Monthly Archives: May 2012

The conscience of a lawyer and “The FBAR Fundraiser”

Having a license to practise law (bar admission) does not a lawyer make. Admission to the Bar, gives an individual the legal right to conduct oneself as  a lawyer. A lawyer operates within a specific construct of ethics and morality. The American Bar Association Model Rules of Professional Conduct make it clear that

A lawyer has an obligation to the client that is more important than loyalty to any other person or entity. This principle is made clear in Rule 1.7 of  The American Bar Association Model Rules of Professional Conduct.  Rule 1.7 clarifies that a lawyer should not act for a client if there exists any conflict of interest. It reads as follows: Continue reading

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Compliance counseling is like a box of chocolates – “You never know what your gonna get” – Circular 230 vs. the fiduciary duty to the client

The Isaac Brock Society is becoming a interest place to “hang out”. At least this is true for many U.S. citizens living abroad who are desperately attempting to ensure that they are in U.S. tax compliance Many people are grappling with how to be compliant on a “going forward” basis. Others are trying to figure out to deal with “past compliance issues”. There are of course a number of ways to come into compliance. What all these people have in common is a desire to be U.S. tax compliant. Yet, the IRS seems hell bent on continuing on treating U.S. citizens living abroad as though they are tax cheats. For many U.S. citizens living abroad the emotional strain is such that they are driven to renounce U.S. citizenship. This is the price of a good nights sleep.

So, what’s a poor U.S. citizen living abroad to do? Well, they consult a “cross border professional” where they get advice that comes in all shapes, sizes and perspectives. The advice is so varied that it reminds me of the line in Forrest Gump:

Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”

When it comes to “compliance counseling” – You never know what you’re gonna get.” Continue reading

The Isaac Brock Society

Okay, not by name, but he did decry the American Thinker, where Petros published an article just a few days ago. Anyway, in case you missed the news, Chuck Schumer hijacked the Senate floor on Thursday, claiming that he planned to discuss S.A. 2146 (which criminalises certain synthetic drugs), but instead giving a three thousand-word declamation about his Expatriation Prevention Act. Coincidentally, S.A. 2146 has three well-known anti-expat Senators as its cosponsors: not just Schumer, but Reed Amendment author Jack Reed (D-RI) and Foreign Earned Income Exclusion foe Chuck Grassley (R-IA).

Anyway, Schumer’s speech begins on page S3548 of the Congressional Record of 24 May 2012. I’ve reprinted the whole thing below (the Congressional Record is not an object of copyright) with my comments.

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Great comments – thanks to all.

The Isaac Brock Society

I am admittedly way behind in reading the many recent good posts and comments here at Isaac Brock. I also have had a couple subjects I have wanted to weigh in on, and create new posts, but for the past couple weeks my time has been seriously constrained.  However, this morning a previous post by renounceuscitizenship caught my attention.  It was entitled Steve Mopsick – On the “coming into compliance dilemma”.  I have been thinking about it all day, and why it is that this QD dilemma is so difficult for so many benign Minnows with the conflicting advice being provided by practitioners.

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Schumer Casey bill removes all doubt about U.S. insanity – may accelerate pace of renunciations!

The following comment from the Isaac Brock Society about the Schumer Casey Ex-Patriot Act is deserving of a separate post and discussion: Continue reading

The Isaac Brock Society

Check this out. My question for all is this:

How on the basis of these facts, specifically not knowing about Mr. FBAR in the past, could this be construed to be “willful non-compliance”? Are you saying that the IRS might just make a decision to treat this as willful.? It doesn’t seem to me that in this letter you have:

“now admitted in writing that you are in willful non-compliance with your federal income tax and FBAR filing obligations for the past six years.”

Isn’t the test for willfulness: “The intentional disregard of a known legal duty?” If you don’t know of the duty, how can the disregard be intentional?

This would seem to me to be a very unlikely response from the IRS. If they do respond this way, the outcome is clear:

The word will get out and nobody will ever attempt to bring themselves into compliance again.

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Nationalistic Narcissism and U.S. citizenship – Being a U.S. citizen is like having a narcissist for a parent

Great video – should be become required viewing for the Levins of the world!

A U.S. citizen trying to live outside the U.S. tries to reason with a “Homelander” (who sleeps outside the U.S. but lives in the U.S.)

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It is not a good time to be a U.S. citizen. The fact of U.S. citizenship imposes a disability on a person that disadvantages him in the game of life.

U.S. citizens living abroad are, as  a defensive measure, being forced to renounce U.S. citizenship. U.S. citizens living outside the U.S. are subjected to the agony of U.S. citizenship on a daily basis. The cost of U.S. tax compliance has meant that (with the exception of the wealthy) U.S. citizenship has been priced out of the market. Furthermore, U.S. citizens living abroad must choose between having a life and having U.S. citizenship. In the words of one commentator:

These days, Americans cannot live decently overseas without renouncing. And that’s not just the high-rollers who are doing it to save taxes. Indeed, as a low-roller, I will pay more in taxes in the UK than I ever would in the US. However, with the onerous reporting the US demands of foreign banks regarding US depositors, it is getting impossible to do such simple things as open a savings account if one is an expat. Loans, credit cards? Forget it. When we needed a mortgage a year and a half ago, the only way we got it was to leave me out of it BECAUSE my being a Yank would have made the bank jump through expensive IRS hoops it didn’t care to encounter. And it’s getting worse. But that’s another story.

This one is about my renunciation of my US citizenship, something no other citizen of any other nation except Eritrea has to do to live and work peaceably in any other country that will have them. Continue reading