Monthly Archives: March 2012

The Isaac Brock Society

Came across the following article today:

Thomas Mulcair defends dual citizenship: Quebec MP and NDP leadership hopeful holds Canadian and French citizenship

Former Canadian Prime Minister John Turner is  dual citizen. So too are Canadian politicians: Stephane Dion, Thomas Mulclair, David Alward, and (according to the Government of Canada site) Green Party Leader and MP Elizabeth May was born in the U.S. Why does citizenship matter in the first place? If so, why would anybody remain a citizen of a country that treats its citizens as property to be taxed. Can anybody afford the cost of U.S. citizenship? Interesting article in Account Today about the number of U.S. citizens renouncing:

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Ron Paul – “The border can be used to keep us in” – Politician or Prophet?

“The Border Fence Can Be Used To Keep Us In” – September 7, 211

Interestingly, he also talks about “capital controls”. FATCA – the new Berlin Wall – is a form of capital control.

This video generated many comments.  Most people think that Ron Paul is out of his mind? One comment said:

“Ron Prescience for president!” Continue reading

The agony of U.S. citizenship for U.S. citizens living outside the U.S.

U.S. citizens cry out in agony! But, the U.S. government “Silence is Deafening

The cries are getting louder and louder! Inside the U.S. only Taxpayer Advocate seems to be listening. Outside the United States, American Citizens Abroad continues to soldier on. In Canada, the home of (probably) the largest number of U.S. citizens (many of who are also Canadian citizens) the Government of Canada is listening. Finance Minister, Jim Flaherty, has been consistent in his position that FATCA is intrusive and unnecessary and the Canada will not collect FBAR penalties. He has been consistent with the sentiments expressed in his public letter of September 16, 2011. U.S. citizens in Canada are in a far better position than U.S. citizens in other countries. Furthermore, Mr. Flaherty has been responsive to citizen’s concerns, recognizing that Canadians are desperate for help. The evidence is building.  The IRS Jihad against U.S. citizens abroad is intentional murder.  Many U.S. citizens are  renouncing U.S. citizenship to protect themselves from the U.S. government. Take the above poll which is from a previous post describing how renunciations of U.S. citizenship are soaring under Obama. Consider the following wisdom from a U.S. citizen living in France. Continue reading

FBAR Penalities and The OVDI decision – A former IRS attorney talks to a seasoned “minnow”

On January 9, 2012 the IRS reopened  “OVDI” (Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program). Some people with past compliance problems will surely consider (with the encouragement of the “cross border professionals”) whether to enter OVDI. The Isaac Brock Society issued a press release warning people to not enter OVDI without carefully considering the merits. Obviously nobody should enter OVDI without a careful consideration of the penalties. At the risk of oversimplification (and this post is not legal advice or any other kind of advice):

1. If you enter OVDI, in addition to paying any taxes owing, you are agreeing to pay penalties of a percentage of your net worth (a range from 5% to 27.5%).

2. If you do not enter OVDI and information return penalties become an issue (outside the context of voluntary disclosures), they will not be automatically presumed (but again this is heavily dependent on the circumstances and you should absolutely get legal advice).

The following comments are part of a thread. I thought they were worth a separate post. They are a conversation between a former IRS attorney and a famous “minnow”. They are relevant to the issue of penalties for failing to have filed information returns.

Interpret this as you will. It is  not offered as legal advice. But, it does raise issues that might we worth discussing with your lawyer. Thanks to Mr. Mopsick. It is a rare lawyer indeed, who is willing to talk about anything but OVDI! You may want to read the complete post before reading these comments. (I have made no effort to fix the typos in these comments.) Continue reading

Congratulations to France/Canada dual citizen Thomas Mulcair – What if he had been a Canada/U.S. dual citizen?

An introductory comment …

It is true that I have taken the steps to renounce, so my feeling is I’m done. However, my task now is to make sure Canadians know they should not put anyone with Dual US citizenship in a position of signing authority or any kind of business partnership. As we both know this exposes Canadians to the IRS through FBAR reporting. Also, I am concerned about Canadian politicians who hold dual US citizenship. I think this should be an issue in any upcoming provincial and federal election.

Congratulations to Thomas Mulcair

He is now the leader of the NDP which is Canada’s Official Opposition. Also, thanks to the NDP for their attention and support on FATCA, FBAR and the IRS assault on dual citizens in Canada. Mr. Mulcair is a patriotic Canadian citizen. He is also a citizen of France. This fact was well known. It did not prevent him from becoming leader of the NDP. But, what if Mr. Mulcair had been a dual U.S./Canada citizen? Or more specifically: what if Mr. Mulcair had been  a U.S. citizen? Should this have made a difference? I believe this answer is yes. Here is why. Continue reading

The Isaac Brock Society

The Congressional Progressive Caucus, one of the larger Democratic Party caucuses, has proposed to end the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion in their 2013 “Budget For All”, details of which were revealed yesterday following a vague press release last week. As U.S. persons abroad have already learned, when American homelanders use words like “all” and “us”, we are decidedly not included, except when they want money from us. Indeed, with this latest budget proposal, even members of the Americans Abroad Caucus have come out in support of eliminating the FEIE.

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The IRS and OVDI: Unintentional manslaughter or intentional murder?

The IRS has proudly trumpeted OVDP and OVDI as successes. Both programs were understood to be attempts to go after “big time tax evaders”, “whales”, U.S. residents who were using “offshore bank accounts” and entities to hide income from the U.S. Treasury. That has been the conventional wisdom up until now. Of course, these programs also have had “well known” and “well documented” side effects. Specifically the “collateral damage” suffered by U.S. Green Card holders and U.S. citizens living abroad. But, of course as good Americans, we understand that this “collateral damage” is  understandable, completely appropriate, and a necessary incident of good citizenship. To put it simply: A good American citizen or Proud U.S. Green Card Holder, should be prepared to suffer this “collateral damage”. Your “collateral damage” is your “Contribution to America”.

Conventional wisdom has been that U.S. citizens living abroad are victims of OVDI collateral damage. Conventional wisdom has been that U.S. immigrants are victims of OVDI collateral damage. But, are these expats and immigrants really “collateral damage”? What are the real motives of the IRS? A recent post on Phil Hodgen’s blog is enlightening (presuming that it is true). You will find it here:

This incredible story, about an immigrant being chased out of the U.S., was heavily commented on at both the Hodgen blog and the Isaac Brock Society. Even a former IRS attorney referred to this as an outrage. When it comes to the intentions and credibility of the IRS,  people are starting to presume the worst. People are prepared to believe that the purpose of OVDI was and is nothing more than a “shake down”.  People are starting to believe that U.S. citizens living abroad and Green Card Holders either were or became the intended targets of OVDI. This is sad. The IRS cannot function without trust. But the facts really are starting to speak for themselves. After all, the IRS has done nothing to assist the thousands of minnows, who were victims of bad legal advice. The IRS has allowed Ambassador Jacobson’s 70 year old Grandma to be victimized by OVDI. The IRS even reactivated OVDI. When they reactivated OVDI, they promised special procedures for U.S. citizens living abroad. Those guidelines have not arrived (we are well into tax season). Once again, the IRS has become an obstacle to tax compliance. But, then again the IRS hasn’t responded to Nina Olsen’s TAD either. What’s a poor patriotic American taxpayer (who just wants to be in compliance) to believe? As Nina Olsen says:

The Silence Was Deafening!” Continue reading

The Isaac Brock Society

On January 25th, I posted a story of the “Opt Out” success of a Minnow with the alias of Moby.

It was under the title of  An OVDP Minnow “Opt Out” Success by Moby  

If you are not familiar with his story, I would suggest that you read that post first to bring you up to date with his story.

Moby, now complete in his dealings with the IRS and no longer residing in America, has generously made his “Opt Out” correspondence public for all OVDI participants to see and learn from.  What follows is his message for all of us.

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No U.S. Tax Compliance, No U.S. Passport = Increased demand for a second passport

Citizenship renunciations are  soaring under the Obama administration. In a move that is sure to accelerate this trend, as part of Tax Amendments to Senate-Passed Highway Trust Fund Bill (S. 1813), the ability to get a U.S. passport is now tied to U.S. tax compliance. The provisions are detailed. But, the bottom line is that the issuance and renewal of U.S. passports is now tied to U.S. tax compliance. I suspect that (at least initially) this will affect few people. You should read the complete article (courtesy of ACA). Note the following comments from lawyer Charles Bruce. Continue reading