In the latest news, Jeremy Hobson was kind enough to leak to NPR listeners what is going on in the minds of hundreds of millions of Americans, such as Senator Shumar, Senator Reed, President Obama and many others. According to him and Marty Schenker from Bloomberg, the American people would rather renounce their US citizenship than to pay taxes.
HOBSON: And as you have reported at Bloomberg, some people just renounced their U.S. citizenship to avoid taxes.
SCHENKER: It really is extraordinary. In the first half of this year, one – over 1,100 Americans had walked into their embassies and basically turned in their passports versus only 235 for the whole of 2008. And these are people who just are calculating it’s better not to be a U.S. citizen than to face having to pay taxes or prosecution.
From this NPR leak, we have learned that there are only two reasons why stateside Americans have not yet renounced their US citizenship:
- They don’t pay any US taxes
- They pay US taxes but have not yet had the opportunity to move to a different country (a requirement for renouncing)
As a non-American, I have found that people generally change their citizenship for a large variety of different reasons which usually has nothing to do with taxes. Americans must be unique in this regards, differing greatly from the rest of the global population. It is only the Americans who figure that renunciations are only about taxes.
Your long comment is still up on my computer but it sounds like it will disappear when I reload the page. It shows 5 up arrows. I’m making a copy of it. NPR might reject it (they are tools of the state) but it will live on in my computer at least. The truth? They can’t handle the truth!
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Can’t resist an attempt at least at Haiku …
then Brockers lay N.P.R.
gobsmacked on the deck.
I finally got logged into the NPR site and putting this comment up. I will be surprised if they let it out of moderation due to the links, but will try… Maybe Jeremy will see it… If I can find his email, I will email it too.
Jeremy: A couple comments about your story that need better clarification, as your “expert” made some misstatements and illogical leaps that misrepresent things. There is a Bigger story.
1. First of all, It is a given that Homeland Americans have evaded taxes abroad with secret accounts, but the UBS prosecution resulted in them giving up 4,500 names to the DOJ, not 45 thousand names as Marty said. Probably just a slip of the tongue, but a BIG difference!
2. Any representation of how much money is hidden abroad coming from Senator Carl Levin is highly suspect. It comes from back of the envelop WAGS from ideological staffers who really have NO IDEA. To repeat something that they say is just to buy into their agenda. The Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) when they passed FATCA to “end tax dodging for ever” only thought that it would result in $800 Million a year in revenue, but even that was a WAG.
3. The BIGGEST Tax Haven in the world is in U.S. financial institutions like those in Florida and Texas who hold $XXXX billions of Latin American Tax evader money. What if Mexico or Brazil decided to pursue American banks with prosecution fervor the way the U.S. has pursued Switzerland? Think there might be an uproar? Sometimes we need to clean up our back yard before venturing across the fence to tell the neighbor 10 doors down that his yard is full of weeds.
4. Not all holders of Swiss Accounts are necessarily secret for tax evasion purposes although certainly some Americans in Boston probably have done that. There are many Americans that live in Switzerland, that have normal banking activity like checking and savings and mortgages and are negatively impacted by the DOJs and IRS broad brush offshore jihad. Then there is the Congressional FATCA legislation from 2010 which is now shutting them out of normal banking. Unintended Consequences and collateral damage, or by design?
4. Did you know that, the BIGGEST tax haven for Corporate beneficial Ownership in the world is not those Caribbean Islands you quickly mentioned, but is closer home to you in Delaware, or Wyoming, and certainly Senator Harry Reid’s Nevada. Maybe you didn’t see the CNBC stories like this one…
“Ranch House Near Reno is a Thriving Tax Haven, and It’s Not Alone ”
4. While your discussion of Tax Evasion primarily relates to U.S. Homelanders, the impacts of 4 years of an aggressive offshore jihad with Congressional FATCA legislation, imposition of FBAR penalties, IRS Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Programs (OVDP) that swept up minnows abroad as well as Homeland Evaders in a ‘one size fits all penalty regime’ all combined with the unique nature of US Citizenship taxation regardless where you reside (NONE of which you mentioned), has created a toxic brew for Americans living abroad.
Many long term American’s abroad are now deciding to hand in their membership in what has become, under this Administration, a “U.S. Tax, Form and Penalty Club”. It is a logical and reasoned “cost vs benefit” decision unrelated to any EVASION theory you have implied with your stories narrative.
5. The jump in IRS reports of renunciations are probably very much understated as the data source they use for reporting is “Probably” IRS form 8854, although it could include State Department Certificates of lost of Nationality data (CLNs), or I-407 forms, but without a FOIA, we don’t really know for sure, nor does Marty know. What we do know, is that it is WAY understated!
What he reported represents just a slice of the pie, but NOT the whole enchilada, as they say, and includes “Green Card” holders as well as Citizens some of which are accidental Americans having never lived in America. There are certain thresholds for reporting, but looking at the names in it is all over the Map as to what it includes. He should NOT make assumptions this is about evasion. It is something else much BIGGER that you could devote an entire story(s) to as the WSJ has done recently.
Or how about PRI’s “The World”. They did a reasonable story you might have missed. http://bit.ly/1bIlma0
Or, you might contact the well respected Tax Analysts and get a copy of their August 26th article “Solving the Expatriation Enigma by Marie Sapirie and Stephanie Soong Johnston
To walk into a Consulate abroad and renounce Citizenship is NOT an easy decision taken lightly or an inexpensive process. It rarely would JUST be driven by Evasion or Taxes alone. Complexity and bad U.S. taxation and enforcement policies drive the decision as well as family matters and job opportunities. If you want to Evade, you would NOT present yourself to the “State Department” and fill out the required IRS forms and potentially pay an Exit Tax. That is NOT what Homeland Tax Evaders do. It is what the Tax compliant Americans abroad do.
6. The leap you made to Saverin as someone renouncing to avoid taxes is totally wrong. For the privilege of exercising his UN Declarations of Human Rights, he had to pay a VERY significant Exit Tax, and had to be tax compliant for 5 years. That by definition is NOT evasion. However, if he is to live abroad, and do business abroad, living under U.S. Citizenship Taxation and FATCA makes him a toxic asset for future business relationships. It is logical that he decided to give it up to live a normal life abroad and be competitive with other nations citizens.
Why Fewer Americans Live Abroad. U.S. tax laws put Yanks at a disadvantage against Aussies and Brits in growth regions like Africa or Asia.
Notice he did NOT give up his Brazilian Citizenship, where he was born, and why is that you might ask? If you truly look for the answer, as a good journalist would, you might have a better understanding of what is going one. As a new program on NPR, this would be a good “Here and Now” in depth analysis.
America practices Citizenship Taxation, and the rest of the world practices Residency based taxation just like Massachusetts! If you move to California, should Massachusetts have the right to continue taxing you and requiring you to report all banking activity, under Draconian penalty threat, back to them? Think about it? That is what the U.S does.
There is MUCH more to this story than the simple narrative presented within the confines of the story of U.S. Bullying of Switzerland banks. Dig deeper, and you might find a “Here and Now” story you didn’t know existed. 🙂
@Em, Just Me
Excellent morning workout for both sides of the brain. Thanks!
@ Just Me
I really hope your comment goes up. It lays waste to NPR’s codswallop and with “only” 48 paragraphs, 1117 words, 6499 characters. You can switch effortlessly from 140 characters in your tweets to over 6000 characters in your comments — amazing! Can you leap tall buildings in a single bound too? 🙂
maybe a reason why DC isn’t asking questions?
I should have you edit me down to Haiku brevity! I am way way too wordy, but thanks for counting and reminding me. 🙂
@ Just Me
Don’t change a thing. Your comments are better than the articles. Still no sign of your NPR contribution. Nuts!
Just checked, and it shows up with a Samuel Clemmons reply. 5 up arrows so someone saw it, even if Jeremy did not.
@DDC… Good podcast on the so called Paper Reduction Act. (Wondered what happened to ANDREA SEABROOK. Maybe we could get her interested in FATCA?)
The PRA doesn’t seem to have slowed up our FATCAnatics enough with their form creation. Do you want to remove the 6 month requirement and allow them to move faster?
On a separate subject, I was interested in Clay Johnson’s concern of ID theft with the White House spread sheet emailing that is done to avoid the Paperwork Reduction Act. They certainly don’t seem concerned about that with FATCA.
@ Just Me
Aha! Found it. I’ve been watching the comments here …
And your comment is here …
Good work! I love how you begin “a couple of comments”. I also found my comment that Uncle Tell was kind enough to slip in. A cat watching the wrong mouse hole — that’s me. 😉
Em…. yes, I have a cat like that!
I wanted to make comments where Jeremy would see them. This new NPR program is a poor replacement for Talk of the Nation, and I look at what a kid Jeremy is and wonder why the hell NPR went with him over Neal Conan who was pretty darn good and credible questioner and moderator.