The title of this post was a Google search term that led to a number of hits. A search on Bing led to an equally impressive number of hits. (Note that each search revealed results for “why we are so cruel to us citizen living abroad“.) Fascinating question. How can this be? Why is this so?
The following comment appeared on a blog post this week – note the part where she says: “I cannot stand to be an American for one second more.”
I am an accidental US person – and have lived outside the US since I was a baby.
I owe no US taxes, but because of the nightmarish US laws about ‘foreign’ bank accounts and ‘foreign trusts’, I’ve had to pay extortionate legal and accounting fees out of my non-US family’s non-US savings in order to
become ‘compliant’ – because I felt strongly that I could not live with US citizenship – and be subjected to arrogant US might-makes-right any longer than forced to. The fees I paid far exceeded my annual earnings. I work multiple jobs, poorly paid, irregular hours, no benefits, no security. At my current rate, it will take me more than 3 years to earn what I paid to prove that I owed the US nothing and be able to renounce. For my last simple return, the local chain of preparers quoted up to 1000. for a 1040 and 3520 plus 3520A. Another wants a signed letter of engagement – but will provide no estimate of cost and the agreement has no limits.
I cannot stand to be an American for one second more. Through the torment of the last two years, I have come to loathe the US, the US tax lawyer and the accounting firm who made major errors that even I could see – but who charged me incredible fees regardless. I came very close several times to concluding that suicide was my only option in order to be free. Or that maybe I should leave my family in order to wall them off from the US threat. I could not eat or sleep. I did not know before about FBARs and the US threat, but inadvertently, I was the cause of our financial loss, and I will have to live with that for the rest of our lives together. My spouse does not rebuke me, but sometimes questions whether we really had to spend the money. I told him that it was a ransom we had to pay so that the US could not hold me hostage forever. I will never forgive or forget what is happening, and neither will my non-US family. There is no way I could remain a US citizen and live with myself. I could not justify to myself or anyone else why I would remain in any relationship to a government and country who would treat us this way, and who continues to, regardless of our stories, our lobbying and the evidence reported by the Taxpayer Advocate.
It is only because of others like me on the web, plus the Taxpayer Advocate, that I had any hope at all and survived this.
Polite deputations do not do my and other’s torment justice. The US will not readily let us renounce or stop asserting its claims and power over our lives and the live of our family – even though they are not US persons.
If Democrats Abroad have not been successful in getting their very own personal President and party in power to see that what is being done is very wrong, then any polite lobbying is doomed to failure. I don’t believe that the US will willingly strike any commission in order even to pretend to hear us, much less do anything to redress the wrongs we are suffering. Some Democrats Abroad have even echoed the words of the IRS and Treasury that this is the price we must pay for the ‘privilege’ or ‘choice’ of living outside the US.
I looked for an answer to this question on Twitter. Tweeting a link to the letter of a Canadian Businessman to his Dual Citizen Son prompted the following exchange:
Is this really Congressional ignorance? Is it, as Roger Conklin suggests a “sin tax” for making the mistake of living abroad?
What do you think?
- #FATCA is sure to create and exacerbate tensions between Homelanders and #Americansabroad (renounceuscitizenship.wordpress.com)
- Required reading for countries considering a #FATCA IGA with the US (renounceuscitizenship.wordpress.com)
- France: October 10, 1789 – Ancestor of #OVDP and #FBAR (renounceuscitizenship.wordpress.com)
- Citizenship and the freedom of travel from and travel to other countries (renounceuscitizenship.wordpress.com)
- A Letter to America from the Son of an American – by AJ (renounceuscitizenship.wordpress.com)