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RT: Why #Americansabroad are now the problem in the #taxreform17 debate – U.S. citizens live in fear!

My comment on the “state” of Americans abroad and the broad outline of the Trump tax proposals on the Isaac Brock Society site. Please read the complete thread.

 

This is reasonably positive. Come on people. Barbara has it right when she writes:

“In certain respects, it’s a good thing that TTFI is not mentioned in the document. Can you imagine the shrill outcry that would result? “Ya mean them trillionaires bathing in champagne in their Riviera mansions don’t have to pay taxes? Hang them!” Politically, it is in our favor if TTFI is inserted in the meeting rooms of the Ways & Means Committee, and not coming from the pen or mouth of Trump.”

If you think for a minute that a 9 page skeletal outline of tax reform is going to include the concerns of Americans abroad you are delusional. The point is that there is NO ASPECT of these proposals that is inconsistent with territorial/residential taxation for individuals. This is intended to be is a statement of the general principles (a possible constitution if you will) of tax reform. The point is that the concerns of Americans abroad CAN fit into this. It is now the job of Americans abroad to make sure that their concerns WILL fit into this. The door is open to convey the message. But, the message must be conveyed.

The problem now is less the proposals and the committees. The problem is the simple fact that few Americans abroad are taking the time to express their concerns. I will say it again. At this particular point, the problem is less the U.S. Government than it is the inaction of Americans abroad. The number of people who have responded to the requests for letters and petitions is pathetically low. In fact the numbers are so low that the fact of the low numbers is doing harm. They are so low that it’s now easy for the drafters of the legislation to say:

Look how few Americans abroad are complaining. There really cant be much of a problem, can there!

Sure there are reasons for not participating. Sure Americans are terrified of their own Government (the new litmus test for determining whether they really are American). But, the simple fact is that with VERY FEW exceptions, Americans abroad are NOT participating in the fight for (a once in a generation) legislative change. It reminds me of a bumper sticker I once saw that read:

“When my ship came in, I was at the airport.”

Quite pathetic really.

Ask not, what your country can for you! Ask what you can and should do for yourself and your children!

Do you want your children to be born into tax slavery when you had a chance to object to it?

Apparently so.

By the way, here is the outline of the Trump tax proposals:

 

Tax-Framework

So, what do you think?

 

 

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A @USCitizenAbroad describes her changed perspective of America from living outside the United States

The article referenced in the above tweet is fascinating. The article is a short version of Suzy Hansen’s  newly published book “Notes on a Foreign Country.

The following tweet will take you to more about Ms. Hansen and the book.

 

 

Why Tax Citizens – America’s Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Café Moi

America has an obsessive-compulsive disorder. The rest of the world thinks so, based on America’s seemingly non-sensical, misguided, and random behavior. Examples are long and storied: the failure to adopt the metric system, the insane void of gun control, a refusal to fund the United Nations yet an expectation to run the organisation by its lonesome, a fetish for free trade yet a near communist obsession with cheap oil and food, and the list runs on. These are decisions most of the rest of the world has made; because they make sense. Such a patient cannot accurately judge their own actions and motivations, so don’t bother arguing this point if you are an American living in the 50: I won’t listen to you just as you won’t listen to me.

I am focusing on income tax. Americans believe all its citizens must pay income tax. It is a value grounded…

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#FATCA Hearings (4/26/2017) – a very brief introduction

Café Moi

The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (#FATCA) is a law requiring all foreign financial institutions (FFI) to provide the United States’ Internal Revenue Service (IRS) with financial account details of any American Persons who has accounts with it. If a FFI does not comply, then it is subject to a 30% withholding tax on all its American transactions.

There are arguments for and against #FATCA, and even though I am fully against it, I will try to present both arguments.

Argument For

  • The United States has suffered from tax evasion where its citizens and residents park their nest eggs abroad tax free. FATCA forces other countries to report these monies to the IRS. Estimates of taxes that will be recovered vary from $250 million a year to $792 million per year. The actual amounts received in taxes to date is only about $400 million.
  • Since implementation in 2010, the Treasury…

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Will the International Nightmare of FATCA Finally Be Repealed?

International Liberty

Republicans promised voters all sorts of pro-growth reforms. They assured us that they learned a lesson about the dangers of expanding government and calling it “compassionate conservatism.”

Give us control of both Congress and the White House, they said before the election, and we’ll move our agenda to limit government and drain the swamp in Washington.

  • Repeal Obamacare!
  • Cut tax rates!
  • Slash wasteful spending!
  • Reform entitlements!
  • Eliminate senseless red tape!

Of course, now that they’re in power, they’re getting cold feet. It now appears there will be reform of the disastrous Obamacare law, but not full repeal. Moreover, tax cuts are being jeopardized by a risky scheme for a $1 trillion “border-adjustable” tax hike. Based on Trump’s recent address to Congress, I’m also not holding my breath for much-needed spending cuts and entitlement reform. And it’s unclear whether we’ll see much progress cutting back…

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Where are you Mainstream Media?

Café Moi

I watched Smerconish last night on CNN. And before you label me a Libtard  or a liberal lackey, and yes, I despise Fox News and the alt right, I am quite disgusted with mainstream media’s filtering the real Obama stories. I rarely watch any news on television anymore, and when I do, it’s usually Canadian CBC, CTV, or BNN. I like my news to be about the news. Stations like Fox and CNN should have the word News stricken from their titles.

Anyway, I like Smerconish. He tends to speak his mind, and his mind is very much in line with my own leanings: centrist, questioning all, and searching for the best. I know you righties cannot comprehend these concepts, so please stop reading before your brains explode. Except I am done with left-right bullshit in this post.

At one point he interviewed Mark Wrighton, chancellor of Washington University in…

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W-8s for U.S. Citizens Abroad: Filing False Information with Non-U.S. Banks

This post contains a great review the W-8 series of forms. It is worth reading for that reason alone. But, I wonder about some of the other suggestions.

Your conclusion that:

“Accordingly, if a U.S. citizen were to sign IRS Form W-8BEN which I have seen banks erroneously request of their clients, they run the risk that the U.S. federal government will argue that such signatures and filing of false information with the bank was intentional and therefore criminal under IRC Section 7206(1).

Indeed, criminal cases are not simple, and I am not aware of any single criminal case that hinged exclusively on a false IRS Form W-8BEN. However, I have seen cases, where the government has alleged the U.S. born individual must have signed the form intentionally, knowing the information was false. It’s a question of proof and of course U.S. citizens wherever they reside, should take care to never sign an IRS Form W-8BEN as an individual certifying they are not a “United States person”; even if they think they are not a U.S. person”

With respect, I believe this statement is misleading.

The relevant statute to which you refer is:

“(1) Declaration under penalties of perjury

Willfully makes and subscribes any return, statement, or other document, which contains or is verified by a written declaration that it is made under the penalties of perjury, and which he does not believe to be true and correct as to every material matter; or . . .”

A conviction requires NOT a false statement, but a false statement with full knowledge that the statement was false. To add to the absurdity, the definition of U.S. citizen is the definition under the Internal Revenue Code – a definition over which there is substantial disagreement AND disagreement that is substantial.

It has become abundantly clear that few tax lawyers understand who or what a U.S. citizen even is.

If the lawyers don’t even understand what a U.S. citizen as defined by the Internal Revenue Code definition, then how is some poor schnuck who has been given a W-8.

In any case, a fair reading of your post leads to the conclusion that one should NOT complete any IRS form period. Maybe you are better off not playing “IRS Form Games” (when to use a Trumpism) “The form games are rigged.” If one completes the form one will be prosecuted for not agreeing to U.S. citizenship and if one does not complete the form, then …

Actually, here is a question for you.

What would be your conclusion if that same poor schmuck, knowing that he is NOT a U.S. citizen (or maybe he could never know that) decides to complete a W-9 because he wishes to be a U.S. citizen?

Tax-Expatriation

Individuals who do not specialize in U.S. federal tax law, often have little detailed understanding of the U.S. federal “Chapter 3” (long-standing law regarding withholding taxes on non-resident aliens and foreign corporations and foreign trusts) and “Chapter 4” (the relatively new withholding tax regime known as the “Foreign Account Tax irs-form-w-8ben-2006-older-version-with-certification-languageCompliance Act”) rules.

Indeed, plenty of U.S. tax law professionals (CPAs, tax attorneys and enrolled agents) do not understand well the interplay between these two different withholding regimes –

Plus, the IRS forms have been significantly modified over the years; with increasing factual representations that must be made by individuals who sign the forms under penalty of perjury.  They are complex and not well understood.  For instance…

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