and business, working together, to grow the economy
*I don’t think that a FB account is a problem. Simply create an account using any name without the personal information and don’t invite family for it to be more private. For my online profile, I use a 10 year old picture taken in Venice.
From Time Magazine..
Mister Taxman: Why Some Americans Working Abroad Are Ditching Their Citizenships
@Shadow Raider, here is a response to your letter (I believe):
The Swiss press is reporting that Tina Turner and her long-term partner are to be married in 2013. I would speculate that an enabler for the marriage is her upcoming Swiss naturalization and US citizenship relinquishment:
Final sentences in article:
“I am happier than I could have ever dreamed of,” the singer gushed recently. Two things you missing: the final naturalization in Switzerland – and the wedding ring on her finger. Both are only a matter of time.”
The “Tina Turner Blog” is also reporting her planned marriage (English):
Also see comment by “lasse”:
March 21, 2013 at 9:31 am
Swiss citizenship, marriage, it is clear she’s preparing that everything will be ready in the event that…. she goes Beyond. Every sensible person at that age would do the same in order to keep her fortune with her loved once instead of the US revenue department 🙂 This is more likely a tax move.”
Lasse is a Swedish nickname for Lars. Someone from Sweden knows the score.
Now it’s official. Tina Turner received her Swiss passport on Monday. Now she wants to marry. Not sure whether she’s renounced US citizenship yet.
The Swiss “Blick” has a photo of Tina Turner leaving a Swiss passport office on Monday:
Google English translation: http://translate.google.ca/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.blick.ch%2Fpeople-tv%2Fschweiz%2Fhier-besorgt-sich-tina-turner-den-schweizer-pass-id2281138.html
Here’s a story in English, citing the Blick article:
Some of you may recall that I had written to the White House suggesting that they invite Tina Turner to have an off the record conversation as to why she decided to renounce her US citizenship (the full text is earlier in the thread). Today I received a “response” from the White House. Sadly, it’s a completely pointless response. Given how many months have passed since I penned my letter I would have hoped for something a bit more directly related to my email. For some reason they though must have thought I was writing to them about taxes because I got the tax autoresponse. The full text:
“Thank you for writing. I understand the strong views many Americans have about taxes, and I appreciate your perspective.
This is a make-or-break moment for the middle class and those trying to reach it. That is why my top priority is growing the economy and creating jobs by building a rising, thriving middle class. To do that, we need a tax code that rewards hard work and ensures everyone—especially the wealthiest Americans and big corporations—pays their fair share and plays by the same rules. As we move forward to address our ongoing fiscal challenges, we need a balanced approach that both cuts spending and asks the wealthy to do a little more so we can protect the investments in education, manufacturing, clean energy, and small business that help America thrive.
Since I took office, my Administration has cut taxes for the middle class, families, and small businesses. The Recovery Act cut taxes for 95 percent of American workers, assisting 120 million families. Further tax relief I enacted helps bring the cost of college within reach for students, enables more seniors to make ends meet, and assists responsible first-time homebuyers. To uphold our commitments to our service members, I signed the Returning Heroes and Wounded Warriors tax credits into law—rewarding companies that hire our Nation’s unemployed and disabled veterans. And in January 2013, I signed the American Taxpayer Relief Act, which permanently extended income tax cuts for 98 percent of Americans while asking the wealthiest households to pay a little more to help reduce the deficit. Finally, I have signed 18 tax breaks for small businesses to help jumpstart the private sector and help them expand and hire.
But there is more work to do. We need bipartisan, comprehensive tax reform that creates jobs and cuts the deficit in a balanced way. I am ready to reform our tax code to eliminate loopholes for the wealthiest taxpayers and biggest corporations, special interest carve-outs, and other tax expenditures that stack the deck against small business owners and middle-class families. For too long, our tax code has benefited the wealthy and well-connected at the expense of the majority of Americans. That is why I am committed to making our tax system simpler and fairer for the middle class and ensuring everyone plays by the same rules. I have urged Congress to enact the Buffett Rule, which would prevent millionaires and billionaires from using loopholes and special tax breaks to pay taxes at a lower rate than middle-class families. As we all come together to make tough choices, we cannot afford to continue allowing some of the wealthiest Americans to avoid paying their fair share.
Our current corporate tax system is outdated, unfair, and inefficient. Worst of all, it even provides tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas. It is unnecessarily complicated and forces America’s small businesses to spend countless hours and dollars filing their taxes. That is why my Administration released a framework for reform that simplifies the tax code, eliminates dozens of tax loopholes and subsidies, and promotes job creation right here at home. To increase competitiveness for companies across our Nation, our framework lowers the corporate tax rate, cuts tax rates further for manufacturers who are creating new products here in America, and includes a basic minimum tax for every multinational company—because no company should be able to avoid paying its fair share of taxes by moving jobs and profits out of the United States. I have also repeatedly called on Congress to stop giving away $4 billion a year in oil subsidies to an industry that has never been more profitable, and instead pass clean energy tax credits to create jobs and homegrown clean energy technology.
The American story is not about what we can do on our own; it is about what we can accomplish together. Our Nation’s success is possible only because previous generations sacrificed to make investments on our behalf. We must now join together in the same spirit to do what is right for our country’s future. To learn more about my tax reform plans, please visit http://www.WhiteHouse.gov/issues/taxes.
Thank you, again, for writing.
@Edelweiss, no surprise there. For the US government, it’s all about the taxes.
Renunciations by prominent citizens can be embarrassing to governments. Although politicians such as Senator Schumer and columnists such as Lynnley Browning have made a name for themselves by criticizing the renunciations by Denise Rich and Eduardo Saverin, few seemed to have openly criticized Tina Turner for her decision.
According to the below Google Books excerpt, the renunciation request by Albert Einstein in 1933 created large waves in the Nazi German government. Albert Einstein was the most prominent scientist in the world at that time and he no longer wished to identify himself as a German.
The forced renunciation by Thomas Mann, a prominent author who had gone into exile in Switzerland, was even more feared by some in the Nazi German government as they could foresee that this would create even greater press than that given to Einstein:
Excerpt is from: “Das Amt und die Vergangenheit: Deutsche Diplomaten im Dritten Reich und in der Bundesrepublik” (2010)
East Germany is thought to have made a great mistake when it stripped the songwriter Wolf Biermann of his citizenship in 1976. This caused a rift with the intelligentsia in East Germany which had supported the regime and propelled him to fame abroad, including the US. Some historians see this action as marking the beginning of the end of East Germany.
A reader’s post on Jack Townsend’s blog regarding the NPA settlement between the US DOJ and Privatbank Von Graffenried AG shows that the reader had not consulted Isaac Brock Society. Tina Turner may have technically been a dual Swiss-US citizen from about April 2013 until October 2013 when she officially relinquished her US citizenship at the Bern embassy. Denise Eisenberg Rich renounced in 2011 and already had Austrian citizenship from her father; there is no evidence that she ever was a Swiss citizen. Based on these facts, the $426 million didn’t belong to either Tina Turner or Denise Eisenberg Rich.
If the IRS expatriation lists were reasonably complete, it might, of course, be possible for the reader to review them to make a list of suspect persons. Given their incomplete state, however, it would likely be an exercise in futility:
Here’s the post that Jack Townsend is touting on his blog:
Please note this from NPA (Page 11 of 17):
Of that, approximately $426 million was held in five accounts associated with a dual Swiss-U.S.
citizen and longtime resident of Switzerland who was a U.S. person until 2012, when the
$426M by one person. One has to wonder if this is Tina Turner or Denise Rich (Marc Rich’s ex-wife).”