Category Archives: Are you a U.S. citizen?

Khadr apology and settlement about violation of Charter rights, Trudeau says

Prologue 2014:

(Those who need a “reset” in terms of the issues in the “Alliance For The Defence of Canadian Sovereignty Lawsuit” should watch the complete video here.)

Canada in 2017:

The article referenced in the above tweet includes:

On Friday, the government confirmed a payment had been made to Khadr to settle a longstanding lawsuit. Khadr’s suit claimed Canada had violated his rights and was complicit with the United States when he was detained at the U.S. base in Cuba, denied access to a lawyer and tortured.

The Supreme Court of Canada in 2010 ruled Khadr’s rights had been violated.

The apology sparked fresh public debate about Khadr, but Trudeau says the settlement is not about the details of Khadr’s case but the fact his rights were violated.

Trudeau says the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects all Canadians, “even when it is uncomfortable.”

When the government violates any Canadian’s Charter rights, we all end up paying for it,” he said.

Trudeau says the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects all Canadians, “even when it is uncomfortable”

Pierre Trudeau would have believed that the Charter of Rights of protects all Canadians. Justin Trudeau doesn’t believe that. In theory constitutional (including Charter rights) are great things. In practice “rights” often make people feel uncomfortable.

The examples of Canadians with a “U.S. taint” and Mr. Khadr make people uncomfortable. That is perhaps why both really are “Charter of Rights” cases!

(Of course the Supreme Court of Canada has not (unlike in the case of Mr. Khadr) YET ruled that the rights of Canadians with a “U.S. taint” have been violated. Perhaps, that is the real difference.)

Relinquished US citizenship in the 1970s? Are you still a U.S. “Tax Slave”?

The above tweet references a comment at the Isaac Brock Society.

Returning to the purpose of this post:

The question asked by Stephen Kish is how should Caroline be advised. Mr. Reed proposes two interpretations of S. 877A which he calls the “literal approach” and the “common sense” approach. One problem of reading articles written by the tax compliance community is, that by focusing on the theoretical, they minimize the “real life” consequences to the people they advise. So, what are the “real life consequences?” The “literal approach” results in the destruction of your life. The common sense approach means that you still have a life. (Which do you think is the better approach?)

Here is why.

Rather than frame the issue as “the literal approach” vs. the “common sense approach”, the issue should be framed as:

Approach 1 – Your Life Is Over: Under this “literal” interpretation of S. 877A, you poor dumb former American will have to turn your life savings over to the IRS (and pay the adviser to help you do this) because you did not go out and obtain a CLN. It doesn’t matter that a CLN was not required by law. It doesn’t matter that you didn’t know what one was. It doesn’t matter that the U.S. Government was threatening you with the loss of your U.S.citizenship if you became Canadian. It doesn’t matter that in some cases the U.S. was denying entry to the USA to those who had become Canadians. What matters is ONLY that this is what the statute says NOW!!!!!!! So, you better step right up and turn your life savings over to the IRS.

Approach 2 – It’s Your LIfe! Why don’t you keep it!: Let some “common sense” prevail. You were one of the smart ones. Because you relinquished U.S. citizenship – according to the clear laws of the USA in the 1970s – you are not affected by this new law. The only people affected by this new law are the “dumb bunnies” who decided it was a good idea to be a U.S. citizen AND were U.S. citizens when this law took effect on June 16, 2008. I don’t think you should draw attention to yourself. You might want to document the circumstances that led to your becoming a Canadian citizen in 1978. When documenting those circumstances, you probably should make it clear that you were intending to relinquish U.S. citizenship. But, either way you have to sleep. So, you might as well – Sleep well!. There is no good reason to turn your assets over to the IRS and pay your adviser to help you do it.

A fair reading of the legal commentary on this issue appears to be:

One group of lawyers (including the three who commented on this article) do NOT believe that the “literal” (or as Michael Miller says, the “absurd”) approach is correct.

A second group of lawyers thinks that the “literal” approach MIGHT be correct. But, they aren’t really sure. Even though they are not sure, for reasons known only to them, they usher clients into turning their assets over to the IRS. Hmmmm, …

Given the existing commentary and lack of certainty (on the part of those who recognize the “literal approach”), what I can’t understand is:

1. How any adviser could possibly advise a client that the “literal” approach is correct (turn your assets over to the IRS). Yet, we know that a very large number of people are being advised to do just that. (Note that, since June 16, 2008 a CLN is most certainly required lose U.S. tax subjectness. But NOT before.)

2. How any client, given the existence of conflicting views, could possibly allow themselves to be guided into accepting that they should turn their assets over to the IRS. (Actually I know the answer. It’s because there is ONLY one certainty in life. If you turn over all your assets to the IRS, then you will never have tax problems again. But, you won’t have a life either and then you will have a different set of tax problems.)

This reality notwithstanding:

There is/are a large number of people who clearly relinquished U.S. citizenship many years before the current laws, who have allowed themselves to be guided into the “literal appraoch” – turning their assets over to the IRS.

Conclusion: The result that you get will be determined by your choice of adviser. Think about it!

Born abroad to US citizen parents in a #CookvTait world? Are you a US citizen or do have a right to US citizenship?

Introduction:

The above tweet references an earlier comment on this vitally important question.

The purpose of this post is to continue hammering away at this very narrow issue/question.

Does the United States have the right to deem a person born outside the United States to be a U.S. citizen? Can the United States forcibly impose citizenship on a person NOT born in the United States?

To be more specific, I understand that the United States has the right to offer U.S. citizenship to anybody who it wants. The question is whether the United States can force a person (who has not accepted U.S. citizenship) to be a U.S. citizen. Given that the United States is “Hunting For Citizens Abroad”, this is an important question. I have written on this topic before here and here.

This is an attempt to explore the question form from the possible perspectives of: Congress, the State Department, U.S. Courts and legal scholars. I then conclude by asking the questions of whether:

– those unknowingly registered as U.S. citizens by parents should have the right to “reject” U.S. citizenship; and

– whether any forcible imposition of U.S. citizenship on the citizens of other countries could be a violation of international law.

Here we go …
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The hopelessness and despair of #Americansabroad

The above tweet references an interesting Facebook discussion that begins with:

 

With all this talk about fbar and fataca , I’m curious as to what people really think in terms of the odds of anything changing for us Americans living elsewhere- and by changing I mean for the better in terms of taxes and reporting. More precisely, law abiding dual citizens living ex-America.

 

Few people believe either the form or the extent of the way USA abuses #Americansabroad

I came across an interesting discussion at Keith Redmond’s American Expatriates Facebook group.

The discussion starts here:

Interesting observation for the week. I have had the opportunity to explain to my fellow Australians the dire situation we face as US expats at the hands of the US government. I get the impression that the people I have told are doubting my facts because they find the unfairness of CBT so frigging unbelievable, the intrusiveness of FATCA so arrogant it couldn’t possibly be true. The shock on their faces is somewhat gratifying. So this is the type of “ambassadors” the US has made of 8.7 million  expats.

I encourage you to read the comments. I agree with this. In my experience the reality of the abusiveness of the U.S. government towards it’s citizens abroad that many people do NOT even believe it’s possible.

Confession: I didn’t think it was possible either.

Renounce and rejoice!

 

 

And Homelanders wonder why #Americansabroad are renouncing US citizenship

 

The above tweet references a comment at the MapleSandbox.ca blog that is worth turning into a post. And they wonder why people renounce U.S. citizenship!

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