I received the following by email — it is from Keith Redmond’s Facebook page (I still do not do Facebook so could not otherwise access). This story deserves its own post here. How many other Canadians who were border babies will one day sooner or later have their own OMG moments? There was a push to inform them in correspondence to mayors and a CBC broadcast. We wanted them to know of this site but that effort seems to not have connected with too many born across the border as long ago that is where the nearest hospitals were.
A truly heartbreaking story of a Canadian Accidental American…..
XXXXX to Accidental Americans
I just received the following heartbreaking story from a Canadian accidental. I wish there was something I could do or say to make her pain go away. I can’t. The only thing I can do is speak up and fight back on her behalf.
To all Accidentals. We need your stories and more stories. If we can collect more stories like this one out open letter to Obama will become extremely powerful. Please help us by 1) sharing your stories with us 2) writing to your domestic politicians asking them to act and also help you connect with other Accidentals 3) contact the press in your home country and 4) spread the word. Our strength is in numbers and nationalities.
Dear President Obama,
I am Canadian, married to an Accidental American, but we only found this out this summer, and it has turned our world upside down.
My husband was born in xxx just because it was the closest hospital to the small border town his parents lived in, and medicare had not yet come to Canada, so the cost was the same here or across the border. He was taken home within a day of his birth, and lived his entire life up to now right in this same area. He grew up on a farm, and always dreamed of one day owning his own farm. We worked day and night to make that dream come true, went without to pay for the necessities, raised our children on our farm. Up until a few months ago, we were in the process of semi-retiring and our son taking over the farm, but now that seems impossible. We are faced with huge accounting fees, because there is so much work involved to comply when you own a business, and we will also face huge capital gains if we sell. All this just because of where he was born, it seems like we don’t have the right to live here in Canada. Our tax-free savings will be taxed, our investments will be taxed because they are “foreign” investments?? How are they foreign, we are Canadians!! Because we own a farm, we have over 2 million dollars in assets, so he can’t renounce without paying the exit tax. We are trapped, and for what? Because the US owns him? Because you need our money more than we do? We get nothing in return! I really don’t think you fully understand what this is doing to so many Accidentals who knew nothing about this until now. The amount of money you will get from us will make little difference to you, but will most likely bankrupt us and ruin our lives, lives we have struggled to make a success. You also know about the TPP and what that is doing to dairy farmers in Canada, because you are the county who wants to dump milk into Canada, so we are also losing there. Our future looks bleak. I have had to start taking anti-depressants and sleeping pills just to carry on. My husband is angry and moody, very hard to get along with. I fear that if this goes bad and he has to pay huge taxes, that I will lose him, he will kill himself before he will watch his farm fail and our son’s future be ruined. This is my biggest fear.
Another problem here is that it is impossible to know where to turn, we have accountants everywhere who don’t know a thing about doing this and they just scare people into dropping it and “taking the chance” that they won’t get caught. The first accountant we paid to talk to told us so many things we later found out to be false, like the spouse has to file, the children have to file, he will have to pay taxes on my income, so many other things that were not true. We paid 3 account firms before we settled down and hired one to do it. The work involved in this was astronomical! My entire summer was swallowed up between farm work and US tax work!!
So please, Mr. President, think long and hard about the people this is hurting. We are human beings trying to survive. You are a human being who holds in your hands the power to let us go, let us live our lives as we were before we learned of US citizenship taxation. Please, I beg of you, for thousands of Accidentals, give us our lives back, let us renounce without losing our businesses, our life savings, our hope for the future of our children and grandchildren. Do what you know is right, your proposal in the 2016 Green Book shows that you know about Accidentals and that is just isn’t right, please help us, let us go. We are not saying we want nothing to do with the US, that just isn’t the case, we respect the US for the most part, but knowing what citizenship taxation is doing to Accidentals and expats is disturbing to say the least.
Should these letters to President Obama not also be copied, as a minimum, to US Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders AND, ESPECIALLY, our new Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau?
@kiwi, re; “…Meanwhile we have to get on with our lives. We must not let FATCA dominate our lives. Kia kana ( stand strong in Maori)…”…
That is very true @kiwi. I wasn’t able to do that except with the help and support I found here at IBS, and in trying to amass and share information, and in taking part in this opposition to FATCA and to US CBT. I regret the many months of precious family time and personal peace of mind lost to fear, anxiety and sadness caused directly by US arrogance and intransigence and threats. I managed to extricate myself at significant personal psychological and actual cost – and now am no longer a US citizen. I tried to turn my anger into something constructive – like gathering and sharing information that might help to shame the US, and to pressure the Harper government, etc.
Action was a better antidote for me than ruminating.
I’ll never forgive the US or Harper government. They can kma.
This is an amazingly moving letter; it should not only be sent to Obama ( he won’t read it anyway) but be enclosed with every future letter that is sent out to the new MPs, to lawmakers in the US, to the BorderTown mayors, and any media people you can think of informing. We need to make NOISE NOW for this family and everyone in this s**t. If you want to join in making NOISE, let us know so we all can work together.
Thank goodness your decision was to do all you have done these past few years and that you have shared so much of your research here at Brock. All of us who gather here are certainly richer and saner for your presence. I, for one, cannot imagine you just sitting back and ruminating about it all.
The positive sharing of knowledge here at Brock and participating in the Canadian ADCS litigation has been for me, and I’ll bet for many others, the best therapy for the profound anger with extra-territorial US CBT consequences visited upon those of us who choose to live outside the USA.
Thanks for commenting here. You and your partner, like all of us here, are not criminals. We understand each other’s plights as we keep hoping the unfairness and absurdity of CBT will be decried worldwide and that this will go away. It takes more than just hope — will you join us in this fight? Have a look at all on our Canadian litigation pages at http://www.adcs-adsc.ca/ and follow as we discover what a newly elected Canadian government might mean for us. If we in Canada are effective in our efforts to slay the beast, it will translate to what might also be accomplished in other countries.
While you’re at it, cc the US ambassador to Canada, for what that’s worth.
Kiwi. Don’t do anything until you have considered all your options. One course of action is to precisely nothing. If you aren’t already in the system there is no way for them to pursue you. Even if you get Fatcad , there is nothing bad that can happen. At most, you might get a form letter asking for information. Big deal!
Then they sell their farm, give the proceeds to this effort, and put Canada’s sovereignty ahead of the dream they’ve worked a lifetime for.
That’s what it takes to defend a country’s sovereignty. I’m not in the least convinced any of you are up to the challenge.
Why don’t you give up all of your life’s savings to defend Canada’s sovereignty, Dash?
Because I’m not asking this couple to give up their whole life savings. Just 5% of their life savings would be enough to retire the current funding cycle. And I’ve definitely given 5% of my own life savings.
So farmers who held these farms for generations are suppose to cash it all in to save the sovereignty of canada… that is so unrealistic… these farms are their sweat & tears for the next generation… that many generations of family have done before them… no one knows the hard work or what they give up to keep it…
I would never do it… I have my next generation to worry about… just as my previous generation worries about us… I am thinking of my future generations… no one would ever do that for a sovereignty of a country… call me uncanadian… so be it… no one else will either… my family has survived worse with bigger targets on our backs…
Mazel tov… if u do it as you suggested for the sovereignty of canada
Dash, BB, This couple haven’t posted on IBS. Their letter was ‘borrowed’ from Keith Redmond’s facebook page. I don’t do facebook and I don’t know Keith Redmond
It’s probable they have never heard of either IBS or ADCS. We shouldn’t be begging them for money. We should be trying to help but we don’t know how.
No THEY should be trying to help. They’re deep pocketed multimillionaires.
If you won’t make these sacrifices there won’t be a next generation of Canadians to worry about.
And not only do they have deep pockets–but ADSC-ADCS isn’t actually proposing to get that deep into their pockets. If they comply Uncle Sam will definitely get into their pants in far more intimate ways. Just saying.
I am pretty sure that Keith Redmond is aware of this site. He has taken time off his job to help people being caught up in this awful situation. He and others have worked hard to educate the government in France (where he lives) about all of this. This letter was actually sent to someone on another facebook site for Accidentals who is collecting stories to send to President Obama.
@ Dash These people are still in shock. Unfortunately they went to accountants before fully understanding their situation. I hope they found someone who will be fair. Give them time to get educated, they may very well consider a donation to the lawsuit when they become more aware.
I tend to agree with you, PortlandPLC. Demanding donations from a family like this is putting the cart before the horse. I think this US-affected family needs the opportunity to come to this site and/or Maple Sandbox, do any research they can do, learn better about what is going on not just to their family but to so many others, ask any questions they have, get suggestions we might be able to give them. I’d like to welcome them here have some discussion. They have been blindsided as have so many of us and they have, as so many of us, made bad decisions in response. I tried to put myself in their shoes and determined that that is the path I’d like to take for any buy in to this fight for their own well-being and that of others like them.
The ACDS site has a topic on its menu bar “Real Canadians” where this story should be posted!!!! I feel for this family because my parents both grew up in farming families, and I know how hard a farm family works and struggles.
IMHO just dropping this letter on the new prime minister’s desk won’t do much good; he’s swamped right now trying to get his new gov’t up and running, but after he names his new ministers, THOSE are the people that need to see this letter and letters like it about accidental Americans AND other innocents who the IGA penalizes, like Carol’s son, and spouses and business partners.
Its difficult living in a small country with few US citizens to exchange information with, and a government which will never stand up to the US , just look at TPP. We have already filed a return for 6 Years we had no choice as another family member had. Now what do we do? Stop filing returns and wait for the IRS to force our government to hand over our assists? I will definitely follow up with giving money to Issac Brock and am so grateful for the generosity of all who are workingon the various court cases. I spoke to one of our MP,s – easy to bump into one in our country!, and was told our government will take notice if Canada takes a stand on the legality of the IGA. So ththankyou again.
PS its kia Kaha sorry about spell chech error
Kiwi. You need to understand the process. You say you’ve already filed 6 yrs of returns . Quote ‘ we had no choice as another family member had’
If you have filed 6 yrs. worth, ( whether or not you had to) , you now wonder what to do next.
a). Continue to file every year or
b). Renounce, file the 8854 and final year return, or
c) Renounce, don’t file the 8854 or
d) stop now- don’t bother doing anything else.
It depends on how wealthy you are, whether or not you can afford proper advice ( not all pros have any idea what is going on), whether or not you have US assets and so on.
Take time. If you have no US assets, there is NOTHING theycan do. Maybe a nasty letter or 2. Be strong.
“Farming is everyone’s bread and butter.”
These people became multimillionaires because they worked to feed us. The only difference between them and someone who became a multimillionaire from owning a house in Vancouver is that they worked harder.
If someone wants to suggest it might be appropriate for them to make a donation proportionate to their current earnings, they should not be expected to sell their house plus livelihood to make a bigger donation.
This story needs to go to MPs to persuade Canada to enact a copy of the US’s Expatriation Act.
By the way last year Forbes contributor Kelly Phillips Erb ran a few stories and some commenters contributed stories even sadder than this one. Someone had moved back to Europe to accompany her dying mother. When she learned about the requirement to file US forms, luckily she had no problem with tax returns because her income was below the minimum needed for filing, but FBAR penalties threatened some multiple of the value of her inheritance from her mother.
I once met someone who had fought in the US military. The US reneged on paying him a pension. Maybe he was lucky. If the US had treated him as a citizen, renunciation would cost more than a year’s income.
Your wasting your time. Obama is responsible for FATCA. It was under his administration that it was all enacted. He doesn’t care about your problems. He is the worst president that we have had in a long time. His two major accomplishments are FATCA and Obamacare both of which are fiascos.
Is that really true? ” if you have no US assets there is nothing they can do”? That’s the scary thought and what about the future?
What’s scary about the idea that there is nothing the IRS can do to a KIwi citizen living in New Zealand? I would have thought it would be liberating.
“It depends upon what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.”
Kiwi’s worried about the “is” and what about the future?
I was not clear. I meant to say – I am scared that if we don’t continue to comply with FATCA and never go to the US , that the IRS will still hunt us down in New Zealand, take our assets maybe extradite us? We will then be tax criminals accorrding to the US and that feels scary.
The IRS can always ASK your bank to cooperate in seizing your bank account. Of course your bank would obey its country’s laws in seizing your account, but is your bank allowed to volunteer to obey another country’s laws without your consent, I’m not sure. Treaties let your country decide to serve another country, but if your country doesn’t act then could the bank volunteer, tough question. TD Waterhouse in Canada did exactly that in 2002, when I was a dual US and Canadian living in Japan: 10% withheld from Canadian sourced interest and paid to Canada (legally) plus 30% withheld from Canadian sourced interest and paid to the US (apparently legally under US law but I still wonder about Canadian law), total 40%.
I haven’t read “The Hague Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters, 20 U.S.T. 1361; 658 U.N.T.S. 163; T.I.A.S. No. 6638; 28 U.S.C.A.; 16 I.L.M. 1339 (1977)” but the IRS did. It appears that if your country gives approval to an IRS agent then the IRS can serve a civil summons in your country. I doubt that this lets them seize your bank account; it looks like it just lets them serve documents.
I don’t think extradition would get far unless your country’s laws make you a criminal in addition to US laws making you a criminal.
But droning or kidnapping sure, the US does that all the time. Ask some innocent people who were released from Guantanamo. They weren’t all innocent of course, only most of them were, so those are the ones you could ask.