Category Archives: FBAR Marriage

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!



@AARO debriefing on #FBAR #FATCA renunciations and more

This is a very interesting video from AARO about their recent trip to Washington. Note the part at the end where they talk (NOT about renouncing U.S. citizenship) but about the fact that the renunciations are being noticed in DC.

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Guess who warned of the #FBAR Marriage in 1970?

The Globe has a really nice description of this here.


The Globe and Mail includes it’s daily “A moment in time”. On March 21, 2014, the Globe noted that on March 21, 1970, the song “American Woman” was released as a single. Along with the picture it included:

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The #FBAR Marriage continued – Is it the U.S spouse or the alien spouse that is the problem?

This post is based on a response to a comment at the Isaac Brock Society which included:

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#Americansabroad denied child tax credit for children who are NOT US citizens – Benefit or burden?


Introducing the “FBAR Marriage”

The “FBAR Marriage” is a marriage between a U.S. person abroad and a non-U.S. person. The most important partner in the “FBAR Marriage” is the U.S. government. The most likely result of the “FBAR Marriage” is the “FBAR Divorce”.

American Exceptionalism = Exceptional Strains on the FBAR Marriage

We have seen discrimination in the following aspects of  the “FBAR Marriage”:

– requirement that the the U.S. spouse report on bank and financial accounts held with the non-U.S. spouse (FBAR, Form 8938, etc.) in the FBAR marriage;

– different and restrictive rules governing the transfer of assets from the U.S. spouse to the non-U.S. spouse (the transfer is a taxable event if the non-U.S. spouse is a “non-resident alien”;

– different and restrictive rules governing making of gifts by the U.S. spouse to the non-U.S. citizens spouse (regardless of residence);

– the considerations governing transfers of property and making gifts are a problem in the FBAR marriage, and they make divorce for U.S. citizens abroad far more difficult;

the tax penalty paid by the U.S. citizen spouse for taking the filing status of “filing separately” (instead of “married filing jointly”). Obviously the “non-resident alien” spouse cannot enter become a “U.S. person” for tax filing purposes. Note that this is going to become a bigger problem as the Obamacare tax kicks in;

On a more general level, there are the problems of :

– the family unit formed by the U.S. spouse and the non-U.S. spouse being unable to engage in responsible financial planning (no normal retirement planning products, mutual funds, etc.);

– the problems of the U.S. taxation of the principal residence of the family house;

– the possible problems of U.S. citizenship transmission if a child is born to the U.S. person and the non-U.S. spouse (interesting and complex area discussed on other posts). More on this in a moment.

And now, I draw your attention to another interesting fact:

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If you’re not “one of US” then don’t marry one of those #americansabroad



In a recent post, “Before You Say ‘I Do’: Options for British-American Couples“, London based, U.S. immigration lawyer, Susan McFadden explores different ways the future spouse can move to the U.S. This is of interest to a large number of people. She assumes a U.K. citizen wishing to marry a U.S. citizen and move to the U.S. Although this may make “emotional sense”, it may make no sense once the euphoria wears off.

Marriage between those who are not “one of US” and U.S. citizens needs to be considered from the perspective of what it means to be married to a U.S. citizen.  Much has been written on the effects of direct U.S. taxation, FBAR and other IRS requirements. These are a gross violation of the sanctity of the family during the marriage. In some cases, it may be the “straw that breaks the marital back“. But, what about divorce? How do the tax laws  apply to a marriage where one partner is NOT a U.S. citizen?

Those who have thought about citizenship-based taxation and the way it affects U.S. citizens abroad understand it to be  a form of life control. It is certainly a “fiscal prison”. But, it is much more. Under the guise of citizenship-based taxation the U.S. claims the right to interfere with, define and control the family. In fact the most important party in the family of any U.S. citizen abroad is the U.S. government.

U.S. tax laws operate to:

– make it more difficult for U.S. citizens to marry non-citizens; and

– make U.S. citizens  very unattractive as marriage partners.

I suggest that these laws in their intention and application constitute a massive human rights violation against U.S. citizens in general and U.S. citizens abroad in particular. Furthermore, they are one more example of the truth about citizenship-based taxation.

Citizenship-based taxation is NOT about taxation.  It is about life control!

(Interestingly, in his book “The Audacity of Hope” Senator Obama discussed the importance of marriage in society.)

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US personhood and marriage