Monthly Archives: September 2014

#OverseasVotersGuide : A living record of legislation and legislators of interest to US citizens living outside USA. Comments invited.

Sure get out an vote. That said, the time has come for Americans abroad to be treated as another state. Their should be a representative they can vote for directly.

How Congressional Hearings (Particularly In the Senate) Drive IRS and Justice Department Behavior

But the Obama administration is moving from the traditional and constitutional role of “separation of powers” to “consolidation of power”.


The separation of powers is often on full display when there are key Congressional hearings focused on the work (or lack thereof) undertaken by the key executive branch agencies responsible for tax enforcement:

1. Treasury/IRS, and

2.  Justice Department.

There is an important reason why every day taxpayers should be interested in these hearings; particularly those who are considering renouncing United States Citizenship.

The actions and reactions of the IRS and Justice Department are often in response to Congressional hearings.  This is very much the case with individual taxpayers with assets throughout the world.

A brief timeline of various hearings, and actions taken by the IRS and Justice Department (largely in response to such criticism) can be followed to demonstrate the influence of these hearings:

  • Year 2006

U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations,  published their report on August 1, 2006, entitled Tax Haven Abuses: The Enablers, The Tools &…

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Principles of Treasury’s (reserve currency) War used by private plaintiffs – U.S. law determines who non-U.S. banks can do business with

Prologue a comnment to a blog post from 2014 …

Mr Jatras:

Thanks for a great article. You have used FATCA as a particularly egregious example of the propensity of the President to either ignore law or make law himself. The Obama presidency is one characterized by a rogue President who does what he wants, when he wants and to whom he wants.

One interesting example is the recent 10 billion dollar fine which he personally levied against the French Bank BNP. This is described in “The Economist” as follows:

“WHAT is the appropriate penalty for a firm that abets genocide? Roughly a year’s profit and the sacking of a dozen employees, the American authorities concluded this week. At any rate, that is the punishment meted out to BNP Paribas, a French bank that pleaded guilty to helping the Sudanese government sell oil, clearing proceeds through New York in violation of American sanctions. At the time government-backed militias in the region of Darfur were massacring civilians by the tens of thousands.”

What’s interesting that the bank was fined NOT as a result of a direct act of Congress, but as a fine levied as Executive Order 13622, by President Obama himself, found here:

Interestingly, the U.S. is claiming jurisdiction over the French Bank on the basis that the bank was using U.S. dollars.

To put it simply we have a situation where:

1. President Obama decides to impose a 10 billion fine on a French Bank; and

2. He claims jurisdiction over the bank on the basis that the bank was using U.S. dollars.

Leaving aside the troubling issue of Obama acting as though he is a “law unto himself”, it is obvious that the U.S. can no longer be trusted enough for the USD to be the main reserve currency. The erosion of the status of the USD is well under way.

The threat of FATCA sanctions levied at non-U.S. banks will exacerbate that trend.

Thanks again for a great article!

How the U.S. uses the dollar as to regulate foreign banks by “its very nature benefit U.S. citizens

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Charles Adams “For Good And Evil” – The Impact of Taxes On The Course Of Civilization

I accidentally came across an incredible book by Charles Adams called:

For Good and Evil – The Impact of Taxes on the Course of Civilization.

One review is here.

This is a tremendous book. I specifically recommend Chapter 37 “Learning From The Past”.

In any event, I am thrilled to see that the Mises Institute hosted Charles Adams for a week of seminars (which are based on the book).

Better yet, the seminars are (the wonders of technology) available below on YouTube. I haven’t listened them yet. But, if they are like the book. Mr. Adams will give you a model to understand tax policy and the impact that it is sure to have on the future of the United States.

Incredible stuff! Highly recommend (and no I have never met Mr. Adams.)

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The above tweet references the original article.

The Tax Wars Blog

Alison Bennett of Bloomberg BNA’s article “Questions surround Standard of Willful Path Conduct under Streamlined Version of OVDP” (9/17/14), summarizes some of her interviews with tax lawyers around the country concerning the Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedures announced by IRS on June 16, 2014.

I’ve questioned the usefulness of the Streamlined Process for U.S. persons in prior blog posts and my colleagues interviewed by Ms. Bennett have similar reservations. Some of the comments are summarized below, namely:

  • The government may take a stricter view of non-willfulness for those trying to transition out of the OVDP into the Streamlined Process under the transitional rules also announced on June 16, 2014.
  • One practitioner’s experience is that most transitional applications are being rejected by IRS.
    • Apparently, as I’ve discussed in earlier posts there is no appeal of this IRS decision.
  • The IRS seems to be interpreting non-willfulness using a stomach test: Did you know…

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Economic Patriotism is the Berlin Wall—Rebuilt


This is a very common situation. I have never heard of someone who didn’t about the FBAR to have filed the FBAR. (Unless it was some kind of accidental form filing).

The Tax Wars Blog

This predicament is not an uncommon occurrence.  Many taxpayers may have had a foreign bank or brokerage account and reported the income in their tax returns or earned no income but did not know they had to file an FBAR.  They are often panic-stricken over what they have heard are horrific consequences.  But, there is now light at the end of the tunnel thanks to a new IRS procedure aimed at these taxpayers.

Should these taxpayers with delinquent FBARS enter the OVDP?

Absolutely not.  The Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program or OVDP is for tax criminals or those who fear imposition of a draconian civil FBAR penalty.  The OVDP is not for those who’ve reported all income from an offshore account but failed to file an FBAR or other foreign information return.

Should they elect the new Streamlined Compliance Procedures?

No, they should not.  The Streamlined Procedures (which are really two processes one for expats…

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