The lyrics to our National Anthem were written by Francis Scott Key, as the British bombed Baltimore, during the war of 1812. On September 11, 2001 the United States was attacked. In a misguided attempt to protect Americans and to punish the guilty, the government passed laws which undermined the very freedoms that America was built on.
John Adams, one of the founders of the U.S. constitution noted that:
Since September 11, 2001 the freedoms of U.S. citizens have and continue to be eroded.
It has become more important that the guilty be punished then the innocent be protected.
Examples include provisions of the Patriot Act, the financial reporting requirements of FATCA, etc. The United States has gradually evolved from the “land of the free and home of the brave” to the “the land of the slaves and home of the serfs.” The U.S. government under the “leadership” off Presidents Bush and Obama has become a “Monster that must be contained.”
Former Harvard Professor and Former Leader of the Canadian Liberal Party made the point that:
“If terror challenges democracy, the answer is more democracy, not less; more accountability and openness, not less. The question is whether the secret power we have allowed to spring up in our name is under any kind of democratic control. Do our elected representatives keep our secret agencies under sufficient scrutiny? Does the press know what is being done in our name?”
Readers Digest Version of this post: The IRS has been waging a reign of terror against expat U.S. citizens living in Canada and other countries. Many U.S. expats have not realized that as U.S. citizens they are taxed on their world income. If the statistics are to be believed, a large percentage of U.S. expats have not been filing their U.S. tax returns. But there is more: many U.S. citizens learned for the first time that the U.S. government requires the annual disclosure of foreign bank accounts, brokerage accounts, RRSPs, etc. The penalties for not filing these FBAR information returns could easily lead to bankruptcy. But the U.S. government is not finished. Effective January 2014 FATCA – “The New Berlin Wall” will take effect. This law will turn Canadian and other international banks into agents of the IRS. (To be forewarned is to be forearmed.) The effects on the lives of hard working honest people are profound. As a direct result of Obama/IRS reporting regulations, U.S. citizens have become the new untouchables of the world.
– a recognition that IRS reporting requirements will burden the lives of spouses of U.S. citizens, has provided strong incentives to divorce those U.S. citizens;
– U.S. citizens have reported difficulty in obtaining banking services that are common, necessary and usual to live their lives;
– non-U.S. citizens have been unwilling to enter into partnerships with U.S. citizens – to do so would subject those non-U.S. citizens to IRS reporting requirements.
Particularly lucid commentary on these problems may found from:
– Daniel Mitchell of the CATO Institute.
– Wendy McElroy writing for the Mises Institute
Lawyers and accountants who see the fantastic business opportunity (people are scared out of their wits and are unable to think clearly) are fanning the flames. Many have drawn frightened people into the OVDI program without understanding the implications and complexity. (But hey, they generated huge present and future professional fees in the process.) It is impossible to get accurate, consistent information. It is also impossible to get two pieces of advice that are the same. Some of this is due to the widely divergent circumstances under which people find themselves. Some is due to the ignorance on the part of the accountants and lawyers. Some is due to opportunism on the part of accountants and lawyers who are being paid large amounts of money. In any case: whatever is going on applies only to U.S. persons (which include U.S. citizens and green card holders). In most cases you know whether or not you are a U.S. citizen.
1. For many it would be advisable to investigate the “state (no pun intended) of your U.S. citizenship.” You may not be a U.S. citizen. If so, thank your luck stars.
2. If you are a U.S. expat, your continued residence abroad may leave you no alternative but to renounce your U.S. citizenship. Furthermore, patriotism and a belief in the original ideals of U.S. freedom and democracy, may leave you with no moral option except to renounce your U.S. citizenship. Here is a renunciation is a site that purports to be a U.S. citizenship renunciation guide.
3. If you are an expat who has lived outside for many years and your assets are outside the U.S. you should rejoice. Both you and your assets are already outside the U.S. FATCA has created a “Berlin Wall” designed to keep U.S. citizens and their money in involuntary servitude in the U.S. You are already gone! You are the lucky one!
Renounce and rejoice!
Of course, “You may be richer than you think” – read on to learn why you might not be a U.S. citizen.