12 January 2022
If clicking on a link in the comments brings you to the wrong place on the thread, click here. (It may bring you to the page before the current one, but it’s closer). This is a link, even though it doesn’t look like one. You may have to scroll Having a technical problem and working on it.
UPDATE February 13, 2016
I have finally decided on a new name for this post, which will not continue on this thread but as a new post:
I have not been updating this post as regularly as I intended. I have two items for you to think about today. One is a comment from a psychologist; I think it is extremely important to hear from a professional, as to how this entire situation can affect the well-being of one caught up in it. The comment was made in the context of the 2 meetings that were organized to offer people a chance to talk openly without any fear of being exposed; June 15, 2013 & March 29, 2014 (which Dr. Young was scheduled for but missed due to illness). The second item is an actual obituary for “J” for whom you will now see his actual name. I have been reluctant to post it but it has to come out eventually. I would expect ALL to respect the privacy of his family in Sweden.
One last thing for today. Many have commented as to how they cannot understand (or even don’t believe this story because of this) how a father could do such a thing with two young children. I suspect those who outright disbelieve it do not actually have children. Any honest parent will admit to the difficulty of the constant sacrifice required and how sometimes it simply is too much. Parents are not saints and they suffer the same myriad of issues as anyone else. And it is common knowledge in the counselling world that people who commit suicide feel extreme guilt at being the source of a problem, so the solution, in order to protect, is to take themselves out of the equation. No one would question a parent putting themself in front of a car to protect a child (even one who wasn’t their own). On a certain level, it is exactly the same thing. Life is not neat and tidy and clear sometimes.
All of the emphases are mine:
In the words of Dr. Donald Young
For those U.S citizens who have elected to live abroad, be it in Canada or elsewhere, American tax policy can place such individuals in a position that engenders constant and severe emotional stress. The vindictiveness of the U.S. position, its unfairness and irrationality, the fact that neither the U.S. government nor tax and legal experts even know the rules and how to rationally proceed, and the constant threat of economic calamity are all factors that can be emotionally devastating. From my observations over the years in people ensnared in this situation, and I would count myself among us, it is common to experience substantial anxiety, depression, feelings of panic and foreboding, guilt over being branded a cheat and a criminal, fear, anger, resentment, and general feelings of helplessness and confusion. I have in fact seen some people who have become virtually suicidal at the prospect of losing everything for the “crime” of not paying taxes to a country they have not lived in for decades if ever at all. I am a clinical psychologist licensed to practice in Ontario with 35 years of experience. I have also been appointed an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. In recent years I have had the opportunity to discuss and address these problems with many individuals who are trapped in these tragic circumstances
Along with John I am happy to make myself available in any of the forums or meetings that will be forthcoming. There is always strength in numbers and sometimes much can be gained by discussing common problems together in a group. I am also happy to chat or work with people individually with these concerns.
This is a link to the obituary . I am trying to post an actual picture but it is not coming out clearly enough to read. Will work on this.
UPDATE February 9, 2016
There has been some confusion about authorship of the letter/comment below. J did not say he (himself) wrote it and J’s father presented it as being from him. The comment on the site is anonymous. Clearly J sent it to his father and identified with it. For that reason, I am leaving it up as there is no way I can determine for certain that he did not write it.
UPDATE February 8, 2016
I have not decided what is the best way to pass on more information about J’s situation and am afraid adding it to the bottom of this post means you will be less likely to see it. So for now, I will simply add it to the top and bring it to your attention by the “Update” heading. I am not adding anything without talking to J’s Dad first.
I want to pass on now, some things about J himself, what he did and so on, so you can see what kind of person he was. I know a few facts, such as he was born in February, 1969 in California, he went to university at Cal Poly and went to Sweden to do his Ph.D (roughly, around 1990 – 1991). He passed away on June 10, 2015.
J worked at the Karolinska Institutet, at the Centre for Genomics and Bioinformatics in Stockholm, Sweden. Founded in 1810, it is one of the most prestigious medical universities in the world. J’s fields were Genetics & Genealogy, Neuroscience, Psychiatry & Psychology and some of his later articles refer to Alzheimer’s. He published at least 64 major articles, collaborated with 212 co-authors from 1994-2010, and was cited by 3857 authors. I am not an academic but for someone to publish 64 pieces by the time he was 41 (already having two children) suggests to me this was a highly motivated person who was more than competent and clearly engaged and focused.
Here is a letter that J’s Dad provided which J had sent him.
I have a dream, an American dream.
I live in Sweden, which is hardly a tax haven. I am a citizen of that country as well as a US citizen. I have lived outside of the US for close to 25 years and thought I led a normal law abiding life. Unfortunately, the overzealous and poorly thought out attempts to catch US resident tax evaders have cast me and other overseas residents as criminals.
I am one of the few overseas residents who actually knew that I had to file taxes and did so. Last year, I needed to amend my US taxes due to a reporting error made by my overseas employer and I learned that as I had failed to file a form reporting my overseas bank accounts (the FBAR), the only option I had was to enter a so-called amnesty program, in which I have been told for this omission, I need to pay the US government 25% of my life savings, retirement plans, house, and car, all of which have been earned by legitimate employment overseas.
The “bank accounts” that I must report to the US government include life insurance policies, telephone prepaid cards, my customer card at the supermarket and my lunch card at work. The latter three must be reported, along with their highest balance (try to calculate that on a supermarket rebate card) all because they fit the definition of a debit card. All of this under threat of a penalty of USD 10,000 per account if I make a mistake in reporting. I think the most my lunch card has ever had on it was USD 60.
To add insult to the injury I described above, during 2011, FATCA began to be implemented in Sweden and my Swedish bank informed me that I would no longer be allowed to have any investment accounts because of my American citizenship.
FATCA also requires that for my 2011 taxes, I will need to file another form that repeats a lot of the information on the FBAR form and will cost me at least another three hours of accountant time. The much loved number of USD 10,000 in penalties is again threatened if I make a mistake on this form.
American information reporting requirements have become so demanding that I have made all kinds of new friends in my Swedish bank and tax authority. I get to challenge them to provide documentation that makes no sense in Sweden, but helps me to meet the US requirements. Without these wonderful FATCA requirements, I might have just led an unobtrusive life and like most other residents here, had very little to do with these people. Now I stick out like a sore thumb. FATCA has afforded me with the opportunity to prove to Swedes that Americans are different, demanding and difficult.
I have spent less than a year in the US in the last 25 years. Where you spend your childhood stays with you and I have a strong emotional tie to the US. So even though indications are that it would be in my best interest to renounce my citizenship, I plod stubbornly along in the face of all the abuse and try to believe in the American “truth and justice” I was taught about as a child.
That is why I appreciate your article. It will help to make public the unfortunate consequences of the poorly conceived FATCA legislation. Maybe it will help me and other overseas US citizens to be able to return to leading a normal life. That is all I desire in my American dream.
(Written a year ago in response to an article in a local paper)
“(Written a year ago* in response to an article in a local paper)”
*this comment plus the following 2 facts suggest this letter was written sometime in the first half 2012. I have not been able to locate the article it refers to. The date on the Word file is 20 October 2013-I cannot be sure who saved this Word File (i.e., J or his Dad) but given his comments about the 2011 taxes and form 8938, I believe this letter was written in the first half 2012, prior to the June 30 deadline for the filing of taxes.
(It is very clear J is aware of the 2011 OVDI program.)
Obviously, he did not suffer from a major psychiatric illness such as schizophrenia, dissociative personality disorder or any psychopathic or sociopathic diseases. There is nothing to suggest he suffers from bi-polar disorder. It can be noticed that he stopped publishing in 2010 and can be demonstrated that he knew of FATCA in 2011. If he suffered a major depressive issue, it might be possible to say it coincided with his awareness of FATCA, FBAR, etc. And I will relate freely that I have been diagnosed with major depressive disease, many years ago. And have been most fortunate to have received the appropriate medication to deal with it. I do not consider my diagnosis to be indicative of the stigma of “mental illness.” (i.e., it is not a psychological issue but a biological one.)
This next item is a letter J’s Dad wrote to Rep. Eshoo, 2 weeks before J passed away.
28th May 2015
Dear Ms. Eshoo,
This morning my son called me almost in tears in an anxiety of which I thought him incapable.
When I picked up the receiver I did not think it was him. I had to ask several times who it was.
My son is a researcher at the Karolinska Institute, working in biochemistry and genetics.
He is hard working, utterly conscientious, and has published many, many papers in his field.
He has a beautiful family. His wife works for the Nobel Foundation. The Karolinska Institute
in Sweden is from whence Nobel prizes originate – I’m sure you know this.
I was (am) deeply concerned. I listened carefully. I felt he sounded suicidal. As a dedicated researcher,
honest and thorough, he is used to delving into complex issues and writing his conclusions. So what
complex problem could possibly be driving a deeply thoughtful person into such a level of anxiety?
My son was born into your constituency in the United States. After graduating from Cal Poly he
went to finish his PhD in brain chemistry in Sweden. He has worked hard (and successfully)
for twenty years to turn his small research salary into some savings. And that is the problem.
Banks everywhere in the world now (including Russia) want nothing to do with a depositor
who is American. So what is one of the seven to ten million Americans working permanently or occasionally abroad supposed to do?
My son a year ago started conscientiously reading all the US laws pertaining to “foreign” earnings.
These are very complicated documents. The more he read the more complex they seemed. He tried
(and is trying) his best to comply with all the requirements, Including finding a CPA in New York and
several in Sweden.
My son has already paid every tax he owes – in Sweden they are, bar none, the highest in the world.
But here are these US requirements requiring him to declare all foreign earnings, pensions, savings,
passive investments, etc. and to pay a tax on top of what he has already paid to Sweden simply
because he was here at birth.
Trying to figure out these requirements and to comply has driven him to desperation. He sees terrifying scenarios in which he is asking, for what? The US is the only country (besides Eritrea) demanding this.
There are seven to ten million honest Americans living abroad. FATCA is being used as a sledgehammer
(of IRS abuse?) to catch a fly or two – inconsequential financially – of those who abuse our system.
Ms. Eshoo – Rescind FATCA! The blood will be upon your heads – congress and yours! if my son is driven
to suicide after a year of dealing with the consequences of this horrible, unjust, draconian, and miserably self-defeating law. Is it worth losing a just citizen just for this?
As matters unfold he may not, I’m afraid, be the only one of millions.
xxxx (J’s Dad)
This is the end of what I am adding for today. I am sure many of you will have something to say about all this………..
@AnnaEshoo A Father’s Anguish Over the Loss of his Son – Horrible Struggle due to #FBAR #FATCA https://t.co/LC1Frng6x5 PLEASE READ THIS
— Patricia Moon (@nobledreamer16) February 8, 2016
This concerns absolutely the worst news I have ever come across in the 4+ years I have been immersed in this situation. I am not going to even try and address anything beyond this simple explanation so you have some context.
A couple of days ago, a comment that somehow was never seen/approved became visible on the renounceuscitizenship wordpress blog. The comment consisted of two letters. Given the fact this was written last July as well as the serious nature of what it concerns, it was decided to keep it in pending until we had made contact with the author, to make sure he still intended for it to remain public. I have spoken with him and he does want it to be seen. However, nobody is likely to see the comment on that particular post since it is 7 months old. So the two letters are being posted here now. Ms. Eshoo, to whom the letters are addressed, is the Congresswoman (D) from the 18th Congressional District of California. She also spent 20 years (1993-2013) as the Congresswoman for the 14th District. She voted “Aye” for the H.I.R.E. Act. There has been no response from Ms. Eshoo.
One thought on “Statement from @AARO (unlike @DEMSabroad) supports Bopp #FATCA lawsuit”
July 21, 2015 at 11:28 pm
25th June 2015
When you and your fellow co-conspirators in congress voted on FATCA you murdered my son
This beautiful person who wanted to live out his dream in peace in another land was destroyed by you.
You and your fellow co-conspirators, with your unattainable requirements,
boxed him into a mental dilemma from which he could not escape.
As a just person he found your injustice in FATCA incomprehensible.
After a year of intensely trying to figure out what to do
he committed suicide.
There are families in grief in your constituency.
There are families in mourning on both sides of the Atlantic.
You have destroyed a decent person worth a thousand Obamas.
You have ruined the happiness of dozens of friends and family members
through your cruelty revealed within this monstrous law.
You have utterly destroyed our faith in government with the
incomprehensibility, inhumanity and malice of this law.
Your only hope of atonement?
Repeal FATCA NOW
Sincerely in grief,
14th July 2015
Dear Ms. Eshoo,
Re: Death of J., a citizen of Sweden
Thus is clearly an over-reach by an agency of the US government of the grossest magnitude. FATCA affects eight-and-a-half million Americans occupying themselves honorably abroad. This is IRS abuse on a scale far vaster than the diminutive insults inflicted by Lois Lerner’s 501(c)(3) scandal. FATCA is an act of IRS persecution, with a far greater ill effect on American lives than Lois Lerner’s pinpricks. It cannot be dismissed in a form letter.
I have filed the cause of his death as: “Persecution by an Agency of the Government of the United States.”
It is clear that the United States is in full violation of its Principles on U.S. foreign policy and most Articles of the Declaration of Human Rights. (For reference you may see both Principles and Articles appended below.)
FATCA, signed into law by Mr. Obama on the 18th of March 2010, can be shown to violate these Principles and Articles with the uttermost disregard possible.
Here is a preamble to this law:
“The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) is a United States federal law requiring United States persons (including those living outside the U.S.) to have yearly reported themselves and their non-U.S. financial accounts to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FINCEN), and requires all non-US (Foreign) Financial Institutions (FFI’s) to search their records for suspected US persons for reporting their assets and identities to the US Treasury. Congress enacted FATCA to make it more difficult for (resident and non-resident) U.S. persons to have financial assets which are not located in the United States, by adding further asset-reporting law with consequences, and thus to enable further federal tax revenues and penalties from a wider global population of newly discovered US persons and their partners, at the expense of non-US banks.”
Just looking at Articles 1, 2 and 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, one already sees that the IRS is over-reaching by its criminalization of every American living abroad, and in making them report to the “Financial Crimes Enforcement Network”, as if it’s already proven that every American living abroad is abroad with criminal intent.
In Article 1 “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights” is clearly not true when FINCEN
Is searching “the… records of suspected US persons for reporting their assets and identities” – is it enough to be suspected that allows the IRS to take way a person’s dignity and rights? And what right does the IRS have to do this to anyone anywhere outside the US, let alone to a Swedish citizen?
In Article 2 “Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration” with “no distinction … on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs.” So the rights and freedoms are universal but the IRS is allowed to go far beyond its domestic charter in going after anyone anywhere, even against the laws of another country?
In Article 3 is the most fundamental of all “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.” Clearly the authors of FATCA thought the rights of anyone irrelevant to the needs of the US government.
One may look at Articles 4, 5 and 6 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and one sees that
(i) “No-one shall be held in slavery or servitude”, (ii) “No one shall be subjected to torture, or to cruel, nhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”, and (iii) “Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law”. Except, of course, when it’s a US law which utterly disregards the laws of every other country in the world, including Sweden. And except when that slavery is due to an agency of the US government, namely the IRS, which is trying desperately to keep Americans abroad in servitude, and except where that torture is the daily threat to appropriate a part or all of every asset a person has acquired abroad by honest labor, and which has already been taxed at the highest rate in the world, as in Sweden.
That is just touching the surface of the malfeasance of this run-amok agency of the US government. The true magnitude of what FATCA has perpetrated and achieved is utterly appalling. No other country in the world has ever persecuted its citizens like this for migrating abroad. EVER.
To look a little further into this “Reign of Terror” of a US agency, one may see its truly malign influence on individuals, commerce and foreign relations. Everyone knows that no bank abroad wants anything to do with an individual born in America or bearing an American passport: this makes travel and commerce impossible.
But that is beside the point: it’s the US law and must prevail globally. That FATCA has poisoned international relations, has made the US a demi-pariah, and is even being copied by neo-soviet states like Russia, is beside the point: it’s the US law and must prevail globally. This is clearly nonsense, but it is the law, indiscriminate and vicious.
It is particularly where FATCA preys on individuals that the damage to human rights is most gross. In my son’s case it was first, the closing down of his Swedish bank account. It was then his realization that the government of the United States was after a complete accounting of every asset he had earned in Sweden with hard, honest labor over a period of twenty years. As a Swedish citizen, he had already been taxed at the highest rate in the world bar none. This sense of persecution and injustice by an alien agent was continuously and overwhelmingly felt by him.
From Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person” (in the Declaration of Independence “ … the pursuit of happiness”), J. experienced the “loss of happiness” as a result of losing his bank account, and gradually, as he realized the full magnitude of the requirements of FATCA, in the torture of its implications. J. lost his liberty when finding out, just before his death, that his communications with his bank (and only those communications) had been compromised. He knew then that he had no liberty, as guaranteed by Article 3, at all.
Hemmed in by the egregious requirements of an incomprehensible and unjust alien law, J. saw his life as being made increasingly worthless. He was isolated within Sweden, among Swedish friends, as a pariah. His protection under the laws of Sweden, where he was a deeply law-abiding citizen, he witnessed evaporating. Anguished by the dilemmas of FATCA – he would not pay an unjust tax for owning property in Sweden nor would he pay the tax for giving up his U.S. citizenship – why should he? – he went out and hanged himself. His daughter went outside and found him hanging by his neck in the morning.
So J. lost his happiness, he lost his liberty (and “security of person”) and thrust into isolation utterly by a country he loved (but, in keeping his passport, he wished to return to one day) he went out and killed himself. In a mockery by FATCA’s blind injustice this proved to invert “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” into the opposite, completely miss-stating the order of these words in the Declaration of Independence.
Article 30 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights says: “Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.” The “State” to which this refers is the United States; the “activity” or “act” being performed to which this refers is the activity of FATCA; the “destruction” to which this refers is the deliberate destruction by an agency of the US government of all of J’s rights and freedoms as set forth above.
I have therefore listed, as I must in honesty, the cause of J’s death as “Persecution by an Agency of the Government of the United States”. More simply “Persecution by the government” of which you are a part.
I believe the United States under Mr. Obama is wholly and uniquely responsible for this most diabolical law.
FATCA violates fully half of the articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Therefore FATCA will be,
as it must be, abolished by the United States, else the Universal Declaration of Human Rights means nothing.
FATCA is also totally against the Principles appended below, that “Promoting freedom and democracy and protecting human rights around the world are central to U.S. foreign policy”. My son’s human rights, as a decent, honorable citizen of Sweden, were stripped from him mercilessly by FATCA, making a mockery of
Which part of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that do you do not understand, Ms. Eshoo? That somehow being enthralled by Mr. Obama’s oratory, in a congress filled with Democrats, you could go ahead and pass any law Mr. Obama wanted, Human Rights be damned? This congress, known as “The Brutal One-Eleventh” for the laws you whipped through, undertook the passage of these laws in utter disregard for the rights of American citizens at home or anywhere.
J. leaves behind a Swedish wife and two beautiful Swedish children. It leaves behind individuals all over the United States and Europe grieving for a beautiful person essentially murdered by an act ill-considered by congress and signed into law by a feckless Obama. The stigma of FATCA is one which you and your fellow Democrats – Pelosi, Reid and Obama – will bear forever.
Millions of people around the globe are regretting that Mr. Obama ever came into office. The world burns while feckless Obama dithers. I am regretting this monster infinitely more than anyone with the loss of my son.
Sincerely, and in immense grief,
xxxxxxx, father to J
A. Principles. Under the US Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor it says the following:
“Promoting freedom and democracy and protecting human rights around the world are central to U.S. foreign policy. The values captured in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in other global and regional commitments are consistent with the values upon which the United States was founded centuries ago. The United States supports those persons who long to live in freedom and under democratic governments that protect universally accepted human rights. The United States uses a wide range of tools to advance a freedom agenda, including bilateral diplomacy, multilateral engagement, foreign assistance, reporting and public outreach, and economic sanctions. The United States is committed to working with democratic partners, international and regional organizations, non-governmental organizations, and engaged citizens to support those seeking freedom.”
B. Articles. PREAMBLE TO THE UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS
“Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,
Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,
Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,
Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations,
Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,
Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in co-operation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,
Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge,
Now, Therefore THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY proclaims THIS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.”
• All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
• Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.
• Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
• No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.
• No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
• Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.
• All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.
• Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.
• No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.
• Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.
• (1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.
• (2) No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.
• No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.
• (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.
• (2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.
• (1) Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.
• (2) This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.
• (1) Everyone has the right to a nationality.
• (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.
• (1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.
• (2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.
• (3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.
• (1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.
• (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.
• Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.
• Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
• (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.
• (2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.
• (1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.
• (2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.
• (3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.
• Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.
• (1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
• (2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.
• (3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.
• (4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.
• Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.
• (1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
• (2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.
• (1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
• (2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
• (3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.
• (1) Everyone has the right to freely to participate in the cultural life of the community,
to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.
• (2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any
scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.
Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.
• (1) Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.
• (2) In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.
• (3) These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.
• Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.
This thread continues on a new post:
A #FATCA Related Suicide
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@ I want out,
I’d say either of the two I gave you in my comment above — the second one, http://isaacbrocksociety.ca/renunciation/, has the most traffic / conversation.
‘2: In 2014, my Scandinavian employer sent me to visit a US university for about half the year. I was paid (and thus taxed) at home, not by any US entity. When filing for 2014, I understood the rules to mean that I could only take the FEIE for the (approx.) half of my salary earned while I was not in the US. So I used a foreign tax credit for the other half.’
You understood correctly that FEIE cannot be used for income earned in the US. You half-understood that FTC is used for income that isn’t excludable by FEIE, but apparently you made a mistake in attributing the source of that income.
Some treaties have provisions to alter the general rules on taxation of income by temporary visitors, and short term academic employment is commonly one of those exceptions, so you’ll have to check the treaty between your country and the US.
Ordinarily the source of UNEARNED income such as interest and dividends is the country where the payer pays the interest or dividend, so it is easy to make a mistake about EARNED income.
The source of EARNED income is the country where you performed the labour. It doesn’t matter where the payer pays the wages.
For example in May 1982 I worked about 3 weeks in the US and 1 week in Canada. My Canadian employer paid about half of my wages in Canada and its US subsidiary paid about half of my wages in the US, for the entire month. The US was the source of about 75% of my wages not 50%. Canada was the source of about 25% of my wages not 50%.
For income that was sourced in the US (i.e. about 75% not 50%), the US got first crack at taxing it, and I claimed a foreign tax credit in Canada for the amount of US tax on that income. For income that was sourced in Canada (i.e. about 25% not 50%), Canada got first crack at taxing it, and I claimed a foreign tax credit in the US for the amount of Canadian tax on that income.
June 1982 was more complicated because my employer went bankrupt and stopped paying its half, but the US subsidiary continued operating. Anyway, the source was the country where I was physically present and performing labour, each working day.
Things were further complicated because the US company issued a falsified US form W-2. I didn’t know that it was illegal to write and sign an honest declaration under penalty of perjury. The IRS SHOULD have penalized me for filing a frivolous return with my signature on my self-written declaration under penalty of perjury that some attachments were true and correct (monthly pay stubs) but others were false and incorrect (W-2). If the IRS had acted correctly, I would have paid one US$500 penalty for illegal honesty and I would have known to relinquish US citizenship in 1984. But they didn’t do it, and unfortunately I kept US citizenship in 1986. (I took Canadian citizenship in 1986 but could have done so in 1984.)
In 2010 the IRS finally told me that illegal honesty was a reason for holding my returns for 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008 to be frivolous. During 2012 and 2013 I gradually learned that IRS data entry clerk Monica Hernandez likely stole the withholding from my Forms 1099 for those years, which would explain why identical illegal honesty in other years wasn’t penalized. But in between, in 2011 I renounced. I was penalized for telling the truth, so who needs it.
Beginning in 2010, I obediently committed perjury on every refiled US return and every newly filed US return by signing preprinted jurat which I did not believe (including having proof of falsity of some attachments), and the IRS accepted all of them.
I could not find any similar rules for social security. The deductions that the Canadian payer deducted from its half of my wages (during the period that they were paying me) and the deductions that the US payer deducted from its half of my wages remained that way, even though they were not correctly attributed to countries where I actually worked. That rule is likely different after a social security totalization treaty was enacted in 1984. If your country has a totalization treaty with the US, you might only have to pay social security tax in your own country, and get a refund from the IRS for social security tax paid to the US.
‘I believe I figured out my mistake, and promptly filed a 1040X to correct it. Recently I phoned them up to hear about the status of that. I was told that they “have a lot of work to do at the moment”, and that it “might take about 16 weeks from today”.’
It might take 16 weeks, or it might take 16 years, or longer.
‘What will such an unfinished business mean for renouncing citizenship?’
Well, the IRS taught me my lesson.
To repeat: Beginning in 2010, I obediently committed perjury on every refiled US return and every newly filed US return by signing preprinted jurat which I did not believe (including having proof of falsity of some attachments), and the IRS accepted all of them.
To clarify: One of those newly filed US returns was for the year of my renunciation.
‘4: What is my legal (and tax) status between renounciation and the process being done? What happens if I travel to the US?’
Usually for US tax purposes you’re a non resident alien on and after the day you renounce. If you travel to the US for short term tourism, social visit, or business meetings, the US probably won’t tax you. If you travel to the US to work for 6 months, my unreliable, inexperienced, intuitive guess is that the US will wants to tax you as a non resident alien with substantial US presence during that year.
If the US denies you a CLN, or if 16 years pass before they issue the CLN to you, you might have trouble. But do not delay filing your final return with Form 8854 just because you’re waiting for your CLN. If you know what your status should be, that is how you should file, and you have to meet the deadline without extensions for the Form 8854.
‘Do you suspect that thus filling out “country of tax residence” on form 8854 as suddenly being different from my mailing address and usual contry of taxation will cause me problems?’
Do you mean that your country of tax residence is Switzerland but your mailing address is your country of citizenship? I don’t think it would cause problems but surely you’d find it more convenient to use your Swiss mailing address?
Thinking about J’s situation again…
In another thread, someone alleged that Brockers who renounced US citizenship regret that we did so. Of course I don’t think that’s true, but it comes very close to a different allegation which maybe is true. Maybe Brockers who renounced US citizenship regret that the US forced us to do so. Several other commenters, in addition to myself, have posted that we felt coerced. US law on renunciation prohibits the US from accepting renunciation from someone who is coerced by another person, but allows renunciation from those of us who are coerced by the US government. The IRS’s Taxpayer Advocate wrote the same in its report to Congress on 2011-12-31, that US citizens in other countries find themselves forced to renounce citizenship because it’s impossible to comply with laws and IRS regulations. These are people who had not voluntarily renounced earlier when they didn’t have to, likely because they didn’t want to, though my own reason was different.[*]
So think about it. Besides the possibility that renunciation is the rational thing to do, it’s also likely that renunciation is the necessary thing to do, that people have to take this painful step in order to put an end to even worse unbearable pain.
Also think about people with cancer being denied morphine, or other causes of pain that people just can’t bear any more. Rationality isn’t an issue when they just can’t bear the pain any more.
Maybe that was J.
[* I had intended to renounce because of Bush torturing people, and would so even more strongly because of Obama droning people, but I had intended to wait until retirement. I never guessed the reason was going to be because I get penalized for being honest on tax returns, which was the reason I could no longer wait until retirement.]
The more I learn of your situation, the more terrified I become. The last time I filed a tax return I was compelled, by the IRS, to provide the exact dollar amount received on each payday and write an “essay” (yes, they actually wrote that I must provide an “essay”) explaining how I came to determine the dollar amount for each payday. The easiest way to do this was to send copies of my monthly earnings statement with all figures shown in Yen, as printed on the statements, with the day’s exchange rate at top and the dollar amounts written next to the corresponding yen figures.
My employer was taking money from the foreign employees to pay the utilities for the school and covered up this fact by not issuing several monthly earnings statements and a falsified yearly statement (w-2). I did not know at the time what my boss was up to, but did know that the W-2 was incorrect and wrote in my essay to the IRS that it was in consistent with the amount of money actually received.
Fearing the fines for providing inaccurate information, I thought it best to notify them about the inaccuracies attributable to my employer and worried if I would be fined. This fear of being fined to kingdom come prevented me from ever filing again.
Now I learn that not only was my fear justified (known that since this episode) but that I actually have had even greater reasons to fear.
They fine you for providing inaccurate information and they fine you for providing accurate information. But in my case they had already fined me for providing accurate information and I complied with their demands to file inaccurate information, so they accepted the known inaccurate ones from me.
Whoo Ho, thanks what I like to hear!
Grumble, grumble grumble.
They really have us coming and going. Thus, I sit.
Yes I know, but they don’t work for free. Expatriation is really only for those who can afford it, which isn’t everyone who needs to.
This is a very good comment Norman D
Appreciate so much all of your communication with *J’s* father and your update today, February 13, including the actual Swedish obituary for *J*.
Thank you so much for finding and referencing here the opinion of clinical psychologist, Dr. Donald Young, on how FATCA can and has affected many of us, and your true words…
This account must not be forgotten and it must be a strong reason that we fund the Canadian litigation, on behalf of US-deemed US citizens abroad in Canada and, by extension, those the world over that similar litigations might take place in their countries.
Will Dr. Donald Young be available to testify at the Charter Trial? He puts the right words to the thoughts and feelings that so many of us have and have had since the cold, hard realization that we are potentially targeted individuals of a foreign government and have been betrayed by our own.
Thanks for the update.
Your comments on the guilt a patent (and I would add spouse) may feel over infecting their family with US personness rings true for me. I can not express the emotions, range and intensity, I feel every time I look at them knowing the hell they must endure solely because one of their parents is American, and for that parent to be myself.
Despite what the homelanders I have talked to say about this, I am NOT a tax cheat, not a criminal. Still, there is a sense of logic in the stance, twisted and asked upon ignorance though it be. But for my children and “nonresident alien” spouse to branded and burdened as such is truly unbearable.
The only possible way out is long, time extensive and financially expensive and has only a slight, so very slight prospect of succeeding….and I have NO time and NO money to undertake this journey. Even if I did, the reality of having to fight this each and every day with out respite for at least two or three years is extremely discouraging.
I have long since resigned myself to the reality that the is no way out for me. So my focus is how to save my family from it.
Since this is going to be an ongoing post, it was suggested I make a new post so this doesn’t disappear in the depths of Brockerdom. If it is agreeable, I would like to move the last three comments to the new post.
Agreeable to me.
Thanks Japan T.
Comments are now at
Thank you @Patricia for sharing with us the words of Dr. Young, which support and validate what we have been saying and experiencing all along;
“…For those U.S citizens who have elected to live abroad, be it in Canada or elsewhere, American tax policy can place such individuals in a position that engenders constant and severe emotional stress. The vindictiveness of the U.S. position, its unfairness and irrationality, the fact that neither the U.S. government nor tax and legal experts even know the rules and how to rationally proceed, and the constant threat of economic calamity are all factors that can be emotionally devastating. From my observations over the years in people ensnared in this situation, and I would count myself among us, it is common to experience substantial anxiety, depression, feelings of panic and foreboding, guilt over being branded a cheat and a criminal, fear, anger, resentment, and general feelings of helplessness and confusion. I have in fact seen some people who have become virtually suicidal at the prospect of losing everything for the “crime” of not paying taxes to a country they have not lived in for decades if ever at all…”…..
and your observation that “Life is not neat and tidy and clear sometimes.”.
We do the best we can see to do.
@Norman Diamond: Thank you for your comments in general.
I am working (earning and taxing) in Switzerland in 2016, but will be back in my home country by the time the 2016 return (my last, if I get this done) is due. I’m more wondering whether the address one fills in has to be where one lived the year, or whether it should just be “somewhere you’re reachable.”
On Form 2555 you have to list your tax homes, which are usually the countries where you worked during the tax year. When not working, your tax home is where you resided.
On Form 1040 it’s your residence at the time of filing.
If my wife gets her Canadian citizenship, I’m giving her a middle name. 菫 (alternative name for Heather) – Violet.
Family name is: 近森
If we uproot and move to Japan (back to Kyoto), perhaps she can go undetected.
“I have long since resigned myself to the reality that the is no way out for me. So my focus is how to save my family from it.”
Do you honestly believe 引責自殺 will solve everything? Do you honestly think that your family will benefit from that?
My family went through the internment in Canada. They took him and his family and locked him up in an internment camp in Slocan where they lived in tarpaper shacks in below freezing weather. My uncle damned near lost his life because he came down with pneumonia. They damned well lost everything. My grandfather had to build himself up from $0. He may have never achieved the wealth he did prior to WWII, but he kept at it.
You stay the damned course and FIGHT! 継続は力なり。角を矯めて牛を殺す if you consider suicide as a possible solution. 頑張って,
By being resigned, I do not necessarily mean suicide. I mean that my fate is out of my hands. If I lose my passport, which I believe is a real possibility, before I can gain Japanese citizenship I lose even more than your grandfather for I will lose all he lost AND my family. I will find myself jobless, penniless, homeless and alone in every sense of the word.
If I can become Japanese before losing my US passport, then there is still the very real possibility of losing my bank account. This is a death sentence. Your grandfather lost everything, had to start all over from 0. Could he have done so if he could not receive payment for any work he performed? How does one eat if they are unable to receive money? ALL payments to individuals; wages, salaries even tax refunds and assistance from the city office absolutely require a bank account to receive direct deposit payments. With out a bank account, I can not even receive unemployment nor any other financial assistance from the city office.
Worse case scenario, my wife’s accounts are frozen for she took my family name upon marriage. Then my whole family loses every thing over night. How does one pay for a home when one can not receive any payment for their labor. How does one feed themselves and their family when they can not receive payment for their labor? How does one fight when they are prevent from ever having a single yen to their name for all time?
I do not mean to belittle your family’s tragic experiences, I can not image what that must have been like for those who suffered through that nor those who must live with its legacy. But this FATCA/FBAR stuff is different. It takes away the basic human right of employment. More than that really. It takes away every ability to have food, clothing and shelter.
What can one do when they lose their bank accounts in a cashless society?
I just re read your post and remembered another point I wanted to address. What is the benefit to my family once, by losing the right to be paid, I become a parasite? My family will have to cloth and feed me while I will forever be unable to provide anything in return. Once I lose my bank accounts, I lose my jobs. Once I lose my jobs, my children are kicked out of day care. Despite a long term, severe shortage of births, the government in its wisdom has failed to provide and/or allow enough daycare centers. This results to waiting lists and having to prove need of the service each year. Once I am unemployed, there is no need for daycare and they lose out on what has turned out to be a very good education for them and all the social skill development that they have thus enjoyed.
Japan T, even though your wife has a katakana family name, I don’t think banks will close her accounts. Even if Japanese citizens couldn’t have katakana names (a hypothesis which is now disproved since your wife took your name), I think bankers know that most foreigners who have katakana names are citiens of countries other that the US. I think they know they have to ask your wife if she’s a US citizen … and they also have to ask Japanese citizens if they hold or ever held green cards etc.
For yourself, did you try applying for a postal savings account? I didn’t so I don’t know if they discriminate by nationality, but I did notice yesterday that tax refunds can be paid to postal accounts. I bet unemployment insurance can be paid to postal accounts too.
If you lose your jobs and your kids get kicked out of day care, they’ll have a parent at home to look after them, right? You won’t be any more of a parasite than a parent who gets forced out of a company for getting married while female or having kids while female. It’s not what you planned on but it’s not parasitical.
I do not have a postal savings account. Although this has little bearing in Japan, postal savings in GB are no longer available to USC. At my wives insistence, I opened a Shinsei account because it is advertised as having an ATM card that can be used at the post office. Mine never worked at any P.O. I tried it at. Have no idea why.
I hope that you are right but I do have reason to be concerned. The very first 1st person account I read on what FATCA does to families was written by a woman living in one of the European countries that starts with a “s”. She and her husband went to their bank to refinance their mortgage. During the review, the bank noticed that she had been born in the US. I think that she had relinquished USC years before but at any rate lacked a CLN. The bank closed all their accounts right then and there, telling her husband that if he wanted to have access to any banking services normally enjoyed by citizens of that country, of which he was a naturally born citizen, he had to lose his American spouse.
That is worst case, not sure how probable it may or may not be but do know that it should be so far from reality that we should be unable to even consider it. Sadly, it has been and is reality to some.
As far as being a house husband and raising our children, that was my very first thought and one reason I wasn’t so bothered by all this. I could just work until the bank account closures and then just ‘disappear’ by being at home with the kids. That will not fly with the Japanese side of my family. Besides, house wives are able to handle the family’s banking and bill paying.
I believe it far more likely that I lose my passport before my accounts of my wife loses her accounts.
Oh, you’ll like this. In Japan it is law that both spouses have the same family name. Mathis was recently reaffirmed by their Supreme Court. Yet, Japanese wives have the option to retain their maiden name when the marry a non-Japanese. Friends of ours did this but decided that she should take his name when they had their first child. My wife has repeatedly said that she wished that she had not taken my name as she has had difficulty from time to time because her family name is not Japanese.
So, I wonder, are we really, truly married under Japanese law?