US-Bürger geben ihren Pass aus Steuerfurcht ab
By Markus Gärtner
The EU has made the flight of paying taxes its top theme. The problem is, however, that a growing number of US citizens are handing in their passports to their consulates outside of their homeland with the task of being disposing hassling taxes…
[bla bla bla glamour, rich, tax evasion, false figures, bla bla bla (no time to translate nonsense during my lunch break)]
…The rapidly growing number of Americans handing in their passports can be explained, according to the experts, with FATCA since 2010. By 2014, Americans living abroad will have to file US tax returns or face draconian penalties. When reporting their [local] accounts via FBAR, unlisted details will be slapped with a 27.5 penalty on the highest balance of one account over 8 years.
Escaping from this tax trap is becoming ever more difficult, since FATCA forces [local] banks to disclose their data through bilateral agreements with the US, else pay a 30% penalty on their US earnings. Switzerland and America signed such an agreement in February.
Part 2: Aggressiveness of US justice.
This is the reason why a large number of Americans in Switzerland returned their US passport. Yet, many dual citizens in Hong Kong also returned their us passport. The Chinese Morning Post reported about Chinese in the mainland, who gained a US passport as the “ultimate symbol status”, later returned to China and were shocked to discover that they were still taxed by the US.
For Americans living abroad, it has become more difficult to live outside of America since they are being rejected by multiple banks who fear IRS sniffing. “The foreign banks are so appalled over US policy, that they don’t want to have any more US customers, causing many Americans living abroad to be sleepless at night”, said Francisca Mordi, the vice president and tax expert of the American bankers association.
Result: Americans abroad are not only returning their passports, but they are mobilizing their organizations.
A professional association for Americans abroad in Geneva, the Americans in Switzerland sent a 10 page letter to the US Congress last fall, listing the problems Americans abroad were facing as a result of FATCA.
“It is mainly the jihad against foreign accounts”, stated Phil Hodgen, a tax lawyer in Pasadena, California, which is responsible for the large number of renunciations. Hodgen knows that a growing number of wealthy investors in the middle east have advised their children to renounce us citizenship if they wish to inherit the family company.
US authorities are putting banks under pressure…
[talks about financial institutions]
… FATCA has made it more difficult to attract top managers and well paid specialists overseas, they argue. The double-taxing of expats combined with increased IRS pressure has made it more difficult to recruit talents needed for international expansions, and this in a time when the US economy is suffering with growth in developing countries.
I had seen the original article as well. It’s a shame the author took the usual route of just regurgitating the meme of the rich expats renouncing to avoid taxation, rather than actually taking a closer look at the facts surrounding the subject.
If it’s all about shameless pro-US FATCA/Citizenship based taxation propaganda, then I’ll just dismiss it as the garbage that I know it is.
We can shape the narrative by refraining from calling this citizenship-based taxation. Call it what it really is:
“Restricted mobility and life opportunity as a result of living outside the US”
Heavily restricted mobility and life opportunities, I may add.
Having to choose between having a plan for retirement, or even having a normal banking relationship with your spouse, and retaining US citizenship, is certainly an example of having a life opportunity curtailed, or a right infringed upon.