As current AARO Board member Monte Silver seeks re-election, he is joined by a team of anti-CBT activists, many, if not all, of whom will be familiar to Brock readers.
Karen Alpert of Fix the Tax Treaty and Stop Extraterritorial American Taxation
Fabien Lehagre of l ‘Association des américains accidentels
Keith Redmond of American Expatriates Facebook group and Stop Extraterritorial American Taxation
John Richardson of Alliance for the Defence of Canadian Sovereignty and Stop Extraterritorial American Taxation
Monte Silver, active in FATCA/CBT litigation in Israel and US
Laura Snyder of Stop Extraterritorial American Taxation
Marc Zell, counsel for plaintiffs in lawsuit by Accidental Americans against US Department of State regarding renunciation fee
Thanks to JC for his comment on the media and blogs thread sharing Monte Silver’s Facebook post:
“CHANGE IS COMING
Two years ago, AARO (association of Americans Residing Overseas) asked me to join the board of directors and head it’s tax advocacy. Two years have passed and in mid- March 2022 or shortly thereafter, AARO’s public members will elect a new board of directors.
I believe that AARO can do great things in the area of expat advocacy, and beyond. However, I realized that this requires a fresh team. So I reached out to the most respected expat community activist leaders (ie people who do stuff!) to join me. Within days, they all agreed.
Fabien Lehagre, Karen Alpert, Laura Snyder, John Richardson, Keith Redmond and our fearless Washington DC lawyer Marc Zell are all part of the team.
We are now on the ballot. But to win we need you to join AARO and vote.
Together we can have fun, do neat things and take our advocacy up a few notches.
To join AARO and learn more – visit
Read about AARO‘s activities on FATCA and US citizenship-based taxation matters on the AARO site, on their “Issues”and “Advocacy” pages.
Question for the candidates:
When I read AARO’s position papers on tax, FATCA, and others, they seem sensible and pretty much aligned with what people here at Brock have been advocating. Clearly, AARO’s influence is limited by the fact that it represents a relatively small number of USCs (1500), and thus is easily brushed off by vote-obsessed legislators. Polite position papers aren’t enough.
Obviously, the slate of candidates listed above will bring a more activist approach to AARO. What I want to know is just what sort of advocacy they realistically propose that is different from AARO’s current approach.
Secondly, what are their chances against the current entrenched membership of the board?
The key question for me is: is it worth my spending 65€ to join just to be able to cast a vote? I don’t see any overwhelming advantage for me personally to join AARO. In 38 years outside the US, I have never joined any group that identifies itself as American. But I would consider joining if I’m not alone in doing so to vote for an activist slate of candidates, and if there is a realistic chance of these candidates succeeding as a result.
A number on Facebook indicated that they are joining AARO.
Our A Team is on the ballot.
To get involved with the likes of AARO,ACA ,one has to re/identify as an American living abroad FIRSTLY to work within that framework. An organization like Lehagre’s Américains Accidentels works in the context of foreign citzens trying to unburden themselves of amercan citzenship rather than the AARO,ACA, which in essence geared for americans/duals attempting to make their own lives bearable abroad. Clearly,as the organizations names suggest, their main interest is in being and continuing to be
If one has no interest in identifying as an American,what’s the point in joining AARO,ACA.
The reason I accepted Monte’s proposal to join the board is because I think on some fights, accidental Americans and expatriate Americans are the same : FATCA and Citizenship Based Taxation for example.
The Association of Accidental Americans has its own struggles and will continue to pursue its own goals.
President of the Association of Accidental Americans
Yes,there is a common ground here and that being CBT. If it’s to form a common front that is of interest,I see the point.Also,the other candidates seem quite honest, and very understanding people and, of course, I wish all the best for the good cause. My point is that there are people who do not identify ,nor wish to identify, as american ,to whom it might be anathema to support any american organization whose purpose is to support those who identify as american (abroad).
Wishing you and the AAA the best outcome regarding the renunciation extortion fee.
Thought I’d weigh in, being the post’s author. I see it as a common interest thing. So, I posted about it because even though many Brockers are not US citizens, we’re generally interested in news of what’s happening in the fight to defeat FATCA and CBT, even if we’re not directly affected; and some Brockers are US citizens, with no plans to renounce,or unable to renounce for various reasons, and I imagine this news will be of particular interest to them.
I echo your best wishes to Fabien and his teammates in the AARO election and in the AAA’s renunciation litigation.
Yes, good questions from Barbara.
How can this new team advocate better than what the AARO has done in the past and what prevents a new tax team/committee from pursuing agressive advocacy as part of AARO’s current structure ?
As one of those Pacifica mentions who are, officially, “unable to renounce for various reasons,” I am indeed glad to learn that some of our most well-known advocates are running for positions on the AARO board. They have my gratitude and my best wishes. If successful, our voices will have another platform from which to be heard that much louder.
“is it worth my spending 65€ to join just to be able to cast a vote? I don’t see any overwhelming advantage for me personally to join AARO. In 38 years outside the US, I have never joined any group that identifies itself as American. But I would consider joining if I’m not alone in doing so to vote for an activist slate of candidates, and if there is a realistic chance of these candidates succeeding as a result.” (Barbara)
The possibility of the US empire changing from imposing its’ tax regime extraterritorially on residents of other countries to residency based taxation is akin to turning around an aircraft carrier in a bathtub. Eventually, one has to come to reality; regardless of polite interviews, Americans overseas clubs, academic policy papers, and philosophical/Socratic chats about the matter-it is not changing the levers of power, nor the structure of the US empire.
One is up against a brick wall as one is gunning the engine with tyres spinning and smoke fuming. A waste of time and energy-except for the lawyers/tax specialists/compliance sharks-who make dinero regardless of the outcome, and profiteer off the form and fee fest.
The best one can reasonably hope for is a terms/condition “carve out” or some minor ‘simplication’ in the American paperwork parade with a possibility (likely a special process requiring lotsa forms, taxes, and fees) to competely remove USA-ness from an accidental American.
The US never learns, it was part of their charm (Vidal); therein, lies the 400yr+ ‘elephant’ in the room.
All roads lead to renunciation.
Agree entirely . However , there is the big question of the extortion fee and remember not everyone is economically as well off as yourself.
The only way to rid oneself of that yoke is going about it oneself. It is difficult in Europe and elsewhere since the US has an economic hold and is welcomed with military boots on the ground,about 70,000 in Europe. Those boots do wield some influence. But with time and more economic links with Russia,things will change.
Anyone with an SSN and an appetite for minor larceny had the chance to fund their renunciation by collecting the stimulus benefit.
Committing larcency doesn’t solve the CBT and the extortion fee problem ,maybe for you personally, but not really and,besides not everyone is up to playing the larcency game. One point that make the cbt and the fee very difficult issues to overcome is that a great majority of Canadians,and probably brits ,aussies, instinctively view the US posture, in no matter what, as right. I have spoken about these issues with Canadians and they tend to turn a blind eye ,like going from one ear and out the other. It is so easy to get brainwashed.
It’s a small sample, admittedly, but I’ve never met anyone who thought that US tax policy towards non-resident citizens was “right” – most think, incorrectly, that these laws are somehow enforced. This is quite a different proposition. (You do get that on CBC comment boards, but as we’ve learned, 99 percent of the people on public comment boards are morons.)
Ultimately, CBT is not going to go away. The best we can do is educated Accidentals and others so that they can make informed choices about how best to manage their own personal situations.
What’s larcenous about taking the money on offer? Hell, they sent some to me and I didn’t even apply for it. They want that money out there stimulating the economy. It simply never occurred to them that it might wind up stimulating somebody else’s economy.
The US government set up their system and its up to each us to make it work the best we can for us personally. They created their stupid system, but you can be confident that in their minds, its the best system in the world. Not our fault its stupid.
The US has been stealing wealth from Canada for decades by taxing Canadians. Now its time for a little payback. The real larceny is that $2350 renunciation fee.
If you don’t think its right to take the money, then using it to fund a renunciation effectively gives it back in exchange for something they shouldn’t be charging for in the first place.
Thank you Robert Ross and others. Agree. The US empire extortion fee/tax of $2350 is exorbitant, but one must pay dearly to buy their freedom. Not surprising in the business enterprise masquerading as ‘country.’
In addition to the $2350 per person, one likely also has to pay a qualified accountant-tax attorney to fill out all the expatriate US tax form fests for renunciation etc); this cost can be a great barrier for many persons. And who knows what that extortion fee and associated costs will be in the future as many defectors attempt to leave the US empire.
“a great majority of Canadians,and probably brits ,aussies, instinctively view the US posture, in no matter what, as right. I have spoken about these issues with Canadians and they tend to turn a blind eye ,like going from one ear and out the other. It is so easy to get brainwashed.”
Yes, encountered this too. It appears to be akin to Stockholm syndrome and-or Kubler-Ross 5 stages of grief. They are stuck in the 1st stage–denial.
Those Anglo-Saxon countries and others are still in denial about what the US empire really is versus the image/propaganda it sells to the world. They repeat empty words, like: ‘exceptionalism, freedom, fighting for good, they’re the ‘white’ hats’, etc…as if someone is pulling a string in the back of their head and they’re robotically reciting US propaganda sayings/marketing terms. It’s like being in a toxic relationship. No matter how bad the US person/US ally is abused, they keep defending/justifying/rationalizing their abuser/abuse.
Respectfully, would beg, borrow, and (steal) the $2350+ to rid one’s self of USA-ness because that extortion fee will not only pay dividends economically, but psychologically as well ad infinitum.
One need not fill out any tax forms in order to renounce. Unless you have US assets or some other compelling reason for being in the US tax system, one simply renounces. No need for any lawyers or accountants.
The fee is outrageous, but as I alluded to, there was up $3200 available in stimulus benefits available for those who requested, so for a brief period Uncle Sam was unwittingly covering the cost.
Thank you Mr. Henderson for your kind note.
With the stimulation benefits to certain US persons, that can help offset the US empire’s extortionary costs for renunciation to buy ones’ freedom. Some folks do have US-based assets etc., and may need to consult with a qualified tax professional to ensure the form fee fest is compliant with the regime.
Of course, one needs to be careful and not ensnared by US tax, form, and penalty compliance hu$tlers–opportunists selling fear and preying upon the ignorant and/or desperate.