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?
By the way, here is the outline of the Trump tax proposals:
The filing of the lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of FATCA is one more development in the history of a law that AARO has always felt was crafted hastily without thinking of its repercussions on the estimated 8.7 million Americans living and working around the globe, the vast majority of whom are law-abiding citizens who strive, even when it is difficult overseas, to comply with their country’s tax laws.
As a non-partisan organization representing the interests of all overseas Americans, AARO supports all efforts to eliminate or alleviate the damaging effects of FATCA, including this constitutional challenge that would have the law repealed. Likewise, since the very early days of FATCA, we have supported the “safe harbor” concept that would eliminate from FATCA reporting the accounts held by overseas taxpayers in the country where they are fiscally domiciled. In that connection, we are grateful for the efforts of the Co-chairs of the Congressional Americans Abroad Caucus to convince Treasury Secretary Lew and IRS Chairman Koskinen of its merits.
Both approaches appear to us to pose problems – in the case of the constitutional challenge, probable litigation that could take months if not years to resolve, and in the case of the “same country exception”, probable difficulties in satisfying banks and the IRS of a taxpayer’s legitimate status abroad. However, we support any effort to alleviate the negative effects of FATCA on Americans abroad. AARO’s sole concern is the financial, professional, domestic and personal well-being of people abroad who are being treated like “tax cheats” because of financial accounts they must maintain in their countries of residence.
Note that the statement from Democrats Abroad condemning the Bopp/Republicans Overseas FATCA lawsuit is here.
The title of this post was a Google search term that led to a number of hits. A search on Bing led to an equally impressive number of hits. (Note that each search revealed results for “why we are so cruel to us citizen living abroad“.) Fascinating question. How can this be? Why is this so?
The Stepford Wives is a 1972 satirical thriller novel by Ira Levin. The story concerns Joanna Eberhart, a photographer and young mother who begins to suspect that the frighteningly submissive housewives in her new idyllic Connecticut neighborhood may be robots created by their husbands.
Democrats Abroadis a frighteningly submissive group of automatons who believe it’s their job to carry on the work of the Democratic Party outside the United States. In their “robotic way” they believe in the “goodness” of the Democrats and ignore:
“FATCA, FBAR, OVDI, OVDP and the rest of the Treasury/IRS/HIRE/IGA alphabet-soup train wreck that is coming down the tracks to destroy the lives of U.S Persons abroad, and ultimately the homeland United States as well”.
They are, in their robotic way, completely asleep at the wheel and will be judged by their complete inaction in this matter. Continue reading →
So, said John McCain in his speech at the GOP convention on August 29, 2012. Four years ago, John McCain was the Republican candidate for President of the United States. Would things have been different for Americans abroad if McCain had been elected? Would we have had FATCA? Would we have had an administration that would have deemed anybody with a non-U.S. bank account to be a tax cheat? Would US. citizens abroad, and US Green Card holders residing in the US, have been subjected to the FBAR Fundraiser? We don’t know for sure. Furthermore, we don’t know whether there would be a change in policy under a possible Romney administration. Continue reading →
U.S. citizens abroad – Democrats, Republicans and Independents – thank you for the “FBAR/FATCA Task Force” and we note with gratitude that:
Your FBAR/FATCA Task Force has been working steadily to seek relief for overseas Americans facing onerous tax reporting burdens.
Furthermore, your six proposals would be welcomed by U.S. citizens abroad – to be specific:
1. Define a foreign or offshore account as an account in a country other than one’s country of residence or the US, thereby recognizing the legitimate need for local banking services;
2. Raise the FATCA reporting threshold to $1 million to put the focus on taxpayers with wealth sizeable enough to justify the costly and complex investment structures normally used to conceal assessable earnings;
3. Index the reporting threshold to inflation so that it goes up every year just as the Section 911 income exclusion does;
4. Add a provision that excuses anyone who does not owe taxes (because of the Section 911 exclusion or any other exemption or a tax treaty) from the obligation to file form 8938, regardless of the threshold reporting;
5. Merge the FBAR reporting requirement with the developing FATCA legislation to eliminate duplication in filings; and
6. Offer amnesty to overseas Americans who are delinquent taxpayers, inviting them to pay what they may owe and restore their status as tax-compliant citizens. (See our opening remarks for our success in this area.)
That said, your proposals are merely an attempt to improve the conditions of the prison of citizenship-based taxation. You are essentially just accepting the ideas of citizenship-based taxation, FATCA, FBAR and the rest. Gotta be in prison anyway. Why not put the effort into getting along better with the guards! Continue reading →