Tag Archives: Afroyim v. Rusk

Forcing #Americansabroad to renounce US citizenship is like #Civilforfeiture – Now “ain’t that America”

Introduction – The general principles of Civil Forfeiture Reexamined

 

Civil forfeiture is becoming increasingly prevalent in the United States and in Western democracies. In it’s simplest form, Civil Forfeiture is a process where governments seize your property without going through the judicial process. Governments love it. It’s efficient, profitable and risk free.  It’s on the rise in both Canada and the United States. It has been the subject of numerous posts at the Isaac Brock Society. Certainly, FBAR penalties and other penalties for “Form Crime” are instances of civil forfeiture. I have argued that OVDP is a form of Civil Forfeiture.

 

Your property, your U.S. citizenship and the forcible taking of your U.S. citizenship

As I have pointed out time after time, after time ….

The Supreme Court of the United States has made it clear that those born or naturalized in the United States have a constitutional right to NOT have their citizenship “stripped from them”. I explored this in:

Cook v. Tait 12: Afroyim v. Rusk, the 14th amendment, and the forcible destruction of citizenship

In Afroyim, Justice Black wrote:

Citizenship is no light trifle 268*268 to be jeopardized any moment Congress decides to do so under the name of one of its general or implied grants of power. In some instances, loss of citizenship can mean that a man is left without the protection of citizenship in any country in the world—as a man without a country. Citizenship in this Nation is a part of a co-operative affair. Its citizenry is the country and the country is its citizenry. The very nature of our free government makes it completely incongruous to have a rule of law under which a group of citizens temporarily in office can deprive another group of citizens of their citizenship.We hold that the Fourteenth Amendment was designed to, and does, protect every citizen of this Nation against a congressional forcible destruction of his citizenship, whatever his creed, color, or race. Our holding does no more than to give to this citizen that which is his own, a constitutional right to remain a citizen in a free country unless he voluntarily relinquishes that citizenship.

Hmm….

If U.S. citizenship belongs to the individual, and the Obama administration is forcing people to renounce their citizenship, is this not a form of “Civil Forfeiture”?

The following posts and comments bear on this question.

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Cook v. Tait 22 – Kirsch Schneider – Toronto – Citizenship taxation debate

What follows are links to posts at the Isaac Brock Society discussion the Kirsch Schneider debate held in Toronto on May 2, 2014. The posts (which are rich with comments) include:

ACA Global Foundation – Video of Kirsch Schneider debate – March 2015

Live Comments of the Toronto Kirsch Schneider debate – May 2, 2014

More discussion of the May 2 Kirsch Schneider debate – May 3, 2014

The comments are fantastic! Great insight!

Cook v. Tait 20: Bernard Schneider: “The End of Taxation Without End: A New Tax Regime for US Expatriates”

I was glad to see that Bernard Schneider’s paper was referred to at one of the Facebook groups frequented by Americans Abroad. Dr. Schneider’s was summarized as follows:

This paper was specifically mentioned by the SFC about two years ago after they received a round of submissions on tax reform (just like the current round). The SFC also mentioned an interest in Canada’s model of Residency Based Taxation.

In his paper, Schneider introduces the Cook vs. Tait (benefits justification) which is the current legal basis for CBT on page 4.

On page 6 Schneider identifies 5 types of expats (short-term, long-term, accidental, citizens by descent and unaware citizens by descent).

On page 52 Schneider begins an in depth discussion (for several pages) about the lack of “benefits” expats receive from the USG. He tears the Cook vs Tait “benefits” argument to pieces where he concludes with, “Thus only short-term expatriates and U.S. government employees and military personnel can be said to have, as a group, the nexus to the United States that justifies including them in the U.S. tax net.”

On page 73 Schneider writes, “In most cases, renunciation is driven not by a desire to escape taxation unjustly, but by the unjust imposition of taxation. U.S. taxation of long-term expatriates and accidental, nominal, and unaware citizens is unjustified; they should not have to renounce their U.S. citizenship in order to escape U.S. tax and reporting burdens….. More fundamentally, the use of citizenship as a jurisdictional basis for taxation of nonresidents is unsound because it distorts and devalues citizenship. Worldwide taxation of, and the ever-increasing compliance burden on, nonresident U.S. citizens constitute a real and increasing citizenship penalty. As the cost of U.S. citizenship rises, and the perceived benefits decrease, many are likely to see the U.S. passport as a passport of inconvenience.”

Schneider’s paper is long, but well worth the read. It provides the tools for overturning Cook vs Tait.

http://waysandmeans.house.gov/up…/schneider_wg_comment_2.pdf

Brandeis: The right to be let alone, to have privacy, is the most comprehensive and valued right

An attack on privacy is an an attack on freedom itself.

I have previously posted on the theme of – “From Facebook To FATCA” . My theory has been that FATCA (which is an erosion of freedom) is possible only in a world that does NOT value privacy. The erosion of privacy NECESSARILY LEADS to the erosion of freedom.

An earlier post describing the relationship between FATCA and freedom included:

The argument over FATCA is NOT really about taxes. The argument is over whether individuals should be allowed to have freedom and privacy.

The U.S. government wants to abolish privacy and freedom.

Some countries and individuals want to preserve freedom (at least as long as possible.)

Question: How did the values of “freedom” and “privacy” disintegrate? Why are so many people unconcerned about the the loss of privacy? Makes no mistake about it, “privacy” and “freedom” are linked.

I speculate that the world of social media has paved the way for this. People now think nothing of having their life visible to all on Facebook, Twitter and the rest. If there is no personal privacy, and financial privacy is part of personal privacy, then …

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Time for #Americansabroad forced to renounce citizenship to pursue legal remedies in US courts

This post is motivated in part by Robert Wood’s latest post titled:

Record Numbers Renounce U.S. Citizenship – And Many Aren’t Counted

Of course Mr. Wood’s article is based on “Official Relinquishments”. As explained by FromPatriotToExpatriate in a comment to Mr. Wood’s post:

Robert:

As always, thank you for keeping this issue “front and center”.

Thank you also for suggesting (this is unquestionably true) that the number of “reported renunciations” is well below the reality. The “reported renunciations” are based on those who are seeking a CLN based on the conditions of S. 349 of the Immigration and Nationality Act. In other words, they go to a U.S. consulate and either:

1. Formally renounce; or
2. Inform the consulate they have previously committed a relinquishing act.

In either case, they are asking the consulate to help them obtain – what is the most sought after document in the world today – that is a certificate of loss of U.S. nationality (CLN). Furthermore, some are paying “big money” to achieve this. There is NO QUESTION that the numbers of those actively seeking the CLN are under-reported.

But, as one commenter has correctly suggested, the number of Americans who are actively seeking the CLN, is very small relative to the people who have simply “unofficially relinquished their U.S. citizenship” by taking the position that:

A. They are no longer U.S. citizens in their minds and hearts.

B. They are willing to never return to the United States.

C. They will simply live life attempting to “hide their U.S.ness”

This is by far the largest number and at the end of the day, this is the greatest tragedy.

The very rich and the very poor can afford to formally relinquish. The “middle class” can’t afford to come into tax compliance or if they are in tax compliance, they can’t afford the “Exit Tax”. The simple truth is that a person who owns a “mortgage free” house in most major cities coupled with any attempt to save for retirement, means they will exceed the two million threshold on paper. In other words, for the middle class to officially “relinquish citizenship” means they will have to turn their retirement assets (which were never earned in the U.S.) over to the IRS.

So, that’s the deal. Barack Obama promised “change we can believe in”. What he delivered was “change we could never imagine”.

Also, Americans abroad have traditionally been good ambassadors for America. Obviously, that is no longer so. In fact many Americans abroad are now very “anti-American”. In a world where the U.S. is widely disliked, where it’s official ambassadors are distrusted and ridiculed, the U.S. needs all the “unofficial ambassadors” it can get. In the past the U.S. has had benefited from its citizens abroad – who have (on the whole) been loyal and patriotic citizens.

Finally, although Homeland Americans don’t care about this, if they paid attention, they would see how the U.S. government has put an “iron curtain” around the U.S.

This is how we treat those who have already left the U.S. This is what will happen to you if you leave the U.S.

 

Perceptions of U.S. citizenship abroad – How you will be treated if you leave the U.S.

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Cook v. Tait 12: Afroyim v. Rusk, the 14th amendment and the forcible destruction of US citizenship

afroyim

Introduction:

I have been blogging on U.S. citizenship-based taxation since 2011. In February of 2012, I wrote the “Prologue” for this series of posts:

Citizenship renunciations soaring under Obama – Renunciation as an Act of Self Defense

That post included the following poll. The results are shocking!

 

In January of 2013 I began a series of posts to explore the rationale (if there is one) for  “citizenship-based taxation”. I simply cannot understand how the United States of America, a country that once was a leader in human rights, can treat it’s citizens (not to mention Green Card holders) so badly. I assume that Congress has simply not considered this issue.

This series of posts (including the Prologue are):

Cook v. Tait Prologue: Citizenship renunciations soaring under Obama – Renunciation as an Act of Self Defense

Cook v. Tait 1: Does Cook v. Tait really mean that citizenship-based taxation is constitutional in all cases?

Cook v. Tait 2: The presumption of government benefit

Cook v. Tait 3: Legal Scholar agrees justification in Cook v. Tait, but offers new justification for citizenship-based taxation

Cook v. Tait 4: Taxation of #Americansabroad based on US culture 150 years ago! Time warp or what!

Cook v. Tait 5: Citizenship-based taxation was never justified – League of Nations reports!

Cook v. Tait 6: Taxation of Green Card holders who reside outside the U.S.

Cook v. Tait 7: Equality: Law prohibits both rich and poor from sleeping on the park bench

Cook v. Tait 8: Does citizenship-based taxation cross the boundaries of tax justice?

Cook v. Tait 9:  US may have to stop citizenship-based taxation to get #FATCA IGAs

Cook v. Tait 10: Those born outside the U.S. to U.S. citizens, may not be U.S. citizens

Cook v. Tait 11: Who should #Americansabroad be compared to for tax purposes? Even U.S. citizens are entitle to “equal protection” under the 14th amendment

Cook v. Tait 12: Afroyim v. Rusk, The 14th amendment and the forcible destruction of citizenship

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In our country the people are sovereign and the Government cannot sever its relationship to the people by taking away their citizenship. Our Constitution governs us and we must never forget that our Constitution limits the Government to those powers specifically granted or those that are necessary and proper to carry out the specifically granted ones.

– Justice Black Afroyim v. Rusk

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