Category Archives: OVDI Compliance

What US tax compliance means for #Americansabroad who have lived their whole lives in Canada

The above tweet references the following comment at the Isaac Brock Society. It explains why (if the U.S. is really serious about encouraging Americans abroad to enter the U.S. tax system, it will have to offer a serious amnesty program. This commenter is brutally honest and explains the reality of the situation very well. (Note I have added various links to the comment.)

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Some compliance thoughts from @Mopsicktaxlaw – Responding to #FATCA

Interesting FATCA and tax compliance post from Mr. Mopsick which includes:

For both Americans abroad and recent immigrants: Millions of people are agonizing over the question, “Should I just blow it off or do I really need to take some action?” The answer is easy: Whether you take action or not is all based on your personal tolerance level for risk and uncertainty. It is your decision to make. Many people are totally comfortable with the idea that they will never get caught violating the tax laws by not reporting foreign income and accounts or for some reason don’t care if they do get caught. This is because it is one thing for the IRS to compute a tax due and owing from a delinquent taxpayer, but the IRS is years away from routine collection in the ordinary course of delinquent taxes from Americans overseas, provided there are no periodic or regular payments like Social Security payments or pension payments leaving the US for accounts abroad.

Leaving one with the question for Americans abroad:

Is it more dangerous to be IN tax compliance or NOT in tax compliance?

Time will tell. If Mr. Mopsick is correct in his analysis, this suggests those NOT in tax compliance have time to respond to their situation and NOT react!




And the #OVDP for Swiss banks news keeps coming

Another fascinating article from Geneva Launch includes:

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#OVDP for financial advisors – coming soon to a bank near you!

The threat of FATCA enforcement has impacted every jurisdiction in the world and the global financial industry is quaking with fear. The US Justice Department has taken the position that the entire non-US financial industry is potentially part of a continuing criminal conspiracy with some US individuals and multi-national companies to evade US income tax.  The Justice Department has unilaterally forged ahead to obtain indictments and convictions over prominent foreign banks, bankers, and some of their US customers.  The United States justification for claiming the moral high ground is that it is merely seeking to have all US taxpayers pay tax as required under US law.

FATCA – Predictions of implementation failure proving true

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It’s Official: New OVDP program designed for Swiss Banks

The title of the article by Lynnley Browning is:

“Swiss  agree on penalties for banks that aided tax cheats”

A review of the article suggests that the U.S. government is attempting to impose on Swiss Banks a program that is like the “OVDI-OVDP” program.

The article begins with:

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5 strategies for weight reduction and a better life for #americansabroad – Lose your covered expat status


My recent post discussed the importance of renouncing U.S. citizenship before becoming a covered expat. For those who need a reminder (and this is not a substitute for careful legal advice) a “covered expatriate” is one who meets any of the following tests:

1. The Income Test – Has the composition of income hat has resulted in a U.S. tax bill of approximately 140,000 for each of the last three years (this is a paraphrase, look it up yourself);

2. The Asset Test – Has a net worth of two million dollars or more

3. The Compliance Test – Is unable to certify compliance with U.S. tax laws for each of the five years prior to expatriation. Note that this is intended to include having filed all relevant information returns. (I would argue that since FBAR is a Title 31 requirement it is irrelevant to Title 26 compliance). Interestingly, if you do not meet either the asset test or the income test, you have a huge incentive to ensure that you have five years of tax compliance.

When it comes to U.S. tax compliance:

The only thing worse than the fear of non-compliance is the certainty of compliance. Why?

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Cook v. Tait 12: Afroyim v. Rusk, the 14th amendment and the forcible destruction of US citizenship



I have been blogging on U.S. citizenship-based taxation since 2011. In February of 2012, I wrote the “Prologue” for this series of posts:

Citizenship renunciations soaring under Obama – Renunciation as an Act of Self Defense

That post included the following poll. The results are shocking!


In January of 2013 I began a series of posts to explore the rationale (if there is one) for  “citizenship-based taxation”. I simply cannot understand how the United States of America, a country that once was a leader in human rights, can treat it’s citizens (not to mention Green Card holders) so badly. I assume that Congress has simply not considered this issue.

This series of posts (including the Prologue are):

Cook v. Tait Prologue: Citizenship renunciations soaring under Obama – Renunciation as an Act of Self Defense

Cook v. Tait 1: Does Cook v. Tait really mean that citizenship-based taxation is constitutional in all cases?

Cook v. Tait 2: The presumption of government benefit

Cook v. Tait 3: Legal Scholar agrees justification in Cook v. Tait, but offers new justification for citizenship-based taxation

Cook v. Tait 4: Taxation of #Americansabroad based on US culture 150 years ago! Time warp or what!

Cook v. Tait 5: Citizenship-based taxation was never justified – League of Nations reports!

Cook v. Tait 6: Taxation of Green Card holders who reside outside the U.S.

Cook v. Tait 7: Equality: Law prohibits both rich and poor from sleeping on the park bench

Cook v. Tait 8: Does citizenship-based taxation cross the boundaries of tax justice?

Cook v. Tait 9:  US may have to stop citizenship-based taxation to get #FATCA IGAs

Cook v. Tait 10: Those born outside the U.S. to U.S. citizens, may not be U.S. citizens

Cook v. Tait 11: Who should #Americansabroad be compared to for tax purposes? Even U.S. citizens are entitle to “equal protection” under the 14th amendment

Cook v. Tait 12: Afroyim v. Rusk, The 14th amendment and the forcible destruction of citizenship


In our country the people are sovereign and the Government cannot sever its relationship to the people by taking away their citizenship. Our Constitution governs us and we must never forget that our Constitution limits the Government to those powers specifically granted or those that are necessary and proper to carry out the specifically granted ones.

- Justice Black Afroyim v. Rusk

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More on #IRS abuse of #americansabroad

The following comes from a post at the Isaac Brock Society.

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Streamlined compliance may now be an option for those who wish to file amended returns!

Assuming the correctness of this, it is very big. It signals that the focus of the IRS may be moving away from penalties and toward getting people back into the system! Note the discussion of the role of Taxpayer Advocate.

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