Greg Swanson has written a three-part series, “Americans abroad: a case study in the dumbing down of American policymakers,” providing a concise synopsis of the situation faced by US persons outside the US as a result of CBT and the history behind it.
Part I and Part II are online at Medium.com now. Part III to follow soon. I’ll post the link when it does.
Greg is the coordinator of PurpleExpat.org, which is focused on the elimination of citizenship-based taxation.
Yes, EmBee, it’s so bad it’s bordering on surreal, and the fact that they could be so uncaring makes my stomach churn in disgust.
The judge is still out in the Monte Silver lawsuit. I have confidence that he will succeed in that he plays to win, but with the two most recent FATCA court cases to go against Americans abroad in both France in the US, I am preparing myself for more disappointment.
I guess I should have listened to Phil Hodgen who said, “get out while the going’s still semi-good”, because the TT has proven that things can always get worse.
“@ Japan T
Admire your fortitude. However, what woud have Trump done for you that he hasn’t done already to the rest of world ..US- haters here ,can’t be true !Ask you this.?
Which feels more painful, a knife in the back from a friend or one from an enemy?”
Don’t know what he will/would do but intend to find out. Not being able to offer this site as a reference is like going in to battle with one arm tied behind my back.
As to the question about which feels more painful, two knife wounds are worse than one.
Anger towards the US is understandable but the hatred for the reasons often displayed here is just plain counter productive.
Thanks to Twitter I just discovered the Canadian Nephew blog. He writes …
Yes indeed, excessive filing requirements or what could be called punitive paperwork does look very much like an Eighth Amendment violation to me. Certainly nobody would consider that doing excessive paperwork or paying someone else to do it is a privilege or pleasure. Another violation comes when excessive fines are levied for failure to file or file correctly that excessive paperwork. It’s a tangible fine on top of a virtual fine and that is not fine at all.
“Canadian Nephew” has been politely informed via burner e-mail that he should come look at this site, and that as a Canadian citizen born in Canada (with US citizenship via one parent) he should have absolutely no difficulty avoiding FATCA reporting and US tax compliance.
With regards to Cam’s statement about wanting ‘to hear from people where they think are very safe countries from the reach of the IRS regarding collection measures.’ I’d be interested in that as well.
What factors should be considered as important when considering whether a place is ‘safe’ or not?
A couple of things come to my mind; for example, I think the official language of a country might play a role. Americans are notoriously monolingual (and most bilinguals speak Spanish), so being in a country with a more difficult language or regional dialect (most helpfully with the same propensity towards monoligualism as the US) could hinder any ‘outreach’ at the bureaucratic level.
Another factor might be the degree of ‘coziness’ (or dependency) a country has with the US. NATO member countries spring to mind. Germany, for instance, as a prominent NATO member and host of multiple US military bases might roll over more quickly when it comes to assisting the US with potential IRS matters concerning its US-person population.
The type of FATCA IGA might also come into play. Model 1 countries, naive as it may sound, have an interest in obtaining the reciprocal reporting information from the US, so they could be nudged into helping the IRS under the guise of receiving details about their citizens’ assets in the US. Model 2 countries, on the other hand, have no such expectation of reciprocity and thus might not feel as much pressure to do any IRS bidding.
Ideally then, a place combining at least these three factors – if not more – could keep a person ‘safer’ for longer, though probably not indefinitely.
I’m in Austria, where the things I’ve listed are facts: Model 2, not a NATO member (only participates in the Partnership for Peace), official language German.
Am I safe? I don’t know, but I don’t feel worried.
that’s a pretty good analysis. I would like to add the country should be one that has a solid court and legal system, not a banana republic where the IRS could bend the law. And would be important to speak to a couple of local tax lawyers to see what the country’s official stance is on the “revenue rule” with any case laws. Do you know the revenue rule in Austria?
I agree wholeheartedly with Japan T’s first statement on the previous page. I get the same responses from fellow US citizens abroad and from Homelanders. I’ve lost a few–let’s call them acquaintances–right here where I live, when I dared suggest that I resent their living deity Obama for dropping the nuclear weapon called FATCA.
The two recent court decisions in France and Canada were the final straw for me. Any glimmer of hope for change has evaporated completely. I honestly believe there will be no positive change in my lifetime, and I think there is a significant chance that we will all be labelled as ‘traitors’ and every single USC abroad will be taxed 40% of our net worth.
In the country where I am in the (long, drawn-out) process of obtaining citizenship, I was speaking to an accountant about registering a business so I could set up a little seminar service there. His first response was to suck in his breath and say, “Well, with FATCA…” He needn’t say more. His fees would skyrocket in order to cover the complexities.
Sadly, it will be at least another five years before I qualify for that citizenship, and I cannot get citizenship in the place I now live (nor would I want it, frankly).
My adult son is currently residing in yet another country, where he hopes to obtain citizenship after the necessary residence period, renounce, and then if needed, sponsor me and my husband. But that, too, is years down the road.
I often lie in bed, wishing that some distant relative would leave me a million dollar inheritance so I could immediately spend the money on a Malta passport and finally end this frigging nightmare.
Although a democrat all my life I also blame ‘saint’ Obama for this entire fiasco. I get so angry when people with no understanding of the damage he has caused sing his praises .
I remember reading that the whole concept of fatca was dreamed up by a University academic whose name escapes me and I now am unable to find with a google search. Anyone have any knowledge of who that was?
Seeing that the whole world is pro “catching the tax evaders” which is understandable and right, and the question of personal privacy is moot now for this reason as well, I think the only argument left really, is that CBT is an abomination and ruinous for all expats. I am not sure if we didn’t water down all our arguments focussing on so many other issues, because the bottomline is that FATCA wouldn’t matter if America also used RBT like everybody else. So in the end, it is about the revenue earned by fleecing expats. How does one tell a nation which has 20 trillion in debt that taking money from innocent people is morally wrong? I just don’t have an answer to that.
I think the US lost its moral compass a long time ago…. if it ever had one.
That was Richard (Dick) Harvey of Villanova, the same university the new acting National Tax Advocate, Bridget Roberts is from.
That’s it , thanks. I am surprised he is not tooting his horn after his masterpiece, he seems to be keeping a low profile.
From back in 2012. ” He was the most unpopular person in the room!
“In this article, Harvey reports on two recent FATCA debates in Switzerland where he was responsible for explaining the background that led to FATCA and defending the enactment of FATCA. As a result, Harvey was clearly the least popular person in the room. This article summarizes certain issues discussed during the debates, including: (i) whether Swiss sovereignty has been violated; (ii) does FATCA generate enough revenue to justify its existence; (iii) whether Swiss FIs have considered the impact of a multilateral FATCA regime on their business model; and (iv) how to address the extensive termination of US accounts by Swiss financial institutions.”
Seven years later and none of those questions have been adequately addressed.
My I respectfully suggest that telling people they are selfish is not a good way to raise money to continue with the legal battle.
That being said, I was surprised to read that so few supported the lawsuit. John Richardson who is ADCS chair mentions in the link below that there were only 25 supporters and says ” the main problem is individual Americans living outside the United States, who do not have the interest, courage or moral fortitude to commit to taking the steps that are necessary for change” https://medium.com/@ExpatriationLaw/greg-thanks-for-an-excellent-article-that-well-describes-the-problems-of-the-united-states-f44b56c23c12
oop. I hit submit before I was done. In my humble opinion, the “main problem” is not “individual Americans living outside the United States” but rather the United States. To say Americans living outside USA are the main problem is sort of like blaming the rape victim for being raped because she was wearing sexy clothes.
There were certainly more than 25 financial supporters of the adcs lawsuit from all over the world, many of those had already renounced and were no longer exposed to FATCA including myself. I believe the 25 mentioned were those politically active fighting the cause.
Many are not selfish but are perhaps keeping undercover and afraid of financial exposure. They have their lives and families to protect.
I read it the same way as Heidi. I didn’t think he was referring to lawsuit supporters, but that 25 referred to an estimate of people who are working full-time (or a large amount of their workload) on political and legal challenges to CBT.
As for the ADCS lawsuit in particular, ADCS Chair Stephen Kish was reporting picking up 8 or 10 a day at their postbox on what seemed like a daily basis during fundraising. I recall around 2016 hearing of something like 600 donations having been received in the past year — it’s been so long I’m not sure exactly, but it would have way over 25, and the fundraising went on over a few years.
That 600 number is what I remember too. I thought the ADCS fundraising was pretty amazing … even a donation from the Vatican. Hard to believe that was 5 years ago … time flies … even faster when you get older it seems.
“Americans are notoriously monolingual (and most bilinguals speak Spanish), so being in a country with a more difficult language or regional dialect (most helpfully with the same propensity towards monoligualism as the US) could hinder any ‘outreach’ at the bureaucratic level.”
Disagree with the outcome. It makes us more easily discovered and tbus more easily reportable. Regardless of what the(US) law actually says, they may be more liable to fall for what ever BS the Treasury Dept. says the law says.
Has part three been published?